A review of Kero Kero Bonito's new EP, Civilisation II.
Category: News & Opinions
Your go to source for arts news for the Asian diaspora, interviews with amazing Asian artists, reviews of books/movies/music by Asian artists, and opinion pieces on everything representation-related.
This month I was fortunate enough to sit down with Geoffrey Gaurano, founder of Gaysian podcast, which is centered on “the life of a recovering closeted person, coming of age and coming out, and the state of being simultaneously Asian and gay.” During our chat we got into the nitty-gritty of vulnerability, intersectionality, and Asian America. His podcast is more than just a vehicle for self-identity, it is an invitation to allies to join in the united fight against white supremacy.
Ethan and his artwork got on our radar, when he submitted a series of portraits for our October issue. At first glance I could see the depth and complexity of his art was palpable, and wanted to learn about his process. Ethan was gracious enough to squeeze in some time to chat in between work, school, and his painting; which he makes possible with detailed organization and keeping structured schedule. Over the course of our discussion, we got into how he developed his process of creating art; the portrait series he submitted; and the dialectic between art and science and emotion that cannot be divorced from one another.
A model, dancer, writer, artist - you do it all! What does a typical day look like for you? Yes! I often tell people who ask what I do, that I am a modern day Renaissance man because it’s hard to explain my career. At the forefront, I consider myself as a creative and an entrepreneur. My typical day ( in a pandemic) is to wake up quite early and workout and make breakfast after. I live a very active lifestyle given my careers, and so the upkeep of my body is very important to me. I usually begin my “work hours” in the early afternoon. Among being a dancer and writer, I am also a graphic designer and personal trainer, so my work hours vary from drafting designs in front of a computer, guiding clients through virtual sessions via zoom, and/or working as administration support for non-profit art orgs. By the late afternoon/early evening, I always plan to dance in some capacity as a sort of reward for getting through the day, whether it be just freestyling to a playlist or taking classes virtually or in person.By evening, I like to end the day by watching either some of my favorite Anime or writing in my journal as a way to unwind and reflect where I am mentally.
To visualize of white supremacy as a societal context, I think of a joke that writer David Foster Wallace used to open a commencement speech: “there are these two young fish swimming along; and they happen to meet an older fish, who nods to them and says ‘morning boys, how’s the water?’ And the two young fish swim on for a bit, and then eventually one looks over to the other and says “What the hell is water?” While Wallace’s intention was not to discuss the effects of living in a [global] society that functions to perpetuate white supremacy, I have co-opted it for this purpose. Discussed in part one, originally published in the Asian American Arts Zine Volume II, as members of historically undervalued groups, we often communicate to the dominating force as opposed to each other. This realization has urged me to focus on communicating to my fellow people of color and AIPA’s. I think it is necessary and urgent to speak directly to you, rather than continue to tailor discussion to the dominant group, so that some of the information can be disseminated back down to each other.
Food in Asian culture is more than just sustenance, especially during the holiday season. Many dishes are a taste of home. Sometimes a home you no longer live in, sometimes a home you've never been to... always a home you miss. First-generation-ers, immigrants, Dreamers, Adoptees; we're all Asian, we're all American.
Southeast Asian Inspired: Tiffy Cooks, Website: tiffycooks.com, Instagram: @tiffy.cooksQUOTE & PICTURE FROM TIFFYCOOKS.COM: “After graduating, my fiancé and I decided to take a 4-month break and traveled around South East Asia. Once I got there, I instantly fell in love with the street food culture, and we were eating 8-9 meals a day because I knew once I was back home, I needed to recreate all these recipes.”
While “Avatar: The Last Airbender” showed us how Earth, Water and Air nations grappled with Fire nation colonialism and struggled to decolonize and liberate the world, “Avatar: The Legend of Korra” was more about the aftermath of colonialism and the effects of formal decolonization and the mistakes committed by people responsible for the decolonization process. In that universe setting, team Avatar (Avatar Aang, Katara, Sokka, Zuko and Toph) were some of the most important characters regarding the Fire Nation post-colonial order. They helped to build and re-shape the new societies and status of the nations and to make amends and reparations to what the Fire nation did to the rest of the world.
There is no doubt in my mind that Japanese anime has always had a foothold on international markets, but it was only until recently that there has been a boom of full length Japanese animated films sparking excitement markedly similar to the initial release of Hayao Miyazaki’s work. Non-anime enthusiasts have most likely heard of the titles, A Silent Voice (映画 聲の形) and Your Name. (君の名は.), but have not yet been introduced to the more obscure gems within the mix. This article serves as a shameless recommendation for one of my absolute favorites, I Want to Eat Your Pancreas (君の膵臓をたべたい).
On Sept. 8, 2020, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced their new diversity requirements for equitable representation and more inclusion in the film industry. Since the release of “Crazy Rich Asians” in 2018, the push for more Asian representation continues as more and more studio executives realize the significance and impact of diversity and representation in film. Here are upcoming films by Asian artists to look out for: