April 5, 2005

japanese, asian, whatever

http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2005/03/31/magazine/20050403_STYLE_SLIDESHOW_2.html

What is this bullshit fashion photography? Martial arts, are you kidding me? Makes me realize how, to a lot of Americans, Asia is still some kind of fascinating fetish amalgamation of zen, karate, mystics, Buddhists, Confucius, punk copycats, counterfeiters, and submissive women. (Not to mention how mindless and shallow fashion photography can be). And 'Asian,' despite thousands of years of separations, cultural revolutions, and distinct languages and beliefs, is still the glossover term for every single black-haired yellow-skinned person there is. A special prize if you are the non-Asian who has a 'special' fascination with 'Asians'! Don't forget to mention your Asian wife/girlfriend whenever you get the chance! Must mean you are cultured and open-minded or something! I won't even start talking about the Time Magazine 'special feature' -- "East meets West." Anyway, I thought the New York Times editors were more tasteful than this ... even in a lifestyle section.

2 comments:

Pabloviator said...

Look! http://www.nytimes.com/2005/04/06/arts/design/06mura.html

I agree. All this pointless "cultural" appropriation just leaves me scratching my head, and what's worse is that it stands out to us as appallingly bad (at least in fashion taste) while to others it's anodyne and easily ignored (the whiff of mere exoticism trumps any attempt at aesthetic judgment?). Ok, just rambling.

jean said...

You know, I think this can actually be done WELL. Take, for instance, Vogue Italia's March 2005 photo shoot by Steven Miesel. You just need intelligent and tasteful stylists and photographers. It just makes me sad how backwards America is, even though it has such an influential media. I'm personally happy media sources are more varied and fragmented these days, so at least our generation (and afterwards) will have more chances to choose the sources they like.