Art, Spirituality, and Ren or the Ethics of Care: Shawn Wong, Li-Young Lee, and Russell C. Leong

  • King-Kok Cheung


ART, SPIRITUALITY, AND REN uncovers alternative masculine models in works that valorize spiritual pursuit, artistic accomplishment, and the ethics of care advocated alike by Confucius and feminists. Shawn Wong, Li-Young Lee, and Russell C. Leong counter the “emasculation” of Asian men without succumbing to aggressive or self-denigrating counterexamples. Wong’s American Knees features a seductive lover whose eloquence and wit are reminiscent of Chinese poet-scholars. Lee’s Winged Seed portrays a spellbinding Christian pastor who ministers tirelessly to the needy. Leong’s “Phoenix Eyes” sketches gay men who practice mutual caring in the shadow of AIDS and in the light of Buddhism. These works also reveal how perceptions of masculinity fluctuate with geographical location and with the racial makeup of the dominant culture.


Chinese Family Filial Piety Hegemonic Masculinity Model Minority Filial Obligation 
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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • King-Kok Cheung
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of EnglishUniversity of California, Los AngelesLos AngelesUSA

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