Asian Prince

Asian Prince

Updated Aug 06, 2012 at 12:36AM EDT by Brad.

Added May 30, 2009 at 06:07PM EDT by Brad.

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About

Asianprince213 is a famous fake internet personality, known as Wo-Hen Nankan; which means “I am so ugly” in Mandarin.

Asianprince213 on Geocities was created in 1999, depicting a very colorful Asian man, who’s sense of style drew obvious influence from performers like Prince and Little Richard.

The text originally on the site read:


POPUP: Hello Ladies!!!
POPUP: I am such a rebel!!!!”

Hi ladies, my name is Wo-Hen Nankan. Welcome to my site. I am searching for a girlfriend. The picture on the left is me. Aren’t I very sexy? I am a singer and I’ve sold many records. If you’re looking for someone who has a stable life, I’m the one you’re looking for!

Feel free to browse my site. You will find me irresistible. If you want to become my princess, then e-mail me at AsianPrince213@yahoo.com. Do you like to chat? My AIM screen name is AsianPrince213. I hope you will be my inspiration for my next hit song! Also, don’t forget to sign my guestbook!

The site is full of Asianprince213’s self-image affirmations.


I think I look like a bad ass in this picture. This is a picture of me in my early career. As you can see, I have been sexy all my life. Although I may look sweet and innocent now, there were times when I looked like a bad ass. The outfit that I’m wearing in this picture is 100% silk. The shoes are made from soft Italian leather. I think I should become a model, don’t you?

It’s not entirely clear where the first reference to the site was made, but early on it became a popular curiosity shared via early blogs. In general, people couldn’t believe the arrogance present in Wo-Hen’s writing. Everyone seemed to be wondering if this could be real.

People made Asian Prince desktop wallpapers and Winamp skins.

As early as by May 6th, 2001, the man in the photos was identified on the Straightdope.com forums as the California-based Vietnamese singer Tuan Anh called “Little Saigon’s most famous cross-dressing balladeer” by OC Weekly in 1999.

By June of 2002, Asianprince213 took down his site, and put up the message as it appears today.

Sorry Ladies, I’m now taken by the most beautiful princess in the world. She is so hot, that she is even hotter than I am. I think that is good in a relationship. The girl should be the prettier one, or else she’ll feel insecure. I’m usually the prettier one. It’s been a long and hard search, but this prince is now taken.

Despite the fact that many people were already aware of the hoax, and that there was no real Wo-Hen Nankan, Asianprince213 created a blog that he so gracefully referred to as his online diary.

More sites confirmed that Wo-Hen Nankan was a fake, and that the photos were actually of Tuan Anh, like this one from Allexperts.com and this one from www.111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111.com.


Whereas the page depicting the battle of Super Greg vs. Peter Pan can illustrate how
identity can function with desire on the Internet, Asian Prince plays with identity in the
context of the Internet hoax. As mentioned in the artist’s statement, the original identity
of Asian Prince was as a Vietnamese glam rock star of the 1970’s. Over time an image
was unearthed and new meaning applied as Asian Prince. We see again the occurrence
of the novel and exotic trivialized, and though not overtly racist, functioning with the
machinery of racism. On the page we see here, Asian prince is resurrected as promoting
a new record, Modified Van. The glam star sings again, though there is no album, no
Asian Prince, no desire, nor any situating of desire. It is a hoax, or rather a depiction
of a hoax, in a stunning re-creation of an advertisement. Should there ever have been
such a person, we most likely would have ended up with the same thing; Nothing,
Emptiness, and emptiness so vivid, so intrusive so as to be virtually invisible in the
real world.

But through 2002 and 2003, more and more people created fake AsianPrince accounts on forums, and continuing to post links to him on blogs.

This blogger on jvhu.com in 2003 recounts how he once sat next to Tan Anh in a hair salon, and credits the site’s creation to “Some white Aussie guy.”

Archive.org mirrored the page 76 times in the year 2004, much higher than any year before or after. This may indicate that this meme attained some form of widespread exposure during this time.

Google Insights only goes as far back as 2004, and activity steadily falls from there.

Asianprince213 maintained his diary until 2005. His final diary entry was created when Wo-Hen created his Myspace account.

The real person and/or people behind Asian Prince to this day remains unknown.

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