Maggie Q to Star in New Series About a Famous Chinese Pirate

Maggie Q, the Vietnamese-American actress known for her role alongside Tom Cruise in Mission: Impossible III and her leading role in the CW action series Nikita, is confirmed to star in a historical miniseries titled Red Flag.

Set in 1800’s China, Red Flag follows the true story of the famous Ching Shih, a Chinese prostitute who eventually became one of history’s most powerful pirates. Ching gained control of the South China Sea with her crew of 100,000 sailors and over 1500 vessels, and went on to conquer the Imperial Chinese, Portuguese and British navy vessels during her reign of the seas. Ching is reported as having led the most successful crime syndicate in Chinese history.

“It’s exciting to have the opportunity to share Ching Shih’s real-life story with audiences that are both familiar and unfamiliar with her prominent history,” Maggie Q said on the latest project, which has yet to be picked up by a television network.

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Be sure to check out Maggie Q’s amazing cover story in our Winter 2012-13 issue. 
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Red Hong Yi’s Chinese Makeup Art

No, we’re not talking about Michelle Phan-esque YouTube tutorials. Malaysian artist-architect Hong Yi, who also goes by her nickname “Red,” has been referred to as the artist who “loves to paint, but not with a paintbrush.”

Yi, who owns her own design studio and travels for work in between Shanghai and Malaysia, is known for using unique mediums for her work. She has made portraits out of flower petals, sunflower seeds, candle wax, bamboo sticks and coffee cup stains. She’s even painted an entire portrait using a basketball as a brush.

The artist claims that she was inspired to use everyday objects for her artwork after moving to Shanghai to work. She argues that some of the most overlooked items can create the best pieces of art.

In honor of Chinese New Year, Yi has made one of her most creative projects yet. Using only make up, Yi has managed to recreated scenes from Chinese myths and create cultural and traditional symbols of the country such as opera masks, firecrackers, cherry blossom trees and goldfish.

The artist explains, “Chinese art requires a lot of precision and skill – one stroke can make a huge difference I felt that this is similar to how a woman carefully puts on her make-up.”

Check out her impressive artwork below and be sure to look into her other works here.

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Coca-Cola’s Multilingual SuperBowl Ad Produces Racist Criticism

I know what you’re all thinking right now: Not again. Not another instance of Americans showing their true –– and ignorant –– colors over social media for everyone to see. But yes, just as with the number of people who expressed their anger over the crowning of our first Indian American Miss America, Nina Davuluri, with tweets calling her a “terrorist,” so have SuperBowl viewers flocked to Twitter and Facebook to defend everything they believe to be “American.”

During the NFL SuperBowl, Coca-Cola aired a one-minute advertisement titled “It’s Beautiful,” which featured people of different cultures engaged in activities like dancing and watching movies, while “America the Beautiful” was sung in seven different languages. Coca-Cola posted a link to its Twitter with the caption “The only thing more beautiful than this country are the people who live here.”

Many people have praised the commercial for highlighting America’s diversity, but countless others have criticized it for not patriotic enough, because “in America, we speak English.”

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Miss Kansas had a few things to say herself.

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Watch the originally-aired SuperBowl commercial below.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A8iM73E6JP8

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Asians in Fashion: Kiko Mizuhara for AMBUSH’s Lookbook

Korean-American model, actress and singer Kiko Mizuhara modeled heavy jewelry in fashion design label AMBUSH’s lookbook, “Nu Order,” which they released on their website earlier this week.

The Tokyo-based design collective, Ambush Design, was founded back in 2002 by Korean rapper-MC Verbal and his graphic artist wife, Yoon. They started their second line, AMBUSH, in 2008, in an experiment in making jewelry with different kinds of metals, stones and plastics. Fans include Lady Gaga, Rihanna and Kid Cudi, among others.

The digital lookbook features Kiko and another model in clunky metal pieces, including chains, cuffs and bangles.

Creative direction: AMBUSH®
Stylist: Anna Trevelyan
Photographer: Kevin Amato
Model: Kiko Mizuhara, Anthony
Hair : Tony Kelly
Make up: Michael Anthony
Nail: Naomi Yasuda

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Bruno Mars Dedicates His Grammy To His Late Mother

 

Singer-songwriter Bruno Mars, who is of Filipino descent, won best pop vocal album for “Unorthodox Jukebox” at the 56th annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles last night.

Mars, 28, was nominated for three more Grammys, including record of the year and song of the year for his hit song “Locked Out of Heaven” and best pop solo performance for “When I Was Your Man.” This is the second Grammy win for Mars, who won best male pop vocal performance for “Just the Way You Are” in 2011.

The most memorable part of Bruno’s acceptance speech? His heartfelt dedication to his mother.

“Ma, I know you’re watching,” Mars said in his acceptance speech, dedicating his win to his mother, who died unexpectedly back in June 2013. “I hope you’re smiling. I love you very much.”

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“It’s been five months and we’re still grieving — we’re still dealing with it and time hasn’t really healed much,” said Bruno’s sister Tiara in a November 2013 interview with ET. “We all have each other, which makes it easier,” Tahiti added.

Bruno’s four sisters, otherwise known as the singing group The Lylas, began documenting their rise to stardom in a new non-scripted series that premiered on WEtv in early November, simply titled The Lylas. In the midst of taping, the tragedy of their mother’s death occurred and the show focused on the girls dealing with their loss. After having initial concerns with a reality show, the girls found comfort in watching the footage of their mother.

“We’re so grateful to have documented our last few special moments with our mother,” says Jaime in an interview with Audrey Magazine, “that all of [the concerns of doing a reality show] are out the window.”

 

 

Asians in Fashion: Ming Xi for Zac Posen’s Pre-Fall/Winter 2014 Collection

Chinese fashion model Xi Meng Yao, more commonly known as Ming Xi, was featured in a series of breathtaking shots for fashion designer Zac Posen’s Pre-Fall-Winter 2014 lookbook in French Vogue. 

The lookbook, shot in both color and black-and-white, offers 26 dramatic photos of Ming in sweeping gowns and sharp silhouettes. Posen, known for his sophisticated style and penchant for deep and metallic hues, doesn’t let his fans down with this pre-collection. Ming poses in a variety of navy blue, gray and (of course) black dresses.

“I had no preconceptions about this career, I tend to just go with the flow,” Ming has said in an interview with CNN on her success in the fashion world. The model has walked in shows for countless high fashion brands, including Christian Dior, Alexander Wang and Givenchy. “I never really gave [being a professional model] too much thought before. That said, I absolutely love what I’m doing now.”

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A KARATE KID TRIBUTE for Tamlyn Tomita’s Birthday

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Japanese-American actress Tamlyn Tomita turns 48 today. Tomita has had numerous Hollywood TV and movie roles such as Waverly Jong in The Joy Luck Club, Lieutenant Commander Tracy Manetti in JAG and guest roles on popular TV shows like Glee and Teen Wolf.

But let’s not forget about the iconic movie that first introduced us to Tomita in 1986, when she was just 20 years old. The Karate Kid, Part II had Ralph Macchio and Pat Morita reprise their roles as student and mentor in this martial arts sequel. Tomita played Kumiko, the young Daniel’s love interest.

To commemorate Tomita’s birthday and give you a blast from the past, we present to you photos and video clips from everyone’s favorite coming-of-age karate blockbuster. Wax on, wax off.

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VIDEO OF THE DAY: “ONE” By Wong Fu Productions

Wong Fu Productions, the three-member Asian American filmmaking group considered to be one of YouTube’s elite, released another short film last week titled “ONE,” featuring Chinese American singer-songwriter Wang Leehom.

The six-and-a-half minute short, nearing the one million view count, opens on a young street musician (Leehom) performing on a cold winter’s day in New York City. Though he has raw talent, the musician is convinced that singing on the sidewalk is where he belongs; he might have been famous at one point, but in another life. Then he meets a stranger with dreams of her own, and his perspective changes for the better.

It’s a simple, sweet story that encourages others to see life as full of infinite possibilities; it’s up to you to choose what kind of life you want.

It’s also like most of Wong Fu’s other films: romantic, starring attractive twenty-somethings and geared towards Asian American youth. During Wong Fu’s college tour this year, more than a few students and campus organizations have voiced their criticism of the group, calling for less love stories and more videos that are representative of the country’s Asian American population and that cover social issues.

The men behind Wong Fu –– Philip Wang, Wesley Chan and Ted Fu haven’t addressed this critique formally.

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Author Jie-Song Zhang Calls Out “Tiger Mom” Amy Chua

Amy Chua, everyone’s favorite “Tiger Mom,” has received nothing but backlash upon the publication of her newest book, The Triple Package –– and rightfully so.

The Chinese American law professor outdid herself with yet another controversial work –– one in which she acknowledges that some races are superior than others. Online publications and morning talk shows have acknowledged Chua’s blatant racism, and Facebook friends have posted links to articles with captions like “WTF is she thinking?!”

But few have delved into the book itself and emerged with other various reasons why The Triple Package –– and Chua, for that matter –– is problematic. Huffington Post writer and author Jie-Song Zhang took to his blog in a post titled “Tiger Mom vs. Brooklyn Dragon: I Hereby Challenge Amy Chua to a Barefist Kung Fu Duel.”

“Tell me how you want it, Chua,” Zhang writes. “We could match fists across the rooftops of a small rural village, the shadow outlines of our battle poses stitched across the cold black fabric of night…We could get down in Chinatown at the corner of Mott and Bayard, with a gathered crowd of elderly Chinese men, all of them squatting and smoking cigarettes as they watch us. Whatever you want to do.”

Zhang writes that by penning controversial statements in regards to Chinese superiority as a public figure, Chua is only increasing anti-Chinese, and therefore, anti-Asian sentiment. It’s not Chua everyone will end up criticizing, but all Asian Americans. As if there wasn’t already a wedge driven between American communities.

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As for her book, Zhang criticizes the standards by which Chua measures the value of communities –– through income and test scores –– calling it “simple-minded.”

“…our nation, and the world, might come to intuitively understand that it can only be in the recognition of our great common cause, in the joining together of our individual strengths, and in the sharing of our collective responsibilities that we will pass through honorably to the next stage of humankind,” Zhang concludes.