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Title: Between homes : examining the notion of the uncanny in art practice and its relationship to post-colonial identity and contemporary society in Taiwan
Author: Lu, Jenny
ISNI:       0000 0001 3613 5220
Awarding Body: University of the Arts London
Current Institution: University of the Arts London
Date of Award: 2007
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My research focuses on the notion of 'not being at home' in relation to identity issues, post-colonial society and art practice, focusing in particular on Taiwan. I explore Sigmund Freud's theory of the 'uncanny' (unheimlich) and argue that in contemporary society, experiencing the 'uncanny' is common, while it is nearly impossible to obtain the feeling of 'being at home'. This phenomenon is, shown to be present in art, film and literature. My research asks how artists deliver a sense of the 'uncanny' within their artwork, and how they create feelings of unease in the viewer. I will examine work produced by contemporary artists, focusing especially those in Taiwan, such as Chen Chieh-jen and Wu Mah. I will argue that artists living in a post-colonial society such as Taiwan experience the feeling of 'not being at home' to a greater extent, due to their country's unique history and the ongoing contentious political situation. Re-reading Freud's concept of the 'uncanny' in relation to post-colonial theories and the attempt to construct personal identity, notions such as the 'return of the repressed', 'thedouble' and 'death drive' will be applied to explore identity confusions. I base my argument on issues of confusion about personal and cultural identity, which originate in contrasting ideals and beliefs about 'home' (ideas that are formed by the divergent return of repressed memories that evoke the 'uncanny' social experience). I also present a body of art-work that explores these issues. Intertwined with psychoanalytic theory, the work informs and contextualises the earlier arguments, and creates new insights into the theory of the 'uncanny' and its origins. While allowing me to draw new interpretations of my own art practice, it reinforces my earlier conclusions about the sensation of 'not being at home'.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Other Asian Society and Culture studies