The three winners will be chosen from ourFacebook, TwitterandInstagram platforms. We’d love to hear some awkward stories from our readers to empathize with. It can be therapeutic to let it out and leave it in the past!
Here’s the lowdown: The contest ends July 1. The winner will be announced the next day, July 2. Contest entrants can choose to participate through Facebook, Instagram OR Twitter, but please remember to submit your email to the contest page.
1. “Like” this post on our Facebook page, and share your awkward stories in the comments section.
Winners will be notified by email, so be sure to do this step! (Disclaimer: We value your privacy. Your email will not be shared with any outside parties and will be used only for the purposes of this contest.)
Once you’ve entered your name and email, you will receive a confirmation from us,email@example.com. Any questions or concerns can be sent to that address.
1. Re-post our Awkward Bunny image on KoreAm’s Instagram on your own personal account (must be public during giveaway) with the hashtag #WongFuGiveaway. Be sure to tag @koreamjournal and @audreymagazine.
When Chinese-Hawaiian American author Cecily Wong was a child, she came upon her mother crying after a phone conversation arguing with her own mother in Hawaii. She didn’t understand her mother’s turmoil then, but resolved that one day she would write her mother’s story. A decade later, the beginnings of her debut novel, Diamond Head, were in place. But as Wong investigated deeper into her family’s past — from turn-of-the-century China to Pearl Harbor to 1960s Hawaii — she discovered that the story of one girl was just the beginning. With her misunderstood father’s tragic demise, 18-year-old Theresa, pregnant, alone and heir apparent to the Leong fortune — and misfortunes — must uncover secrets long held by her ancestors. What is revealed are the echoes of the steps and missteps of her ancestors that would reverberate for generations, each wife and mother leaving a legacy of the heart that would break, or inspire, her daughters. Details Hardcover, $25.99, cecilywong.com.
THE GRACE OF KINGS
When one begins The Grace of Kings, Chinese American author Ken Liu’s epic fantasy novel debut, one cannot help but think Game of Thrones — with a slight Asian Pacific bent. After all, the saga takes places on an archipelago with geographical names like Big Island, Tunoa, Haan and Mount Kiji; and characters with “long, straight black hair” and “eyes, long and narrow” dine on pork dumplings in plum paste. And while there are also seven kingdoms, it is the story of two unlikely heroes — Kuni Garu, whom everyone bemoans has failed to live up to his potential, and Mata Zyndu, the last son of a disgraced noble family — that leads the charge. Liu, whose fantasy short stories and novellas have received every major award in the field, creates a world that is complex and utterly engrossing in this first novel in the Dandelion Dynasty series. Details Hardcover, $27.99, sagapress.com.
UNDER THE SAME SKY
Joseph Kim’s 2013 TED talk is riveting — not only because he had learned English only seven years earlier, after immigrating to the States at the age of 16 (giving a TED talk would be intimidating even for a native speaker!) but because of his topic: his escape from North Korea as an adolescent. He didn’t have help from anyone or any organization; he simply gathered as much information from the street as he could about crossing the frozen Tumen River into China — and made a run for it one clear winter afternoon. Call it luck or grace, but he made it, and eventually with the help of a Christian woman and underground activists, Kim became one of the few North Koreans to be given refugee status in the U.S. In Under the Same Sky, Kim details his life as an abandoned, starving street kid in North Korea, whose persistence and intelligence led to his ultimate salvation. Details Hardcover, $28, hmhco.com.
British-born Rana Dasgupta, winner of the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best Book for his debut novel, Solo, in 2010, offers a fascinating insight into the rapid transformation of the Indian city of Delhi in this work of nonfiction. Through eye-opening interviews and encounters with billionaires, bureaucrats and slum dwellers, as well as his own lyrically insightful perceptions, Dasgupta unflinchingly reveals the best and the ugliest sides of his adopted hometown. Details Paper, $18, penguin.com.
As a child, I always preferred classrooms that used a whiteboard and dry erase markers instead of a chalkboard. Not only did the chalk dust upset my asthma, I also couldn’t stand the occasional shriek the chalkboard would make. Besides, I figured a much better use of chalk was on the pavement to make stick figures and DIY hopscotch courses.
Now, it looks like some talented Japanese students have finally changed my mind about chalkboards in the classroom. Apparently, during their downtime in between classes, Japanese students often use their class chalkboards to create unbelievable works of art. In fact, this practice became so common, Japanese chalkboard manufacturer Nichigaku decided to host a contest to find the best Japanese chalk board artists out there.
Needless to say, the submissions from these young artists are simply breathtaking. All in all, the contest gathered around 50 submissions from 249 students (many students collaborated with one another to create their work of art). The first place winner received a 100,000-yen prize, which is roughly $809.
I don’t know about you, but after looking at these art pieces, it truly would be difficult for me to pick just one winner. Check them out for yourself and tell us which one is your favorite.
Recently, Off Beat released a list titled “20 of Hollywood’s Hottest Asian Actresses.” They weren’t wrong– these ladies really are drop dead gorgeous, but there’s so much more to these talented women as well. How do we know this? Well, we’ve featured nearly every single one of the actresses in our print and online magazine. Check out why these girls are not only hot, but also talented and deeply inspiring.
1) Rila Fukushima
The model-turned-actress, Rila Fukushima, was featured in the Summer 2013 issue of Audrey Magazine after filming Marvel’s The Wolverine. “I love a good challenge,” Fukushima admitted. “And I look for roles that speak to me somehow.”
That challenge certainly came when she took on the role as Yukio, the ninja character in The Wolverine. “The role required intense training in a variety of martial arts styles and techniques, from sword fighting to bo staff,” said Fukushima. “I think the biggest challenge was the physicality of the role. Long days of martial arts and stunts were really hard. It was both incredibly rewarding and humbling to go through it. I definitely learned a lot of things about myself.” Beautiful and kickass? No wonder she made it onto the list.
2) Jamie Chung
Jamie Chung was none other than Audrey Magazine‘s Fall 2012 cover girl. During her interview, Chung admitted that the decision to go into acting was a scary one. “[Acting] has always been a secret desire of mine. When I first started, I was so afraid of failure that I didn’t tell anyone what I was doing,” Chung revealed. “But, once I decided, I dove right in.”
Now, the actress has no problem doing what she most loves. “I just wanna do the things I love and spend time with the people I care about and cut out the bullsh-t. Life is too short,” she said. A half-second later, she added, “And that goes for food, too. If I want a burger, I’m going to eat a burger.”
3) Claudia Kim
Claudia Kim, who plays Dr. Cho in Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron, was just featured in our recent Summer 2015 issue. Kim also plays the fan-favorite warrior Khutulun in Netflix’s expensive epic series, Marco Polo. After all, who says only men can be warriors?
“To play the role of a female warrior was physically laboring and required a lot of research and training,” she said. “It’s different from playing an average male role that’s mainly based on fighting with brute strength. I needed to take good care of my body despite traveling so much and also make sure that I was focused throughout.”
4) Kimiko Glenn
Kimiko Glenn, who is most known for her role as Brook Soso on the Netflix original series Orange is the New Black, was featured in Audrey Magazine‘s Fall 2014 issue.
Glenn has openly spoken about her multi-ethnic background and how shows like OITNB aim to change mainstream television. “It was disheartening as a kid to grow up knowing that. In the real world, there is room to cast more openly, but it’s still a big issue and something that I deal with on a daily basis. This show is a great example of colorblind casting. They cast who’s best for the part. The women on the show are not the kind of people you normally see in Hollywood. I think OITNB is opening people’s minds about what they want to see.”
5) Rinko Kikuchi
Summer 2013 not only marked the release of sci-fi action film Pacific Rim, it was also when Rinko Kikuchi was Audrey Magazine’s cover girl. In the film, Kikuchi plays Mako Mori, Raleigh Becket’s badass co-pilot. Despite Kikuchi’s fear of some of the more dangerous stunts, she handled the scene like a champ.
“I wore an armor suit where I was in a cockpit while driving the robot. It was similar to [riding] a rollercoaster; I was so scared,” she admitted. “It was the most physically demanding shoot, but we [along with co-star Charlie Hunnam, who plays former pilot Raleigh Becket] really felt like pilots during that particular scene.”
6) Fan BingBing
You may recognize Chinese actress Fan BingBing from X-Men: Days of Future Past. Her character, Blink, can teleport herself as well as large masses such as groups of people, has the capability to create teleportation portals and is a skilled hand-to-hand fighter.
You probably also recognize Bingbing from the Cannes Red Carpet where she has been the talk of the red carpet fashion world time and time again.
7) Maggie Q
The talented Maggie Q was Audrey‘s cover girl in Winter 2012-2013. Most impressive of all, Maggie Q is able to understand that success is a journey. “When I first started acting, there were times where I absolutely didn’t know who I was, and because of that, the confidence didn’t follow,” she remembered. “You feel lost, and you’re always trying to find something that matters to you. But the older I get, the more I understand what my values are, who I am, what I believe in. And because of that, I’m able to have confidence.”
Now, it is this confidence that has led Maggie Q to a successful career. “My standards are very high,” says Maggie. “They’re high on set, they’re high for the writers, they’re high for myself. I told them from my first meeting that if I can’t do movie-quality action, then I’m not interested. I want to do something on TV that we haven’t seen before.”
9) Priyanka Chopra
Despite how talented, beautiful and intelligent our Winter 2013-2014 cover girl is, Priyanka Chopra admits to being a victim of bullying in high school. But rather than allow these incidents to define her, she used them to grow. “I think it gave me the strength to take adversity head on,” said Chopra. “I also learned that your life and destiny is in your own hands. Take chances, push boundaries, jump, fall, fail, cry, and then brush it all off and start all over. You will face adversity at many points in your life, but you can’t let it become a roadblock.
“The incident [in high school] upset and hurt me tremendously,” she continued, “but ultimately made me stronger. Then being back home in India led me to participate and win the Miss India and Miss World crowns. I found what I loved to do, gave it everything I had and left the rest up to destiny. Nothing anyone says or does will ever change that.”
10) Kristin Kreuk
Kristin Kreuk graced the cover of our Fall 2013 issue and won our hearts with her humble attitude and views of how looks do not define women. “She comes from a family that didn’t feed into how beautiful she is, and she was taught that your currency isn’t in your looks,” explained Sima Kumar, Kreuk’s long-time friend and stylist. “So when Kristin first started acting, and there was a need for her to look a certain way, I don’t think she even understood it. It seemed silly and stupid to her.”
Though Kreuk still strays away from being an “object of desire,” she has also discovered the empowerment that comes with dressing in whatever makes her happy. “What am I so afraid of? I love beautiful things, gorgeous textiles, colors and craftsmanship. I want to look good and feel good.”
11) Celina Jade
Celina Jade, who can act, sing and fight, was featured in our Summer 2013 issue. During her interview, she revealed a crossroads in life where she had to choose between her education and her career in entertainment.
“I decided to terminate my contract to continue my education because I realized I was not really becoming somebody I admired,” she said. Staying true to her word, Jade got a degree in management at the London School of Economics before pursuing her dreams of performing. “It’s really nice for me, in my opinion, to have an education because by having an education, I don’t have to do anything I don’t want to do.”
12) Grace Huang
In our latest issue. Grace Huang tells us all about her role in Lost for Words. According to Huang, the film can teach us all “to be brave and make a choice. In this day and age, there are so many choices we can make. You don’t have to go and study and then find someone and get married. I have friends who are single, and I’m single myself right now. Before, there were social norms where you felt you that you have to go with the flow. Now, there’s no flow to follow. This movie lets you know that it’s OK to be brave; make a choice and stick with it. Once you commit, that’s when your journey starts.”
13) Jessika Van
Taiwanese American actress Jessika Van was featured in Audrey’s Spring 2015 issue. In addition to speaking about her role in the romantic comedy Seoul Searching, Van also spoke about important life lessons she’s picked up over the years.
“As a woman — or even as an Asian woman — I’m always asking for people’s opinions or guidance,” Van admitted. “That’s just how I grew up. But because of my upbringing, I didn’t have as much faith in my own voice or my own opinion. But going through that summer of filming, with everything I did on my own in Korea and everything I accomplished on my own, I’m starting to have a little more faith in myself. Finally, I am finding that I am enough. I know what’s right, and I should listen to myself.”
14) Mindy Kaling
Mindy Kaling was our Winter 2011-2012 cover girl where she explained where she got her confidence from: “As confident as I feel, it takes an almost comically confident person to be able to say that they were destined to be in movies and television. I don’t think I was destined, but I think I am of the personality type where the rejection or odds of something doesn’t scare me. Maybe it was because my mom moved to Africa at 20 by herself, but there’s a certain fearlessness that runs in my family for things where there’s absolutely no reason to believe that it should work out. I get that from my parents.”
15) Karen David
You would never guess it by just looking at her, but Karen David– who was featured in our Winter 2014-2015 issue– was bullied as a child. How did she overcome this and build up her confidence? Well that may have a thing or two to do with inspiring parents.
“My parents have always been a huge source of inspiration — guiding me with wisdom and humility,” David revealed. “They immigrated [to Canada] with two daughters and $20. They took the leap of faith, and that has been a source of inspiration for me. They taught me to be quietly ambitious — meaning, don’t talk about it. Just let the actions speak.”
16) Arden Cho
Arden Cho, who was featured in Audrey‘s Spring 2014 issue, was able to relate to just about every girl when she spoke out about imperfection.
“It took 20 years for me to feel good about myself,” Cho admitted. “I didn’t wear shorts until a year and a half ago, and now I’m wearing miniskirts on Teen Wolf. Every girl looks in the mirror and wants to change things — I still do — but imperfection is what makes people beautiful.”
Who are the other girls who made it onto Off Beat‘s list? There’s Nepalese actress Amrita Acharia who is most known for her appearance on Game of Thrones, American actress and producer Mara Lane, and Doona Bae who stars in the new Netflix sci-fi drama, Sense8.
As for the final woman on this list, Constance Wu (most known for her popular role as Jessica Huang in the ABC comedy series Fresh Off the Boat), you’ll have to wait until our upcoming issue to find out more about her. But trust us, she is just as inspiring and talented as every other woman on this list.
The Wong Fu Team has been hard at work since the release of their first feature-length movie, Everything Before Us. Luckily for us, Audrey had a chance to stop by their office for a quick interview. We figured it was time to give these guys a break and have some fun. That’s right, we brought them Jenga.
Whilst playing a round of Jenga, the boys had to answer a series of questions about the movie and to top it off, the loser had to eat a century egg (a preserved duck egg). Okay, maybe it was a little much, but it was definitely fun to watch.
If there’s one thing we’ve learned, it’s that these guys do NOT like to lose.
Everything Before Us is currently available on Vimeo. Click below to check it out.
Part of the renowned YouTube filmmaking duo The Brothers Riedell, Chris Riedell plays Ben’s know-it-all best friend Henry in Wong Fu’s first feature-length film, Everything Before Us. Throughout the film, Henry constantly pesters Ben to fix his low relationship score and offers him unwarranted relationship advice. Riedell had previously starred in the Wong Fu sci-fi short, The Other Side of Yesterday. He also recently starred in the horror-comedy feature Crush the Skull.
About the film:
1. Describe your character in three words.
Annoying best friend
2. What is the most crucial part of being in a romantic relationship?
Communication! Talk to each other. Even the things you don’t want to say. I have learned a lot being married. My wife is amazing. I’m not so much. Also, kiss a lot, be naked a lot too and laugh. And eat food. Ya know, life stuff.
3. What would your real-life relationship score be, and why? Tough to say. I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my life. I’m better now. So I’d probably be recovering from a low score.
4. Any bloopers or memorable episodes on set? Every single day was so much fun. It was tough not to laugh and blow a scene working with Aaron. We did one take with Aaron and Joanna in the office scene where we all agreed to do the stupidest voice possible and it was terrible and wonderful. I loved it so much.
5. What is your opinion of Wong Fu as film directors? I absolutely love those guys. It was truly an honor to work with them. They create such a place of peace to work in that you feel free to try things and they always guide where you need to go. They care deeply about their characters and it always shows. As an actor you trust them and they never break that trust. I cannot wait to see what they create next.
1. What always makes you laugh? Farts. Weird pictures of dogs. People falling down. Myself falling down. Usually my wife and I are laughing about something really dumb like a picture of someone’s chin or something.
2. Your go-to comfort food? Anything with cheese.
3. Currently on “repeat” on your ipod? Swans “Lunacy”
4. A guilty pleasure you don’t feel guilty about? The National Treasure movies. Man, I love Nic Cage.
5. Current favorite place?
Always the ocean.
6. Favorite drink, alcoholic or otherwise?
Water and coffee.
7. Current obsessions?
Trying to communicate with dogs. I will have breakthrough someday. I just know it.
8. Pet peeve? Close talkers with bad breath.
9. Habit you need to break? Not sleeping.
10. Hidden talent? My emotions.
11. Talent you’d like to have? I would love to play the violin and have a super long ponytail. Then I’d just show up on rooftops and play that violin and whip that ponytail for unsuspecting crowds.
12. Word or phrase you most overuse? “I’m sorry I farted”
13. Favorite hashtag? #everythingbeforeus
14. Greatest fear? Slowly dying alone.
15. If you weren’t doing what you are doing now, what occupation would you be doing? I have no idea. Wandering the earth probably.
Defying the manners that have been drilled into the minds of many young children, Japanese artist Makoto Asano plays with his food, creating humorous works of art.
To many, a half pint Häagen-Dazs ice cream is nothing more than a sweet treat for a hot summer day, but to Japanese artist Makoto Asano, this rich dessert is an unlikely medium — and a blank canvas.
Using nothing more than the small plastic packaged spoon, Asano carves out oddly shaped faces that elicit both laughter and amazement out of onlookers. This seemingly easy task, requires more skill than most would think. Given that ice cream melts in a short period time, Asano has to work both swiftly and with precision to ensure that he does not make any wrong moves.
Although his carvings are gallery worthy, so far, he has only shown his work through his Instagram. He posts roughly once a week to keep up with his followers’ demands while also allowing his creativity to run wild.
Though he has received a lot of attention for his ice cream series, if you delve deeper into Asano’s Instagram posts, various types of foods can be found as his canvases.
To stay updated on his work, follow him on Instagram @asanomakoto.
Grace Huang discovered her love of acting after being beaten into a coma by her abusive husband — on a television show, that is. Already working as a model, Huang didn’t think it’d be much of a stretch when she was cast as a model-slash-socialite for a Taiwanese television series. “I just thought, OK, let’s try it,” says the rising Sydney-based actress, who most recently appeared on the cover of Australia’s InStyle magazine alongside the likes of Miranda Kerr and Bella Heathcote. “It actually ended up being more difficult than I thought, but that’s how I fell in love with it.”
Born in Taiwan and raised in Australia, Huang has since appeared in films like The Man with the Iron Fists, Infini and Bloodtraffick, playing weapon-toting warriors and vigilantes. Huang ventures into new territory in Lost for Words, where she plays Anna, a reserved ballerina who moves to Hong Kong to join a prestigious dance company. While there, she meets ex-Marine Michael (played by Sean Faris), and the two must battle culture, politics and language barriers to be together. Anna may seem like a far cry from Huang’s usual kickass roles, but Huang sees if differently.
Audrey Magazine: How would you describe Anna? Grace Huang: She’s very focused. She’s obviously dedicated to her dancing and her goals in life. I think she’s very brave, because once she knows what she wants, even though it gets very difficult and there are a lot of hurdles with Michael, she’s committed.
AM: Anna is very different from her best friend Mei Mei. How would you describe their relationship?
GH: They’re yin and yang. Although they’re very different and Mei Mei drives her crazy, there’s that love and that bond. It’s like family: They infuriate you, but you love them anyway. They highlight what the other doesn’t see, so it’s a complementary friendship that they have.
AM: What was it like working with Sean Faris?
GH: Sean’s a great guy. It was his first trip to Asia, so it took him a while to take it in. I told him Hong Kong is a good place to start for a first trip to Asia because Hong Kong is such a good mix of East and West. We got to hang out and get to know each other — he’s easy on the eyes, so I’m not complaining.
AM: Did you have any prior dance experience, and what did you do to train for the film?
GH: Luckily, I did have a little dance experience. I did jazz and ballet when I was a sophomore in high school. But I ended up doing more modern dance [onscreen], because there was no way I could train en pointe. Training for it was agony! I trained two months before shooting. It was six to eight hours a day, and it wasn’t just learning the routine; I had to stretch and try to do the splits. I wanted to do as much as I could to be authentic.
AM: Your past roles involved playing kickass, powerful women, but Anna is so different. What drew you to this role?
GH: I thought, “Wow, I don’t have to be a cop or an angry corporate person or a misunderstood, f-cked up character.” Then I discovered that she’s soft on the outside, but she’s actually still very strong in her convictions. There’s no ulterior motive with her.
AM: You’re a fluent English speaker. Was it difficult playing a character who struggles with English?
GH: It was hard because obviously I can do my Aussie accent, I can do my American, I can do my British, but to do non-perfect English — even though we all know people in our lives who [speak that way] — to not overdo it and seem like we’re making fun of it, that was hard.
AM: Other than overcoming racial and cultural barriers, what does Lost for Words say about love?
GH: To be brave and make a choice. In this day and age, there are so many choices we can make. You don’t have to go and study and then find someone and get married. I have friends who are single, and I’m single myself right now. Before, there were social norms where you felt that you had to go with the flow. Now, there’s no flow that you have to follow. This movie lets you know that it’s OK to be brave; make a choice and stick with it. Once you commit, that’s when your journey starts.
Lost For Words is out on DVD June 23
Feature image courtesy of Ukay Cheung This story was originally published on our Summer 2015 issue. Get your copy here.
Yes, yet another round of taste testing at McDonald’s in Asia!
Just yesterday, we showed you Americans reacting to the unique menu items from McDonalds in India. This time, Americans actually take a trip to Hong Kong to experience their McDonald’s in its entirety.
The Hong Kong McDonalds carries everything from “real” tasting fried chicken, unique french fry seasonings, to a grilled panini. The participants are left feeling like Hong Kong’s menu is more appropriate for a sit-down cafe, not greasy fast food you can pick up at a drive-thru.
My favorite part? That hot green tea latte, of course! Although this menu is very much catered to Hong Kong culture, I agree with the video; featuring some of these menu items in American McDonald’s, even if it’s just once a year, would be quite a treat!
An Asian model with 1-Day Acuvue Define in Natural Shine, top, and without, bottom.
When circle lenses took off in Asia in the early aughts, everyone walked around with big, black, monochromatic, alien-like eyes. Sure, they made your eyes look bigger, especially for those with smaller irises, but everyone knew you were wearing circle lenses. Back then, they looked pretty fake, and who knows what the manufacturer was putting in those lenses. I, for one, was relieved when longtime eye care expert Acuvue finally had the genius to come out with their version of the circle lens, 1-Day Acuvue Define (a disposable circle lens, no less). The problem? It was only available in Asia.
But we in the Western Hemisphere no longer have to wait— Acuvue Define is now finally available in the U.S., and with a few upgrades. The U.S. version is based on a recent study that showed that those with darker limbal rings — the dark outline around the perimeter of the iris — are seen as more attractive, healthy and youthful than those without. In fact, the limbal ring is most prominent in infancy and gets thinner and lighter as we age. This next generation of Define adds a realistic limbal ring without changing eye color. And for those with darker eyes, Acuvue Define in Natural Shine gives just the perfect amount of pop — a defined yet natural-looking limbal ring with fine veins of bronze in the iris to enhance the texture of dark eyes. (I like to think of them as gloss for the eyes — they even come in plano for those with 20/20 vision.) Add in UV protection, Lacreon technology, which keeps lenses moist and comfortable, and the fact that they’re disposable, and you’ve got no reason not to try them. Details Acuvue.com.
Audrey Magazine is an award-winning national publication that covers the Asian experience from the perspective of Asian American women. Audrey covers the latest talent and trends in entertainment, fashion, beauty and lifestyle.