InKo Centre is delighted to support an international conference on Asian Cultural Industries organised by the Centre for the Study of Culture and Society in Bangalore in December 2010.

The Culture Industries and Diversity in Asia (CIDASIA) research programme of the Centre for the Study of Culture and Society (CSCS) is organizing the International Conference on Asian Culture Industries on 21 and 22 December 2010 in Bangalore. The event is a part of the larger attempt by CSCS to encourage the study of cultural and intellectual flows between Asian countries. The conference is supported by The Japan Foundation and InKo Centre.

The conference will focus on the post-1990 period when for different reasons including underground circulation of cultural commodities in international markets, systematic efforts began to be made in these countries to export entertainment. The circulation of cultural commodities in contexts other than those of their production draws attention to the hitherto under-researched area, namely the increased interface between culture and economics. In a global context where cultural production and consumption are engines of the economy, the manner in which cultural commodities flow, the resistances they encounter, the ways in which they are localized, transformed, and engender new cultural practices and have social and economic consequence that are completely unanticipated by the production centre are issues the conference will address.

The conference will bring together senior scholars as well as younger researchers from across Asia, Europe and USA to discuss:

  • Recent developments in cinema, television, pop music, animation and gaming in the Asia region;

  • History of entertainment industries and government policy in Asia in general and India, South Korea and Japan in particular.

The primary intention of the conference is to explore the possibility of comparative studies of entertainment industries in Asia, drawing attention to the two way movement of cultural commodities in these countries. An interesting feature of the conference is the focus on Korea. There will be a panel on the circulation and impact of Korean popular culture in Eastern and Northeastern India. Additionally, there will be papers devoted to the comparative analyses of Korean, Japanese, Mainland Chinese and Taiwanese pop culture. Some of the key issues that will be discussed will be:

  • Cultural impenetrability. Why do certain markets, especially Asian markets, prove to be impenetrable to commodities produced elsewhere? What role does the industrial and business context of the host market play in determining/ limiting the flow of imported cultural commodities?

  • Localization. The distribution and exhibition of cultural objects in new markets, resulting in enthusiastic acceptance, is often a direct consequence of localization. The conference will examine the processes of how cultural imports are rendered familiar and the role played by film and television industries in the localizing imports through context-specific publicity campaigns, dubbing, etc

  • Creation of new subcultures. What new sub-cultures are formed in host countries and what is their similarity/ difference with their counterparts in the production centre? These subcultures at times reinforce existing cultural stereotypes and at other times seriously challenge them (as in the case of Korean drama in Japan, which has contributed to the changed perception of Korea in Japan).

  • Invisible and underground markets and ‘Soft Power’. The relative lack of control over distribution and exhibition and the rampant circulation of pirated media content in Asia create a situation in which cultural consumption is actively facilitated by unauthorized and underground markets. The conference will seek how entertainment industries grapple with complex questions posed by unauthorized circulation of their productions and weather current discussions of ‘soft power’ adequately account for the actual extent of the circulation and influence of imported forms?

  • Dispersal across media formats. The conference would like to draw attention to the ways in which digital technology has mediated the circulation of Asian cultural forms along with examining the new opportunities and challenges of post-celluloid technologies for entertainment industries of the region.

      - S. Srinivas

For further information about the about schedule and venue please contact S Srinivas, Senior Fellow & Coordinator, CIDASIA Research Programme Centre for the Study of Culture and Society- srinivas@cscs.res.in or cidasia@cscs.res.in