Trade Winds: Tiki Culture, Paradise & Appropriation

by Shu Yao Liu

Fueled by popular literature, music, and Hollywood movies, the people of mainland USA fabricated a romantic vision of Polynesia that ignored complex realities of native culture in favor of an idealized island fantasy.

Appropriation is a prominent topic in current debates on culture, yet the notion itself remains uncertain. What defines the ownership of culture? Where do we draw the line between appropriation and appreciation? How do we look at this topic in the 21st century? Taking these questions as a starting point, Trade Winds: Tiki Culture, Paradise & Appropriation investigates, from several perspectives, the origins of tiki culture and the broader topic of cultural appropriation. Trade Winds aims to create a framework for debate and, in doing so, creates a more complete understanding of the relationship between culture and appropriation.

We are looking backward to look forward. The act of studying the past prompts us to imagine the new forms that appropriation and cultural production may take in the future.

Prize

Silver in Book Design 2020

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Shu Yao Liu

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