Chris Karnadi is a culture and religion writer currently studying at Duke Divinity School. His bylines include Presbyterian Outlook, Yale’s Glossolalia, and DJBooth. Follow him on Twitter
 

Posts By This Author

Whiteness Determines Which Artworks Can Be ‘Masterpieces’

by Chris Karnadi 07-03-2019
We've had enough ‘masters.’

Detail of “Under the Wave Off Kanagawa,” by Katsushika Hokusai / Apple’s wave emoji

WHEN I TRAVEL to a city, I find art museums and their masterpieces: “Sunflowers” in Amsterdam, the “Prodigal Son” in St. Petersburg, “David” in Florence. Van Gogh, Rembrandt, Michelangelo. These are masters, according to some cultural imagination.

But it wasn’t until this past April that I encountered an Asian master and masterpiece: Katsushika Hokusai’s “Under the Wave Off Kanagawa.” The print is better known as “The Great Wave”—you know, the Apple wave emoji. Why is this the first Asian masterpiece that I’ve seen?

Respecting the Spirituality Behind Marie Kondo's 'Tidying Up'

by Chris Karnadi 01-29-2019

"Tidying Up with Marie Kondo" on Netflix.

Kondo focuses not on the aesthetic or the number of things; she instead focuses on the owner’s relationship to the object itself, whether or not it “sparks joy.” She advises, “Take each item in one’s hand and ask: ‘Does this spark joy?’ If it does, keep it. If not, dispose of it.” This relationship to objects is crucial to Kondo’s method and hinges on her Shinto background. Though KonMari is self-help, it’s self-help rooted in a Shinto spirituality. 

Childish Gambino Offered Me Religious Experience, Not A Product

by Chris Karnadi 10-02-2018

Donald Glover aka Childish Gambino has become a cultural icon. From his comedic work in Community to his acting in both Marvel and Star Wars franchises to his writing and producing of the critically acclaimed show Atlanta, the versatile Grammy-nominated artist is a creative force. Throughout all of this commercial and critical success, Donald Glover has refused to frame his work as a product; instead he wants to offer a participatory experience, a religious experience even.

Asian Representation Needs Both 'Crazy Rich Asians' and 'Sorry to Bother You'

by Chris Karnadi 09-07-2018

The rift between rich and poor runs deeply through the Asian American and Pacific Islander community. A recent Pew study reveals that Asians, as a whole, “rank as the highest earning racial and ethnic group in the U.S.” But the top 10 percent of AAPI persons earn 10.7 times the amount of those in the bottom 10 percent.