you're so exotic-looking!
html, css, RiTa / 2023

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Visual overview of the web poem

      “You’re so exotic looking!” is an interactive web poem that explores the complex issues surrounding the commodification of Asian women, particularly through the phenomenon of mail-order brides and the fetishization of Asian women commonly referred to as "yellow fever".

This interactive poem project delves into the harmful stereotypes surrounding Asian women, which have been perpetuated by Western films and media. These portrayals have presented Asian women as hyper-sexual and hyper-heterosexual, and presenting them as perfect complements to the exaggerated masculinity of White Men. This reinforces male-centered and male-dominated ideologies, where Asian women are expected to exist solely to serve men and be sexually consumed by them.

"I Love You Long Time" Hooker Scence from Full Metal Jacket (1987)

In the 1970s, as American feminist movements and the push for women's liberation gained momentum, conservative White men grew increasingly discontent. Seeking a more subservient alternative to the perceived "radical" and "career-oriented" American woman, many turned to the mail-order bride industry in East Asia, where they saw Asian women as "loyal and undemanding." However, this practice perpetuated harmful stereotypes of Asian women as subservient and lacking agency, while also presenting them as the antithesis to White American women who actively resisted subjugation.

Nowadays, instances of exploitation and abuse within the mail-order bride industry still persist. Women from impoverished or marginalized communities in Asia, Eastern Europe, and Latin America may be lured into the industry with promises of a better life, only to find themselves trapped in situations of domestic servitude or even sex trafficking.

Snippets of the Seeking Female Documentary

This project uses curated data, narratives, and texts from various sources, including documentaries, poems, and news articles, to examine the historical and cultural context surrounding the objectification of Asian women. Through the use of RiTa Natural Language Processing Library based on the Markov algorithm, I hope to generate a series of interactive poems that raise awareness of the issue and create a space for critical reflection.