Jacobs, Katrien

Critical Biography    Filmography    Reviews    Links   Bibliography

Jacobs, Katrien – Critical Biography  Top

Katrien Jacobs
Katrien Jacobs

Professor Katrien Jacobs is an Associate Professor in Cultural and Religious Studies at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. She is also the university’s Programme Director for the MA in Visual Culture Studies. She was born in 1966 and is Belgian in origin, but left at the age of twenty-two. She initially moved to Hong Kong in 2005 to work as an assistant professor at the City University of Hong Kong. She has written that she is living in a state of “permanent culture shock that never totally subsides” (Wandering Dolls 112) and that Hong Kong “provided a new time and space for [her] to think” about how she could consolidate her Western mindset with the “Chinese intellectual framework” (Netporn 6), traits that mark her as a diasporic, transnational thinker and filmmaker. The primary area of interest in both her academic work and filmmaking is that of sexuality and its performance. Her doctoral dissertation about 1960-70s performance art involved a blend of academic prose and documentary. Her filmography includes such diverse topics as the performance art of Joseph Beuys and Carolee Schneemann – Joseph Beuys in America and The Return of the Repressed (1996), which she produced, directed and edited – to the more recent creative documentary series called the Madame Remedy Video Series (2008). The series is split into two parts that discuss the porn culture in Hong Kong, and the Japanese doll complex in Hong Kong. Her academic work speaks volumes in terms of its style – Jacobs is not one to shy away from creative and alternative ways of presenting her research material. Her book Wandering Dolls: Cosplay Journey Across East Asia (2011) is a mixture of academic prose, travel diary, personal insight, ethnographic research and creativity, presented in both English and Chinese, with coloured photographs. The form in which this publication takes is important as it deals with a taboo subject in Hong Kong society whilst presenting critical material in a way that would appeal to a wide audience. Her most recent academic work involves sex and porn consumption on the internet, and the performativity of sexuality in cosplay, as well as the book titled People’s Pornography: Sex and Surveillance on the Chinese Internet (2011), which discusses “new trends in sexual entertainment and DIY media” in China. Her continued interest in Hong Kong and China, coupled with her strong professional interest in filmmaking, sexuality and the feminist perspective, marks her as current and future player in the Hong Kong documentary world.

From left, 1. Jackie Chow as Dr. Nero Wong/Max in Raw Data (2009) 2. Visit to My Fantasy Family (2011) 3. Martin Lam in On the Japanese Doll Complex (2008) 4. Joseph Beuys in America (1996)From left to right, 1. Jackie Chow as Dr. Nero Wong/Max in Raw Data (2009) 2. Visit to My Fantasy Family (2011)
3. Martin Lam in On the Japanese Doll Complex (2008) 4. Joseph Beuys in America (1996)

filmoFilmography   Top

Feature Films:

Role Title (English) Title (Chinese) Year
Director Madame Remedy Video Series:

Episode 1: On the Japanese Doll Complex (Full movie)

Episode 2: What’s Wrong with your Porn, Hong Kong? (Full movie)

Episode 3: Raw Data (Trailer)

N/A  2008
Producer assistant The War Within: A Portrait of Virginia Woolf N/A 1996


Role Title (English) Title (Chinese) Year
Writer The Ghost of Sister Ping (Trailer) 萍姐倩魂 2017
Director Visit to My Fantasy Family (Full movie) N/A 2011
Joseph Beuys in America (Healing the Western Mind, Part I) (Trailer) N/A 1996
The Return of the Repressed (Healing the Western Mind, Part II) N/A 1996
How to Survive the making of New Image  N/A N/A

reviewReviews   Top

Madame Remedy video series (2008):

Time Out Hong Kong – Sex Brain Melody

The War Within: A Portrait of Virginia Woolf (1996):

Flare Production – Excerpts from Reviews of The War Within
New York Times – Exploring Virginia Woolf


CNN Travel – Sex: The Chinese Perspective
E-International Relations – Interview – Katrien Jacobs
Global Voices – China: Sex, Censorship and the Rise of ‘People’s Porn’
Institute of Network Cultures – Interview with Katrien Jacobs
Time Out Hong Kong – Interview: Katrien Jacobs, Sex Researcher & Writer

linkLinks   Top

Personal website of Katrien Jacobs: http://libidot.org/wp/wordpress/

biblioBibliography   Top

    1. C’lick Me: A Netporn Studies Reader. Eds. Jacobs, Katrien, Matteo Pasquinelli and Marije Janssen. Amsterdam: Institute of Network Cultures, 2007. Print.
    2. Women Filmmakers and Their Films. Eds. Foster, Gwendolyn Audrey, Amy L. Unterburger and Katrien Jacobs: St. James Press, 1998. Print.
    3. Jacobs, Katrien. Libi_Doc: Journeys in the Performance of Sex Art. Lubljana: Maska, 2005. Print.
    4. —. Netporn : Diy Web Culture and Sexual Politics. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, 2007. Print.
    5. —. People’s Pornography : Sex and Surveillance on the Chinese Internet. Sex and Surveillance on the Chinese Internet. Chicago: Intellect Books, University of Chicago Press, 2011. Print.
    6. —. Wandering Dolls : Cosplay Journey across East Asia. Ed. Yang, Jing. Hong Kong: Roundtable Synergy Books, 2011. Print