My name is Bryan Trinh, and I am currently a graduating senior in Asian American Studies. My favorite memory of Asian American pop culture would have to be the Asian “rice rockets” or import car culture from the 1990s and early 2000s. As an Asian American teenager growing up in Orange County right when import cars were booming in the underground Asian American pop culture, I would see a lot of young men take part in this with their modified Hondas. If we weren’t old enough to have a car and drive, all we would talk about are the specs of certain cars. To those who participated in this culture, modified cars and imports were a symbol of Asian American financial independence, visibility and masculinity.
When thinking about “popular culture”, I think of culture as being a body of intersecting thoughts shared by a group of people. Concurrently, these thoughts have to be “popular”, meaning many of the masses want to stake a claim in it whether for financial, social, spiritual, or political reasons. So then “popular culture” would be the body of intersecting thoughts of people centered around a commodity, whether it in the arts or some materialistic product.