Presented by the Colloquium for Unpopular Culture and the Asian/Pacific/American Studies Program in the NYU Department of Social and Cultural Analysis. Cosponsored by the Asian/Pacific/American Institute at NYU.
Oriental Silk (dir. Xiaowen Zhu, 2016, 30 min.) is named after the first silk importing company in Los Angeles. Lambent and wistful, this gorgeous film explores the worldview of its owner Kenneth Wong. As he goes through his daily routine, he talks about how the legendary store’s fortunes rose in close connection with the Hollywood entertainment industry, then fell with the proliferation of cheaper silk in the new global economy; how he himself came to be the owner of the shop and caretaker of the family legacy; and about his deep feelings for the shop, its history, and its future. Oriental Silk is a film about touch and tactility, about craft and value, about the colors of memory. The screening will be followed by a conversation with the director Xiaowen Zhu, Christina H. Moon (The New School), and Thuy Linh Tu (New York University)
Christina H. Moon is Assistant Professor in Fashion Studies in the School of Art and Design History at Parsons The New School for Design. Her research looks at the social ties and cultural encounters between design worlds and manufacturing landscapes across Asia and the Americas, exploring the memory, migration, and labor of cultural workers. Her work has appeared in journals such as Vestoj, The Baffler, and Pacific Standard Magazine.
Thuy Linh Tu is Associate Professor of Social and Cultural Analysis and Director of the American Studies Program at NYU. She is the author of The Beautiful Generation: Asian Americans and the Cultural Economies of Fashion (Duke UP, 2011), and is currently writing a film on the social life of Asian skin.