Film, issue 13: oct 2016, Moving
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A Smile is Something Special: A Short by Jasmine Lin

This piece started out as an exploration of the perfect feminine poise and construct, particularly inspired by the rigid and choreographed body language of women starring in 1950s American infomercials. However, through the choreography, I resonated with a much more complex, layered source of body language at the intersection of my Asian American female identity– one where I’m expected to acquiesce as an inferior, and smile because I’m a “cute little Asian girl.” I ask the question: can racially-marked bodies do art for art’s sake? Inspired by Pina Bauch’s work, this choreography creates violence and fatigue through repetition. In a way, my involvement in performance art represents both a rebellion against the hyper-sexualized dragon lady stereotype and Asian American “model minority” myth. This piece is a resistance against “Orientalism,” a reductive tool existing to affirm Western identity, superiority, and masculinity.


Choreographed and performed by Jasmine Lin
Video by Danielle Hollander and Nicole Cooke
Clothing by Persona

Music: “A Smile and A Ribbon” by Patience and Prudence
Music rightfully belongs to the original artist. No copyright infringement intended.

Jasmine is an Asian American dancer/choreographer/multimedia artist from Los Angeles currently living in London. Hardcore pisces. Wears too many colors. You can find her on instagram and youtube.

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