The above video is of the Yellowface sequence from Anna Chen’s solo show, Anna May Wong Must Die! (2009).
Hollywood legends we have loved getting silly with the oriental make-up.
There are many contenders who could have been added to this slideshow. Luise Rainer was cast as the wife in the MGM movie of Pearl S Buck’s Pulitzer Prize-winning blockbuster, The Good Earth, depriving Anna May Wong of the major role for which she was so perfect. It could have broken the bamboo ceiling and allowed her to be recognised as a stellar actress. There’s Beatrice Lillie in Thoroughly Modern Millie; a weird Christopher Walken (isn’t he always) as Feng in Balls of Fire; David Carradine in the Kung Fu television series; Jonathan Pryce in the stage version of Miss Saigon; just about everyone in Cloud Atlas.
May Day in London and Anna Chen’s first public reading of her poem “Margaret Thatcher Died at the Ritz”, written on the day news broke that the former prime minister had died … at the Ritz! (12 April 2013)
Thanks to Charles Shaar Murray for shooting the video.
Anna’s collection of poetry — REACHING FOR MY GNU — is available for Kindle and in paperback from Aaaargh! Press
2B or not 2B
That is the pencil
Whether it is
Nobblier in the line to
Scuff the springs and marrows
Of outmoded pictorial representation,
Or to take snaps upon the digital?
To sketch up the dawn of a rosy hue
Or to take lines of sea and rubble
And by Photoshopping them, amend them?
To scumble the surface no more
But open a window on the world.
Depths and planes,
Impasto and light.
What The Fuck!