Written by Praveen Sundar
2018. What a year. Many events have happened this year, ranging from the good, the bad, and the ugly. Yet there is one positive that came out of 2018: Asian representation.
2018 has been the biggest year in terms of Asian representation, representation in all mediums. From BTS paving the way in the music industry by winning Billboard’s Favorite Social Artist, to Chloe Kim in sports by winning a gold medal in women’s halfpipe in the PyeongChang Winter Olympics. As well as most recently Catriona Gray winning Miss Universe for the Philippines. Yet Asian representation arguably reached its peak in the film industry this year.
With the release of films and TV shows such as: Killing Eve, Patriot Act,and To All the I’ve Loved Before Asian culture has finally made its way into pop culture. But the biggest movement in pop culture of Asian culture was made by the movie Crazy Rich Asians. Crazy Rich Asians, the first major movie with an all Asian cast in 25 years, since the Joy Luck Club. This movie was not only a breakthrough in Asian representation, but also a hit, with a 91% on Rotten Tomatoes.
Personally this movie was one of my favorites of 2018 because of the cultural significance. Being a Malaysian, I was instantly drawn to a movie set in Singapore. One specific scene in the movie struck a major chord, the scene involved the main characters Nick and Rachel and their friends going to a night market and buying food. This scene made me nostalgic of the times I used to do the same with my family, one of the few times I resonated with an American film culturally. Yet the ethnic background of the characters played a small role in the actual plot of the story, making the movie simply a rom com with a full Asian cast.
With 2019 just around the corner the opportunities for Asians to breakthrough on the silver screen are only increasing. Such as the upcoming live action Mulan and Aladdin along with a plethora of other movies and TV shows. In the future we also have the sequel to Crazy Rich Asians: China Rich Girlfriend to look forward to. 2018 has only been the start of major Asian representation.