These Naptime Adventures Are A Must-See

According to Parenting.com, babies are incapable of nightmares because they haven’t yet grasped the concept of fear. Instead, their dreams are filled with silent, vivid images. So what exactly do babies dream about during these sleep-fests? Researchers are still in the dark when it comes to knowing what babies actually dream about, but Queenie Liao certainly has an adorable way of showing what she thinks these dreams consist of.

Liao, mother of three, decided to utilize her baby’s naptime for some creative art. Using household materials such as blankets and stuffed animals, Liao makes every naptime photo an adventure.

Her photo art album, Wengenn in Wonderland, consists of over a hundred naptime adventures with Liao’s son, Wengenn. Trust us, it’s quite a delight.

If baby dreams are anything like the ones Queenie Liao imagines, then we certainly have something to be envious about.

nap 1 nap 2 nap 3 nap 4

nap 5 nap 6 nap 7 nap 8 nap 9 nap 10 nap 11 nap 12 nap 13

nap 14 nap 15 nap 16

(photo source)

Throwback Thursday | How (NOT) To Pick Up An Asian Girl

Lets just make one thing clear: If you’re going to include race when trying to flirt with a girl (which we don’t suggest you do), you’d better choose your words wisely. Apparently, some people have an awfully strange approach to flirting with Asian women and (trust us) a lot of the time this won’t end in their favor. We’ve come across quite a few no-no’s ourselves and we’re here to share them. Continue reading for a list of things NOT to do to pick up an Asian Girl.


1. Do NOT make her part of your collection.

Stamp Collection

“I’ve always wanted to date an Asian girl”
“Asian is the only type I haven’t dated before”

The last thing we want is to have someone date us just so that we complete their collection of ethnicities. We understand that you may be intrigued by something new, but this is definitely not the way to show it.


 


2. Do NOT come up to an Asian girl saying “NiHao”, “Ahnyoung”, or “Konnichiwa”.

One Direction (even though I love them)

“I was at a bar with my language partner from Korea, mind you she’s fluent in English and German, and this guy approaches us and drunkenly says “Ahnyoung” in a really bad accent. She looks him dead in the eye and says in flawless English, “You’re not even saying it correctly…” and we walk away laughing. Wongfu Productions was incorrect in their “Yellow Fever” video, it is NOT true that Caucasian guys can get an Asian girl by saying hi in a foreign language with a bad accent.”

This is especially true if you’re not even sure of a girl’s race. We’ve already had to deal with a lifetime of people assuming Asians are all the same.

 

 


3. Do NOT compare her to “typical” Asian girls.

Angry Asian Girls by Lela Lee

“There was a guy who tried to compliment me by saying the way I speak and even my major in college (English) is not like all the other Asian girls. He went on talking about how Asian accents are unattractive and how it was such a good thing I was so “Americanized”. He thought he was complimenting me by elevating me above other Asians, but he really just ended up insulting my culture. No go.”

If you think that we take this as a compliment then you’re mistaken- especially if it’s clear that your definition of a “typical Asian girl” is distorted.

 

 


4. Do NOT think you’re gonna win her over by saying you like her food.

“Oh you’re Chinese? I love Chinese food!”

You’d be surprised how often we get this. We appreciate that you like our food, but that has absolutely nothing to do with you dating us. This may be an effort to try and connect with us, but really- that’s a stretch.

 

 


5. Do NOT think that racial comments are attractive.

See our post on “The New Alexandra Wallace” here.

“In high school, a boy said, “If i came to your house to pick you up on a date and met your dad, would he come at me with a samurai sword?” “

This tactic is neither cute, nor intelligent, nor charming. Quite frankly it’s just not very nice.

 

 


6. Do NOT point out that you have Asian friends to try to charm us.

21 And Over

“Once I had a guy try and connect with me by saying “I like Asian people. I have an Asian friend actually.” Did he really think that just because he got along with his one Asian friend, I would automatically think he’d be a good boyfriend?”

That’s splendid that you have Asian friends, but just like the food comment- it has nothing to do with us dating you.

 

 


7. Do NOT say you have “yellow fever” or only date Asian girls.

Watch Wong Fu’s Yellow Fever here.

“I once went on a date with a guy who complained and said his options were limited since his parents only approved of Asian girls. I don’t need a guy who thinks he’s settling for me”
“He thought it was cute to tell me he had Yellow fever.”

We don’t want someone who is dating us merely for the color of our skin. Its perfectly fine for you to have a preference to Asian girls (you can’t help what you’re attracted to). We don’t even have a problem if you only date Asian girls, but we don’t want to hear that our race is the only/main reason you’re dating us.

 

 


8. Do NOT overgeneralize Asian girls .

Alexandra Wallace

“I don’t usually date Asian girls, they always get too jealous”
“I don’t normally date Asian girls, I can’t deal with the accent”

Being like Alexandra Wallace when you talk about Asian girls would be counter-productive for you. You are simultaneously assuming that all Asian women are the same and insulting us. Heads up, this won’t work on us.

Why Japanese Youth Have Stopped Having Sex

Currently, Japan has one of the world’s lowest birth rates in the world. Although its population is 126 million, that number is dropping every year and it pales in comparison to the U.S. population of 314 million and China’s 1.35 billion. In fact, fewer Japanese babies were born in 2012 than any other year in history.

According to sex and relationship counselor Ai Aoyama, this number could drop dangerously low with the current views of the Japanese youth. Aoyama is hoping to cure Japan’s wave of “celibacy syndrome” which has young adults losing interest in both physical and romantic relationships. In fact, many do not see marriage in their future at all. In 2011, a study showed that 61% of unmarried men and 49% of women aged 18-34 were not in any kind of romantic relationship and a third of people under 30 had never dated at all.

There are many speculations as to why Japanese young adults feel no need for human affection. The Guardian argues that Japan is “battling against the effects on its already nuclear-destruction-scarred psyche of 2011′s earthquake.” This scared mentality leaves Japanese citizens with the feeling that there is simply no point to relationships and no point to love.

Some of Aoyama’s patients are in their 30′s and have shut themselves off from the world. In fact, some of these individuals can’t even touch a member of the opposite sex and prefer other forms of intimacy. For instance, Aoyama describes one of her clients who “can’t get sexually aroused unless he watches female robots on a game similar to Power Rangers.” Aside from talks and tutorials with her patients, Aoyama uses therapy, yoga and hypnosis to try and help her patients.

The Guardian also argues another reason for this loss of interest. With Japan’s current lifestyle desire, marriage and relationships simply do not make sense. In today’s modern Japan, marriage is seen as a “grave” for career-focused women.The World Economic Forum ranks Japan as one of the world’s worst nations for gender equality at work. Promotions for women in the workplace is difficult as it is. Once a woman is married, it is seen as nearly impossible because of the assumption that the woman will have children. 70% of Japanese women leave their job after their first child since it is socially expected for mothers to stay home and raise their children.  Japan’s Institute of Population and Social Security reports 90% of young women believe that single life is “preferable to what they imagine marriage to be like”.

Men also seem to have no problem in the apathy wagon. The Guardian claims that men have become less career-driven and as such, do not want the responsibility of the traditional household role as the provider.

Despite the overwhelming lack of enthusiasm, Aoyama is determined to put human intimacy back on the map. Hopefully this task can be achieved soon. According to Kunio Kitamura, head of the JFPA, the issue is so serious that he fears Japan “might eventually perish into extinction.”

 

(source) (image source)

Image of The Day: Unbelievably Cute Food Art

Move over adorable rice pandas, we’ve found something even more squeal-worthy. Samantha Lee, a Malaysian mother-of-two, claims that she is not a professional chef and has not been to culinary school. Despite this, she has been able to produce some of the most impressive works of food art.

Lee began Bento making in 2008 while still pregnant with her second daughter. With a new baby on the way, she needed a method to encourage her eldest daughter to start eating independently. This is when her creativity and skilled hands took over.

Using ordinary household tools such as knives and scissors, Lee began turning her daughter’s food into adorable works of art that featured popular characters from mangas, movies, cartoons and more.

“I’m just an ordinary, regular and average mom, crazy about making mess in the kitchen.” Lee says. But thanks to this “mess,” Lee has become an international media sensation. Lee has grabbed the attention of people worldwide and is now a kids party planner.

Check out her must-see collection of food art. Trust us. After seeing these images, you’ll be positively envious of her daughters.

fa 1 fa 2 fa 3 fa 4 fa 5 fa 6 fa 7 fa 8 fa 9 fa 10 fa 11 fa 12 fa 13 fa 14 fa 15 fa 16 fa 17

fa 18 fa 19 fa 20 fa 21 fa 22

 

(source)

Jee Kim Designs Bags for Men on the Go

Story by James S. Kim. 

Men and Their Baggage
Designer Jee Kim, founder of Peasants & Travelers, creates stylish and functional bags for men, who were actually quite the bag innovators a few centuries ago.

 

It doesn’t take a fashionista to understand the relationship between women and bags. Synonymous, symbiotic, or both—it just takes a quick walk down the street of any downtown urban center to spot these two going hand in hand, or perhaps, on the shoulder or across the chest. Purses, totes, carryalls and clutch bags and more make up the diverse world of women’s bags.

It’s hard to imagine now that men once dominated the bag scene. But that’s where Jee Kim, designer and founder of the San Francisco-based men’s bag company Peasants & Travelers finds inspiration for her work.

Jee Kim. Photo by Narith Ta.

Jee Kim. Photo by Narith Ta.

“Back in the 18th century, it was the peasants who carried their owners’ belongings in makeshift satchels during travel. It was also the men who traveled long distances alone before women could, thus making them the first true carriers of ‘bags,’” she said.

Her company, as well as its name, pays homage to these early bag innovators.

Peasants & Travelers looks to bring together the oft-mutually exclusive qualities of fashionable and functional in men’s bags. Pay no heed to the jeers of “man purse” and the like. There’s something else for men besides the standard backpack or briefcase. Despite what many may think, there is a growing market for men’s bags, and Kim has built a solid footing for herself as a designer and businesswoman.

Kim, who grew up in Maryland, said she had high dreams of being in fashion and running her own business.  After graduating from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York with a merchandising degree, she secured a job with Gucci, the first of several brands that she would eventually add to her resume.

For over 10 years, Kim worked at brands that included Neiman Marcus, Banana Republic and William Sonoma. Her work took her all over the world, but it was her travels in Asia, specifically Hong Kong, Japan and Korea, that kindled her artist’s spark.

“I’ve always had a fascination with bags [and] their function,” she said. “A good shoulder bag [for example] frees your hands for multitasking. I noticed that men [in Asia] utilized bags as a fashion statement. The bag was a prominent part of the outfit. They didn’t seem to peg the bag with a gender, but embraced it.

“It was only a matter of time before American men would follow and expect more stylish bag options.”

Kim acquired valuable operation and production experience during her years in the fashion industry. The concept of Peasants & Travelers came to fruition and felt conceivable, she said, with the experience she had gained.

The company officially launched in August 2008, and Kim found herself initially running nearly all aspects of the company. Tapping her former colleagues in China, she was able to find partners in product development and design, and she would travel there for two to three weeks at a time to pick out fabrics, trims, zippers and whatever materials she would need. After finalizing the products, she would take the samples back to the U.S. herself, then haul them along to trade shows to showcase them to retailers.

The first collection shipped in March 2009. The 12-piece collection, which featured various bags, totes and carryalls in three different color waves (olive, brown and navy with black accents), began garnering attention in fashion media, including Urban Daddy, Thrillist and the New York Times. Notable retailers such as Urban Outfitters began carrying Peasants & Travelers products.

None of them, however, gained as much acclaim and popularity as Kim’s reimagining of the classic doctor’s bag.

“It put us on the map,” she said.  “It was versatile enough for work and/or for the gym. I [still] get emails requesting them.”

The bag takes after the classic doctor bag with the split-handle design on the top. However, Kim’s modernized interpretations are sure to draw glances with its unusual fabrics like cork, as well as the fine leather trim and the addition of shoulder straps.

“I think in the fabrics and the trim we use, it definitely updates the bag,” she said. “The strategy is modernizing a classic bag and making it comfortable for a guy who wouldn’t normally consider carrying a doctor’s bag, making them consider it and easing them into a style that is a bit more out there.”

Kim in her workshop. Photo courtesy of Jee Kim.

Kim in her workshop. Photo courtesy of Jee Kim.

She noted that cork is a material often used for shoes, and people don’t expect to see it in a bag. “That’s an element of surprise,” she said.

Unfortunately for potential buyers, the doctor’s bag has been sold out for quite a while, but they can look forward to a revamped, sturdier version in the spring 2014 collection.

The collection continues Kim’s vision of “fashionable and functional,” led by the weekend/gym bag, which features a separate shoe compartment and enough space for a weekend trip.

“As a creative person, you always have a storage of things that you like in the back of your head,” Kim said. “You always kind of are looking at things in a visual way. I think one of the strategies going in was, when a guy is carrying a bag into work and he’s also travelling, what are some styles that are classic but haven’t yet been interpreted in a modern way?”

Men who may be hesitant about checking out bags because of any “man purse” label shouldn’t have to worry. Men have long used bags, and now, thanks to Kim, they have some stylishly functional options from which to choose.

This story was originally published in the October 2013 issue of KoreAm Journal.  

 

Check This Out: 5 Stunning Art Installations You Have To See

Though I may not be an art buff, I do appreciate my own fair share of museum trips, checking out the different pieces and installations that line the walls and fill the empty spaces.  Seeing how people’s creative minds work is an absolute wonder and often times, puts me, and I’m sure many of you, in awe.

We’re more than happy to say that some of the best and brightest names in the art world are Asian/Asian American, and these following six installations are definitely proof of that.  By challenging our ideas of space, medium, beauty, perception and so much more, they take us to a seeming other world that you simply have to marvel at.

While they say that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” we would have to argue that these pieces are downright gorgeous.

Jung Lee – “Aporia”
(Source)

lee-jung-art-0

 

 

Ai Weiwei – “Forever Bicycles”
(Source)

ai-wei-wei-forever-bicycles-nuit-blanche-toronto-2013-2

Tokujin Yoshioka – “Crystallize”
(Source)

tokujin-yoshioka-crystallize-at-museum-of-contemporary-art-tokyo-designboom-23

Soo Sunny Park – “Unwoven Light”
(Source)

Sunny Park

 

Yayoi Kusama – “Infinity Mirror Room”
(Source)

Kusama1

 

Kenneth Choi: Why Running Away Was The Best Decision of His Life

Story by Carol Park. 

For Kenneth Choi, becoming an actor was never about the glitz or glamour. Acting was just a way he could truly express himself.

“I was always kind of an emotional, expressive kid, and I always felt I was different and weird,” says Choi. “[Acting] is something that kind of breeds [expressiveness]. I get to express myself, and it’s just the most rewarding thing when you have this dream as a little kid and you finally get it.”

Another dream? Landing a starring role in a much-hyped new series. After mostly small parts in a long list of TV shows and films, including Captain America: The First Avenger, Red Dawn, Sons of Anarchy and Glee, Choi is set to star alongside Blair Underwood in NBC’s remake of the 1967 crime drama Ironside, premiering October 2. Choi portrays the cool and pragmatic Captain Ed Rollins, working alongside a group of detectives solving difficult crimes. Underwood plays the title character, who is relegated to a wheelchair after being shot.

“What attracted me [to the series] is there’s this sort of family element that’s threaded throughout the construct of this crime drama,” says Choi. “There’s a paternal relationship between Ed and the detectives. As the show progresses, you’ll see not only how the characters evolve, but how these individuals come together as a team and grow.”

Despite his recent success (Choi is also set to appear in the highly-anticipated Martin Scorsese film The Wolf of Wall Street, due out November 15), Choi’s rise to fame wasn’t easy. When he began his career more than a decade ago, he was broke, jobless and essentially estranged from his family.

“I had a very traditional upbringing, very traditional parents,” says Choi, who was raised in Chicago. “I asked my father once directly [about acting] when I was young, and he looked at me and he said, ‘I can’t believe my son would say something so stupid.’ Those were his exact words.”

Discouraged, Choi set aside his aspirations and went to college to study business. But it was during those years of freedom that he finally realized he had to pursue acting, no matter the cost. So he quit college, cut ties with his family, and moved to Los Angeles. He ended up sleeping on the floor of his friend’s 325-square-foot studio and living on a shoestring budget. And yet, “I don’t think I’ve ever been as happy as that first year,” says Choi, “even now that I have a moderate amount of success. It was just the best year of my life.”

His newfound freedom gave Choi the chance to work on his craft and audition for parts. He landed roles on television shows like The West Wing and Reba. During this time, he avoided his family, but after five years, Choi could no longer stay away. One day, he decided to go home to Chicago.

The first thing Choi’s father did when he saw his son was open his arms — they hugged for five minutes. For two hours, Choi talked to his father about everything. “All this stuff came out and he just sat there and listened, and at the end of it, it was the most amazing thing,” Choi recalls. “He just said, ‘I grew up a certain way, my dad treated me a certain way, and that’s what I learned. That’s the way I learned to take care of you. All I wanted was to try and do my best. That was my best, and obviously some of it wasn’t good enough, but I always loved you.’”

Today, Choi and his father are close. Choi doesn’t regret the time he spent away from his family or quitting school. He believes it was the best thing he could have done not only for his career but also for his relationship with his father. “Find whatever makes you happy and go after it with everything,” says Choi. “Don’t let anything stand in your way.”

This story was originally published in our Fall 2013 issue. Get your copy here

Image of The Day: Kohei Matsuno’s Must-See Coffee Art

Coffee art has recently been growing in popularity. No longer do we merely see images of a leaf or a heart on top of a latte. Artists have become more and more creative with their coffee art designs and methods.

One artist in particular has been catching quite some attention for his detailed work. Kohei Matsuno, a Japanese barista, turned his part-time job into his canvas.

Matsuno began by creating detailed images onto his coffee. Often, these images were of traditional Japanese landscapes, popular manga characters and realistic portraits. Then, he decided to take his art one step further.

Feeling limited by the flat surface of the coffee, Matsuno began creating 3D pop-up coffee art. Using large amounts of milk foam, Matsuno created cute shapes with sharp tools and toothpicks.

Of course, this is no easy task. The designs often remain simple because Matsuno has only five minutes before his medium begins to melt away. Luckily, no one seems to mind the simplicity of his work. In fact his adorable work has made him one of the most popular latte artists in Japan.

Check out his work below:

ca 1 ca 2 ca 3 ca 4 ca 5 ca 6 ca 7 ca 8 ca 9 ca 10

(source)

 

Get a K-pop Complexion: AmorePacific Color Control Cushion Compact

AmorePacific Color Control Cushion Compact

Coverage: Sheer

Shades: 4 (104, 106, 204, 208)

Price: $60

Benefits: SPF 50; Green Tea Treatment Complex™ brightens, prevents skin irritation, and provides antioxidant protection; hydrating bamboo sap formula replaces traditional water in oil base for deep moisturization. Their exclusive Long-Lasting Complex™ proprietary skin technology fills micro lines and ensures color builds into fine even layers.

Review: This CC compact comes in liquid form that turns into an emulsion on skin. It comes with its own specially designed anti-microbial “ruby-cell” puff which helps enhance the cooling feature of the sponge. You press the puff into the sponge, and liquid squeezes out. I like to swipe it on in short little strokes, rather than pat it on as recommended; I feel like I get more coverage that way. I tried the 204, which is Tan Gold — it sounds much darker than it actually is. The shade was fine for my light to medium Asian skin tone. However, the formula is very, very sheer, and I felt I needed to swipe on at least several layers to get any sort of coverage. It’s great for warm weather when a cream would feel suffocating on skin, or for oily skin that can’t take a cream. The finish is quite shiny, though, so make sure you dust on some powder.

 

Asian Woman Turns To Photoshop To Change Appearance

Yesterday, we pointed out that the pressure to be thin is only one of the many issues that Asian women face. The need to be beautiful seems to increase daily and Asian women are taking extreme measures to get there.

One such measure is surgery. Last month, the public couldn’t stop talking about television personality Julie Chen and her decision to go under the knife to progress her career. Of course, this is nothing compared to the startling amount of surgeries happening in Asia.

Korean photographer Ji Yeo claims, “Plastic surgery has become an integral part of Korea’s current culture, often regarded as an integral step in the self improvement process. It is a culture where men are judged on their financial balance sheet and women on their beauty. The male-dominated media endlessly reinforces its model of the idea woman. As a result of these cultural forces Korea has become a beauty-oriented society where people are judged more for their appearance than their character.”

In fact, a Korean woman recently went through a number of surgical procedures to look like Victoria’s Secret model, Miranda Kerr. Of course, all this comes with a price. Aside from the rather large sum of money women are coughing up to be more beautiful, surgery runs the risk of long-term complications. Take Xiao Lian for example. The already pretty woman decided to get surgery on her face and is now struggling with the deterioration of her face years later.

So what’s a girl to do when she doesn’t want the risks of surgery, but can’t deal with the overwhelming pressure to be beautiful? Apparently, some Asian women are turning to photoshop.

The rise of social media and online dating has its share of ups and downs. A notable downside to online dating is the misleading profile pictures. Who hasn’t heard of proper “myspace angles” when taking pictures or the infamous guy who posts up a pictures of himself ten years younger. Social media users have all been warned time and time again– what you see is not necessarily what you get.

A Chinese news and gossip site recently posted up pictures of a woman before and after photoshop. The images quickly went viral and left many Chinese readers in disbelief. World News Views reports, “Reactions ranged from impressed to shocked to downright disturbed that such a ‘plain’ person could become a radiant beauty when equipped with the right tools. Some people needed to be convinced that it was even the same girl.”

To many of us, the altering of pictures is nothing new. In fact, this has become so common that there are even mobile apps which “beautify” pictures as well. For example, the app Beauty Plus smoothens pores, slims down your face, and brightens your eyes with just one tap.

The pressure to be beautiful will surely increase with the rise in photoshop and beauty apps. So tell us what you think– Is it too much? Did this girl even need photoshop to begin with?

shop 1 shop 2 shop 3


shop 4 shop 5