Daryl Chin is an artist, critic and curator who has been part of the New York City art world for 40 years. As a curator, he held a residency at the Department of Film of The Museum of Modern Art (1978-80); he has served as a guest curator at The Whitney Museum of American Art among others. As a critic, he began his career as Managing Editor of Film Culture magazine (1976-77); he was Associate Editor of PAJ (Performing Arts Journal) from 1989 to 2004. His essays are included in such anthologies as Asia in New York City: A Cultural Guide (2000), M/E/A/N/I/N/G: An Anthology of Artists' Writings, Theory, and Criticism, edited by Susan Bee and Mira Schor (2000), Tokens? The NYC Asian American Experience On Stage, edited by Alvin Eng (1999), Queer Looks, edited by Martha Gever, John Greyson and Pratibha Parmar, and Mediating History, edited by Barbara Abrash and Catherine Egan (1992). As a performance artist, he has created over 30 performance pieces from 1976 to 1985. His play The Dialectic of Enlightenment was published by Theatre Communications Group as part of their Plays-in-Process series in 1983. Currently, he maintains a cultural blog, Documents on Art & Cinema (www.d-a-c.blogspot.com).
The situation of media culture has brought about a profound dissociation of traditional cultural values. This has never been more apparent than in examining the changes in cinematic production in a number of Asian societies. Starting in the late 1950s, a number of young Japanese filmmakers, trying to assert their independence from the very rigid studio system in Japan, began to make low-budget features, which often imitated tropes from American movies, specifically those involving youth culture. Filmmakers from this period include Seijin Suzuki, Shohei Imamura and Nagisa Oshima. The fact that there is now a proliferation of genre-based cinematic productions in localities such as South Korea, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Thailand and Japan has meant that there is a commercial film industry mirroring the studio system as perfected by the American commercial film industry. This proliferation of ‘pop’ culture raises many questions, such as: is the rise of pop a necessary corollary of the development of an industrialized society? Or is the rise of pop a symptom of the imperialist market practices of American culture? There are no simple answers to this, and the research is intended to open up these questions, rather than to provide a definitive conclusion. The situation of the New Taiwanese Cinema of the 1980s will serve as an adjunct to this primary area of research; the reception of this cinema was instructive, in that the initial response of the Western film community was one of incredible hostility. By the late 1990s, this began to change, but it turned out that the initial resentment of this cinema stemmed from the fact that, technologically, Taiwan had become one of the most advanced societies, with wireless communication and internet service becoming commonplace.