Oliver Lin’s short film “To Add Oil” interrogates identity and duty

Feature images provided by Oliver Lin or from his website. Today, we’re incredibly excited to be launching TaiwaneseAmerican.org’s “New Creatives” initiative, a series that seeks to highlight up-and-coming Taiwanese/Taiwanese American artists in various fields of creative artistry. Our first guest is Oliver Lin, a Taiwanese filmmaker and senior at the Ringling College of Art and Design studying film. Oliver grew up in Taiwan and came across video editing and cinematography at a young…

“Amah Faraway” celebrates the joys of bravery and gathering at last

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="1920"] Author Margaret Chiu Greanias holding a copy of "Amah Faraway" with TaiwaneseAmerican.org founder Ho Chie Tsai[/caption] If you told Margaret Chiu Greanias two decades ago that she would become a published author one day, telling stories based on her own experiences and sometimes even about herself—she would’ve never believed it. Yet a good number of years into what she proudly dubs her “second career,” Greanias has been able to connect…

What I learned from a year of asking, “Am I Taiwanese?”

By Angela Yu, co-host of "Hearts in Taiwan" podcast I am Taiwanese American, but it’s taken me a long time and a lot of careful thought to say that. I am also Chinese American, an identity I’ve lived with for much longer. This week marks the one-year anniversary of launching a podcast that my cousin Annie Wang and I created to understand the complexities of identity among people whose families come from Taiwan, and we’ve come a long way since then. [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="1000"]…

What I Wish Li Bai Knew (Creative Fiction)

Everything I wrote was tinged with the Li Bai poem, "Quiet Night Thoughts." On a whim, I Googled Li Bai and learned that in 725, he ventured from his Sichuan home at 24 years old to wander and write. I also come from a family that left Sichuan, though we settled in Taiwan. Later in life, Li Bai was exiled from China. This time, he was condemned to roam and his writing faltered. One day, drunk and homesick on his boat, he grasped at the moon’s reflection in the water. He tipped over and drowned.…

Treat Yourself: Meet the Powerhouse Women of Twrl Milk Tea

It seems like nearly every day, a new food & beverage takes on the diasporic niche, bringing long-missed-but-not-forgotten flavors to pockets of Asian Americana. From supply chain innovations making old-school, local products more accessible to the masses, to nostalgic takes on trendy seltzers, there are ever-growing ways to experience the evolution and joy of eating well. We asked Taiwanese American food blogger Carol Lee (@hungrycarol, @nycmunchkin) to profile powerhouse Olivia Chen, whose…

Cosette Wu: The Last Night: March 11, 1947

A sudden bang made Shih Chen Jiaotong drop the stack of freshly folded laundry she had been carrying to her bedroom on the third floor of the Sifang Hospital. Another bang resonated through the building, where Jiaotong lived with her husband, Shih Jiangnan, and their daughters. It seemed to have come from downstairs. Jiaotong stepped over a few stray shirts and headed toward the stairway, trying to make out the sounds’ origin.  As she reached the second floor, the hospital ward, muffled…

Spencer Chang: “Ghost Stories” and Other Poems

From the judges, Charles Yu and Shawna Yang Ryan: "In this sophisticated collection of poems confronting personal and community history, Spencer Chang elegantly uses a variety of poetic forms, white space, and highly original images to great emotional effect. In language where violence and beauty collide, Chang illuminates historical events such as the 228 Massacre, the murder of Vincent Chin, and the sacrifice of the Chinese in the building of the Transcontinental Railroad. Ultimately,…

Claire Kuo: 公公婆婆 

I recognized Taiwan by the way it smells. The handfuls of white magnolia champaca, sold by weathered fingers and wrinkled faces for 30 cents on the road. The dense humidity. The distant, slightly sweet smell of incense and routine straw burning. The dampness of pavement after a plum rain.  I closed my eyes, breathing it all in as I stepped off the plane from New York City. This was home. My parents and younger brother were waiting to pick me up at the airport. Together, we would make our…

Phoebe Ga-Yi Chan: Formosa is Portuguese for “Beautiful”

I can still taste the candied strawberries on my tongue.  Sometimes, I wake up expecting to see a boxy, white air conditioning unit above me, rather than my bedroom ceiling. I expect to open my window and be looking down sixteen stories from the apartment complex my grandparents live in, the view of the street below obscured by the muggy, humid, summertime air.  I can still hear the sound of mopeds going by, leaving the smell of asphalt and exhaust in their wake as they head to the morning…

Britney Chen: A Taste of Nostalgia

  Over the years, I had grown familiar with the musty scent of airplanes, the sound of my footsteps on the boarding bridge, and the taste of microwavable airline meals. I had gotten used to the constant feeling of change, like a bottle bobbing in the Pacific Ocean seafoam, searching for a home. What does the word “home” mean? I’ve always struggled with answering the question: “Where are you from?” Even more so now. Is it where I was born? Where I grew up? Where I currently live?…