What a perfect companion text to Kip Fulbeck‘s part asian • 100% hapa, his previous title for Chronicle Books … both are visually gorgeous and further illuminated with just enough text (plus a few choice drawings in Mixed). Indeed, pictures do speak volumes … and in this case. from so many different backgrounds, too.
Last March 2009, Fulbeck, who is hapa of Cantonese and white American descent, recently became a very proud father of Cantonese Caucasian Celtic son Jack: “And in this one moment, my life, and the meaning behind my entire work as an artist, shifted significantly … my stakes have suddenly been raised.”
Mixed is the logical progression from Fulbeck’s hapa background to explore his son’s brave new world: ” … it is a world changing for the better,” he writes with hope. “My son will not face the same questions I did. He will not be forced to choose sides. And while there are still those who may attempt it, he will never have to accept another person telling him who he is.”
Dr. Maya Soetoro-Ng, who sometimes has been labeled too conveniently as “Obama’s younger sister,” was and is indeed an accomplished scholar in her own right long before she hit the public spotlight. Growing up hapa with a white mother and Indonesian father, together with her hapa African Caucasian brother, Soetoro-Ng writes in her foreword not only of her famous brother – “Today, multiracial people can take pride in the symbol and visage of my brother” – but of her own experiences of growing up mixed, and the hopes she has for her own children, of their “additional options beyond the either/or.”
In 2000, the U.S. Census finally recognized its multiracial citizens, an explosively growing American demographic. What happens with the 2010 Census results will surely be something to watch … and celebrate.