“The Chinese Americans” by An Rong Xu, Identity & ‘Growing Up Asian’

Hello again! Apologies for not expanding on this image and photo series, but I really enjoyed it and wanted to share it. After looking more into “The Chinese-Americans” photo series by An Rong Xu, I felt that his work relates entirely to our topic this week of identity and ‘Growing Up Asian’. “The Chinese-Americans” series focuses primarily on Chinese Americans living in New York City and it shows how they have adapted to the Western style of living. Although the photograph’s resonate feelings of nostalgia, this feeling is coupled with the sense of a somewhat acculturated lifestyle. Under his Grand Park photo series, at the very end, is an excellent text example of youth culture and being a Second Generation Asian American.

Many of the photo series speak to this notion of ‘Growing Up Asian’, some more than others, some not at all, but I do recommend looking at all his work as it truly is something special. Even though I myself am not Asian American, I feel as  though I can relate to his work and maybe some of you can as well!

An Rong Xu’s website: http://anrongxu.com/

Moo, moo, A Potential Homicide & the Climax of ‘Yankee Dawg You Die’

Act II, Scene I

“Cows that have a double life? The dumb facade they show to the outside world and their true cow selves that they show to one another when they are alone? Moo, moo?”

“I killed someone…Well, as they walked passed, one of them looked at my girlfriend and said, “Hey, look at the yellow pussy.”…So I pulled a knife and stabbed him…That was over 10 years ago. I hope with my heart he’s OK.”

This first line is a direct metaphor to the Asian American actors in Hollywood at the time of the play, it refers to the mixed feelings of complacency and assertion by Asian American actors and how sometimes its just easier to do what they are told even if it is demeaning because eventually they feel like it will change, eventually. The quote says that to others, mainly White people who are employers, they act a certain way or however they are told to act, but with people they feel comfortable around, other Asian American actors, they can be themselves.

The second set of lines shows the want to fight back the oppression and racism. Some comments were mentioned in the play that all Asian Americans are the same, when an Asian American such as Bradley was pushed to his limit by being harassed by this White male, he was fed up because he felt attacked not only by that one person, but by all the Caucasians around him. He later understands that such violence doesn’t change any misconceptions and only makes matters worse and he doesn’t hate White people, but he hates the stereotypes.

Although some of the allusions mentioned in this play were hard to follow, due to my lack of knowledge on Asian American pop culture, I felt like this scene is the climax or character realization of the play. Before this scene, Bradley was political in his choices for auditions and mainly worked with the Theatre Project of Asian America limiting him to roles of Asian American men that were not stereotypic. Vincent on the other hand took any role whether it was stereotypic or not in order to open up the market for Asian American actors to work. By the end of the play the roles were switched, Bradley took up any role in hopes of changing the industry even if just a little bit, and Vincent worked in an independent film that reminded him of being at home with his father something comfortable and not stereotypic.

I enjoyed the short play because it gave an insight on the struggle between being complacent, becoming something you’re not and being assertive to your own pride and dignity because all ethnic minorities and even “outsiders” such as disabled people, the LGBTQ community and religious minorities have at some point struggled with this complex.

Hello Hello.

My name is Kevin (the one who wears the Yankees hat), I’m going into my Junior year and I am a Global Studies and Art Studio double major. My favorite memory of Asian American popular culture would have to be the character of Mori Tanaka in the movie series 3 Ninjas. Mori Tanaka is the grand-father of three young boys who he trains to become ninjas. I always liked this character and many others similar to it because it denotes a strong sense of discipline, but also a sense of compassion and care from a wise man who teaches those who are young how to succeed in life.

I believe popular culture is any form of media (art, viral videos, fashion trends, gossip blogs, etc.) that isn’t providing news that one would see on a newspaper or watch on television. It is widespread to the masses and up for consumption by anyone willing to take their time and read or listen to it. I believe that specifically Asian American pop culture would be any of the above but more closely tied to Asian American themes, without being stereotypical about Asian Americans. I believe popular culture is relevant because whatever is trending in popular culture, would tell about the society from which it is trending. In studying pop culture we are exposed to the underlinings of society because I believe popular culture in modern times effects everyone no matter the class. I believe that in studying popular culture of any ethnic origin is important because instead of analyzing all of popular culture that meshes together all these ideas, we get to look at popular culture from different places at their origin without any stereotypes or preconceived notions about those ethnicities or cultural backgrounds.