Taiwanese Cha Cha Cha: Judie Yang on Language, Culture, & Family

Judie Yang is a polyglot: she can speak English, Mandarin, Taiwanese, Japanese, and Spanish. Although she doesn’t always introduce herself as a polyglot, language has always been a huge part of her identity and is a common theme that runs through all her films, including Taiwanese Cha Cha Cha, a narrative short-film now playing at the Austin Asian American Film Festival. Taiwanese Cha Cha Cha explores the connections between language, culture, and family in Taiwan as it follows a young woman…

Between the Notes: Jordan Hwang brings the Taipei Music Academy & Festival to Austin Asian American Film Festival

The film begins with the universal cues of an orchestral warm up: a retrieved violin bow, the tell-tale crisp sleeves and cuff links of performance attire, the scrambling annotations, the conductor’s swelling flourish. This could be anywhere, until we catch glimpses of something cheerfully familiar, locating us in the heart of Taiwan: the interior of a double-decker bus (equipped with karaoke screens), a cup of bubble tea.  Hwang’s recent documentary Between the Notes, now playing…

We interviewed “The Half of It” writer & director Alice Wu

  FEATURE PHOTO OF ALICE WU BY K.C. BAILEY When Netflix dropped its trailer for The Half of It almost a month ago, it rocked the internet. People quickly attached themselves to the film’s universally relatable main character Ellie Chu. Ellie is a shy and smart student who devotes her screen time to helping her best guy friend, Paul Munsky, win over Aster Flores, the hottest girl at their high school. Though The Half of It begins with a seemingly conventional premise, it quickly subverses…

The Thrill of the Chase: Get to Know Taiwanese Canadian Actor Chase Tang

Chase Tang’s press coverage has the makings of a fully-fledged biography. From the headlines alone, we get a glimpse of the many communities that take pride in this Taiwanese Canadian actor: his hometown of Bedford; his alma mater, the University of Guelph; Mandarin-speaking netizens clamoring over a new heartthrob to call their own. It’s not surprising (I mean, just look at him) that each wants a claim to Tang’s rising Hollywood fame. IMAGE CREDIT: JUSTIN WU FOR CHASE TANG Born in Taipei,…

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…

It’s T-Beauty Time! 5 Great Taiwanese Skincare Products To Try

Jude Chao of the popular Asian beauty blog, Fifty Shades of Snail, recaps her recent beauty takeover on the TaiwaneseAmerican.org Instagram Over the past few years, Korean cosmetics have gotten a lot of attention from the global beauty community, with K-beauty products (and K-beauty-inspired products) showing up on the shelves of stores as mainstream as Walmart and Target. But South Korea isn’t the only player in the Asian cosmetics market. Taiwanese brands make some truly amazing products…

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…

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…