Related Works

How To Live as an Asian Woman in NYC


Directed, Filmed, Edited

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I embarked on this project during my final semester in college. The genesis of this short film project was influenced by the captivating style of "How-To with John Wilson." However, my creative direction took a significant shift as I observed a distressing surge in anti-Asian hate crimes within our city during that time. The issue struck particularly close to home, as my friends and I personally bore witness to these incidents. In light of my identity as an Asian woman, I felt compelled to address this pressing concern.

Coincidentally, the assignment during that week was to craft a one-minute voice-over narration. I chose to leverage this opportunity to delve into the personal experiences of my friends and me as Asian women living in New York City. Adopting a somber and contemplative tone, reminiscent of a serious podcast, I shared our encounters, perspectives, and reflections. It was during this process that I began to think about the possibility of expanding this concept into a short film.

In tandem with this creative endeavor, my academic journey led me to the illuminating work of Anne Anlin Cheng, particularly her article titled "Ornamentalism: A Feminist Theory for Yellow Woman." Cheng's usage of Asian women as "yellow women," prompted me to explore the symbolic representation of the ornamental yellow Lego figure as an allegorical counterpart to the Yellow woman within the Euro-American cultural context.

I consciously deviated from the prevailing serious tone that had characterized my initial one-minute voice-over assignment. The prevailing narrative surrounding anti-Asian hate crimes, as disseminated by news channels, had become excessively uniform and invariably somber. Repeated exposure to such a predictable narrative had desensitized audiences to the criticality of the issue at hand. It was my artistic intent to introduce a contrasting narrative approach, one infused with light-heartedness and humor, serving as a catalyst for renewed dialogue on this pressing societal matter. In the face of these challenging circumstances, humor provided a powerful medium to foster discussion, for, as the adage suggests, if I were not to laugh, the only alternative would be to weep.