Ties that (Un)Bind: Q&A with Filmmaker James Y. Shih

James Y. Shih is a filmmaker currently working on a short film entitled Ahma & Alan--a drama about a Taiwanese grandmother who travels from her rural small town to Taipei to get her American-born grandson out of jail. TaiwaneseAmerican.org's Ho Chie Tsai speaks with James about his path in film-making and this current project now in post-production. Ho Chie: Hi James. Good to chat with you today. What an interesting project you've been working on lately! James: Hi Ho Chie! Thank you…

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…

The First Taiwan Film Festival in Boston Puts Documentaries Front and Center

These past few years have been full of cinematic milestones for Asian Americans. Fresh Off the Boat season six hit TV screens (and laptops), while Crazy Rich Asians insisted on some long overdue decadence and romance, finally free of Orientalist tropes or tokenization. Despite the commercial success and generally good reception of both, I couldn’t help but still feel unrepresented. As a third culture kid, I could connect with bits and pieces of the Asian American topics, but the other side…

Sharing Spaces: Taiwanese Indigenous Art Connects Tradition with New Audiences

Djanav Zengror’s greeting flies through the air, and then the rest of the Ayi-Yanga troupe fills the cozy lounge of the Hearst Museum of Anthropology with harmonies. Within the intimate room, the music transports us to a wide-open space and readily calls to mind the verdant mountains of Taiwan. Their song, “Home Direction” (指路), starts with the hunter’s call. When his people hear him, they run to welcome him home. Through the interpreter, UC Berkeley student Cynthia Ji, Zengror explains…

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…

New on Netflix: A Taiwanese Tale of Two Cities

An Interview with “A Taiwanese Tale of Two Cities” actor Denny Huang When Denny Huang decided to move to Taipei in 2005 as a young adult, he had no idea what he was going to do. As a Taiwanese American born in Houston, he barely spoke Mandarin at the time, and when he started pursuing acting roles, he realized his American-accent would be an issue. To manage, as he was slowly building his film & TV career (with roles in TV dramas like “Bull Fighting” and “Across the Ocean to…

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…

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…

LATE LIFE: The Chien-Ming Wang Story in Theaters

The first and only Taiwanese player for the New York Yankees, Chien-Ming Wang held many titles: American League Wins Leader, World Series Champion, Olympian, Time 100 Most Influential, and The Pride of Taiwan. He had it all--until a 2008 injury forever altered the course of his career. LATE LIFE: The Chien-Ming Wang Story--named after the late sinking action on his signature pitch--follows the rise and fall of the international icon as he fights his way back into the Major Leagues through endless…