This paper examines the performances of Taiwanese American Jack Hsu and his New Jersey-based progressive erhu-rock band The Hsu-nami, in transnational contexts fraught by ethnonationalism and race. Through an ethnographic approach, this paper highlights the band's depoliticising practice to deflect the geopolitics across the Taiwan Strait. It also discusses how Hsu adapts the musical and gender ideologies in rock music culture to diffuse racial ideologies surrounding his ethnicity and instrument. Finally, an analysis of the band's deployment of cultural diplomacy discusses pragmatic multiculturalism, a mode that reflects the tension between rock music's ostensibly counter-cultural front and its commercial foundation.
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