The Form and Content of ‘Digital Spatiality’: Mapping the Soft Power of DreamWorks Animation in Asia

In: Asiascape: Digital Asia
Natalia Grincheva University of Melbourne Parkville, VIC Australia

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The article explores a series of blockbuster exhibitions of DreamWorks Animation developed by the Australian Centre of the Moving Image (ACMI) in collaboration with one of the largest Hollywood producers. Curated by ACMI, this blockbuster exhibition was designed to provide a behind-the-scenes look into collaborative processes involved in DreamWorks animations. This exhibition travelled across the Asia-Pacific in 2015-2017 and was hosted by a number of museums, such as the ArtScience Museum in Singapore, the Te Papa Museum in New Zealand, the Seoul Museum of Art in South Korea, and the National Taiwan Science and Education Centre in Taiwan. It displayed over 400 unique objects from the studio’s archive ‘of rare and never before displayed material’, such as drawings, models, maps, photographs, posters, and other artworks. The article explores the highly favourable reception to the DreamWorks Animation blockbuster in different cities in Asia. It employs a geo-visualization of Asian engagement with the blockbuster exhibit to reveal and explain local and global mechanisms of ‘attraction’ power, generated by DreamWorks in different Asian countries. Contributing to the special issue, this article engages with two aspects of it: the form, cultural digital mapping; and the content, the nature of media pop culture exemplified through the traveling blockbuster.

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