We’ve all heard of the stories of undocumented immigrants who were brought to the US as babies — culturally American but legally not. But what happens if you’ve been in the US legally for decades, but still can’t obtain a green card to stay in your home country because of holes in the US immigration system that the government has no plans to fix?
ISSUE: Fall 2012
STORY: Ada Tseng
In 2006, Ana La O’ — at the time an undergraduate at UCLA — wrote a cover story for the alternative weekly newspaper LA Citybeat titled “The Hidden Classes,” about the first wave of undocumented immigrants that could afford to attend California public colleges after 2001’s AB 540 law allowed them to pay in-state tuition rates. The students she interviewed had been brought over to the United States as kids and educated in the American school system, yet they were unable to work legally and in danger of being deported to countries they hadn’t lived in for 15 to 20 years.
“It was the first time that I had spoken to people who had the same kind of psychology that I did,” says La O’, who moved to the U.S. from the Philippines when she was 11 months old. “I totally understood everything about being culturally American, but not having the same rights, feeling in limbo, and working toward this degree without knowing what I could actually do with it when I graduated.”
Except that La O’ was not an undocumented (what some call “illegal”) immigrant. By 2006, La O’ had been living in the United States legally for 21 years. Yet, for the next five years, she would continue to struggle to get a green card, until she was so fed up with the holes in the United States immigration system that she voluntarily self-deported in 2011, leaving her family and friends to move to the Philippines. Being plopped into a country she hadn’t lived in since she was a baby seemed like a better option than the hoops she would have to jump through just to be considered for – let alone acquire – a green card, after 26 years of living in this country.
ISSUE: Winter 2012-13
STORY: Malissa Tem
Spray paint cans and unfinished canvases line the floor of Allison Torneros’ shared art studio. A self-described pop surrealist artist, Torneros uses acrylic, spray paint and other media to bring her vivid imagination to life on canvas. She begins the process by aimlessly splattering paint onto the canvas until a form begins to appear. At times, it is her own face that takes center stage in her paintings.
“When you step back and look at it together, it creates its own story,” says Torneros of her work. Her paintings often reflect her mood or her personal struggles growing up as a Filipina American in the San Francisco Bay Area. While attending Catholic high school, Torneros says she was characterized as the promiscuous bad girl, and later, the innocent schoolgirl, something that Torneros believes arose out of pop culture rather than actual traits that she possessed at that time. One of her showcases features paintings of the two major stereotypes often cast on Asian American women — the Dragon Lady and the Lotus Blossom.
These days, the 27-year-old is often better known by her professional alias, Hueman. “‘I am not a robot, I am a human’ — it was a mantra I said to myself to snap out of a bad funk,” says Torneros. She has ventured out onto a bigger canvas — wall murals. It seems a natural progression for someone whose fine-art-meets-street-art aesthetic grew out of the world of hip-hop, something her late brother introduced her to. “I grew up admiring murals, but the big thing that held me back was that I was a woman,” says Torneros.
“[The mural art scene] seemed so male-dominated and ego driven, and I didn’t want to deal with it.”
But when she moved to L.A. and her work started getting bigger (both literally and figuratively), Torneros realized she had found her calling.
“When I started doing more murals, I was meeting people and I began using my whole body to do my art,” says Torneros. “I felt more human.”
How do you celebrate your magazine’s ten year anniversary — if you’re InStyle Korea? Easy: you round up the best and brightest Korean stars of the last decade. The cover spread features actresses Kim Hee-sun, Han Hyo-joo, Lee Yeon-hee , Han Chae-young, Kim Hyo-jin, Lee Yo-won, Kim Yun-jin, and Jeon Ji-hyun who serves as the issue’s cover model. The shoot stops nothing short of making all the girls look fabulous – even if they’re surrounded by large legos (in the case with Han Hyo-joo), holding a plastic baby (Lee Yeon-hee), or fawning over a cheetah in a forest (Kim Hee-sun).
Click on for the images!
With Valentine’s Day behind us and March on it’s way, we can’t help but ask- Are you celebrating White Day on March 14th? Most of us know what Valentine’s Day is, but there are much less people who celebrate the correlating holiday that happens a month later.
White day is a holiday most often linked to Japan (though it is also celebrated in South Korea, Taiwan, and China). In Japan, Valentine’s day is one in which women typically give men gifts of chocolate. There is “giri choco” given to male friends and “honmei choco” which is higher quality chocolate given to someone the woman has romantic feelings for. A month later, on White Day, the male responds to whomever has given him a gift. He may give her white chocolate to represent friendship, chocolate candy to say “I like you”, or chocolate cookies to say “I love you”. Of course strong feelings may also bring a man to give a response of jewelry and other more fancy gifts.
White Day was first celebrated in Japan in the 1970′s as an “answer day” because they believed men should repay the women who gave them gifts. The holiday ended up spreading throughout Asia, but had some variations. In South Korea, this is a holiday celebrated primarily by couples only and in China the holiday’s are flipped- men give the first gift and women respond a month later.
Didn’t get your chocolate fill during Valentine’s Day? Now you have an excuse for more!
January is National Stalking Awareness Month. It’s a crime that affects more than 6.6 million adults each year, yet stalking is little understood in the media and gravely under-reported by victims. Contributor Janice Jann breaks the silence and shares why it’s important to take this threat seriously.
ISSUE: Winter 2012-13
STORY: Janice Jann
The term “stalker” gets tossed around far too lightly these days.
“Ew, are you stalking me?” you joke when bumping into someone at the same frozen yogurt shop.
“I’m going to Facebook stalk him,” when you find out a friend has a new boyfriend.
But when you find yourself the victim of actual stalking, it’s no laughing matter.
Anveglosa made its way to the US shores during New York Fashion Week, presenting its Fall/Winter 2013 collection at Eli Klein Fine Art on Tuesday, February 12. The Hong Kong-based brand was created by Annette Chan in 2007, naming Anveglosa after her three daughters – Venus, Glori and Sabrina. Chan had in mind to design fine clothing with timeless style and eventually found success after the debut of her first collection. Her leather creations garnered her attention and Chan has used the material to globalize Anveglosa.
If you think Prabal Gurung’s Fall/Winter 2013 collection wasn’t sexy enough, just take a closer look at the heels the models rocked at the designer’s show in New York Fashion Week earlier this month. Of course, it’s all thanks to the collaboration between Gurung and Cesare Casadei, who have worked together since Spring/Summer 2003 season. The twosome debuted their new collection Casadei for Prabal Gurung at Fashion Week, featuring four exclusive styles that reflect Gurung’s military inspiration. All styles feature Casadei’s iconic “Blade” heel with a 12.5 cm golden razor blade welded to the upper soles of sandals, closed-toe shoes, and over the knee boots in colors of black, green, loden green and gold. Yup, leave it to this dynamic duo to make military look feminine, strong and sexy.
Check out a behind the scenes video with an interview of Gurung and Casadei.
Casadei for Prabal Gurung will be sold at Casadei boutiques and at select retailers and department stores worldwide.
The Oscars took place this past Sunday and while there was a lack of Asian nominees within the categories, the film “Life of Pi” emerged a big winner (which was also nominated for 11 awards), coming home with four awards: Best Director (Ang Lee), Best Cinematography, Best Visual Effects, and Best Original Score.
Congrats to all the winners! Click here for the full list of winners.
The Oscars are now in full swing! Check out some of the Asian celebrities hitting the red carpet!
Jamie Chung may be the hardest working Asian American actress in Hollywood right now. Writer Paul Nakayama witnesses the star in action.
ISSUE: Winter 2012-13
DEPT: Cover Feature
Photographer: Diana King
Stylist: Ashley Avignone @ The Wall Group
Makeup: Shelly Samia
Hair: Alex Polillo
Photo Assistant: Kevin Burnstein
Stylist Assistant: Liat Veysey
Producer: Olivia Wu
Story: Paul Nakayama