The Issue With Asian Female Representation

When I see true representation of an Asian woman on screen, it fills me with hope and recognition. It feels as if one person is representing all of me; I feel seen. But as a Canadian-born Chinese woman, this happens rarely, if at all. Stereotypes plague the representation of Asians; ingrained racism and prejudices are apparent in all of us, even those who are targeted by said prejudices. 

Truth is scattered, pixelated. Women’s bodies are censored. Our voices seem hushed by the onslaught of assumptions, and assimilation threatens to affect us.

I want to show women, especially women of color, as they are—without shadow-banning or manipulation, bearing in mind the thousands of posts which are deleted or reported for no justifiable reason every day. I want to show what true diversity is. The push for political correctness and diversity force companies and films to cast “token” black, brown, Latina, and Asian people, and almost always in supporting roles. So my photo series hopes to add a new voice to the discussion, and a new lens into the chaos of photography in the post-internet age.

Each image is a self-portrait, depicting a movie scene as if I’m the sole actor. I chose to leave the camera’s shadow in the shot as a constant reminder of the media and the Western male gaze that is forever following us. The digital processing of my eyes and face speak to censorship; photos were taken at a slow shutter speed to depict the passing of time, as the fight for true representation has been going on for years. Hints of double exposure serve as a way to portray an instability of identity, and the complex layering of modern femininity.

By Anova Hou

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