The University of Western Australia
Tom Cho explores notions of identity in his short fiction Look Who’s Morphing. Self-insertion and popular culture references have been fundamental in exploring the fluidity of identity within the texts. Using Cho’s own curatorial popular culture experiences, the collection examines in particular Chinese-Australian cultural identity and sexuality. Cho has appropriated popular culture narratives in order to deconstruct pre-conceived notions of stereotype and essentialist theories. This has been done throughout the body of the Look Who’s Morphing collection in order to maintain accessibility of these complex themes for a wider audience. Cho’s self-insertion allows for these themes to be explored, and whilst his inversion of popular culture plot texts seeks to subvert their overall message, Cho succeeds in demonstrating that whilst popular culture may be utilised to better understand culture, its experiences are not universal. Cho’s self-insertion creates a paradigm in which the two conceptualised identity forms of Asian and Western may be integrated in order to subvert the limitations of diaspora and migrant autobiography.