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Asian Migration and Global Cities

Anne Cong-Huyen, Jonathan Young Banfill, Katherine Herrera, Samantha Ching, Natalie Yip, Thania Lucero, Randy Mai, Candice Lau, Authors

This comment was written by Samantha Ching on 20 Jan 2014.

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City Lights in a Highway Heartbeat

In LA’s vibrant highway vista, Karen T. Yamashita's Manzanar Murakami finds his orchestra. Take away the SoCal sunshine, and the freeway pulses on – two strands of ribbon joining where a cluster of high rises emerges. Drawing the viewer's up upward, the photograph itself seems to be quivering, evoking the sense of movement and rhythm Murakami taps into in composing his symphony. Reinforcing the imagery of “Station D: Jefferson and Normandie,” the iconic palm trees become wispy silhouettes, the fronds forming dark patches that obscure what lies beneath – the “everything going on down under [them]…the poor and crazy ugly or beautiful, honest or shameful” (33).

Comprising part of a series of photos of Los Angeles taken c. 1975 to 2005, this photo evinces a lack of retouching and seems to have been taken from an objective standpoint. Therefore, we can classify it as non-fiction, corresponding to the editorial genre or perhaps that of the personal in relation to contributor Allan L. Hill. The various forms light takes in the photo – from the two highways glowing white and red, the scattered twinkling lights, and the greenish glow from the parking structure in the foreground – evoke LA as the land of Hollywood stars, a city abuzz with glitz and glitter.
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Los Angeles (20 January 2014)
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