Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Artist's Lecture: Scott Tsuchitani

On September 4th,  I went to a visiting artist's lecture for an artist named Scott Tsuchitani. Based in San Fransisco, California, Scott works with visual art that focuses on romanticization and fetishization of Asian culture and racism in modern visual art.
Tsuchitani's primary pieces focuses on the Asian Art Museum. The museum had an exhibit that had completely romanticized Japanese culture. He photo-manipulated a geisha's face and superimposed his face onto the geisha's face. He also created a flyer that parodied the original flyer from the original exhibit, titled "Lord It's The Samurai." It had replicated the flyer, but did so in a sarcastic way to criticize the museum's romanticization and fetishization of Japanese culture, albeit with humor. The first paragraph of the flyer said, "Enter the world of the samurai, where 7 centuries or martial rule are reduced to a Disney-like trope of gentleman-warrior myth, masking a real history of violence and domination. Selling militarism as beauty in a time of war." The flyer also advertised the truths of such a time as something to be desired, "romanticizing" Japanese samurai culture in a way that the Asian Art Museum did, however in a more honest, blunt way.
I think Scott Tsuchitani touched upon some great points and did so in a humorous way. He was funny, but I think that there is a more serious issue to be discussed regarding different cultures. I think that Western culture has a bad habit of exotification and mystification of Asian culture, and does so in a harmful way.

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