photographer. creative entrepreneur. community member.
I am a wedding and portrait photographer, and I have owned my businesses, Anna Wu Photography and Seaglass Cinema (videography) for over a decade. I live in San Francisco, California, where am part of an incredible community of women entrepreneurs who meet as a monthly accountability group, the Office of Accountability. And I cofounded Amber Collective, a community for Asian American women creatives in the Bay Area.
How does being Taiwanese/Taiwanese American and/or community ally play a role in your life?
I am proud to be second generation Taiwanese American and am grateful to have been introduced to the community when I began attending the Taiwanese American Foundation (TAF) summer camp at the age of ten. I later self-designed my major at Duke University around documentary studies and Asian American studies and crafted my thesis project on Taiwanese American identity. I also helped start the Taiwanese American Students Association at Duke, and they subsequently hosted ITASA East Coast in 2009. It was the first time ITASA had ever been hosted in the South. Ho Chie Tsai, the founder of TaiwaneseAmerican.org, was generous enough to involve me from the very start of the website, and I designed the original website and set up the structure it still has today. I also helped design the original 100 Passionate People projects a decade ago.
If you could teach future generations 1 thing about being Taiwanese/Taiwanese American or Taiwan, what would it be?
We have the power to build the communities that we seek. I have been lucky enough to stumble upon incredible, existing groups like TAF and to become a part of those communities. But I have also witnessed or helped to build communities where none existed before. I think this is a lesson I often learned as a Taiwanese American– an inherent minority within a minority– but it applies widely. We all seek a sense of belonging, and for many of us, that’s not readily available to be found. But together, we can create community, we can embrace and celebrate difference, and we can foster a space where we can deeply belong. If it doesn’t exist yet, we can make it.
What does the future of Taiwanese America look like to you?
The future of Taiwanese America is bright and diverse. We will continue to grow and shift as we get into later and later generations of Taiwanese Americans. We are already much stronger and our voices are louder than they were ten years ago. I am personally very excited about the future of TaiwaneseAmerican.org under the helm of Leona Chen and cannot wait to see where she leads us all next.
Favorite memory of Taiwan/Taiwanese America?
Wandering around Taipei with a huge group of TAFers in 2005, post-SARS. Perhaps we’ll do the same again soon.
Favorite Taiwanese food?
Beef noodle soup