Making History Happen

By Felicia Lin When I first heard about Su Beng, a lifelong Taiwan independence activist, former undercover Chinese Communist agent, would be assassin of Chiang Kai-shek, historian and author of Taiwan’s 400 Years of History, in 2003, I was intrigued. I wondered what would motivate a man like this and quickly decided that I wanted to meet him because I knew that his was a story to be told. What began as a simple idea to write a story based on his life has grown into a project to document it.…

The 2013 Taiwan CMJ Music Showcase

Earlier this month I had the opportunity to interview Eric de Fontenay, the organizer of the 2013 Taiwan CMJ Music Showcase for the Talking Taiwan podcast. During the interview, we covered topics ranging from J-pop to mp3 court cases. I learned from Eric that Taiwanese pop music dominates the Chinese music scene with Taiwanese artists accounting for about 60-70% of ticket sales in China. Listen to the interview: https://soundcloud.com/talkingtaiwan/taiwan-cmj-2013-musicfull-interview [caption…

Going Where No Taiwanese American Has Gone Before: Stephanie Chang Representing Detroit

I met with my friend, Stephanie Chang, at our alma mater in Ann Arbor, Michigan for an interview over ramen and pork buns. We talked about her decision to run for Michigan State Representative next year, what it is like being Taiwanese American in the city of Detroit, and her journey as an Asian American woman in public service. A: Hi, Steph! Can you tell our readers a little bit about yourself? S: I'm Stephanie Chang. I grew up in Canton, Michigan. I came here to Ann Arbor to attend the University…

The Mountain Brothers

The Mountain Brothers, one of the first Asian American hip hop groups, are back after a long hiatus. After performing with A Tribe Called Quest, having their music featured in Sprite and Nike commercials, and dropping 2 albums and an EP, the pioneers of Asian American hip hop recently released “Keep On” for CHOPS’ (Scott Jung) new project, Strength in NUMBERS. I catch up with CHOPS, Styles Infinite (Stephen Wei), and Peril-L (Christopher Wang) to talk about the new project. …

Follow Your Passion: Singer-songwriter Cynthia Lin

Some of you may have heard her smooth and heartwarming voice at Taiwanese American Professionals (TAP) and Intercollegiate Taiwanese American Students Association (ITASA) events or even watched her music lessons and songs on YouTube. Jazz, folk, and indie singer, Cynthia Lin, chatted with me about her recent tour, the release of her music video, and her future projects. For those not familiar with your work, you do a lot of jazz, folk, indie, and acoustic. You sing, but you also play the acoustic…

Magic Continues at TACL-LID Camp

It ended with a pinch, a squeeze, or even a simple hand on a shoulder. “Touch somebody who has made an impact on your life. Touch somebody who made you laugh. Touch somebody who is now your friend”. Such a simple gesture left 42 youths with a deep connection and impact after attending TACL-Leadership Identity Development (LID) Camp at UC San Diego during the month of August. It had been 10 years since I last attended LID Camp and it was now my first time serving as a camp counselor. I was…

How You Can Help the Entrepreneur Challenge and Competition Grow

By Felicia Lin With all of the mom and pop shops and businesses in Taiwan, it seems like the Taiwanese are born entrepreneurs and self-starters. One could also say that the entrepreneurial spirit of the Taiwanese transformed Taiwan’s economy over time, from agrarian to high tech. Now, that Taiwanese entrepreneurial spirit is being nurtured here in the United States. For the second year in a row, the New York chapter of the Taiwanese American Professionals (TAP-NY) is organizing the Entrepreneur…

Loops of Yarn

by Annie Lin I didn't learn to knit from my grandmother, even though she was a knitter. She spent almost every summer in the backyard of our house in suburban Southern California, perhaps because plane tickets out of Taiwan were cheaper then or perhaps because it was a way to escape the humidity of Taipei in July. When she wasn't weeding the garden or laundering our clothes with a bar of slippery brown soap, she was sitting in a lawn chair next to a plastic bag of green or gray yarn and knitting…

The Making of the Taiwanese American Identity

Growing up in the Taiwanese American community, I learned as a child the importance of understanding how history and politics shape and define our community. We become well versed in geopolitics across the span of several centuries, including comparative cases of identity formation and nationhood. We learn the story of how groups of diverse peoples living on an island, called Ilha Formosa by Portuguese sailors on a Spanish ship, became caught between the warring visions of ambitious and powerful…

"A Memories Chase" With Timothy Den of Ohvaur

What's your story? It's the simplest of questions with the most complex of answers guaranteed. For many Asian Americans, the answer begins with our parents emboldened by the pipe dream of a better life for themselves and their family. The roads leading towards this dream were tumultuous for so many generations preceding us, wrought with unfathomable hardships and obstacles.  For Timothy Den of the Chicago and Miami-based independent band, Ohvaur, these roads were a reality he experienced first…