Chinese Drama and the Practices of Leftist Modernity in Singapore: A Case Study of the Performing Arts Studio, 1965–1976
研究論文 Research Paper
This article analyzes how Chinese theatrical groups interpret and practice leftist thoughts with Chinese characteristics through their performances and daily lives. Existing studies either view educated Chinese groups in the 1960s and 1970s as well-armed communists or violent rebels, or tend to argue that the practitioners of the leftist movements didn’t have the identity of the Malaya communist party. Most of these perspectives center on the bipolar logic of communist versus non-communist instead of understanding the real implication of the leftist movement. This paper employs “leftist modernity” as the theoretical framework to show that there was an aspect beyond armed struggle which has not been fully discussed, and argues that the meaning of the leftist practices of the Chinese theatrical groups was an attitude of simple living and a search for the welfare of the public as a whole. The Chinese theatrical groups tried to deeply understand the bottom people’s lives through “Going into life”. On the other hand, they practiced a plain life of asceticism and strictly observed morality in pursuit of social equality. These were responses to the beliefs of the prevailing developmentalism policies and the following side-effects such as materialism and hedonism.