Michael Wolf - Bastard Chairs (2002)
“What Wolf calls The Bastard Chairs of China challenge the notion of our standard definition of a chair. Cobbled together from whatever debris and flotsam is available, there is something to be learned here—that a chair is a chair is a chair. And while we can appreciate the beauty and art of what we call ‘designer’ chairs throughout history and today, when all is said and done, what matters is that we have a place to rest our bones.”
May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month
I guess I’m a little late realizing this heritage month was going on. I always find it cool looking at old pictures, especially these. I remember horrifying a family friend once when I was younger when I told them “I guess women weren’t doing anything in history”. We just didn’t learn anything about women in school, at least at my school we didn’t. And we almost never learned about Asian Americans. When we did (those oh so few times), I often felt embarrassed because people would laugh at pictures of railway workers and ask me if my great great grandfather was one. If we read about Japan people would ask me I had a kimono, stuff like that. Teachers would ask! These questions were especially annoying and stupefying because they all knew I was adopted from China as an infant and my parents were white. It goes to show that the power of peoples ability to lump people/things/ideas together at times defies logic, and what I’d consider to be really basic logic. But this was the logic that surrounded me as a child and I learned it despite it contradicting my own life. Even with debates about meaning of heritage and cultural months (and various other durations of time), this year I am really excited to be aware of Asian American Heritage Month…even though I really didn’t know about it until now. When I read people’s stories, I feel like I’m not so alone, but also it’s a freeing experience at the same time. I get to see the diversity of Asian and Pacific Islander’s history in this country. I’m not alone in aspects of my social identity, but I feel more than ever like an individual in a way I was never given the ability to feel before. That’s feels pretty nice. :)
In this week’s issue, Charlayne Hunter-Gault examines the disturbingly pervasive occurrence of hate crimes against gays and lesbians in South Africa. Click through for a photo slideshow of Zanele Muholi’s Portraits from South Africa’s Lesbian Community: http://nyr.kr/KIOSxw
Here, five decades after the Freedom Riders put their lives on the line for dignity and equal rights, LIFE.com presents unpublished photos by Schutzer — images that chart the historic journey of King and the nation-changing movement he led, from the monuments of Washington to the streets, churches, and bus depots of the Deep South.
Unpublished: Martin Luther King Jr. and young Freedom Riders in Mongtomery, Alabma, in 1961.
The party started early this year. It’s the centennial celebration of the cherry blossoms, and everyone’s invited.
Many of the cherry trees now bursting with pink around the Tidal Basin in Washington, D.C., have been there for a century. Talk about some inspiring longevity! What started as a simple gift of 3,000 trees from the city of Tokyo has blossomed into a five-week extravaganza that’s become something of a national celebration of spring.
So we decided to wander through the crowds to get a better look at these blossoming glories — and the million or so folks who flock to the nation’s capital every year to see them. -John Rose and Doriane Raiman
It’s true what they say, things are not always what they seem.
In 1937, LIFE published Margaret Bourke-Whites ‘American Way’ photograph that, for generations, has been the image of the Great Depression: an economic cataclysm distilled in one frame. But the story behind the picture tells a slightly different, equally fascinating tale.(see more here)
People buy flowers at the Flower Market to decorate their homes on the eve of the Lunar New Year of the Dragon in Hong Kong on Jan. 22. The Chinese New Year is the most important of the traditional Chinese holidays. Flowers are said to give good luck and are given when visiting family for the traditional New Years Eve feast.
[Credit : Pedro Ugarte / AFP / Getty Images]