The Fung Brothers

The Fung brothers are an Asian-American duos, specifically of Chinese descent, composed of rappers and comedians, Andrew Fung and David Fung. They are located in Alhambra, California but originate from Seattle, Washington. They are extremely popular on Youtube for their comedic and entertaining videos regarding Asian-American subjects. What I found most compelling about their work is the amount of collaborating they do with other Asian-American individuals. It adds this greater level of exposure and diversity in their videos. It also rapidly expands their audience base. They have done some notable collaborations with people such as professional Asian-American basketball player, Jeremy Lin. They are also in a rap group titled “Model Minority,” with Jason Chu, which has even been reviewed in a positive light by the Los Angeles Time. Therefore, they do great work at addressing and deconstructing the issues that the Asian-American population has to deal with in a really fun, engaging, and clearly successful manner.

While they have an extensive amount of youtube videos addressing a variety of issues, some of my favorite ones are “18 types of asian girls” and “east coast asian vs. west coast asian.” I find these videos most exciting because, not only did they incorporate the collaboration aspect with some other fantastic asian-american individuals, but they also highlighted this idea of diversity among a population of people that is so very often grouped as one.

We see that in the 18 types of asian girls, there are so many types that the fung bros describe, along with their subgroups. What’s notable is that even though all these are described, they bring about the main idea that there are so many different presented types that you cannot just pigeonhole a race or ethnicity into one way of being. The East Coast vs. West Coast Asian does that as well, with both genders. I also really appreciate that they will touch upon little historical backgrounds or fun educational facts.

While not entirely unrecognized, the Fung Bros definitely deserves acknowledgment, as well as further recognition and publicity. Keep up the good work!

Below are the links to the discussed videos:

 

Kelvin YJ Kim

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This week I want to talk about Kelvin YJ Kim. I discovered him while I was aimlessly browsing through  youtube and found his videos to align with a lot of the work we have done in this class, as well as just overall entertaining! Kelvin is an Asian-American that I feel needs a lot more recognition and praise. He is a very outspoken individual and aims at deconstructing a lot of the negative stereotypes bestowed upon Asian-American males. Through his videos, he directly addresses the stereotypes and then challenges them through his own words or actions out on the street with other people in order to further spread his message in public, as well as those who are watching his videos. In extension, he takes all he has learned and creates video on how to increase confidence and embrace physical and sexual confidence amongst the asian male population. He serves as an example for the Asian-American community to embrace their individuality and break out of a need or fear of a need to fit into a pre-established mold.

Here are some of his videos that I found most fantastic!:

You can also find his instagram here:

https://www.instagram.com/kelvinyjkim/

Aziz Ansariiiii!

Masters of None. Aziz Ansari is killing it with this show. I feel this show is so modern and so relevant, hip, and relatable that Aziz most definitely deserves to be under the Asian Americans We Think Are Awesome tab because he is SO AWESOME. I first saw Aziz in Parks and Recreation, which is one of my favorite shows, but Aziz is no longer Tom. Now Aziz is the writer, producer, director, and actor of this successful show! I always liked that he didn’t explicitly play some silly ethnically boxed in character in parks and recreation with the role of Tom Haverford. But, let’s be honest, he wasn’t Leslie Knope, either. He didn’t exactly get to be the star of the television show. And while he wasn’t playing a formulated Indian role, it wasn’t altogether forgotten either. There were times when ethnicity was brought into the picture and he was questioned on his name.

“So where do you come from?”

“South Carolina”- Tom Haverford

This response would often be met with laughs as no one could believe that this was true. When in fact, even Aziz himself is from South Carolina, originally. Against a predominately white cast, he was often the butt of the joke or thought of as an immigrant. Even the star of the show, Leslie Knope, would conflate his ethnicity for Libyan. Tom also experience a lot of difficulty in the love department, where he was only in a marriage because he was being used to help his wife get her residency card. From there on out, Tom would always get rejected and was never really approached by the “good looking,” women. Not anymore, though. In Masters of None, things are totally different! Dev is his own person, thanks to the autonomy Aziz rightfully exercises in his role as writer, producer, and director alongside another outstanding Asian-American, Alan Yang. Not even halfway into the season and Dev has had romantic encounters with plenty of beautiful women, without much effort, and from a range of ethnicities. Not only that, but due to his liberty, Aziz and Alan have been able to shine the light on SO many of the racial issues and problems that are experienced by many asian-americans in the entertainment industry, today. He is allowed the space to openly discuss them on a comedic platform, and then rightfully debunk them. SO GO AZIZ!

Where the asian men at though?

Watching the film on asian american and pornography in class really made me think about what a lack of strong and confident asian men there are in the porn industry. I mean, evidently it has been a lot more than just a lack of strong and confident asian men in the porn industry, as we have seen this pattern in all areas of entertainment and pop culture. But the little trailer created by the Asian professor to me was really powerful and made an impression on me. I did think it was a bit funny, seeing as it clearly had a 1990’s feel to it. But it made an impression! That’s the point of media, right? To communicate a sort of message? It did just that for me. On one hand, I’ll admit that I have noticed how porn truly is just catered to a very specific audience. The foundation of that audience has mainly been  males. When one looks at a porn clip or film, is the camera ever focused on the male? Not really. In fact, the majority of the time, you barely even see his face! It’s all about the woman and how she pleases the male. There are instances when males have been shown, but thinking back to any videos I’ve ever seen, it’s never–not once– been an asian man. What is that saying?

Now if we focus on the asian women in porn videos, I mean it typically goes to some very specific role. She’s either a submissive quiet girl pleasing a man. Honestly, and this may not be entirely accurate seeing as I’m going into my memory bank, but that man usually is white. I don’t recall seeing a quiet submissive, and eager to please asian woman having sex with an asian man. If she’s not submissive, she’s a commanding and dominatrix-like asian woman. Again, typically her role has been with another caucasian man. I really cannot recall seeing any video where an asian man played anything but a man confident in his sexual experience with another woman. I think that’s why the porn trailer created by the professor was so moving. Not only did it actually put an asian american male in front of the camera, but he was paired with another asian american woman, who was just that. A confident asian american woman exploring her sexuality with another man. Simple and to the point. Just another sensual and sexual porn film with two people. No roles and no gimmicks.

Let’s get RAW with API Sexuality #GetIt?

In the recent readings by Celine Parrenas Shimizu, a deeper explanation of the sexuality is explained. From the beginnings of Stag Porn in the early 20s, the representation of Asian Americans has also been iconized. However, at its very roots of early API representation is the same recurring issue of “Yellowface”. In Hypersexuality of Race, for example, donning accentuated API features such as “more chinky” eyes, kimono dresses, and a tight bun fastened by chopsticks, API women in particular remain the subject of extreme objectification and exotification despite the fact that the women portraying them were usually white.

And because these early films were also soundless, there seemed to be an emphasis on showing the trinkets and accessories that these yellowfaced white women wore. Instead of showing the genitalia of the men and women (called the “money shot” or “come shot”) Parrenas-Shimizu explains how they focused instead on what the woman was wearing, to emphasize how “orient” she was through her clothing. This asserts the racialization of sexuality: through these films, sex organs cannot be racialized because they’re simply sex organs, but Asian caricatures can definitely be manifested through the medium. Within the book, stills from Stag films underline this trend, where instead of a couple having sex, they would do close-ups of the woman’s eyeliner or the jade-encrusted sandals that she was wearing.

This, once again, demonstrates how Asian women came to possess the stereotypes and generalizations that they have today. Seeping into the mainstream as a sexual object, Asian women were portrayed as an attainable “prize” for these men; encouraging miscegenation at a time of “sexual experimentation and liberation”.

Shifting to API men, on the other hand, they were very well represented in the media either. Through war films that emphasize and mold the ideals of masculinity, imperialist notions depict white, buff men to be the unattainable status quo. Earlier this year, we also learned that API men were demonized during the war to embody and fit the caricatures of Fu Manchu. In addition to being heavily “othered”, API men were deemed to be subservient and inferior to white military men. Bouncing back to this notion, porn also validates that notion. In gay porn, API men are often the “bottoms”, the ones that are receiving. In Shimizu’s analysis, this role that they are often cast as without discretion demonstrates the reinforcing notion that API men are the passive individuals and often subvert to the white male.

As for both, there seems to be a huge emphasis on the idea that APIs are the fetish of the dominant culture. Seen both as clean-shaven, bare, raw, etc. only proves demonstrates that ALL mediums of the screen perpetuate this inferiority complex pertaining to Asian Americans.