Talks, Film

Cultural Practices of Eating

Asian Food between Staging, Exoticism and Marketing

Sat, Sep 10, 2011
3 pm
Day ticket: 5 €/3 € (exhibition included)
Take Out, Sean Baker filming, © Promo

3 p.m.
Ethnicized Cult(ural) and Urban Tales: Asian Food

The practice of eating gives rise to social and cultural history and stories. Processes of migration and their social contexts are reflected by the existence of Chinatowns and other forms of ethnicized economies. The transatlantic phenomenon of Asian restaurants can be used to demonstrate aspects such as commercialization and cultural representation. As Asian spaces within western societies open to immigration, they are located in the force field between self-assertion, exotic consumption and diverse processes of transformation – from culinary Kimchi metamorphoses to borderless identity models ("Chutnification"). John Kuo Wei Tchen (historian, New York University), Lars Amenda (historian, University of Osnabrück) and Anja Michaelsen (cultural and media scientist, University of Bochum) discuss cultural-historical and contemporary developments. Moderator: Kien Nghi Ha (cultural scientists, University of Tübingen)

4.45 p.m.
Asian Food in Berlin – between Spectacle, Daily Life and Pop Culture

Asian food in urban and globalized spaces is a field for imagined and projected ideas; but it also tells stories about entrepreneurs, pioneers and migrant cultural production. What are the reasons for the success of Asian restaurants? Is the latest boom merely a fashion trend or is it a long-term development? How are these spaces conceived and what is special about Asian Food? How important is authenticity and what role do culinary inventions play? Sumi Ha (manager of the restaurant "Yam Yam", Berlin), Chi Kien Nguyen (Asian gastronomic consultant and manager of the restaurant "Mam Mam", Berlin) and Felix Lee (Economics and Politics department, taz, Berlin) discuss the marketing, staging and development of Asian (eating) culture in Berlin. Moderator: Claudia Wahjudi (Art department, Zitty, Berlin).

6 p.m.
Film: "Take Out"

Directed by: Sean Baker/ Shih-Ching Tsou, USA 2004, 87 Min. (Mandarin with English subtitles)
A day in the life of Ming Ding, illegal immigrant and delivery man for a Chinese take-out restaurant in New York. Today, the deadline given to him by his human traffickers to pay his debts expires. The film blends semi-documentary scenes from everyday life with the frantic hunt for money.
More information and video trailer on

Curated by Kien Nghi Ha in cooperation with Haus der Kulturen der Welt

Asien-Pazifik-Wochen Berlin

The Asia-Pacific-Weeks(APW), an initiative by the Mayor of Berlin, have been taking place every two years since 1997.
The Asia-Pacific Weeks are kindly supported by the Stiftung Deutsche Klassenlotterie Berlin.

Stiftung Deutsche Klassenlotterie Berlin DKLB

The Haus der Kulturen der Welt is responsible for conceiving and coordinating the cultural program of the Asia-Pacific-Weeks Berlin.