Featured Stories

ART FOR ADVOCACY: Bringing Taiwan's Sunflower Movement to Brooklyn

By Dana Ter On a damp New York evening on May 22, just a stone throw away from Bushwick Collective on Troutman Street – a street filled with graffiti murals turned into an art gallery of sorts, the open-air Bat Haus Coworking Space was abuzz with artsy hipster types. They were holding Brooklyn Brewery beers and admiring photographs and paintings of sunflowers. Speaking in Mandarin with a smattering of English, the attendees, mostly young people in their 20s and 30s, were discussing the role of…

How I Became More Involved With the Taiwanese American Community

by Nikki DePaola When I first moved to Los Angeles three years ago, I didn’t know very many people outside of my job and a few cousins. Growing up in Kansas, I was excited to be in a place known for the best Taiwanese food outside of Taiwan, and with so many options to connect with the Taiwanese American community. There are plenty of opportunities in LA for a young Taiwanese American woman. Organizations like TAP (Taiwanese American Professionals), TACL (Taiwanese American Citizens’…

Beyond Boundaries: What makes us Taiwanese?

What makes you Taiwanese? Is there an answer that’s more right than others? What terms make up that definition? I’m tempted to begin this article by listing what I feel qualifies me to claim Taiwanese identity, as if somewhere out there, there’s a scale and the more Taiwanese I can be, the more my writing here matters. Nonsense. When we create definitions of identity based on looks, language, or legalese, we use a whole host of criteria to tell people if they are enough or not. We…

Reflections on 228

To strangers who don’t know the history, 228 is just a bunch of numbers.  However, 228 actually refers to February, 28, 1947. It marks the date of the massacre of around 30,000 people and the imprisonment of over 140,000 Taiwanese citizens who were suspected of opposing the Kuomintang (KMT) government.  To certain Taiwanese people, it’s a date where blame is put on the government for what happened. To others, it’s just an incident in history where thousands died.  But to me, 228 is what…

Making History Happen

By Felicia Lin When I first heard about Su Beng, a lifelong Taiwan independence activist, former undercover Chinese Communist agent, would be assassin of Chiang Kai-shek, historian and author of Taiwan’s 400 Years of History, in 2003, I was intrigued. I wondered what would motivate a man like this and quickly decided that I wanted to meet him because I knew that his was a story to be told. What began as a simple idea to write a story based on his life has grown into a project to document it.…

The 2013 Taiwan CMJ Music Showcase

Earlier this month I had the opportunity to interview Eric de Fontenay, the organizer of the 2013 Taiwan CMJ Music Showcase for the Talking Taiwan podcast. During the interview, we covered topics ranging from J-pop to mp3 court cases. I learned from Eric that Taiwanese pop music dominates the Chinese music scene with Taiwanese artists accounting for about 60-70% of ticket sales in China. Listen to the interview: https://soundcloud.com/talkingtaiwan/taiwan-cmj-2013-musicfull-interview [caption…

Going Where No Taiwanese American Has Gone Before: Stephanie Chang Representing Detroit

I met with my friend, Stephanie Chang, at our alma mater in Ann Arbor, Michigan for an interview over ramen and pork buns. We talked about her decision to run for Michigan State Representative next year, what it is like being Taiwanese American in the city of Detroit, and her journey as an Asian American woman in public service. A: Hi, Steph! Can you tell our readers a little bit about yourself? S: I'm Stephanie Chang. I grew up in Canton, Michigan. I came here to Ann Arbor to attend the University…

The Mountain Brothers

The Mountain Brothers, one of the first Asian American hip hop groups, are back after a long hiatus. After performing with A Tribe Called Quest, having their music featured in Sprite and Nike commercials, and dropping 2 albums and an EP, the pioneers of Asian American hip hop recently released “Keep On” for CHOPS’ (Scott Jung) new project, Strength in NUMBERS. I catch up with CHOPS, Styles Infinite (Stephen Wei), and Peril-L (Christopher Wang) to talk about the new project. …

Follow Your Passion: Singer-songwriter Cynthia Lin

Some of you may have heard her smooth and heartwarming voice at Taiwanese American Professionals (TAP) and Intercollegiate Taiwanese American Students Association (ITASA) events or even watched her music lessons and songs on YouTube. Jazz, folk, and indie singer, Cynthia Lin, chatted with me about her recent tour, the release of her music video, and her future projects. For those not familiar with your work, you do a lot of jazz, folk, indie, and acoustic. You sing, but you also play the acoustic…

Magic Continues at TACL-LID Camp

It ended with a pinch, a squeeze, or even a simple hand on a shoulder. “Touch somebody who has made an impact on your life. Touch somebody who made you laugh. Touch somebody who is now your friend”. Such a simple gesture left 42 youths with a deep connection and impact after attending TACL-Leadership Identity Development (LID) Camp at UC San Diego during the month of August. It had been 10 years since I last attended LID Camp and it was now my first time serving as a camp counselor. I was…