Imperial Ambitions and Colonial Spectacles: Examining Fascist Elements and Space Politics in the 1935 Taiwan Exposition

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2024

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This thesis examines colonial exhibitions as imperial propaganda tools in Taiwan, particularly the 1935 exhibition The Taiwan Exposition under Japanese rule, and compares it with fascist Italy's 1940 Mostra d’Oltremare and Korea's 1929 Chosun Exposition. Among the research on Taiwan's history during the Japanese colonial period, this study delves into a nuanced analysis of how Japan, aspiring to match Western imperial powers, adopted and adapted the concept of exhibitions to compete with the West and to project its imperial ambitions. It contextualizes Japan's engagement with museum and exhibition culture as part of its broader modernization and imperial agenda. By delving into the exhibitions' function in manifesting the regimes’ ambitions through carefully curated displays, artwork, and spatial designs, the analysis underscores The Taiwan Exposition as not merely strategic embodiments of political power and ideology but also as cultural spectacles designed to engender a colonial fascination. This approach subtly packages and presents these exhibitions in a way that ideologically shapes colonial subjects, molding their perceptions through the awe-inspiring experiences they offer, thereby spotlighting The Taiwanese Exposition's pivotal role in this intricate process. By juxtaposing The Taiwan Exposition with its counterparts, the study seeks to unravel the layered expressions of colonialism, nationalism, and cultural exchange, offering insights into the WWII colonial discourse.

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Wong, Yi-Ning (2024). Imperial Ambitions and Colonial Spectacles: Examining Fascist Elements and Space Politics in the 1935 Taiwan Exposition. Master's thesis, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/31068.

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