Asian American Art and Stereotypes

Kawanishi, Nathan
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Stereotypes are everywhere for minority groups like Asian-Americans. They appear in many platforms, such as movies, literature, music and art, and it is certainly important to be aware of them. In my research, I take this idea a step further and argue that Asian-American artists are using similar platforms to challenge those stereotypes— a phenomenon that is arguably just as im-portant to be aware of as the stereotypes themselves. I specifically look at two examples: artist Roger Shimomura and editor Keith Chow. My research was conducted during a fellowship at the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center, where I had access to an incredible amount of re-sources. Thus, my findings are based on a variety of sources, including multiple interviews, schol-arly articles, books and videos on the subject matter. I look at a few of the ways that these Asian-American voices (Shimomura and Chow) are challenging stereotypes in different (yet complemen-tary) ways while paving the way for a more accurate representation of Asian-Americans in media and art.
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