The World of Suzie Wong

image for The World of Suzie Wong
Title
Nancy Kwan
Exhibition Label
Born Hong Kong
The 1960 film The World of Suzie Wong heralded the acting debut of Nancy Kwan, playing a Chinese prostitute in Hong Kong who falls in love with an American painter, played by William Holden. This poster for the Spanish version of the film showcases not only Kwan, a legendary beauty of Chinese-Scottish descent, but also the myriad ways that producers perpetuated stereotypes of Asian women, in this case by posing Kwan in traditional dress against a backdrop of Chinese characters. However, the Richard Quine–directed film was also one of the first major movies to depict interracial relationships and therefore acknowledge the different ways Asians are represented in American popular culture. Kwan, the first Asian American actress since Anna May Wong to become a veritable Hollywood star, went on to act in such films as Flower Drum Song (1961), establish her own production company, and, in her later years, become an activist in the fight against AIDS.
Nacida en Hong Kong
La película de 1960 The World of Suzie Wong marcó el debut actoral de Nancy Kwan en el papel de una prostituta china que se enamora en Hong Kong de un pintor norteamericano, interpretado por William Holden. Este cartel para la versión en español (El mundo de Suzie Wong) no solo pone de relieve la legendaria belleza de Kwan, de ascendencia china y escocesa, sino también las innumerables ocasiones que aprovechaban los productores para perpetuar los estereotipos de las mujeres asiáticas; en este caso, colocaron a Kwan en vestimenta tradicional contra un fondo de personajes chinos típicos. Sin embargo, esta obra dirigida por Richard Quine fue una de las primeras películas importantes que presentaron una relación interracial, y por tanto reconocieron las diversas formas en que la cultura popular norteamericana representa a los asiáticos. Kwan, la primera actriz asiática desde Anna May Wong que llegó a ser una verdadera estrella de Hollywood, protagonizó filmes posteriores como Flower Drum Song (1961), estableció su propia compañía productora y en sus años de madurez se ha convertido en activista contra el sida.
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National Portrait Gallery Collection
c. 1960
Object number
NPG.2015.121
Type
Print
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Culture
Nancy Kwan: Asian\Chinese
Nancy Kwan: American\Asian American\Chinese American
Artist
Unidentified Artist
Sitter
Nancy Kwan, born 1939
Topic
Indeterminable
Sign
Poster
Nancy Kwan: Female
Nancy Kwan: Performing Arts\Performer\Actor\Movie
Portrait
Place
España\Cataluña\Barcelona\Barcelona
Medium
Chromolithographic poster with halftone on paper
Dimensions
Sheet: 99.9 × 70.8 cm (39 5/16 × 27 7/8")
Mount: 109.3 × 80.6 cm (43 1/16 × 31 3/4")
National Portrait Gallery