Asian culture is becoming increasingly prevalent in America and Europe in the recent years. Yet people who use chopsticks, practice kungfu or eat sushi do not necessarily understand Asian culture better than an average American. To this end, I hope to start a website that will help non-Asians better understand Asian culture.
I recognize that there are many ways in which Asian culture can be explained and demonstrated. After much contemplation, I decided to start off with something specific: tattoo or t-shirt designs featuring Asian art or calligraphy.
Asian tattoos are certainly a growing fashion trend in America. While some see it as a sign of Americans embracing and celebrating a different culture, others argue that this is just another example of America appropriating a another culture without fully understanding and digesting it. Most of those with tattoos of Chinese characters or Japanese kanji merely treat them as an exotic fashion statement. Many people get their tattoo designs from their Asian friends whom, after growing up in America, may not be so Asian after all. Other people even ask waiters from Chinese restaurants to translate English expressions directly into Chinese. Evidently, these are not the smartest ways to decide what you will have on your body for the rest of your life. Therefore, I hope to provide designs of authentic Chinese characters, words, idioms or art, each with an explanation that touches on the meaning of the design and the related cultural background.