Watch out – the girls are back! Girls’ Generation have finally made their Korean comeback with their fourth studio album, I Got a Boy. Of course, this did not go unnoticed, as the music video for the titular track has already racked up over 24 million views in just a little over a week. The song is quite catchy (and admittedly, just all over the place) – we also couldn’t help but notice the wacky fashion of the video (which was all over the place as well).
Click on to see as some pieces we put together to create a SNSD-styled look for “I Got a Boy”! (Click the images to see where you can get these items too!)
Kyung-sook Shin, the first woman to win the Man Asian Literary Prize,
shares her thoughts on mothers, daughters and the loneliness of modern life.
ISSUE: Summer 2012
DEPT: Plugged In
STORY: Carol Park
PHOTO: Lee Byungryul
When Kyung-sook Shin wrote Please Look After Mom, she never dreamt it would be translated into multiple languages that span 32 countries. Its tale of a daughter, son and husband looking for their beloved mother and wife has connected with millions, while also collecting critical acclaim and awards. In March, it won the Man Asian Literary Prize, bestowed on the best novel, either written or translated into English, by an Asian writer. Shin is the first woman and the first Korean to win the accolade. Born in 1963, Shin published her first work of fiction, Winter’s Fable, in 1985. Today, Shin is a prolific writer and is recognized as one of South Korea’s most widely read and honored novelists.
Audrey Magazine: Is your mother an important figure in your life?
Kyung-sook Shin: When I was 16, way before becoming a writer, I took a train in the countryside with my mom to go to school. There was a night train, and I saw my mom in front of me and I thought about her. And I said to myself, “One day I’m going to write a novel about moms and dedicate it to her.” I worked on the actual novel in 2007 and 2008, but the reality is that it was being written in my mind since I was 16.
AM: What is the story about?
KSS: The story is about the reality of our world today, and how we’ve left our mothers to live lonely lives. As the reader reads the story of the son, daughter and father searching for the mother, the reader is able to connect to something that is in them. Also, as they read the novel, it makes them think about their mothers, whom they may have forgotten.
AM: How has the response been to the book?
KSS: I was surprised to see that the international reaction was the same as that of Korean readers. What pleased me the most was when I heard from readers who didn’t have good relationships with their mothers, telling me they re-examined those relationships and about who their mothers are.
AM: There was some controversy about NPR’s broadcast of Maureen Corrigan’s review of your book, where she said readers would be “reaching for the cheap consolations of kimchi scented Kleenex fiction.” What do you think about the comment?
KSS: I think it’s just a cultural difference. Those tears are not only just from sadness but also from the cleansing and purification of your self and soul.
AM: Did you feel there was anything lost in the translation of the novel from Korean to English?
KSS:I was very satisfied with the translation. Throughout the process, the translator [Chi-Young Kim] and everyone worked closely together.What was lost was the mother’s regional way of speaking that, of course, could not be translated. Even for Koreans, the mother’s way of speaking is not a language people from Seoul speak, so it was not possible to be translated.
AM: In the story, the mother asks the daughter for a rosary. Was there a specific reason?
KSS: The rosary symbolizes the mom’s prayer and peace; she was wishing for peace and consolation for other people. All of us forget the fact that our moms are also human beings, and they also need moms, too. They were not always mothers.
AM: What’s the universal thread or message of the novel?
KSS:If you look at the very beginning of the novel, there is a quote [from Franz Liszt]: “O love, so long as you can love.” This is the theme of the novel. I hope readers remember that quote.
It’s not often that you come across an Asian American Christian rapper. But Gowe (Gifted on West East) is unique for reasons greater than the myriad of adjectives that describe his background.
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.”
While KPOP’s popularity is undeniably making it’s rounds and creating a Beatles-like sort of pandemonium around the world, let us bring your attention to something just a little different: Korean hip hop. While Korean hip hop may not be on the world map like KPOP, it is definitely an under-appreciated genre that is well deserving of more praise.
The Amoeba Culture Concert was a prime example of that.
It’s a strange combination: a cross between Chuck E. Cheese and a trendy cafe in Seoul, but it works — for kids and adults alike. Audrey contributor Kristen Chang checks out the Little Prince Cafe in Buena Park, Calif., and enjoys seeing the world through the eyes of a child … a trendy, spa-going child.
About a month ago, my mom handed me a Little Prince flier she picked up at the Korean spa she frequents. We both agreed that it looked absolutely adorable, so we recruited my young cousins to be our excuse to check it out.
Call it the spring mating season. Call it my biological clock ticking. But recently I’ve been seeing babies everywhere. And even though I’m totally biased and it’s probably totally not cool to say, you gotta admit that Asian babies are the cutest babies. Ever. It’s just a fact. Even Hollywood seems to think so. Here’s a look at some of the cutest famous Asian babies. (I’m not ranking them ’cause that would be really not cool.)
Brangelina Babies | Maddox Jolie-Pitt
The Brangelina clan has tons of cute babies, from Shiloh to Zahara to Pax. But the one nearest and dearest to my heart will always be the first-adopted: Cambodian American Maddox Jolie-Pitt.
“I prefer to be in the middle of the action and to actually see the ingredients and touch them. Hand-to-mouth, I think, really just turns me on a lot more.” – Kelly Choi
ISSUE: Winter 2010
STORY: Jimmy Lee
Hot in the Kitchen
In every kitchen she enters, Kelly Choi turns up the heat. She subjects chefs to the glare of the spotlight on shows like Eat Out NY on NYC TV, scrutinizing them as she sautés over a hot stove. And if she can torment world-class culinary artists as host of Bravo TV’s Top Chef Masters, with challenges like preparing a dish using in- gredients from a gas station store, well, she relishes that, too. “It was a riot,” she says with a laugh. “Seeing the expressions on [the chef’s] faces was priceless.”
Yet the angst Choi put her own par- ents through could be considered far worse, especially by those in their peer group: Korean immigrants. For one, there was going to grad school for — gasp — journalism. But before that, when she was around 8, after she and her family had set- tled in Virginia and her parents began running a grocery store, Choi wanted to make “American” meals for her folks. “I didn’t know anything about cooking American food, but I knew that I wanted to quote-unquote cook. So I would open up all these cans of stuff and then heat up beans and get mashed potato flakes,” says Choi. “My parents were like, ‘Uh-uh, we don’t like this American food. We’re going to eat Korean.’”
Her skill with processed meats (“Lots of pork and beans, lots of Spam — best things ever,” laughs Choi) didn’t exactly compel her parents to encourage a culinary education. However, they would end up helping to prepare Choi, who’s also worked as a model and a VJ for MTV Korea, for her meteoric rise in the world of television just by being at the dinner table. There, she had to preside over one of the most notorious of all critics: a Korean father. “My dad was always [telling] my mom what was wrong with the food and what was good,” Choi remembers fondly.
If only her late father could see how far her cooking has come, especially with the techniques she’s picked up spending every workday with chefs. “I can’t get enough of it,” says Choi. “It’s great to be around that sort of energy.”
In fact, for Choi, it can be an occupa- tional hazard. “Now I’m so used to going to the back of the house with the chef that going to restaurants [to just dine] makes me antsy,” she says. “I prefer to be in the middle of the action and to actually see the ingredients and touch them. Hand-to-mouth, I think, really just turns me on a lot more.” — Jimmy Lee
More stories from Audrey Magazine’s Archives here.
Etsy.com has become one of my favorite sites over the years, as I scour for the cute, the vintage and the unique. New shops pop up like daisies and it can be tiresome keeping track of my favorite stores.
But Jewel Numkki’s sweet line of dresses, tops, skirts and cardigans, all embellished with whimsical appliques and handmade touches, is hard to forget.
Designer Cecilia Lee started Jewel Numkki (pronounced jool-nuhm-kki) as a hobby, and it’s blown up into a bona fide small business for her. After graduating from the University of Hawaii in Fashion Design and Merchandising, Lee worked on another clothing line before moving to California. She continued to receive requests for custom-made dresses and tops from former clients, so she decided to start her own line through Etsy.
So what does Jewel Numkki mean? “I wanted my clothing line to have a name that was youthful, fun and expressive,” says the Korean American, so she anglicized the Korean word for “jump rope.” “It gets people to ask me what it means and I can teach them a Korean word at the same time,” she adds.
To give you a head start on your spring wardrobe this week, we’re giving away a Jewel Numkki gem: a purple “YoYo Garden” dress that retails for $88 and fits any size between XS and M.
Tweet or Facebook your favorite Audreymagazine.com post and comment below with a link to your tweet/FB post (be sure to @audreymagazine it so we can see it). You have until February 2, 11:59 pm to comment, and must have a U.S. mailing address to be eligible for the giveaway. Happy Friday!
It’s June and that means the official start to wedding season! Now, if you’re anywhere near to getting married, you’re probably running around like decapitated poultry. So while I can’t help you with your quarreling bridesmaids, your in-law-to-be’s insistence on inviting your third cousin twice-removed and their truckload of screaming tots, or wrapping party favors, I can tip you off to the cutest little cake toppers ever.
Asian American artist YuYu custom makes these adorable cake toppers, any ethnicity, any outfit. Check out some of her custom combos: