Yellow Fever Agitations (Sad Grl Blues Theater edition)

Video, TV, blue velvet, thread, wood, metal

90" x 60" x 12"

2019

I reiterate my experiences and disgust with being objectified as an “exotic” East Asian woman.

My experiences are not my own but rooted in history. After WWII, the War Bride Act (1946) allowed many US soldiers to marry and bring their brides home, many of which from Asian countries despite the Chinese Exclusion Act (1882), the first exclusionary immigration law that prevented Chinese labor immigration that were mostly men, and then the Immigration Act (1924) that put a 2 percent quota on immigration of people of each nationality, completely excluding immigrants from Asia. About 7,000* war brides from Asia were admitted into the US, solidifying Asian women to be trophies or objects of sexual pleasure. The stereotype that East Asian women are exotic and submissive continue to be a toxic trope that has fueled sex trafficking, sex tourism, and “yellow fever” globally. Conceptually reinforced through representations of us in mass media as being these China dolls has subversively socialized us to putting value and worth to receiving the white gaze and for white men to perceive East Asian women as disposable sex toys.  

 

I wear a body suit covered with silicone nipples that I then proceed to flick each one individually. With each flick, you hear a flesh-like slap. Despite the aggressive action, the white gaze resettles upon my othered body. 

*source: Annual Report of Immigration and Naturalization Service, 1950.

© 2021 by Xia Zhang / All rights reserved