Images via Instagram @asianmaleportraits
Celebrate Asian men with a new photo book.
Fashion photographer West Phillips has released a project to share the beauty of Asian men. The photographer came up with the idea after seeing the lack of Asian male representation in Western media. He then created the Asian Male Portraits art book.
“I realized how much was lacking in Western media when you’re looking at photos and advertisements and other photographers I was following on social media,” Phillips told PinkPlanet.
That is a topic that we here at Instinct have discussed before. When Crazy Rich Asians released to warm reception last year, we were excited about a possible future when Asian men and women can be celebrated in Western media. Not only because they are rarely depicted outside of stereotypical roles like the edgy Asian girl with a colored streak of hair or the geeky Asian friend, but because Asian men have been placed at the bottom of the dating pool.
In 2014, OkCupid co-founder Christian Rudder released data about race and attraction. The information stated that black women and Asian men were at the bottom of the “attractive list.”
But again, things may be slowly changing for Asian men in the Western World. Crazy Rich Asians was a success and created a modern precedent over presenting Asian-American stories and people in entertainment.
In addition, Korean pop music and artists are becoming more accepted by the Western World. At the forefront of this is BTS, a Korean boy band that is being compared to the Beatles for their impact on the global music scene.
Then, Marvel Studios has announced its intention to make Shang Chi one of its newest movie heroes. Plus, long-running medical drama Grey’s Anatomy cast an Asian man for their first gay male surgeon role and had him develop a relationship with another character.
For West Phillips, he hopes to help create content to promote this change in Asian male visibility. To do so, he created the Asian Male Portraits art book.
When asked if he thinks the art book is impacting gay men, Phillips said, “I hope it is. I can’t say for sure, but I certainly hope it is.
You can watch his full interview with Pink Planet in the above video. And if you need more convincing on the art book, we’ve shared a few photos down below.