WHY IS ASIAN AMERICAN ARTS ARE CHANGING

WHY IS ASIAN AMERICAN ARTS ARE CHANGING

Daisuke Tohyama

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In last class, we learned and analyzed the film, Who killed Vincent Chin?, in terms of racism against Asian, public pressure, legal system, or identity. When we talked about identity, we talked about the invisibility of Asian Americans. Because most of American people talk about African Americans in terms of racism, fewer people talk about Asian Americans. The invisibility is related to this weekly reading, Unsettled Visions (Margo Machida 2011). The invisibility could give Americans fewer images of Asian Americans because they may not be familiar with something invisible. Who and what Asian Americans are depends on some perceptions of Asian Americans by Americans and Asian Americans. Now a day, the definition of Asian American arts is also changing in terms of different area arts and non-traditional arts.

First of all, I am going to rethink about the perceptions of Asian American art by Americans. I think the perception is politically created. Actually the U.S. Census Bureau definition of Asians refers to peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, or the Indian subcontinent, including, for example, Cambodia, China, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippine Islands, Thailand, and Vietnam. According to the definition, most of Americans think that Asian are people from East or Southeast Asians. They may think Asian American arts should be related to East or Southeast Asian. Machida also mentions that “Now, especially with the ever more visible and dynamic presence of migrants from South, West, and Central Asia, the perception of Asian is changing” (Machida 41). That means that the perception of Asian American is changing. If the definition is changing to people from South,West, Central, AsiaAsian American arts are including these areas arts.

Next, I am going to rethink about the perceptions of Asian American art by Asian American. Traditionally, Asian Americans are likely to be attached to certain places or traditional things. Even now, of course, new immigrants are foreign-born. They are likely to cling to their home cultures. However, because newer generations such as third, firth, or fifth generations are American-born, they do not necessary to cling to heritage places, things, or languages. Then what Asian American arts are supposed to be can be different within American-born and foreign-born. Machida also states that “Many foreign-born are confused that the American-born do not have similar culture to home country.” (Machida 40). That means they feel huge gap between foreign-born and American-born in terms of cultures or customs. The gap can create different Asian American arts, which are less likely to be attached to home culture or traditional things such as local places.

Asian American arts are changing according to two phenominon. At fisrt, because the definition of Asian is changing to include other Asia, Asian American arts can be changing to include other Asian arts. Secondary, the gaps between the American-born and the foreign-born create different Asian American arts, which are less likely to be attached to home culture or traditional things.

For these reasons, what Asian American arts are changing.

Work Cited

Margo Machida. Unsettled Visions: Contemporary Asian American Artists and the Social

Imaginary. Durham: Duke University Press, 2011. 40,41

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