MUST SEE: Audrey Magazine & KoreAm Journal’s 2013 Promo Video

As 2013 inches closer to its end, we can’t help but think of the incredible year that Audrey Magazine has had.

We’ve featured gorgeous and talented women on the cover of our magazine such as Maggie Q, Elodie Yung, Rinko Kikichi, Kristin Kreuk and Priyanka Chopra.

This year has brought us some of our best cover girls yet, but thats not all.  2013 also held our 10th Year Anniversary Issue. This year, we’ve begun some columns we’re rather fond of such as Audrey’s Women of Influence and Haikus with Hotties. And of course, let’s not forget that 2013 is the year we launched our revamped Audrey Magazine website.

2013 has been good to us and what better way to end than by taking part in the esteemed awards gala, Unforgettable. Though traditionally presented solely by KoreAm Journal, this year, Audrey Magazine co-presented the Unforgettable festivities and even presented Janet Yang with the first ever Audrey Woman of Influence Award. 

Check out Audrey Magazine & KoreAm Journal’s 2013 Promo Video below (watch it in HD!) and thank you all for a lovely year.


Audrey Magazine & KoreAm Journal present our 2013 promo video for our annual awards gala, UNFORGETTABLE.

Featuring our charity partner Good Neighbors (
Presented by Royal Salute (

This video was brought to you by WHITE ROSE PRODUCTION.


Audrey Winter12-13 cover lo rez


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Save The Date: Audrey Magazine & KoreAm Journal Present UNFORGETTABLE 2013

It is our pleasure to present Audrey Magazine & KoreAm Journal’s 12th annual gala, Unforgettable. This high-profile, celebrity-studded event is dedicated to honoring achievements within the past year and is an opportunity for talent to perform for distinguished and influential members of the community.

This year, in honor of Audrey Magazine’s 10th anniversary, Unforgettable is expanding to celebrate the achievements of the entire Pan-Asian American community.

Unforgettable promises to be one of the premiere entertainment events of the year for the Asian American community.

When: Saturday, December 7, 2013 @ 5pm
Where: The Legendary Park Plaza Hotel
607 South Park View Street
Los Angeles, CA 90057
Hosted by:  Lisa Ling

More information coming soon!


Accomplished Pianist Trades Keys for Camo as Soldier in Afghanistan

Story by James S. Kim

Making a career change at the age of 30 might raise a few eyebrows. If the career change meant joining the Army, that might raise a few more. If the career change meant joining the Army and leaving behind a career as a classically trained musician, that would downright turn heads.

But that’s exactly what Spc. Anne Pyungan Cho did.  When Cho spoke to KoreAm by phone from Afghanistan last month, she was just a few weeks into her nine-month deployment there. A resident of Los Angeles, she works as an automated logistics specialist and supply clerk at Kandahar Airfield. Her decision to trade in evening gowns and concert halls for Army fatigues and the landscape of a war-torn country is one that she says is layered with her love of music, desire to give back to the U.S. Armed Forces, as well as her faith.

Every Sunday, with her own free time, she leads the worship for three different services and practices with the choir on Wednesday and Saturday nights, although fighting might put these on hold. She said she hopes that she is able to help provide fellow servicemembers with some peace and comfort.

“I’m enjoying playing music [here],” said Cho. “Music is really strong—it can move people, it can encourage people.”

Cho’s relationship with the piano began at age 5, while she was growing up in Korea. She had a knack for the instrument, with a natural talent for sight-reading music, and would often play piano at her church.

After immigrating to the U.S. in her late teens, she attended Union High School in Santa Monica and, by her senior year, was considering applying for Juilliard at the behest of an instructor. But her family insisted she stay close to home while her grandmother was battling breast cancer.  So, Cho decided to pursue a music scholarship at Pepperdine University instead and managed to secure an audition.

The day of her audition, she had prepared two pieces to play before the music professors, but the response was less than enthusiastic. Before she left, however, another professor handed her a piece to play for the group. It was one that Cho hadn’t seen before and was considered a complicated piece.

“When they asked me to play some more songs, I was like, sure. I’ll just do some sight-reading, which the professor didn’t know was my strength,” said Cho.

Cho nailed the piece perfectly, then another, and another, as the professors eagerly fed her music books. “Everyone changed their minds,” she said. “They were clapping, they were saying, ‘Oh my God, you are the pianist we are looking for.’ And then I got the full-ride to Pepperdine.”

Her first year at Pepperdine proved to be difficult academically and emotionally, especially after her grandmother, with whom she was very close, passed away. After taking some time off from college, she returned to earn her music degree, and her career soon took off after that. Pepperdine eventually hired her as its music director, and she became one of the youngest ever to hold an adjunct faculty position at the university.

Cho, a self-described workaholic, was working four days a week at Pepperdine, while also performing at concert tours in Germany, Italy and Australia. She also had the chance to perform at the renowned Carnegie Hall. In addition, Cho traveled the world through her church on short-term mission trips, during which she developed a different calling as a musician—one that led her to a recruiting office last year.

She had long admired the Korean War veterans she met in Korea and the U.S.

“I was honored by their sacrifices and what they did for us as a country,” she said.

Then, after her global travels, she added, “I had opportunities to see other countries where the U.S. helped.” Cho thought it was her turn to give back.

While her job as a supply specialist in Afghanistan isn’t glamorous, Cho said she is right where she wants to be as a musician and member of the Armed Forces.

“I think the experience I had from Pepperdine, and even in Korea, built up and made [me] who I am today,” she said. “I find myself more excited and motivated every day here. I’m doing the same thing, just in a different place for a difference audience—not at Carnegie Hall, but in Kandahar.


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

Korean Woman Gets Plastic Surgery to Look Like Miranda Kerr

Story by James S. Kim

Complete makeovers aren’t uncommon. Some of us at some point might need a change in how we do things or in how we look. The question is, then, how far are you willing to change, and what type of person are you willing to become?

For one South Korean woman, it was a question of whom. On a recent episode of Martian X-Files, a Korean reality TV show that spotlights eccentric and unique non-celebrities, one of the guests was a woman who underwent plastic surgery to look like Australian model Miranda Kerr.

The wannabe emphasized that she only had work done on her eyes and nose, according to Soompi. Even from a young age, she said, people would tell her mother that she looked like an “adorable non-Korean child” and asked if her father was from overseas. One time, the guest and her mother got into a taxi. The driver, thinking that they were foreigners, asked where they were from and was surprised when they responded in Korean.

The segment followed the guest as she goes through her makeup ritual. She begins with the universal step one, foundation. The next step is her eyebrows, to which she adds a sharp taper to imitate Kerr’s. She spends the most time on the eyes, then adds some emphasis to her lips to round out the cosmetics portion.

The final step is to add in the colored contacts, given that the hair is the proper style and color. Add in some posing sessions in front of the mirror, and she’s good to go.

So why the obsession with Miranda Kerr, who visited Seoul to great fanfare last June. Some say that Kerr’s appeal is because her looks are a perfect combination of cute and sexy, a look many East Asian young women wish to achieve. For some, by any means necessary.

For those unwilling to go under the knife, here’s an extensive but relatively painless step-by-step makeup tutorial on creating the Miranda Kerr look by YouTube makeup artist Michelle Phan.

This story was originally published by KoreAm Journal

Julie Chen Feels Hurt By Asian American Community

Story by James S. Kim 

After CBS talk show host Julie Chen’s admission to having plastic surgery on The Talk last week sparked a series of headlines and debates, the TV personality said the most hurtful thing about the reaction was judgmental comments from members of the Asian American community.

In 1995, When Chen was a reporter at WDTN-TV in Ohio, the news director told Chen that she couldn’t become an anchor because she wouldn’t be “relatable” to the community as an Asian, and that her eyes made her look “disinterested” and “tired.” Chen’s agent told her the same thing, and she went ahead with the procedure.

Yesterday, the hosts of The Talk offered their opinions on the reactions to their secrets. Chen admitted that she did find some of the comments hurtful to read.

“I wasn’t that there were haters judging me for what I did,” said Chen. “What was hurtful was that the hateful comments that I read were from people within my own community. It was like, ‘Way to give in to the Western standards of beauty. You’re denying your heritage.” Well guess what? I don’t look any less Chinese. I’m not fooling anyone.”

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She continued, “I want people to understand that there are Asians born with the crease I had surgically done to my eyes, so the goal was never to look less Asian.”

Sifting through the debate shows that there are many multiple layers to issue. From racism to the merits of plastic surgery, the conversation has been incredibly diverse, and sometimes divisive, just as it was with Chen’s own family when she first told them about her decision.

The comments left on the KoreAm Facebook page was a prime example. One person said, “This shouldn’t have to do with looking ‘less Asian’ as much as it has to do with just looking less unattractive.”

Still, most comments disagreed on whether Chen underwent surgery for the right reasons. Some agreed that plastic surgery is fine as long as “it doesn’t falsely feed an obsessive, deep rooted insecurity and/or becomes an addiction.” One such example might be Korean culture, which, one comment said, has a standard of “idealized looks” where plastic surgery becomes the norm.

The Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA) applauded Chen’s confession, saying that it put Asian American issues in the public dialogue. Grace Hwang Lynch wrote on that the discussion as it happened on The Talk was “oversimplified,” but that she was glad that Chen decided to talk about her surgery and her experiences with racial discrimination.

This story was originally published by KoreAm Journal

Osaka Mayor Remains Defiant Over Comfort Women Remarks

by Steve Han

Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto asked that San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors retract its condemnation of his remarks justifying Japan’s use of sex slaves during World War II.

In a letter sent to Osaka’s sister-city, the Japanese right-wing politician said his words were “misunderstood” by San Francisco’s equivalent to a city council as he never “legitimatized or defended” Japan’s institution of “comfort women,” a term used to describe sex slaves.

“My statements … have always been consistent with my concern for the protection and enhancement of women’s dignity and human rights,” he wrote.

Hashimoto came under scrutiny across the world in May, after he said that comfort women were “necessary” for Japanese soldiers during the war.

San Francisco criticized Hashimoto’s remarks on the city’s website in June, drafting a resolution that stated that the board “strongly condemns” the Mayor’s “attitude and statements” for “justifying the state-sponsored ‘comfort women’ system which forced hundreds of thousands of Asian women into sexual servitude for the Japanese military.”

The city board’s condemnation led to Hashimoto canceling his planned trip to San Francisco and New York in June.

Asians in Fashion | Joomi Lim in KoreAm Journal, May 2013

Joomi Lim and Xavier Ricolfi at their New York City showroom.

Statement Jewels

Joomi Lim employs skulls, spikes and titanium for an edgy, high-end jewelry line.

story by DAVID YI
photographs by VICTOR CHU

It’s an early Friday afternoon, and jewelry designer Joomi Lim and her partner in business and life, Xavier Ricolfi, are running out of time. They’re conducting a meeting in their New York City showroom with a potential distributor, while simultaneously directing contractors on how to set up the lighting in the new space. They take time to speak with this reporter, before dashing off to an event at Saks Fifth Avenue to promote their line, Joomi Lim.

“It’s always this busy,” Lim says, chuckling.


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