Your cart is empty.

*Orders may take up to five business days before shipping, and mail carriers are experiencing delays. Your package may take longer than usual to arrive. Thank you for your patience and support :)

Product Image Jason Chu: Hot Tropic

Jason Chu: Hot Tropic

Hot Tropic is a book of photographs by Jason Chu exploring the the macabre side of the tropics. All photographs were shot in Honolulu, Hawaii in 2019 and 2020. Over the course of nine months, this thematic lens directed the way images were shot, collected, and compiled. The print publication is the summation (or a summation, of many possible outcomes) of the editorial project. 

The noise of dystopic island rage, the blinding heat of a clear blue sky, and the unsettling energy of a twisted, paradisical fantasy are all elements in a shadow world these images inhabit. 

In the imaginary of the gothic landscape, we envision cold, empty, dark spaces. From Edgar Allen Poe to Edward Scissorhands, gothic culture has long been associated with whiteness and European places, its origin stories locked up in the stone castles of the Middle Ages, wracked with plague and cruelty, the twisted horror of Grimm fairytales, the porcelain white skin of Victorian vampires. Hot Tropic challenges the eurocentrism of the gothic by employing it as a lens by which to observe, record, and reimagine, Hawaii.

The humid, dense environments of the tropics are riddled with the waste and excess of a colonial history rooted in death. These are landscapes physically marked by the dual, simultaneous violence of the military-industrial complex and the booming tourism industry. Hawaii’s concrete jungle is built on, literally, the genocide of its people. It remains physically haunted and disoriented by this past. The project mobilizes these histories of place, highlighting (or shadowing) the confusing, chaotic contradictions that already exists in our relationship to the built and unbuilt world around us. If you turn on your flash at night on a beach in Waikiki, this is what you’d find before it scuttles away.

The project also draws on the term ecogothic, referring to ecology rooted in a reaction of fear, horror, or unease to the environment. Ecogothic reveres the chaos of our immediate ecological crisis. Rather than Hansel and Gretel, lost in the forests of medieval Europe after their starving family abandoned them, it’s a masked, devil-worshipping bellboy at the Moana Surfrider, it’s a group of costumed misfits at Ice Palace, it’s a lone goth rocker lost in the aisles of an ABC store, comparing sunscreens. It’s a world in which we are already at least six feet apart, but we are also already contaminated.

Hot Tropic is a group endeavor, drawing on its theme to bring together similarly minded people. While driven by aesthetic considerations, the project facilitated gatherings that were always more than photoshoots — in its best moments, they allowed alienated individuals a sense of solidarity in these temporary moments of communion. Acquaintances became friends, who became collaborators, and they found solace in being alone, together.

Hot Tropic is, of course, also a playful homage to Hot Topic: that distorted mirror of mass-marketed, branded rock culture. The store took diverse iterations of goth and rock music and distilled them into a clunky, monolithic subculture consumable with enough repeat visits. It’s where the term Mall Goth grew teeth. We recognize Hot Topic’s place in this mess of late capitalism, and plus, working there in high school is an experience that many of us share in our respective local malls.

—Marika Emi, May 2020

A sincere thank you to the following contributors and collaborators, some of whom appear in this publication: Bradley Rhea, Risa Hoshino, Andrea Rodriguez, Donnie Cervantes, Nate Sarsona, Jenny Liang, Davey Shindig, e-nico, Tamiko Hobin, Jamahia Robinson, Drew Broderick, Lise Michelle, Juvana Soliven, Tomoki Kobayashi, Julia Cornell, Angel Renato, Riki Shae, Josh Tengan, Tobangus.

Softcover, Saddle Stitch, 60 pages, 7 x 9 inches, Design by Marika Emi, Edition of 500, Hawaii, 2020.

*COVID-19 Notice: Order processing is slower than usual at this time due to safety and logistical issues surrounding the pandemic. In addition, mail carriers have informed us that shipping times are not guaranteed, and in some cases have been significantly delayed. Unfortunately these delays are out of our control. Thank you in advance for your patience. 

We really appreciate you shopping with us.  Below are our general policies.  We do our best to make our customers happy, so if you have a concern please feel free to contact us :)


  • All shipping time frames are not guaranteed—after we hand your package to the mail service or shipping company, we are unable to control unforeseen delays on their end.
  • We ship orders out Mon-Fri, often same day if possible—but please allow 1-8 business days for processing. Most packages are sent via US Postal Service with delivery confirmation.
    • TELFAR BAGS may take even longer than the above time frame during this time, up to 2 weeks to process and send out from our office due to high order volumes.  Priority shipments will be processed first, but ALL orders are shipping slower than usual.
  • Please make sure your shipping address and contact info are correctly entered at checkout. Unless you specify to us that you want to pay to fully insure your package, we are not liable for loss or damage. Shipping charges are non-refundable.
  • US (Domestic) shipping is calculated by order total. Standard shipping usually takes 2-9 business days, depending on destination. Priority and Express options are available at checkout for additional fees.
 $0.00-$24.99 $4.95 
$25.00-$49.99 $6.50
$50.00-$99.99 $7.50
$100.00-$149.99 $10.00
$150 and up $12.00



  • TELFAR bag orders have separate shipping fees which are automatically calculated at checkout.  

International Customers

  • Customs fees may apply depending on tariff rules in your country. Your country's customs office may in rare cases delay the arrival of your package beyond our control. The customer is responsible for any fees or taxes added by their country's customs office.
  • International shipments are sent via US Postal Service and rates are calculated by total order weight in order to best approximate actual charges. 
    • First Class International (transit time varies ~7-21 days or longer), limited tracking and no insurance
    • Priority International (6-10 business days from shipping date), tracking and limited insurance
    • Express International (3-5 days business days from shipping date), tracking and full insurance
    • Please keep in mind we are not liable for loss or damage in the mail if you select an option without insurance and tracking.  We recommend insuring and tracking whenever possible.
    • If you don't see your country on the shipping options list or have any other special requests on how you'd like us to handle your shipment, just contact us before or at the time of placing your order and we'll do our best to help.   :)
    • The US Postal Service will not accept the package if the address is written in a foreign alphabet, so please be sure to check your shipping address as we are unable to verify addresses before we ship and your package may get lost otherwise.


    Because of the tiny nature of our operation, we apologize for our limited return policy.

    • No returns on books, music, artwork and objects, accessories, and general merchandise, aside from defective items. Unworn clothing and shoes bought online may be exchanged or returned within 7 days of receipt, unless otherwise specified.
    • Returns are only accepted if you notify us within 7 days of receipt of the item and return it to us within 14 days of the order ship date. Goods must be in perfect unworn/unused condition with all original packaging intact. The customer is responsible for outbound and return shipping costs, which are non-refundable. If store credit is issued, it is valid for one year from the issue date.
    • We also cannot accept returns on sale items. Some sale items are the last copy and may have experienced some wear and tear. Discounts take into account for any damage but if you have any questions about the condition of a particular item, please email us.
    • If you have any issues receiving your order, including lost packages, you must contact us within 90 days of the shipment date or we may be unable to help.

    Thank you in advance for understanding!

    Privacy Policy

    • All customer information collected by us through our online shop will only be used for the purposes of fulfilling and delivering your orders, and customer service. If you choose to sign up for our mailing list, we will only use that information to send you occasional announcements related to Ooga Booga.  
    • We will never share or sell your information to any third parties or use it for any outside marketing purposes.  
    • Should you ever wish to unsubscribe or opt out of our mailing list, simply fill out the form on our website to unsubscribe, or send us an email to be removed.  

    Please feel free to ask us any questions about a product or the ordering process!