FEATURED VIDEO: Beyond Orientalism

Via Alliance for Inclusion in the Arts: What if there’s an America …”Beyond Orientalism” by Nelson Eusebio, Angel Desai and Siho Ellsmore

CINEMA SUNDAY: Hollywood and racial backlash

Popular entertainment contributes to an American culture that promotes unconscious bias and prejudices. Long-term Hollywood depictions of Asian roles performed by white actors in “oriental” make-up are under attack by a younger generation of Asian Americans who understand the insidious and long-term effects of this still persistent racist practice. [Vox / YouTube] Yellowface is a…

MEDIA MIX: Stories from emerging communities

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas is crowdfunding for a new media platform “EmergingUS” and making his appeal: “It’s time to hear new stories. Challenge old narratives. Help us tell our story, all of us”. [EmerginUS / YouTube] This is #EmergingUS–the emerging American identity Vargas wrote for the Washington Post, a member of the staff…

FOODIE FRIDAY: Gastronomy and Irony

After some Asian American writers protested the publication of his latest New Yorker poem, “Have They Run Out of Provinces Yet?,” humorist Calvin Trillin had to defend his doggerel as just satire of the “food-obsessed bourgeoisie,” not racist verse. Trillin’s offending poem starts out with a complaint: “Have they run out of provinces yet? If…

MUSIC MONDAY: Violinist for Bach’s birthday

Concert violinist Anne Akiko Meyers performed a batch of Johann Sebastian Bach’s pieces in her 2012 classical recording “Air: the Bach Album” which debuted at number one on the US Billboard Charts. Born in San Diego, California, Meyers has been performing since she was 11 years old (appearing in Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show). She debuted…

FOODIE FRIDAY: Art, love, honor, & fish

Sushi chef Toshio Oguma and apprentice Oona Tempest, featured in these two videos, demonstrate the artistry, mastery, passion, and other complex human qualities behind the making of sushi. The master chef and student interact behind the sushi bar, creating new edible experiences, practicing their commitment to the craft, and respecting tradition. Oguma and Tempest conduct…

CINEMA SUNDAY: Painting the world of Disney’s “Bambi”

Art director Tyrus Wong’s impressionistic style defined the innovative look of Walt Disney’s classic animated film “Bambi” released in 1942. A new documentary about him called “Tyrus” by Pamela Tom is being featured by the Center for Asian American Media (CAAM) during its film festival. The film includes stories of his artistic achievement at Disney,…

FOODIE FRIDAY: Cooking with the White House Executive Chef

As Executive Chef of the White House, Cristeta Comerford determines the food that will be served for President Barack Obama’s family and at state dinners, like during the recent state visit by the new Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Comerford has been the White House Executive Chef since 2005, having served the Bush and Obama…

MUSIC MONDAY: A Prayer on Piano and Cello

Cellist Yo-Yo Ma has performed a wide range of musical genres but he gained renown for his performances of classical music. In this video with pianist Kathryn Stott, he performs a short musical prayer: [YoYoMaVevo / YouTube] Yo-Yo Ma, Kathryn Stott – Ave Maria (J.S. Bach/ Gounod) Learn more: [The Guardian] Yo-Yo Ma: Bach, Big…

FOODIE FRIDAY: Bless the Feast and the Children

Eight-year-old Estie Kung deserved better than a misfired bad joke at the Oscars and the following recriminations about the ongoing saga of the Whiteness of Hollywood. Kung and the two boys with her are not props for stereotypes about Asian Americans or post-Oscars symbols of injustice. They are children who were mistreated by the supposed…

MUSIC MONDAY: Folk songs for a new identity

Chris Kando Iijima, Nobuko JoAnne Miyamoto, and William “Charlie” Chin released the album “A Grain of Sand” in 1973. Subtitled “Music for the Struggle by Asians in America,” it was the first musical expression of a consciously “Asian American” identity set in the folk music singer-songwriter fashion of the early 1970’s. The album contained songs…