A year later after Crazy Rich Asians became a hit, author Kevin Kwan felt it created a movement of highlighting diversity in stories. New projects came and he is grateful and thrilled to start working on them. “I just feel like I’m a part of a movement,” he says. He shifts the attention to people who supported the film, worked on shows featuring diversity, and are advancing the conversation. He continues, “They’re really the true heroes of this, they made this a cultural moment and like, a watershed moment and I’m just kind of like a bystander almost, as strange as it sounds because I didn’t create this movement.” As a creative, he feels he is bridging gaps, taking people to recognize and accept differences.
The power of influence
Though people are calling him ‘influential,’ Kevin finds it unnerving to consider him one. “It’s very gracious for people to say, but I don’t know if it’s actually true?” he mulls. Like many writers, he feels the narrative is never about him but about the stories he tells. “I really wanted to do things that could make a difference, that would make people think, that would make people see things in a new light,” he explains. Thus, he diverts the attention to Hanya Yanagihara, the Editor-in-Chief of T Magazine and The New York Times Style and design magazine. Kevin says she is the real broker of power with her huge influence on bringing diversity to different industries.
Kevin remains humble and unfazed with the power that many elevate him to. As a journalist, he was trained to look for and tell the truth. It may be his responsibility but he did not carry a similar attitude to writing Crazy Rich Asians. He says, “I wanted to tell a story that was true to me but I also felt that it was high time that we had a fiction work set in contemporary Asia about contemporary Asians not living out the stereotypical roles on lives. I wanted to show different parts of Asia that I knew.” Through the dialogue he began, Kevin made Asians reinforce our existence and our truth.
Read the full story of Kevin Kwan written by Angelo Ramirez de Cartagena on Lifestyle Asia’s October Edition titled, “The Power of Influence.”
Photography: RAEN BADUA
Art Direction: MARC PAGDILAO
Fashion Direction: SUKI SALVADOR
Styling: ANGELO RAMIREZ DE CARTAGENA
Grooming: VICKY LEE CHAN
Sittings Editor: DONG RONQUILLO
Shoot Direction: ANGELA JACOB
Special Thanks: DAVID SANGALLI of KEVIN KWAN PRODUCTIONS
Shot on location at LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA