In this talk, Professor Yeh will centre on her two GRF projects on exhibition and reception of motion pictures in colonial Hong Kong. The year 1897 is the advent of film screenings, while 1925 represents the maturity of movie exhibition as an industrial practice.
Professor Yeh uses the term “screen culture” to map the polyvalent practices of motion pictures in the early 20th century. “Screen culture” covers both the institutional and cultural dimension of motion pictures as an entertainment event, a technological display, a public assembly, a business, an emerging part of social and cultural life, as well as a tool of colonial governance. The purpose of her investigation is two-fold: to present a new account of early screen practices of Hong Kong and to produce an open access database as a new research resource on Hong Kong film history, from its beginning to the mid 1920s.
Professor Yeh will recount some of the milestones in her journey into this chapter of cinema history in Hong Kong. They include the mobilisation of historiographical and critical concepts to curate the large trove of data collected, and examinations of under-exposed practices central to film exhibition (e.g., screening apparatuses, built environments, regulations, and racial segregation/discrimination) to recover the complexity of early Hong Kong screen culture.
Biography of speaker
Prof. Emilie Yueh-yu YEH
Lam Wong Yiu Wah Chair Professor of Visual Studies,
Professor Emilie Yueh-yu Yeh is Lam Wong Yiu Wah Chair Professor of Visual Studies, Director of the Centre for Film and Creative Industries at Lingnan University, Hong Kong. Professor Yeh is a scholar of Chinese and Asian cinema studies, with a focus on film theory, film history, and media industries. She has published 9 books and over 60 academic articles, some of which have been translated into Japanese, Spanish, Hungarian, Chinese and French. Her work examines the aesthetic, institutional and economic dimensions of cinema, film culture, audiences, talent, and industry. In the past ten years, she has been working on producing new materials for the study of early cinema. Her output has been substantial, consisting of two online databases, a number of journal articles, and three edited volumes: Early Film Culture in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Republican China (University of Michigan Press, 2018); Beyond Shanghai: New Perspectives on Early Chinese Cinema (Beijing UP, 2016); and Rethinking Chinese Film Industry: New Methods, New Histories (Beijing UP, 2010).