By Zhao Hong. CGTN, 2017-02-24
Guest commentary by Zheng Yiran
On September 11, 2016, at the Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA) Art Museum, a thousand people squeezed into an auditorium that can accommodate only four hundred audience. It was the Beijing Premiere of Wang Min’an’s documentary, “Michel Foucault”. Hundreds of people were standing on the aisle to watch this 83-minute film, considered to be the epitome of the “Foucault Fever” in contemporary China.
In Douban, a very popular Chinese SNS website allowing people to share comments related to books, films and other cultural products and activities, the reading group of Foucault has gathered 12,000 people. The number of Foucault fans beats that of Immanuel Kant, Martin Heidegger, G. W. F. Hegel. Interestingly, Foucault’s group is also bigger than other groups tagged “French culture,” “French literature” and “Sophie Marceau,” who is considered as the most popular French movie star in China.
It is worth thinking about the wide acceptance and spread of Foucault in China, who inspired Chinese intellectuals and changed their ways of thinking. When China has experienced dramatic transformations in the recent decades, people can find explanations from Foucault.