Graduation Year


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Susan Rankaitis

Reader 2

Kasper Kovitz

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Rights Information

© 2015 Noor A. Asif


Inspired by my personal experience as a South Asian-American, I chose to create a series of paintings that seek to analyze the relationship between South Asians and a Western environment. I was further influenced by Bollywood painted posters, which I argue encapsulate postcolonial aesthetics in the form of fair skin, colored eyes, and exoticism. Moreover, I believe that Bollywood has continued to disseminate these aesthetics to the South Asian collective community. Bollywood and its implicit fascination with the West, in addition to its inherently South Asian identity, embody the struggle that many South Asians face. This struggle, which I as a South Asian-American woman painter have also experienced, includes a constant internal conflict between desiring to fit into Western culture and trying to maintain one’s cultural heritage within a Western environment. Ultimately, through these paintings and this essay, I seek to shed light on this complex relationship between South Asian culture and a Western context.