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by Danita Fleck
San Jose State Graduate Student

modern artists have become tricksters through the use of language, specifically written characters, in their installation and performance art. They employ language signs and symbols as powerful tools to metaphorically dissolve boundaries and demonstrate their ideas about the potential for transformation, multi-culturalism, and communication in modern culture. These artists express their personal and political views. They battle censorship, prosecution, and persecution by the government of the People's Republic of China (PRC); and they also flout the social and cultural conventions of government-approved Chinese art. They take on the role of trickster in modern Asian society, and in the worldwide art community, revealing ideas and developments which have been hidden or denied. They add their stories to the long Chinese history of fools, misfits, and trickster characters that have long been traditional in China's folklore, fables and mythology.




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