Representation in the Asian American Community: A Roundtable Discussion

There are some pretty cool and accomplished individuals in our Taiwanese American network. During our recent interview with the first Asian American Miss Louisiana, Justine Ker, TaiwaneseAmerican.org's Ho Chie Tsai posed a question to the friends gathered: "In the work you do or the role you hold, what does REPRESENTATION in the ASIAN AMERICAN community mean to you?"In this informal and completely impromptu discussion, Justine Ker (Miss Louisiana 2016 and medical student), Crystal Lee (Miss…

An Interview with Justine Ker: A Taiwanese American Journey to Miss Louisiana

I recently sat down for a chat with Justine Ker, who was crowned Miss Louisiana in 2016 and placed in the top 15 during the 2017 Miss America Pageant. She also represents the first Taiwanese or Asian American to represent Louisiana on the national stage, a worthy accomplishment within our Taiwanese American community.Soon after she won her title, Justine and I had previously discussed trying to coordinate a sit-down interview, but our schedules didn't coincide. A few months later, however,…

More than a Chef with a Ramen Wave: Tracy Chang of PAGU

As a food explorer living in Boston, I follow the food blog Tiny Urban Kitchen by Taiwanese American Jen Che. This is where I first heard about the restaurant PAGU and its Taiwanese American chef/owner Tracy Chang, a talented culinary entrepreneur who sports a unique hairstyle (aka the "ramen wave").PAGU serves Japanese tapas, a reflection of Tracy’s culinary training at O Ya (one of Boston’s top sushi restaurants) and Restaurante Martin Berasategui (three-star Michelin restaurant…

Sweet Success: Q&A with Stephanie Chen of “The Great American Baking Show”

Stephanie Chen brought black sesame macarons, curry puffs and a pineapple bread Santa to the third iteration of “The Great American Baking Show” this year – dazzling celebrity pastry chef Johnny Iuzzini and British cookbook author Mary Berry with her bold flavors and knack for decoration. Even though the freelance advertising executive only started seriously baking about five years ago, Chen made it all the way to the finale and nearly took home the title. She shared her experiences on the…

Your New Classic Slow Jam: Music by Jerry Jean

Jerry Jean is an NYC-based Taiwanese American songwriter, producer, and musician who has been creating some beautiful compositions and music videos on YouTube for several years. I was drawn to his most recent video for his soul-inspiring original song, Do We Reach Home, featuring a captivating dance performance by Chloe Noelle Crade. Directed by José Andrés Cardona, the video showcases Jerry's solid vocal talent, authenticity, and aspirational spirit. In all of his works, his emotion-driven…

Q&A with Dmae Roberts, Author of The Letting Go Trilogies

Dmae Roberts is the author of The Letting Go Trilogies: Stories of A Mixed-Race Family. TaiwaneseAmerican.org's editorial director Anna Wu chatted briefly with Dmae about the powerful, beautifully vulnerable memoirs.* * *Anna Wu: Hi Dmae. Thank you so much for taking the time to speak with us. Could you tell us a little bit about the process of writing these memoirs? How did you come to structure the book as a series of trilogies?Dmae Roberts: Through the decades, I've written…

Through the Glass Ceiling: A Contemporary Ballet Collaboration

As the founder of TaiwaneseAmerican.org, I often meet really talented people in our community doing awesome work in their respective fields and industries. When my friend, ballerina and choreographer Ivy Chow, contacted me one day asking if I knew any composers of Taiwanese heritage that might collaborate with her on a new performance project about "breaking glass ceilings," I immediately thought of another friend, composer George Shaw, known for his many compositions and scores for popular YouTube…

The Hsu-Nami Storm Back Again with New Album

The Hsu-Nami, a progressive rock band that features an electric erhu as its melodic focus, was founded by Taiwanese American Jack Hsu. Based in NYC, this band combines the sounds of traditional Chinese folk music with a strong rock component of heavy guitar riffs, melodic bass guitar lines and punctuating drum beats. TaiwaneseAmerican.org has featured Hsu-Nami previously, and since then, they've done some very interesting things including having one of their songs featured in the 2008 Beijing Summer…

Intersection of Poetry and Movements: An Interview with Author Kenji Liu

As we celebrate Taiwanese American Heritage Week and Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, TaiwaneseAmerican.org is pleased to feature accomplished individuals of Taiwanese descent who have used their voices and talents to highlight the histories and legacies of our community.Kenji C. Liu is author of Map of an Onion, national winner of the 2015 Hillary Gravendyk Poetry Prize. His poetry is in, among other places, American Poetry Review, Action Yes!, Split This Rock’s poem of the week series,…

A Moment With Mree

TaiwaneseAmerican.org’s Kristina Lin and Ho Chie Tsai ventured to Portland, Oregon to meet with musical artist Marie Hsiao, simply known as Mree. With over 80 thousand subscribers on her YouTube channel, she has carved a niche for herself showcasing her unique and ambient "folktronica" sound. Even if you haven't heard her name before, there's a good chance you have heard her voice. In recent years, her original song "Santa Catcher" was featured in a Target commercial, and her cover of the 80's…