A Preference for Breathing p.2: Examining Our Warts

To visualize of white supremacy as a societal context, I think of a joke that writer David Foster Wallace used to open a commencement speech: “there are these two young fish swimming along; and they happen to meet an older fish, who nods to them and says ‘morning boys, how’s the water?’ And the two young fish swim on for a bit, and then eventually one looks over to the other and says “What the hell is water?” While Wallace’s intention was not to discuss the effects of living in a [global] society that functions to perpetuate white supremacy, I have co-opted it for this purpose. Discussed in part one, originally published in the Asian American Arts Zine Volume II, as members of historically undervalued groups, we often communicate to the dominating force as opposed to each other. This realization has urged me to focus on communicating to my fellow people of color and AIPA’s. I think it is necessary and urgent to speak directly to you, rather than continue to tailor discussion to the dominant group, so that some of the information can be disseminated back down to each other. Continue reading A Preference for Breathing p.2: Examining Our Warts

What Avatar: The Last Airbender and Avatar: The Legend of Korra Can Tell Us About Colonization, Cultural Erasure and Migration

While “Avatar: The Last Airbender” showed us how Earth, Water and Air nations grappled with Fire nation colonialism and struggled to decolonize and liberate the world, “Avatar: The Legend of Korra” was more about the aftermath of colonialism and the effects of formal decolonization and the mistakes committed by people responsible for the decolonization process. In that universe setting, team Avatar (Avatar Aang, Katara, Sokka, Zuko and Toph) were some of the most important characters regarding the Fire Nation post-colonial order. They helped to build and re-shape the new societies and status of the nations and to make amends and reparations to what the Fire nation did to the rest of the world. Continue reading What Avatar: The Last Airbender and Avatar: The Legend of Korra Can Tell Us About Colonization, Cultural Erasure and Migration

I Want to Eat Your Pancreas (君の膵臓をたべたい) : What it Means to “Live”

There is no doubt in my mind that Japanese anime has always had a foothold on international markets, but it was only until recently that there has been a boom of full length Japanese animated films sparking excitement markedly similar to the initial release of Hayao Miyazaki’s work. Non-anime enthusiasts have most likely heard of the titles, A Silent Voice (映画 聲の形) and Your Name. (君の名は.), but have not yet been introduced to the more obscure gems within the mix. This article serves as a shameless recommendation for one of my absolute favorites, I Want to Eat Your Pancreas (君の膵臓をたべたい). Continue reading I Want to Eat Your Pancreas (君の膵臓をたべたい) : What it Means to “Live”

Upcoming Films by Asian Artists to Look Out For

On Sept. 8, 2020, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced their new diversity requirements for equitable representation and more inclusion in the film industry. Since the release of “Crazy Rich Asians” in 2018, the push for more Asian representation continues as more and more studio executives realize the significance and impact of diversity and representation in film. Here are upcoming films by Asian artists to look out for: Continue reading Upcoming Films by Asian Artists to Look Out For

Shining a Light on a Little Voice that is Acceptance, Arranged Marriage, and Big Families

Little Voice follows a diverse cast of creatively talented individuals who make a living through music in New York City. Leading the cast with strong musical performances is Brittany O’Grady, who stars as Bess Alice King, along with her musical writing partner and accompanist Colton Ryan, starring as Samuel. The show also features big powerhouse names attached to the franchise, such as J.J. Abrahams (Star Trek), Sara Bareilles (Waitress on Broadway), and previously mentioned Colton Ryan (Dear Evan Hansen on Broadway). The Little Voice Apple TV+ series highlights a diverse cast with heartfelt singer-songwriter music at its core. Not only do the list of big names add to the dynamic of the series, but they are supported by a stellar cast such as the quirky and full of life Phillip Johnson Richardson as Benny, and the uplifting musical fiend older brother on the autism spectrum Kevin Valdez as Louie. Each character helps support Bess on her musical journey, while also playing a pivotal role in exploring themselves within the bright and tough city that is New York. Continue reading Shining a Light on a Little Voice that is Acceptance, Arranged Marriage, and Big Families

Not-So La Vie en Rose: “Emily in Paris” and its Unrealistic Depictions of Asian Labor Migration

Between her hot chef neighbor, professorial fling, and one night stand with a friend’s younger brother, Emily Cooper (played by Lily Collins)’s French adventures has got its viewers swooning and saying oh là là. But there are many bones to pick with “Emily in Paris,” the rom-com series that climbed Netflix charts after its release last month on the streaming site. Continue reading Not-So La Vie en Rose: “Emily in Paris” and its Unrealistic Depictions of Asian Labor Migration

10 Asian Artists in Rock and Alternative That You Should Know

These days, there are more Asian faces in popular music than ever before. However, many of these acts are concentrated, as contemporary popular music is, in pop, R&B, and hip-hop. Nevertheless, there is also a wealth of Asian talent out there for those with more alternative-leaning tastes to appreciate. Continue reading 10 Asian Artists in Rock and Alternative That You Should Know

The Rise of Authentic Asian Cuisine in America

The rise of authentic Asian flavors has become exceedingly apparent in the American culinary world. If you were to take a trip into a bustling city and choose a “modern” American restaurant, you would most likely find at least one dish utilizing traditional Asian ingredients or techniques. Isn’t it wonderful? It was not too long ago when “Asian food” was generalized to a chinese takeout … Continue reading The Rise of Authentic Asian Cuisine in America

We Bare Bears, Its Asian American Identity, and Its Movie’s Themes of Racial Discrimination

Daniel Chong’s award winning cartoon We Bare Bears has always been a symbol for the Asian American identity. The show follows the adventures of three talking bear brothers (Grizz, Panda, and Ice Bear) as they try to fit into human society, make new friends and live happily in their San Francisco home. The show began airing in July of 2015 on the Cartoon Network channel, … Continue reading We Bare Bears, Its Asian American Identity, and Its Movie’s Themes of Racial Discrimination