Thursday, September 15, 2011

Golden China Restraunt

His text said "maybe tomorrow." No chat or flirt or smile. I'm feeling the brush-off. Whatever.

The point is that the above paragraph is NOT the point of this post. The point is that I am starting to print final versions of my new State Fair images. The versions online are only stand-ins, quick and easy and good enough. The prints are not good enough. They are good. They are lush and large and beautiful and I love them. They feel like home. I've been away far too long.

This weekend I am going to photograph Chinese restraunts, because there is something wonderfully kitchy about Chinese restraunts in America, especially Chinese restraunts in Iowa. It's as if someone put a dozen or so elements in a hat and pulled out a few for each restraunt. Mix and match Asian flavor: The painting with cranes. The painting with fish. The painting with horses. The name, which contains two or three of the following words: China, Szechwan, Shanghi, Hunan, village, palace, jade, dragon, golden, and lucky. It isn't that these things are inauthentic. I have been to Chinese restraunts in Hong Kong and China, and they had carved lion statues, too. Like the ones my mother put in front of our house. The embroidered tigers and cranes hanging in our living room were not any more or less authentic than the ones hanging at Golden China Restraunt.* But context matters, and we as Americans are not totally over our Orientalism, and so the statues and embroidery take on an air of absurdity that they don't have in China.**

Also, Taste of China has PINK walls and awesome pot stickers. I can't wait.

*I made that one up. See how easy it is?
**Our living room, on the other hand, was entirely absurd.

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