SunTek Chung presents new photographs in his exhibition in RARE PLUS entitled I’m Not Here to Kick Ass. Inverting stereotypes of the so-called Asian-American man, he questions whether the United States can ever give up its view of Asians as servants, ninja/samurai, “mathletes,” and manufacturers of cheap commodities. As he cross-references American cultural signifiers with media icons of Asian-ness, Chung samples the current voraciousness of globalization – the endless cultural mixing that acts as both depriver and supplier of meaning.
Chung’s photos revel in super-charged allegories via their referencing of fashion photography and early photographic tableaus. However, the influence these photographs wield is in their reclamation. In morphing these icons and symbols, the artist reconstitutes them into something new, a proactive force of agency. For him, the central question becomes whether Huckleberry Bruce Lee and Kareem Abdul Jim will escape their de-centered captivity.