Crouching Coldplay, Hidden Rih Rih: “Princess Of China” Video

June 4th, 2012 | 3 comments | Posted by Jen

I was out of town for most of May but I’m baaaaack! And sick in bed. So I have nothing smart to say today about this Coldplay ft. Rihanna video for “Princess of China.” (If you do want a clever breakdown of all the song’s possible meanings, read my pal Molly Lambert’s Grantland post here.) The video’s just a hot mess of Orientalist imagery and a couple of terrifying manicures. And when they start fighting in the air a la Crouching Tiger, I had to laugh. The hurty nose-snort kind of laughter. Because that there was some seriously dorky shit. Like, the white man’s overbite version of kung fu fighting. I’m actually embarrassed for all parties involved:

And what does this song have to do with China anyway?

Never mind. I don’t care. Someone bring me some soup.

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3 Responses to “Crouching Coldplay, Hidden Rih Rih: “Princess Of China” Video”

  1. AsiansWearFur says:

    I don’t find this video offensive, because they really did not caricaturize or condescend upon real Asian actors in this video, or smear upon Asian history in any particular way. But it’s nevertheless cheesy and corny (不三不四) Hollywood white male chauvinism manipulation of Asian/Chinese culture as usual in this promotion of BF+WM music video for the mass consumers uses the Shaw Brother’s cinematic opening design to cast some kind of nostalgia of that peculiar martial arts films period, and that they also used the China’s Disabled People’s Performing Arts Troupe’s “Thousand Hand Bodhisattva Dance” present a sinister “princess of China”. All in all, it’s quite an interesting visual spectacle that at worst feeds the American/Western ignorance of Asianism, and at best fuels curiosity about what really is the truth about culture/history of Asia/China.

  2. CharleyBarley says:

    It’s shite.

  3. XiongMeow says:

    I don’t know what is offensive about this video. I’m Chinese and I found most of the stuff in the video to be Chinese. The dance is the Thousand Hand Guanyin which is Chinese, not Thai. I don’t know why people keep saying that the drums, assassins, and clothing are Japanese. There are drums and assassins in China. Also, hanfu actually sort of does look like Japanese clothing…

    What is wrong with people of different races appreciating Chinese culture? I don’t get how people can be so hypocritical. We want people to refrain from racist attitudes and allow everyone to coexist in a multicultural society, yet we ridicule people who want to appreciate certain interesting aspects of our own culture? That is messed up.

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