PhotographerSkylar Sweetman
PrizeHonorable Mention
City/CountryVan Nuys, United States
Photo DateFall, 2010
Technical Info4x5 negatives, inkjet print
Entry Description

This work explores issues surrounding dislocation, assimilation, and modern Orientalism within American pluralism. Chinese restaurants in the United States manifest a certain culturally grounded aesthetic, yet must also cater to an audience whose perception of East Asian cultures is historically otherizing. These spaces epitomize the tensions that arise through cross-culturalism in a nation built upon immigration. I am attempting here to navigate the landscape of authenticity and assimilation that defines American pluralism through the imagery and symbolism latent in these constructed spaces. Sometimes, an interior pagoda marks the cultural heritage of the space, in others it is a bottle of soy sauce beside the salt and pepper.