"What Are You?" is the golden question every hapa person gets
asked. Everyone is an agglomeration of our surroundings. For a few
million, though, it's more than skin deep. It's a mix of their opposite
heritages to create an uneasily identifiable human. To be "hapa" (or "half
white" by Hawaiian standards) in Hawai'i is no big deal. Most everyone is
a mix of something. Still, it can bring confusion and identity crises for
many. Being hapa myself, I'm confused for everything else and rarely for
the things that I am (Filipino, Swedish, Irish, Dutch, Welsh, English,
French, German, Chinese - in that order). Kip Fulbeck's photo
documentation of these races is fascinating on many levels, for showing
the beauty and originality of these mixed cultures - and for bringing up
the topic that in the end, we are *all* just people. Reviewed by
Amy Antonio, Powells.com.
Synopses & Reviews
Once a derogatory label derived from the Hawaiian word for half, Hapa is now being embraced as a term of pride by many people of Asian or Pacific Rim mixed-race heritage. Award-winning film producer and artist Kip Fulbeck has created a forum in word and image for Hapas to answer the question they're nearly always asked: "What are you?" Fulbeck's frank, head-on portraits are paired with the sitters' own statements of identity. A work of intimacy, beauty, and powerful self-expression, Part Asian, 100% Hapa is the book Fulbeck says he wishes he had growing up. An introduction to the rest of the world and an affirmation for Hapas themselveswho now number in the millionsit offers a new perspective on a rapidly growing population.
About the Author
Kip Fulbeck is a photographer, filmmaker, writer, and spoken-word artist whose work has been exhibited worldwide. He is Professor and Chair of Art at UC Santa Barbara. You can see more of his work at www.redsushi.com.
Paul Spickard is professor of history and Asian American studies at UC Santa Barbara, and the author and editor of numerous books on race in America.
Sean Lennon, son of Yoko Ono and John Lennon, is a musician who lives in New York City.