9/20/2022

The Dark Roots of Boho Chic

Did you know Boho Chic furniture is rooted in an Asia torn apart by war? Rattan is a material indigenous to Asia, and has been utilized in South East Asia for centuries. But most Asians didn't sit on chairs, they sat on floors. European colonists influenced these pieces. Rattan can be found in tropical palm trees in countries like the Philippines, Indonesia, and Malaysia. Today, Indonesia is the world’s largest supplier, providing 80% of the world’s raw rattan. The ‘Manila Chair’ became a fad for celebrities and politicians like Cher, Diana Ross, and John F. Kennedy. Western designers have integrated many designs that look like Asian rattan furniture, without crediting the cultures they come from. Instead, “Boho-Chic” furniture and aesthetic is often categorized as “ethnic” or “tribal,” grossly generalizing and erasing their roots. And the appropriation is expensive. Rattan chairs are sold for $800 at Pottery Barn, without clear understanding of how ethically the rattan was produced and manufactured.

9/20/2022

The Dark Roots of Boho Chic

Did you know Boho Chic furniture is rooted in an Asia torn apart by war? Rattan is a material indigenous to Asia, and has been utilized in South East Asia for centuries. But most Asians didn't sit on chairs, they sat on floors. European colonists influenced these pieces. Rattan can be found in tropical palm trees in countries like the Philippines, Indonesia, and Malaysia. Today, Indonesia is the world’s largest supplier, providing 80% of the world’s raw rattan. The ‘Manila Chair’ became a fad for celebrities and politicians like Cher, Diana Ross, and John F. Kennedy. Western designers have integrated many designs that look like Asian rattan furniture, without crediting the cultures they come from. Instead, “Boho-Chic” furniture and aesthetic is often categorized as “ethnic” or “tribal,” grossly generalizing and erasing their roots. And the appropriation is expensive. Rattan chairs are sold for $800 at Pottery Barn, without clear understanding of how ethically the rattan was produced and manufactured.

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Asian Horror Implies Misogyny Is Thriving

What Asian horror movies have proven is that there is nothing scarier than a woman, free from her shackles, wreaking havoc on society to get justice. Why is the ghostly, vengeful woman such a prevalent trope, and how does it represent misogyny across Asian cultures? From the infamous virgin ghost, to the seductive “femme fatale” archetypes, there are consistent depictions of the vengeful female spirit throughout Asian stories. The pale, long black-haired woman in a white dress is the scariest ghost of all. While these characters might begin as victims, they become terrifying villains, making it difficult to sympathize with their pain. It’s the unfair deaths these female characters experience that turn their spirits into monsters that are feared and not souls free to rest. There is little understanding of their suffering, or even their existence, mirroring the reality of many. It’s possible this trope persists because scary stories have often been the only outlet to name the violence women face. In patriarchal societies that view women as subservient, many women die in unfair suffering: murder, death connected to sexual assault, and forced suicide. Asian horror has evolved to incorporate deeper commentaries about women’s issues over time like marital anxiety, dissociative identity disorders, and becoming a widow. But irrespective of final outcome,being abused and thus vengeful continues to be the most natural character foundation of Asian women in horror stories and films.

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The Dark Roots of Boho Chic