Virtual songs : Taiwan KTV culture

Publication Type:
Thesis
Issue Date:
2006
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NO FULL TEXT AVAILABLE. Access is restricted indefinitely. ----- Karaoke Television [KTV] denotes a stereo sound system equipped with a screen, which plays the melody of a song. The lyrics scroll over appropriate images designed to provide the singer with an idea of the song's context. KTV clubs provide specially designed and fitted-out sound-proofed rooms which patrons can use to entertain themselves and their friends in privacy with the added comforts of room service. In the consumer-driven society of Taiwan, the fast growing phenomenon of KTV is a unique feature, especially in the capital city, Taipei, with 770 clubs operating. Culturally, these Karaoke clubs offer a wide range of styles of music, including local folk songs, Nakasi songs, Jazz, Swing, Pop and World music, Kara-OK from Japan, and an extensive range of ultra modem digital music from around the world. This thesis argues that the form of KTV is closely related to, and emblematic of, significant visual characteristics of Taiwanese culture: mixed economy, labour-intensive, highly capitalized, and fast-flowing. Not only does KTV present a palatable consumer product, it also performs important social roles for song-lovers to establish their own self-empowerment, while providing a release from the stresses of modem life. KTV culture can be pathologically read as a slide of early 21st century Taiwanese visual culture and history. This research project carried out a critical analysis of the background and culture of the development of KTV in Taiwan from the roots of its inception to current developments. Then, the genera of the KTV visual presentation is discussed in relation to Taiwanese visual culture. Case studies were carried out on major artworks that were influenced by and conceptualised within, the cultural and historical development of KTV. A series of original KTV video motion graphics were produced and made available as an in-situ exhibition, on CD Rom, and with an installation of illustrations. The aim was to improve the video design of KTV media including aesthetics and navigation. The research methodologies involved case studies, interviews, content analysis, and semiotics applied to specific graphic and web design techniques. The final exhibition then involved a thematic show, aimed at developing a positive exciting and dynamic KTV experience, based in a reflection on Taiwanese cultural perspectives and presented as a heterotopic space within Taiwanese society. This creative and colourful exhibition is enabled by new KTV Flash motion graphics, vector digital illustrations, and a supporting catalogue essay.
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