TaiwaneseAmerican.org Statement on Solidarity with Mauna Kea Protectors

We urge Taiwanese Americans to stand in solidarity with those protecting Mauna Kea. Today, we reflect on our own island nation’s Austronesian ancestry; the many times she was confronted with imperial and colonial violence; the work of our own indigenous peoples resisting foreign and local rule. We admit that the Taiwan we know today — vibrant, progressive, technologically advanced as she is — exists in imperfect parallel with other colonized lands: historical and holy grounds turned…

New Age, Old Ways: Peter Lin Crosses Artistic Mediums and Cultures through Taiwanese American Jazz

Hey Peter! We last spoke in 2016 about your jazz band, The Lintet. What’s been new with you? My work is always a reflection of my own personal life experiences, and my personal life has been quite a roller coaster to say the least! After finishing my graduate work for jazz studies at Rutgers University, I had the pleasure to work and study with Slide Hampton for about two years, an NEA Jazz Master and my musical hero in terms of the trombone and compositions / arrangements. This experience…

Hello from Taiwan: Q&A with Filmmaker Tiffany Frances

We typically share the contributor bios at the end, but Tiffany Frances has such a dazzling background, we thought we'd open this Q&A with a little bit about her. Tiffany Frances is a Taiwanese American director and writer working in music videos, branded content and narrative film. She was selected for SHOOT Magazine's 2018 New Directors Showcase, where a trailer of her short film, WHAT I WISH YOU SAID, screened at the Directors Guild Theater in New York. Her short film MOVEMENT for…

Interview with Joyce Bergvelt, Lord of Formosa

Editor's Note: When I call for diversity in Taiwanese American literature, or English-language works on Taiwan, I mean books like Lord of Formosa. Taiwan, originally an Austronesian island, is colonized land. The hallmark of great literature about Taiwan, then, is perhaps sensitivity to this fraught crystallization of elements,  the way they arrived together under fire and pressure, and the complex ways they coexist today. Among these waves of colonizers were Dutch settlers, whose little-known…

Tricky Taipei Debuts Children’s Book Set in Taipei

Kathy is a communications consultant and the writer behind Tricky Taipei. After 7 years working at design agencies VSA Partners in Chicago and Smart Design in New York, she moved back to Taipei in 2014 and now writes Tricky Taipei and hosts Tricky Talks, an event series for international professionals based in the city. In 2018, she published Hey Taipei, the first English-language picture book about Taipei. A couple of years ago I had the idea to write a cute rhyming picture book about…

What Taiwanese Americans Can Learn From Taiwanese Politics

PHOTO CREDIT: MAX OH One of the opportunities of sitting at the masthead of TaiwaneseAmerican.org is continually engaging with the borders and expectations of this community. What does it mean to be Taiwanese, American, and Taiwanese American? What is our role as citizens of the diaspora? And, heavily on my mind in the aftermath of the November 24th election:   Do we need an acute awareness of — or even interest in — Taiwanese politics to identify as Taiwanese American? My impulse…

How our bodies domesticate/disaster: An Interview with Kristin Chang, Past Lives, Future Bodies

Reading Kristin Chang’s work revives all the little things we lose: our names for nation. Yeye and his ghosts. Papaya in Taiyu meaning wood/melon. She doesn’t tackle, but instead deftly burrows into bodies of queerness, identity, immigration, and colonialism, a laundry list of tropes Chang has somehow resurrected and dissected in new, astonishing ways. I know it’s selfish and absurd to suggest a book of this artistry might have been conceived just for me, but I swear I once begged the…

An Interview with Emily X.R. Pan, The Astonishing Color of After

Editor's Note: I'm so thrilled to share this interview with Emily X.R. Pan, author of The Astonishing Color of After. In the past decade - really, in my own little lifetime -  I have seen contemporary Asian American literature evolve from brittle myths of otherness to richer montages spanning history, identity, self, and heritage. Pan's The Astonishing Color of After is a pulsing tide of grief and wonder, chronicling half-Taiwanese protagonist Leigh's struggle to understand her mother's…

An Interview with Eva Lou, Madeleine Editions

Editor's Note: Something we consider often is how language informs how we define and experience an ethnic or national identity. We wonder about the merits of raising bilingual, or even trilingual, children, and whether our mother tongues will ever find a place in communities that do not recognize them. Our contributors have discussed loss and mourning of such languages, but also learning and discovery. With language as vehicles in mind, Taiwanese American writer Eva Lou launched Madeleine Editions,…

What ‘Bao’ and ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ Meant to Me

Traditional mama’s girls who need a support group, I am here for you. Contains tiny spoilers.  Anyone who's even vaguely heard of me knows that I'm a mama's girl. My life's work navigates a strange dichotomy between "hot pot of rice that don't need no side dish" and "most filial child #1." Like many of my Asian American friends, I am independent, opinionated, and strong-willed. But I have never believed that my life is wholly my own. So you understand why I might be frustrated by polarizing…