I've always been a huge fan of Eva Chen. I've been following her since her start at Teen Vogue and thought of her as a role model - not just career wise, but personally as well (her impeccable style!). However, when she left her post as the Beauty and Health Director at Teen Vogue, many have wondered what her next big stint would be. Since then, she's done some high-profile consulting and held some contributing editor positions. Now - she's been named the new Editor-in-Chief of Lucky. Even cooler - she's also the first Asian American Editor-in-Chief of Condé Nast Publications. Condé...
"Design and Synthesis of Hydrogenated TiO2-Polyaniline Nanorods for Flexible High-Performance Supercapacitors" - say what? Well, that was the name of the winning experiment of 18-year-old Eesha Khare who took the one of two runner-up prizes at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair for inventing a device that charges cellphone batteries in less than 30 seconds. It's taken the science and tech world by storm for an invention that could eventually wind up in some of our hands in the future. However, the teen is not interested in commercializing it anytime soon - she's headed...
You read correctly! The long-awaited 2NE1 comeback is now officially set for July of this year. Founder and Chief Executive Officer of YG Entertainment, Yang Hyun Suk, personally confirmed this himself. He added that instead of releasing the songs at once, 2NE1 will release one music video every month until their October showcase. This guarantees at least four songs for their album. The first song to be released is Falling in Love which is said to have a reggae feel and utilize oversea's choreographers. Concerts will be planned after the release of the album in October, but no information...
Electronic Dance Music (EDM) continues to take on the world by storm – and shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. Eventbrite has put together an interesting infographic from a recent survey comparing some of the activities and interests of EDM fans versus non-EDM music fans. Check it out below! - See more at: http://126.96.36.199/~mindlinq/audreynew/edm-fans-more-than-just-your-average-music-fan/#sthash.m0q9QP4x.dpuf
Even if you're not in town to catch the New York Asian Film Festival coming up on June 28th (they've got a cool Jackie Chan Retrospective during the fest!), you'll still be able to experience a part of the festival from your home computer with the Korean Short Film Madness. NYAFF and Dramafever have partnered together to release a collection of short films from Korea's Mise-en-Scène Film Festival (it's all shown exclusively on DramaFever!). The short films and talented new directors are: “The Visitor” by Kim Bo-young “Poison Frog” by Koh Jung-wook “Cheong” by Kim...
We've all seen the endless jokes about Asians who work in nail salons, massage parlors, and donut shops. This is often an easy target for stand-up comedians such as Anjelah Johnson and her popular skit mimicking the Vietnamese nail salon workers: Why is it such as easy target? Primarily because such businesses are in fact heavily intertwined in the Asian American community. Its easy for people to make fun of this and yet they don't take the time to understand that this is a deeply rooted issue for Asian Americans that stems from early immigration into the U.S. These comedians don't...
What I love about summer is heading out to a lot of outdoor music festivals - and being able to dress up in some quirky fashion - whether it's rocking the latest trendy accessory off the runway, or wearing a vintage piece from my closet. I recently came across these cute little accessories for my shoes: Shwings! They're definitely not for the conservative, but they do make quite the statement on your feet if you're wearing plain sneakers (I've been wearing them with my sneaker wedges!). Check them out here. Click below for some of our favorites.
World Championship gold medal gymnast Anna Li may have her foot in a cast, but that’s not stopping her
from aiming for the Summer Olympics in London this July.
ISSUE: Spring 2012
DEPT: My Story
STORY: Anna Li
When I was 4, all I wanted was a sparkly gymnastics competition leotard. My parents told me I couldn’t get one unless I competed, and they were reluctant to get me started. They themselves had been in the 1984 Olympics for China and understood the commitment and discipline gymnastics required. It was demanding, to say the very least. However, I persisted, and by the age of 6, I had started my career in gymnastics.
When I was in high school, I competed at the elite level and trained for six to eight hours a day, six days a week, in addition to attending school. My parents trained me at their gym. With their help, I won a number of titles and placed at Nationals, the USA Championships and the U.S. Classics from 2002 to 2005.
When I was in college, I was a full-time athlete for UCLA and trained to be in all of the 17 competitions each season. Training began anywhere from 5:30 to 7 in the morning and ended at noon, followed by classes till the evening. As a college freshman, I competed in every event in every meet and was the only freshman in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) selected to be on the All-Pac-10 team in the all-around. I suffered a concussion my sophomore year, but I didn’t allow that to slow me down. I captured 19 individual victories, seven on bars, two on beam, four on floor, and five in the all-around. By my junior year, I had won the NCAA Regional title on uneven bars for the third consecutive year. During my last year at UCLA, I earned my fourth consecutive NCAA Regional bars title with a perfect 10. After college, I made the World Championship Team for 2011, the year the U.S. team brought home the gold. Shortly after, I had surgery and got two screws placed in my foot because it had been bothering me.
Right now, I am training to be on the U.S. Olympic gymnastics team at the London Summer Olympics this July. Though it has only been three months since my foot surgery, training has already begun. I’m at the gym all day, every morning and every evening. When you’re involved in the sport of gymnastics, you learn about strict discipline. When you start competing at the age of 6, you know what kind of competition you are competing in, and you know you’ve got to give it all you’ve got. You train your entire life for this kind of competition. It would be sad to shy away from this kind of opportunity.
However, even with my discipline and dedication, I can’t say it’s easy training six days a week with my coaches, who happen to be my Olympic gymnast parents. And I can’t say it’s easy getting up every morning to warm up and start my strength and conditioning. By the time my day is done, I just want to go home, rest, eat and get ready for the next day. There really isn’t much time for anything else.
It’s a lot of sacrifices. I don’t have a regular 9-to-5 job. Even my relationship with my boyfriend is different from most because gymnastics is my number one priority; my relationship isn’t. Who wants to hear that?
But then I have to remind myself what my head coach at UCLA said: “What hurts more — the pain of discipline or the pain of regret? The pain of failure or the pain of regret?” There are days when I want to give up. There is no guarantee that I’m going to make the Olympic gymnastics team. There are only five spots on the team and to get a spot on the team, it’s nearly impossible. But all I can do is train my hardest, and whatever happens, happens. If I try my best and work my hardest, I won’t regret the outcome. I surround myself with people who support my goals and aspirations. My friends and boyfriend understand and support me. My parents know my body and how I train under certain situations. We trust each other. They help me move forward.
It doesn’t matter what your dream is. If you want something, when you believe in yourself, no one can take that away from you if you give it your all. If it works out, that’s great. If it doesn’t, you know you tried your absolute best to be what you wanted to be. If I can accomplish something today, I’m going to push for my dream. I can definitely say I won’t have any regrets.
— as told to Han Cho
More stories from Audrey’s spring issue here.
Actor Reggie Lee always seems to play the despicable, child-kidnapping gangster. But look deeper and you’ll find a
ISSUE: Spring 2012
STORY: Janice Jann
Reggie Lee discovered something about himself recently. “I’m actually kind of funny,” he says. “That is one part that
I’m starting to own.” The Filipino-Chinese American actor currently plays the sardonic Sergeant Wu in the NBC procedural
drama Grimm, but he’s usually known for his less-than-loveable roles in Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, Tropic
Thunder, and as a member of the Triad in the upcoming Jason Statham thriller Safe. In real life, however, Lee is nowhere
near those bad-guy characters you love to hate. In addition to his comedic side, Lee can sing and dance; his first job in
Los Angeles was in the musical Miss Saigon. “I realized if I wanted to work, I’m going to have to be a triple threat
and learn how to sing and dance on Broadway,” he says. He recounts how at 13 he had to walk two miles to get to a
bus to take acting and dance classes after school. “I think that my family has always instilled in me a strong sense of
work ethic. Even as an actor when I’m not working, I put myself back in class to keep studying and keep learning. That’s
what I love about acting – that you can never master it. It keeps things fresh.”
As one of the busiest working Asian American actors in Hollywood (he’s also in this summer’s highly anticipated finale to Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy, The Dark Knight Rises), Lee doesn’t get much downtime. But when he does, another surprising fact: “I flew home
today [from Portland, where Grimmis shot] and the first thing I wanted to do was pick my niece up from school. She’s 5. That’s who I miss the most when I go away.” Lee’s niece was even on his mind when he posed for this story. “I thought about her and the Asian role models
that are out there and I’m so happy there’s a magazine like this for her.”
How can you not love that?
For Battleground dramedy leading man, Jay Hayden, how he looks is only half the battle.
ISSUE: Spring 2012
STORY: Courtney Hong
“Is it weird that I don’t feel like I have any culture at all?” says actor Jay Hayden. “Korean people don’t think that I am Korean. White people don’t think that I am white. I’m other…the ethnically ambiguous hero.”
Fashion is art and designer Trina Turk joined forces with The Decorative Arts and Design Council (DADC) of LACMA on May 23rd to raise funds for the acquisition of new items for the museum.
In recent years, Asian American designers have come to the forefront of the fashion industry. Trina Turk, whose Japanese mother taught her how to sew at a young age, was ahead of the curve. Founding her fashion company in 1995 along with her husband, photographer Jonathan Skow, Turk’s first line was immediately picked up by major department stores such as Barney’s New York and Saks Fifth Avenue. Since then, her company has expanded to 11 deliveries per year, including a men’s line and home décor.
With food trucks, cooking demos, a festive parade, two stages of live entertainment, a landmark health awareness presentation, lots of booths to buy both authentic and offbeat Asian-themed merchandise, and much more (Did we mention lots of food?), there was no better place to be for Asian Pacific American Heritage Month than at the Eighth Annual Asian Heritage Street Celebration. Held on May 19th in San Francisco’s Civic Center and Little Saigon districts and produced by AsianWeek Foundation, the city’s largest APAHM celebration was a festive and extremely well-rounded event to bring together Asian Pacific American communities and spotlight Asian cultures. Aside from the festival’s yearly offerings of music, dance, culinary delights, arts and crafts, the Faces of Asia cultural procession, and community networking, the 2012 festival broke new ground in bringing cooking demos by celebrity chefs to foodies and in launching the first-ever National Hepatitis Testing Day.
Taj Campton Place and Asian Art Museum
ISSUE: Spring 2012
STORY: Anna M. Park
If you can’t get to India, do the next best thing. The historic Taj Campton Place in San Francisco’s bustling Union Square is offering guests the chance to experience the life of India’s great Maharajas with the modern hospitality of a Taj hotel. The Royal Retreat package includes a deluxe room, daily breakfast for two, and VIP passes to the Asian Art Museum exhibit “Maharaja: The Splendor of India’s Royal Courts.” The Maharajas of India were some of the wealthiest rulers in the world and their “toys” prove it. From gold thrones and silver carriages, to Man Ray photographs and jewels galore, the Indian royals lived in luxury from the 1700s to the 1940s.
Once you’ve satiated the senses with earthly treasures, return to the Taj to feast on delicacies from Indian chef Sri Gopinathan, who helms the one-star Michelin ranked Campton Place restaurant. Details Through April 8, 415-781-5555, <a href=”http://camptonplace.com”>camptonplace.com</a>.
ISSUE: Spring 2012
STORY: Anna M. Park
Here at the Luxury Collection
The Luxury Collection Hotels & Resorts, part of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, is an ensemble of more than 75 of the world’s finest hotels and resorts in more than 30 countries around the world. Known for their magnificent décor, spectacular settings, and unique experiences, the collection includes iconic properties like The Royal Hawaiian on Waikiki Beach, Equinox in Vermont, and The Phoenician, a sprawling property in Scottsdale, Ariz.
Their latest endeavor, inspired by the brand’s mantra, “Life is a Collection of Experiences. Let Us Be Your Guide,” is Here, an original short film conceived by the brand’s Global Explorer, Waris Ahluwalia, and actress Tilda Swinton. Directed by Luca Guadagnino and star- ring Agyness Deyn, Here is a coast-to- coast romantic voyage shot at three of The Luxury Collection’s most iconic properties, from The British School of Falconry at the Equinox, the Mother of Pearl pool at The Phoenician, and the Royal Beach Tower at The Royal Hawaiian. The film highlights the American landscape and the unique indigenous experiences that travelers seek. Born in India and raised in New York City, Ahluwalia is also an actor and designer of the jewelry line House of Waris. Details TheLuxuryCollection.com/thefilmhere.
ISSUE: Spring 2012
STORY: Anna M. Park
I have no sense of direction whatsoever, so when I got turned around in a Kyoto neighborhood, all would have been lost were it not for the sweet Japanese couple who didn’t speak a word of English but offered to take me to the ryokan I was searching for. If I had something like Florent Chavouet’s Tokyo on Foot, I would’ve been in much better shape. Filled with adorable, quirky drawings of food stands, local policemen and scenes of everyday life, Chavouet includes fascinating tidbits like what the bottle labeled “Suntory Dakara” tastes like and the differences between the various “hipsters.” In addition to fairly detailed, hand-drawn maps with important markers like “fantastic free panoramic views” and “the dirtiest restrooms in Japan,” Chavouet graphically recounts everything from his search for an apartment and encounters with local insects, to a bike theft debacle during his six-month stay there, making for a charming, amusing read. Details Paperback, $22.95, tuttlepublishing.com.
FAMILY TIES: Praised for her collection of stories, We Should Never Meet, Aimee Phan returns with her first novel, The Reeducation of Cherry Truong, a multi-generational, cross-continental family saga. Susan Soon He Stanton reviews.
ISSUE: Spring 2012
DEPT: Plugged In
STORY: Susan Soon He Stanton
Aimee Phan’s debut novel, The Reeducation of Cherry Truong, is an intricately woven tale of two Vietnamese families, the Truongs and the Vos, bound together by an unwanted elopement. Phan deftly tracks dozens of Truongs and Vos through their harrowing escape from Vietnam and struggles with assimilation in the West. Phan’s multigenerational, cross-continental saga is surprisingly palatable, as she explores themes of identity, love and redemption with a nuanced grace. Cherry, the youngest grandchild, struggles to unlock decades of secrets and bitterness from her family, dispersed between France and America. The novel’s greatest secret, and the one closest to Cherry’s own story, involves her brother Lum’s family imposed exile to Vietnam.
On Cherry’s visit to Vietnam, Lum tells her, “The things our family did to each other … they don’t make up who you are. Our mistakes don’t dictate our lives.” However, the flood of events in Cherry Truong suggests otherwise. Decisions made in the heat of the moment indelibly shape lives. Cherry’s mother, Tuyet, chooses one ill-fated marriage over another. Cam, a female cousin, has her entire hopes of romantic love decided over the course of a holiday party. Grandma Vo, the family dowager, decides to teach her grandchildren a dangerous lesson. In the novel’s 30-year span, perhaps the most heart-breaking story is that of Grandma Hoa Truong, who endures reeducation camp and a life of displacement in France, while quietly suffering a lifetime with a disloyal and abusive husband.
While Phan plumbs emotional depths in her narrative and subtle details add startling realism, her narrative hopscotching can still feel like a collection of short stories rather than a fluid chronicle. Jumping from one decade to the next, and one family member to the other, at times, creates a dislocating effect. Some of the family members’ stories are more compelling than others and I wanted to spend more time getting acquainted with the key players than diving into yet another narrative about a second cousin. Nonetheless, despite this circuitous journey, Phan has created a rich tapestry of two families’ difficult immigration to the West that feels emotionally honest in its messy complexity.
Phan’s sensitively rendered first novel serves up a fierce tale of ordinary families displaced from their homeland during the Vietnam War. Despite the numerous characters and complex plotline, The Reeducation of Cherry Truong is well worth the read.
- Susan Soon He Stanton
More stories from Audrey’s Spring issue here
When entrepreneur Dina Yuenisn’t cooking a scrumptious, home-style meal, working on her
historical fiction novel, The Shanghai Legacy, or traveling for inspiration, she’s building up
AsianFusion, a multimedia website and company focused on celebrating Asian cultures and
traditions via food, art, music and more. Yuen’s latest venture is her debut cookbook, Indonesian
Cooking, featuring beautiful photos and original family recipes that simplify flavorful, authentic
cooking. Currently based in San Francisco, the Chinese-Russian American’s journey with food
began as a 5-year-old in Indonesia, where cooking was her family’s primary love language.
She eventually became the youngest student to graduate from Indonesia’s foremost culinary
academy at the age of 12.
ISSUE: Spring 2012
STORY: Courtney Hong
Audrey Magazine: If you could cook for anyone in the world, who would you choose and what
would you cook?
Dina Yuen: Easily, my father. I cook for him whenever we’re in the same city, but I never feel it’s
enough. Being a huge foodie, he’s very flexible with his palate. I want him to enjoy great flavors
but maintain his good health so I’m very conscious about creating dishes that incorporate or-
ganic and fresh ingredients and have explosive flavors, but little fat. One of his favorite meals is Roasted Salmon with Tamarind Glaze, Garlic Stir-fried Spinach and Garlic Mashed Potatoes(using broth and olive oil instead of cream and butter). I also ply him with antioxidant rich fruits such as dragon fruit and pomegranates for dessert.
AM:Of your many professions (she’s an industrial engineer and classical musician by training),
which is your favorite?
DY:I come from a long history of entrepreneurs on both sides of my family. As young as in second grade, I started my first business in school, selling pretty stickers at a premium price. And writing is an outlet that helped maintain my faith and sanity during intense travels and the dramatic turbulence every entrepreneur endures at some point in life.
AM:How are you a strong proponent of women’s and children’s rights?
DY:One of my ultimate goals with Asian Fusion is to create meaningful dialogue and solutions
among Asian people globally regarding the diminishing love and respect for our heritage and
traditions. Consequently, I hope that a positive cultural shift across Asia will help to dramatically reduce the number of children in prostitution and increase the self-value of Asian women.