Introducing Taiwan Mixed: An Aggregator for English-Language Taiwan News

L: Hi Salina! Thanks for taking the time to chat. Tell us about this aggregator project.  S: Taiwan Mixed is a platform that aggregates English content on Taiwan. In particular, the aggregator seeks to support Taiwan-based independent media outlets that release English articles related to developments on the island and beyond. It also seeks to support organizations that share the same mission of sharing Taiwanese culture with an international audience and disseminating information about Taiwan…

Director Zero Chou on “Spider Lilies” and the Evolution of Taiwanese Queer Cinema

Zero Chou is the director of Spider Lilies, a compelling psychodrama released in 2007 that explores Taiwan’s online culture in the early 21st century. It remains influential to this day as one of the earliest queer films in Taiwan. Winner of the 2007 Teddy Award for Best/Gay Lesbian Feature Film, Spider Lilies was streamed at The Austin Asian American Film Festival (AAAFF) in a virtual, six-film series celebrating the past and present of queer Taiwanese cinema available September 4-13, 2020…

Meet High Schooler-Founded Social Impact Small Business ‘Formosa’

IMAGE CREDITS: FORMOSA Many high school students who are of Taiwanese ethnicity spend a summer teaching English in Taiwan. Through programs such as Vox Nativa (Vox) and Connexpedition, these students have the opportunity to create connections with the native Taiwanese community. However, for Bay Area rising high school seniors and best friends, Marianne and Serena, they took their treasured memories from their summer teaching Indigenous Taiwanese children with Vox and launched a small business…

The Formosa Coffee Brings Taiwan-grown Beans to US

During the past decade, Taiwan's burgeoning coffee scene has gained more attention, but the stories from news articles have tended towards the creative cafes and talented baristas who import quality beans from other major producers in the world. Rarely told is the story of Taiwan's own home-grown coffee bean. For connoisseurs of fine coffee, many do know that some of the best beans are grown in the high mountain regions around Yunlin county--a perfect altitude for production. In fact, if one visits…

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…