Asian American Arts Zine - Volume 3

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december 2020

the asian american arts zine


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cover art

cells [My work] is inspired by instrumental music. I create the forms and color palette based off what I hear. Each genre or style of music creates different forms and different levels of saturation of color.

by ethan moll @ ee a


from the editor

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from the editor by katherine leung ed c ef

I am so excited to share the December issue of the Asian American Arts Zine with you. It is the blood, sweat, and tears of Baotran, Grace, Jaden, Misha, and Sam. From a fantastic interview with podcaster Geoffrey Guarano to the delicious recipes from Grace s kitchen, this issue is the perfect fireside read. Destiny Saxenian s Dumpling Queen and Justin Oo s Where Will I Go? are two of my favorite works in this issue. Grab a mug of your favorite winter drink, get co y, and curl up with the December issue of the Asian American Arts Zine.

This winter is especially hard on our community and artists are extremely vulnerable. This year we can t attend the holiday craft fairs that so many artists look forward to year round and reading this ine is a way to digitally support Asian American artists. Following our brand new Instagram, @asianamericanarts_ ine is another good place to start, as we will be showcasing fresh talent on our platform. Follow the work you love and show artists your support whenever you can. Thanks for checking out our

ine.

rab a mug of your favorite winter drink get cozy and curl up with the ecember issue of the Asian American Arts Zine.


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table of contents

table of contents

food

5

identity

23

arts entertainment

43


table of contents

recipe culture jaden chee 7 pinterest queen destiny saxenian 9 dumpling from an asian jew katherine leung 11 recipes

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kueh ikigaijin 17 peng oe leung 19 jyut6 dinner table grace vo 21 the

& dusk kristy lee 25 serenity over lakshmi rivera amin 27 boiling nam lakshmi rivera amin 29 maru will i go? & descension justin oo 31 where

our warts sam riedman 33 examining of central asia katherine leung 37 faces & sweet pea sam riedman 39 hips staff feature asians in the arts 41 zine

with ethan moll sam riedman 45 interview vicky eng 51 grow with john paul alejandro katherine leung 55 interview

world fruit john paul alejandro 67 new with geoffrey gaurano sam riedman 71 interview


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food

food he c lin r connec ion


food

page 6


page

jaden chee

pin eres recipe c l re

jaden chee

Food in Asian culture is more than just sustenance, especiall during the holida season. Man dishes are a taste of home. Sometimes a home ou no longer live in, sometimes a home ou've never been to... alwa s a home ou miss. First-generation-ers, immigrants, Dreamers, Adoptees; we're all Asian, we're all American.

dumplings with m dad. He'd make the filling and we'd all wrap them together. He doesn't live with us an more, so the last time I wanted to make dumplings, I had to look up a recipe on Pinterest.

Regardless, growing up with these staple dishes and then ma be moving out and missing them; not knowing how to make them ourself... it can feel like ou've lost our sense of belonging. Growing up not knowing how to make a dish and then finding out it should be something ou just know... it might make ou feel like ou're missing something vital.

Like a Fake Asian; like visiting famil where ever one speaks the native language except ou (or me, in this case, because that happened). I had to do some soul searching, but I'm telling ou now that it's oka . When ou Google Search that recipe for our favorite childhood dish, it's oka that ou don't know the ingredients b heart; as an Asian, ou know that ou'll be seasoning b taste (it's just something ou'll feel in our soul).

As a First-Generation American, I've had both. M sister and I are slowl absorbing the kitchen savv of m mother, but it's a slow process, and one da , I'll be off to college with a significantl smaller mental cookbook than I'd like. When I was little, m sister and I would make

Nothing has ever made me feel so...inauthentic.

You'll find that perfect recipe; ma be ou'll add something ou just know our mom used to put in it; ma be ou'll take something out because ou don't like it. Regardless


pinterest recipe culture

page

of how ou found it; how ou learn it; how ou'll remember it, it's ours once ou claim it. It's part of ou, just like those tastes from childhood, just like our American upbringing, just like our Asian heritage.

y only rule for searching interest recipes of Asian food is that the person publishing it can t be white

(Rest assured, we're all Asian here so these recipes are definitel viable)


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destiny saxenian

d mpling q een Dumplings have been the 'gatewa to m m

food' of connecting

Chinese heritage. Making dumplings with and for

friends and famil

is one of m

genuine expressions of love.

destin saxenian @ hefe aleblade

purest and most


dumpling queen

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page 11

katherine leung

recipes from n si n je

katherine leung

There are Jewish communities all around the world outside of Europe, Israel, and the US, fom Bukharan Jews in Central Asia, Cochin Jews in India, to Persian and Iraqi Jews. Jews speak man languages in addition to Hebrew. The ma not alwa s resemble the t pical American perception of a Jew, or have attributes t pical to an Ashkena i Jew like curl brown hair and white features. I am Jewish, and I identif , among man things, as both Asian-American and Jewish. There is a growing number of Asian emigres in Israel, some students, some converting to the faith and settling down. People like me - we exist. A recent stud followed 31 Asian-andJewish intermarried couples living in Los Angeles, Orange Count , San Francisco, Oakland, New York and Philadelphia, and found the observe Jewish traditions as well as celebrations with origins from the other partner s Asian heritage. Another stud interviewed over 22 adult children of Jewish-Asian

intermarriages residing in the San Francisco Ba Area alone. Perhaps the most famous Asian-Jewish marriage is between Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan. Unfortunatel , pseudo-academic racist tropes have arisen from this phenomena, as both Jewish and AsianAmerican people benefit from model minorit status. A marriage between them is eugenicist Am Chua s wet dream, and her commentar on the superiorit of their lifest le is extremel problematic. As an Asian Jew, I wanted to share some of m traditions and favorite recipes. I live Jewishl b observing Shabbat ever week. I recite Jewish pra ers in Hebrew. I cook Jewish foods during our man holida s, with adaptations that honor both m Asian and Jewish identit . For one, it is common for man Asians to have a lactose intolerance so I have altered all m recipes to be milk-free. Secondl , I find panko to be an excellent substitute for mat o meal, which is common in man Jewish recipes. I hope m children will one da have fond memories of these


recipes from an asian jew

and dishes, and carr next generation.

them onto the

The first two recipes are Mat o Ball Soup and Potato Latkes, which I make ever Hanukkah.

Ultimatel , I understand that Jewish food is changing all the time, and Asian food has become something of an unofficial tradition for New York Jews on Christmas. The boundaries between our distinct cultures get pushed all the time, and don t alwa s seem so different.

Ma

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Ki che )

I g edie : 3/4 cup panko 1/4 tsp salt 1/4 tsp garlic powder 1/4 tsp onion powder 1/4 tsp white pepper (optional) 2 large eggs 2 1/2 tbsp melted schmalt (or substitute grapeseed oil) 1 tbsp minced fresh dill 3-4 quarts soup broth or salted water I c i : 1. In a small mixing bowl, use a fork to mix together panko, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, and pepper. In another bowl, use another fork to mix together the eggs and schmalt . 2. Pour egg mixture into the dr ingredients. Mix with a fork. Put the bowl of mat o ball mixture into the refrigerator and let it rest for 45 minutes. Bring our 3-4 quarts of soup broth or salted water to a boil over medium heat. 3. While our broth or water is warming, form the chilled mat o ball mixture into 1 inch balls. Don't overwork the mixture when ou roll the balls.When our broth or water boils, lower it to an even bubbling simmer and drop the mat o balls gentl into the liquid. Cover the pot with a lid and let the balls cook for about 30 minutes, till cooked through. The balls should sink to the bottom of the pot.


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katherine leung

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I g edie : 1 pound potatoes 1/2 cup finel chopped onion 1 large egg, lightl beaten 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 to 3/4 cup olive oil I c i : 1. P ehea e 250 F. Peel potatoes and coarsel grate b hand, transferring to a large bowl of cold water as grated. Soak potatoes 1 to 2 minutes after last batch is added to water, then drain well in a colander. 2. S ead g a ed a e a d i a i che e a d a h ge he . Twist towel tightl to wring out as much liquid as possible. Transfer potato mixture to a bowl and stir in egg and salt. 3. Hea i i a a . Mash grated potato mixture into cookie-si e pancakes until undersides are browned, about 5 minutes. Turn latkes over and cook until undersides are browned, about 5 minutes more. Transfer to paper towels to drain and season with salt. Add more oil to skillet as needed.

he boundaries between our distinct cultures get pushed all the time and don t always seem so different


recipes from an asian jew

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I g edie : Extra virgin olive oil 1 large ellow onion 2 green peppers, chopped 2 garlic cloves, peeled, chopped 1 tsp ground coriander 1 tsp sweet paprika tsp ground cumin Salt and pepper 6 tomatoes, chopped cup tomato sauce 6 large eggs cup chopped fresh parsle leaves cup chopped fresh mint leaves I c i : 1. Hea 3 b i e i i a a ge ca i i e . Add the onions, green peppers, garlic, spices, pinch salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionall , until the vegetables have softened, about 5 minutes. 2. Add he a e a d a a ce. Cover and let simmer for about 15 minutes. Uncover and cook a bit longer to allow the mixture to reduce and thicken. Taste and adjust the seasoning to our liking. 3. Ge c ac a egg i each i de i . Reduce the heat, cover the skillet, and cook on low until the egg whites are set.

Shakshuka was brought to Israel from Tunisan Jews, and it continues to be a popular dish eaten all over Northern Africa. In the 1950 s, it was made with kosher Spam for the Israeli arm , but t picall beef) to accompan

I put Trader Joe s G ro Slices (made from this delicious meal.

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katherine leung

Chee e b i

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I g edie : 4 large eggs 1 cup flour 1/3 cup sugar 3/4 cup milk 1/4 cup water 1 tsp vanilla Pinch salt Vegetable oil with a high smoke point for fr ing (grapeseed or peanut oil works best) I c i : 1. B e d a f he b i should be smooth.

i g edie

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of the batter

2. P he ba e i e a ca e a h i ed a . Let each blint cook for 60-75 seconds until the edges of the blint brown and the bottom of the blint is lightl golden. You can tell it's read b touching the center of the pancake's surface-- it should be dr and slightl tack to the touch. Do not flip the blint to cook the other side. Use a spatula to take the blint out of the pan and place it on a plate. 3. S ff b i e i h fi i g, he c ed ide f he b i . When the blint es are stuffed and rolled, ou are read to fr them. Pour cup of oil into the skillet and heat over medium until hot. Carefull place the stuffed blint es flap-side down into the hot oil. The blint es should fr for 1 to 2 minutes until the re brown and crisp .

Shavuot is a Jewish holida

that marks the wheat harvest in

Biblical Israel and is t picall blint es are commonl recipe, I use non-dair

celebrated in Ma . Cheese

eaten during this holida . For this

cream cheese filling. I use the brand,

Kite Hill, found at the supermarket, Sprouts. While nothing can beat a lo -cream-cheese bagel, I find that Kite Hill s dair free cream cheese is just as rich as original cream cheese.


recipes from an asian jew

Although pi

a is not Jewish, I equate eating pi

page 16

a with visiting famil

in New York - late nights roaming the cit , hot summers in Long Island, the understated neighborhood pi

a joint on a la

afternoon. New York is

home to the world s largest population of Jews. Although I live in the Ba Area, I have perfected a homemade pi

a recipe that reminds me of famil ,

good cheer, and the warmth of being near ones that I love in New York.

Pi I 1 2 3 2 2

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g edie : 1/2 cups warm water (105 F-115 F) 1/4 teaspoons of active dr east 3/4 cups bread flour tablespoons e tra virgin olive oil teaspoons salt1 teaspoon sugar

I c i : 1. P f he ea : Place the warm water in the large bowl. Sprinkle the east over the warm water and let it sit for 5 minutes until the east is dissolved. 2. Ma e a d ead he i a d gh: Add the flour, salt, sugar, and olive oil, and using the mi ing paddle attachment, mi on low speed for a minute. 3. Le he d gh i e: Spread a thin la er of olive oil over the inside of a large bowl. Place the pi a dough in the bowl and turn it around so that it gets coated with the oil. A quick fermentation (1 1/2 hours in under a damp towel) will allow the dough to rise sufficientl . 4. C ea e i di id a i a d gh ba . Form dough into flat pi a dough. Cover with sauce and toppings. Bake for about 10-15 minutes for 475 F (245 C).


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ikigaijin

peng k eh


peng kueh

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A surrealist writing and art piece about dealing and healing with depression from the perspective of a local glutinous rice cake.

ikigaijin @ikigaiji .

di


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zoe leung

j

cer mic

oe leung @ eaka ife


jyut6 ceramics 2020

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grace vo

he dinner ble recipe re o rce for o he i n cooking curated b P

grace vo

ai f G ace Rigel Bergonio @ ige .de ig

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eg n cooking Ge ge Lee Instagram: @che .j ge Website: chej ge.c

Vega

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the dinner table

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ie n me e cooking Facebook: Vie

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Je Da Instagram: @je hda a e e C ki g G

i n in pired di he

Tiff C Website: iff c k .c Instagram: @ iff .c k

Cha Si P - Chi e e BBQ P (Air Fr er and Eas )

After graduating, m fiance and I decided to take a 4month break and traveled around South East Asia. Once I got there, I instantl fell in love with the street food culture, and we were eating 8-9 meals a da because I knew once I was back home, I needed to recreate all these recipes.


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identity


identity

identit o r intern l perceptions

page 24


page 25

serenit

kristy lee


serenity

dusk

d sk

krist lee @jbber k

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lakshmi rivera amin

boiling o er lakshmi ri era amin @la miamin17

Here, Ba, I can take that for o , I placed m hand o er her shaking forearms as she gripped the handle of the bright ello tea strainer, littered ith bits of lemongrass and cardamom seeds. It ll be easier if I po r and o hold the c ps still. She nodded, forehead alle ed ith ears of orr pressed into ridges, and atched as a aterfall of chai crashed into m chipped c p. Lakshmi, I am so bad. I am losing so m ch m scle and cannot lift an thing an more, she confided as she mo ed across the kitchen to retrie e the s gar from a high- p shelf. I joined her and helped stir j st one spoon of s gar into each m g one is a sign of self restraint and h milit .


boiling over

T o signif hedonistic tendencies. Three mean o re officiall a problem. Women in the famil rarel cared abo t being labeled as problems, e cept hen it came to s gar in o r chai.Ba trembled as she settled onto the ooden chair at the dining table and took her time aiting for her c p to reach the perfect temperat re. Yo don t ant o r tong e to b rn, so ait little bit, she ad ised. She looked at me, someho thro gh me, and fro e. Blinking slo l , she opened her mo th to speak. There as a dela . So nd sq eaked o t after se eral seconds as her oice shaped itself into ords. I Lakshmi, o kno , in o r c lt re, o take care of the famil , she said, almost at a hisper. Yo m st ne er lea e o r sister. Yo onl ha e one sister in the hole orld. So if o do not care for her, nobod ill. We ere se en sisters and no I am the onl one left. I nodded to reass re her. I looked do n at the tea lea es spinning in m c p and the hirlpool that started to form, taking on a life of its o n. The chai began to heat itself p again, a miniat re nderc rrent accelerating the s gar s dissol tion ntil all that remained ere steam, a ch nk of ginger, and m o n reflection staring back at me.

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page 29

lakshmi rivera amin

m r n m

lakshmi ri era amin @la miamin17


maru nam

"Just a bit of back story: The yellow letters at the center of the sketch spell out my name in Gujarati-based on a name necklace I wear (my sister has one with her name, as well) "

page 30


page 31

justin oo

j stin oo @g oodon

here

ill i go


where will i go

descension

descension

page 32


page 33

sam riedman

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sam riedman

e must examine our warts how as Asian Americans we internalize the model minority myth and it leads to us to cause interpersonal oppression toward lack people specifically


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page 3

katherine leung

f ces of centr l si a le nga

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faces of central asia

page 3


page 3

sam riedman

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page 40


page 41

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feature

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Portrait of Baotran Sa a a T a @ ha .a

id you know aotran ruong designs all the layouts for the Asian American Arts ine

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ou can join Asians in the Arts and the Asia American Arts ine team at any time ill out an application at a ian in hea com


page 43

arts

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page 44

rts nd entert inment lens to see us through


page 45

sam riedman

im ges re lso music l interview with cover rtist eth n moll b

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page 46

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As our society has evolved to view technology is a solution to the majority of pertinent crises whether it be our food system prison system or climate than realized in his studies there are a lot of things the computer really can t do he computer is just a medium

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page 4

e c b e e e e a e e d e e d ed e. E a c a de , a d a e e a e e e e a b e d a e e a. H e e , E a e ec ab . I ead, e a e a a e, c a d ea ? c a e a I e ea ed e ab I e ce e . I a a e a e a ca ab e de e a ce de de e e .

"I’ve learned how to think beyond what is in front of me, and more about how I perceive things. It’s a lot of exploration."


page 4

sam riedman

E a e ec e c e de , e d e a e e a e ec e a da d be e ced a a e ed . I ead, e a e a de c e a ac c ea a a e a a ec a e c e e a d e e a e c a e e c a e e e a d de e . T e de , a e ac e e b a ce a d e a e e a a e e, a e a ca e de e e e a e de c be a a , e a : I e b ac e e . I e e a e , e de a d e a e a a e a bea a a a e de c be d ed b e ecce c e bea . W c e a ed a a e e ee E a a a d ee bea e e e ed a a a a e e a a I a a c de ed bea .

heck out more of than oll s art on nstagram molleesan And view the full portrait series in ol 2 of Asians in the Arts pages 5 www issuu com asianamericanart szine docs volume

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page 51

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vicky zeng

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Vick Zeng is an American born Chinese, Producer, DJ and Singer/songwriter, who produces Electronic and Indie Pop music, currentl based in S dne , Australia. Her 2020 Electronic/Indie Pop release Grow(demo) co-produced b Chris Hamer-Smith, is part of the New Age Noise compilation album Constellation . With a strong focus on showcasing and mixing tracks b female artists and artists from diverse cultural backgrounds, Vick delivered her first on-air DJ mix blending Dance, Pop, House and EDM on a S dne based FBI Radio show: The Midda Mix.

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katherine leung

kickin it interview with john p ul lej ndro b

katherine leung

John Paul Alejandro, or JP Ba ani as he is known on social media, is a prolific dancer, poet, spoken word artist, graphic designer, and more. The A ia A e ica A Zi e sits down with him to talk about art, activism, and his journe to self-acceptance as a queer Asian man living in the Ba Area.


kickin it : john paul alejandro

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Yes I often tell people who ask what I do, that I am a modern da Renaissance man because it s hard to explain m career. At the forefront, I consider m self as a creative and an entrepreneur. M t pical da ( in a pandemic) is to wake up quite earl and workout and make breakfast after. I live a ver active lifest le given m careers, and so the upkeep of m bod is ver important to me. I usuall begin m work hours in the earl afternoon.

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Among being a dancer and writer, I am also a graphic designer and personal trainer, so m work hours var from drafting designs in front of a computer, guiding clients through virtual sessions via oom, and/or working as administration support for non-profit art orgs. B the late afternoon/earl evening, I alwa s plan to dance in some capacit as a sort of reward for getting through the da , whether it be just freest ling to a pla list or taking classes virtuall or in person.B evening, I like to end the da b watching either some of m favorite Anime or writing in m journal as a wa to unwind and reflect where I am mentall .

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Let me first preface that the opportunit to produce the show wouldn t have been possible if it wasn t for m scholarship program: First Wave. Which is a one-of-a-kind full-ride urban arts program that focuses on arts, academics, and activism on UW-Madison s campus. The give opportunities to its scholarship recipients to embark on producing and showcasing work for its annual festival, Line Breaks. In the Bell of the Iron Beast (2015) was the first of the two shows I created during m undergraduate ears. The concept of the Iron Beast more so came from an


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katherine leung

amalgamation of m experiences of living in a predominantl white institution and cit . I was noticing that with such an overwhelming presence and close proximit to whiteness I was having a need to reaffirm the values of m own identit and cultural heritage because of the microaggressions and misrepresentation I was facing as a Filipino American in Madison, WI. Those experiences brought me flashbacks to when I first moved to the U.S. from the Philippines when I was six. started drawing comparisons between m post immigration and assimilation to the US and me moving to Madison, WI for college, and reali ed how striking similar it was. It was then clear to me the image that I wanted to use was the airplane, which then was metaphori ed as the Iron Beast. Writing and performing In the Bell of the Iron Beast was honestl a personal journe of reclamation for me. I didn't reali e that so much of

m culture I took for granted when I was growing up in the Ba Area, but being so far awa from home, the best thing that kept me tethered to m famil was being loud and proud of being Filipino American in one of the most whitest places that I had ever been into in m life. Writing it was so transforming because it came to teach me that m experiences big or small could not onl inspire others, but most importantl m self, which at the time I ver much needed. In performance, all I could sa was that it was a much needed cathartic release from enduring the cra iness of living in Wisconsin. I think the audience at the time definitel resonated with the work because of how raw and picturesque both the writing and the performance was. There were definitel man parts that were relatable, especiall this idea in the work of what it meant to feel out of place or not belonging. I think that was the one thing I wanted the audience to walk awa with if an thing.


kickin it : john paul alejandro

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The most surprising fact about m dance life is that I actuall started ver late if ou compare to a t pical professional dancer. Most of these individuals have been training since the were ver oung in studios or conservatives. As a child of immigrants, m parents did not necessaril value art in the wa I do toda , and even if the did, we did not have the financial means for me to enroll in dance classes. Like most Asians, I was being groomed to the path of being a doctor, and for a time being I thought that is what I wanted too. But, for as long as I could remember, I had alwa s wanted to dance. I was secretl learning how to dance in Junior High, and I sa secretl , because dancing during that time in school had a certain masculine expectation that I never could relate with, but that didn't stop me from

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often spending some of m free time stud ing Justin Timberlake and Chris Brown dance videos.

Fast forward to m sophomore ear in college, I remember waking up one da and sa ing, I honestl feel like I was created in this world to dance . And so, I had dropped m major at the time and decided to switch to a dance major. I began m formal training in ballet, modern, contemporar , and West African dance in college . In 2018, I graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Dance from UW Madison. M signature st le I would sa is ver percussive and expressive. M movements come from m relationship with the music, and this comes from a combination of m 10 ear experience in orchestra , m upbringing into US culture, and an importance of stor telling in m Filipino Heritage. I would sa that m dancing is ver whole-bod because I like to to show through m movements that it has been a long but persistent journe . That despite all the odds, and the people who said I shouldn t dance I still am dancing, strong and proud.


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One of the best pieces of advice I ve gotten is that in order to create art, ou need to consume 10x the amount ou are creating. Which at first sounds prett ludicrous, however it is such a powerful working phenomena. I have influences from all realms and intersectionalities in order to inform m dance craft. I like to consume things that often don t relate to dance at all because I am more interested in the process of creating rather than a resolution such as completion. Some of those things include watching cooking documentaries like Chef s table on Netflix because Chef s have such a unique process and perspective of how the create, and I often tr to emulate those processes into m own artistic works. I also like to look at visual art such as the murals that can be found in both SF and Oakland because narrative is extremel important to m work. I consume music and dance on a dail schedule, and those influences help me create shapes from m own bod . Some notable dance influences are Kinja , Pilobolus, Alvin Aile , and Keone and Mari Madrid . All these influences ebb and flow in m artistic process which help me create those fun videos on m IG. The number one thing I alwa s want to accomplish is showing folks that I am having fun and I am being unapologetic about it. I make those videos mostl because m journe into dance has alwa s been tumultuous-- often having to prove m skill or worth to someone. In these videos I make, I just want to be able to come back and see how far I have come, and hoping that it would inspire someone to follow their passions as well.


kickin it : john paul alejandro

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like. Then I go back and see how those movements can be further digested into m interpretation of the rh thm. In the end, I have a product that reall showcases me and m personal movement st le but as well as m creativit .

? Y M music choices honestl come from the rh thm in an song. I have a philosoph that rh thm is a natural occurring frequenc that helps inform our emotions. We have a natural sense of rh thm found within us, and when I choose music for a particular da it is because it is resonating with m internal that da . With this philosoph , I am able to find an genre of music and move to it. Most people think I would onl listen to Rap and RnB, but the truth of the matter is that I listen to almost all genres. It s important to stud different kinds of rh thms produced b different sounds in order to find new pathwa s to dance. The choreographic process takes this method and just organi es the thoughts that are going through m mind when I listen to music. It often starts with me just freest ling to a song so that I can observe how m bod naturall responds. After some time of freel exploring, I start to emphasi e what I like and subtract what I don t

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Thank ou That deadlift was a much needed boost of confidence in self strength and mental will power Challenging stereot pes is exactl wh I post some of the content in m IG. Growing up, I never reall resonated with the men I saw in popular media, and even more so, when there were finall Asian men on the screen, the were often these comedic, weak, and clums characters. I just didn t understand wh the representation of Asian men had to be


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katherine leung

so shallow. In fact, even on the flip side, I dislike being called an exception because that tells me that societ doesn t expect Asian men to be an thing more than that. That is wh I alwa s advocate for rewriting narratives through self representation. I hope that people who stumble onto m content can see that there's more to the Diaspora of Asian men than nerd sidekick archet pes. Not that there's an thing wrong with being nerd -- I just think people shouldn t assume and just come with an open mind. M viewers are mostl people that I have encountered throughout m life, the LGBTQIA+ communit , and the fitness communit . What ou see on m IG is basicall what ou get, I come there to be the most unfiltered and unapologetic because I think it's important for all t pes of folks to see me be brave in m opinions of our societ , and It breaks the model minorit m th that has been perpetuated for wa too long. I encourage m fellow Asian men to be more unapologetic in their unique intersectionalities because that is the onl wa to break these outdated stereot pes.


kickin it : john paul alejandro

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a a d a a a F a Ba A a I a a . Ca a ab a a d c d a a ? W a b Ba A a? H a F c a d a ( d ba , a )? I wasn t alwa s so open about m sexualit in the public e e. Growing up, I saw a lot of m classmates constantl bull and harrass one of m best friends who is ga . At the time, I wasn t as strong as him to be openl ga in Junior High. However being b his side throughout the ears, it had taught me what true braver was. I alwa s admired that about him. Nothing is more powerful than being comfortable and confident in the spaces ou occup and exist in. In school, I was mostl focused on grades, but I knew that I was ga . It wasn t until college where I reall began to grow into m sexual identit and build the tools to

page 62

incorporate it into m ethnic identit . Being a queer Filipino Man in the Ba Area is quite interesting. Often times m interactions with other queer and cis folk alike are a miss. There s this misconception that as an Asian man that I should be submissive and soft spoken. On the flipside, as a Ga man, there s a misconception that I should be h perfeminine and h persexual. However, m unique intersectionalities catch people off guard because their preconceived notions of who I am supposed to be, doesn t align with m actual personalit . There are a lot of Queer gatekeepers (mostl white cis ga men) who often categori e me as not ga enough or straight-passing, and I don t understand where that comes from considering that the SF Ba Area is known to be super Liberal, and historicall LGBTQIA+ progressive in our civil rights. Nonetheless there s a lot ofwork to be done. I have had man conversations with m POC and Black queer friends that there needs to be a reform in what inclusion means in the communit .


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katherine leung

In terms of my Filipino community, it is still a work in progress if I had to be quite honest. I m still trying to build confidence when I enter my community. I value family so much because it is so embedded in the Filipino culture, however because most Filipinos are Catholic that is where the conflict arises. I am however very fortunate that when I came out to my parents they accepted me willingly, and I know that is a privilege most queer folk may never have. With that said, my biggest barrier, is protecting my parents from ridicule from other families from fact that I am gay. I don t really care much about what other Filipinos say about me, but when they bring me up in conversation with my parents, that really hurts me. It s like they are using that to diminish my parent s great parenting. My gay identity is part of me but that is not the only thing that signifies who I am. Beyond being gay, I am a succesful emerging artist and young professional, and I want that to be the topic of conversation rather than my sexual identity.


kickin it john paul alejandro

Wha ad ice do o ha e fo o he o ng a i and dance ? Wha do o i h o had kno n fi e o en ea ago? My most emphasized advice to young creatives is to tie your work to your individuality. I spent a lot of my years trying to emulate others that I actually lost who I was in my work. There will always be people that will tear you down and doubt you in your tracts, but remember that the one thing that separates you from anyone else is your unique individualism. Who you are and your experiences cannot be copied and cannot be taken away-- young creatives should use that to their advantage to stand out from the masses. Additionally use your art as a form of resistance and

page 64

healing. We currently exist in a modern era civil rights movement. In the famous words of Nina Simone, an artist s duty is to reflect the times. What she means is that artists have a very special role in society, and so I always encourage emerging artists to use their work to uplift communities and elevate work that is usually muted by society. Lastly, and this one I wish I had known sooner, but find ways to COLLABORATE with others. It s an amazing feat to be a one person army, but as your ideas grow so does the workload, and you can t do it on your own. Create a community of trusted creatives because the process of creating art is better when there is a team who believes in your message and vision.

e currently exist in a modern era civil rights movement n the famous words of ina imone an artist s duty is to reflect the times hat she means is that artists have a very special role in society and so always encourage emerging artists to use their work to uplift communities and elevate work that is usually muted by society


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katherine leung

Wi h o he dance , o ha e been o king diligen l ince Ma ch o c ea e a f nd ai ing campaign o ackno ledge he di pa i ie of e o ce fo Black Dance make in he SF Ba A ea e peciall d ing COVID and he c en ociopoli ical clima e in he US. Can o alk mo e ha fi opened o e e o he acial and e o ce di pa i ie in he SF Ba A ea? Ho a e black dance e peciall lne able a hi ime? Ho can he folk eading ge in ol ed?

With the recent uprising in police brutality on the Black community, I wanted to take a call of action and turn it into a strong initiative. This initiative was a response to the Director of the SF dance Festival s ignorant comments of the looting that was happening at the time. The comments not only were crass cregarding the Black community, but most importantly it showed that racism and white supremacy existed in the dance spheres as well. Specifically in the SF Bay Area, funding for is a shared pool among everyone.

The same organizations always end up having the most agency and acquisition, and it leaves some of the more underprivileged groups to fight for what s left. What started as me and a collaborator compiling a list of Black dance initiatives and organizations has now become a full fledged relief fundraiser for Black dancers and dancemakers in the SF Bay Area. We managed to partner with PUSH Dance Company, and with their help we had created a digital 7 week dance festival in which 40% of the proceeds go directly into the campaign ( we are also crowd source funding ). The campaign, which is called PUSH FOR_____, is currently in its fundraising phase. We are set to give awards starting January 2021. This campaign is to acknowledge that dance making is difficult during this time, even more so for Black Dancers and their organizations. We need to take allyship, and use our privileges to help elevate their process of creation. Black dance IS American dance, and we need to honor the major contributions that the Black community has given to the sphere of dance.


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john paul alejandro

ne ew orld ruit is ohn aul Alejandro s latest poem is spoken word piece elly of the east is in volume 2 of the Asian American Arts ine

orld fruit john paul alejandro

I realized This new world taught us to be complicit So we can feed our hands into the system willingly A machine that begins to process And spit us out BAR CODED Placed into different bins To sort us Made to believe that we have inherent capital value over the other they scan and pick us like grocery items Deem what s valuable in their lives


new world fruit

I observed through them To live life is to eat life And they always seem to eat the fruit From the seeds they reap and sow violently Systemically modified To be much more pompous in size Blissfully Ignorant in flavor Deeming to be worthy with an Institutional sticker Outlined by some outdated piece of white parchment Agreed upon by old white contractors They sit on fine white porcelain plates Selfishly Waiting to be devoured to restart the cycle over and over The definition of Greed and gluttony This fruitful system was only created for them

They look at the spoiled fruit, black and brown, like unwanted pieces But it s actually when its at its sweetest and most potent... But They too know this and fear its power So they try to dispose and forget about us Like the beautiful gardens and fields we yielded from In fact They stole and desecrated these too In the best possible American way They Wrought up factories in the middle Harnessed what makes us so unique To only then be sold just as mere tokens To them we are nothing else But just before they can make us feel like specs of pulp

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john paul alejandro

An instinct begins to drive And We feed our bruised souls Into this earth In same way we learned to feed ourselves spoiled sweet fruit from our ancestors Because To live life is to eat life And so Its sweetness Its resilience Its wisdom Like an heirloom Grow back and are passed down into this world And manifest in black and brown bodies this is our true power We exist to test time Erected as justice Ready to protest a force of nature necessary to correct this broken nation. Like Mother Nature intended We re not going anywhere


new world fruit

Because I opened my eyes Tasted the fruit Understood that new world depicted by them Packaged and sold by a plastic white picket fence Motto : our land is your land is really the old world A desperate monolith acting-like a child Clinging to patriarchy and supremacy But just Surgarcoated in red white and blue It s time to reclaim our land Irrigate out the hatred Usher in the humanity Sow in the seeds for the kind of crop That blooms peace to harvest a hopeful future Yielding in a community made for us

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page 1

sam riedman

g si n spe ks intervie ith geoffre g ur no by sam riedman 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 selfidentity, it is an invitation to allies to join in the united fight against white supremacy.


gaysian speaks geoffrey gaurano

When discussing what compelled Geoffrey to make the podcast, he stated First and foremost, it was really for me; for me to work through some of what I have, and am currently dealing with. It was to see if I could really do it. Additionally, it was to create a space for something that I didn t see. I ve been looking for literature and examples of the gay Asian experience and I didn t see those examples so I had to do it for myself. I wasn t seeing my story fully represented. Other Asian-led podcasts certainly exist, but nothing with Geoffrey s exact narrative or spin. From the jump, I was hugely impressed by Geoffrey s willingness to be vulnerable, opening the first episode of his podcast by identifying and discussing his fears and how they have informed his decision making. [I really do believe] that every single person has a set of fears, and so I wanted to address it, and connect with others and also reassure others that their fears are legitimate as well, and they shouldn t expect themselves to get magically healed, but instead, to be aware and acknowledge our fears and really know how they play out in our lives and the choices that we make. Additionally, I wanted to show a humanity especially as an Asian American, living under these

page 2

overarching stereotypes-where we are made to feel like we don t have humanity, or are not allowed to. So, I wanted to showcase that, as a human being first. In Geoffrey s willingness to discuss the things that scare him, he s pushed the bounds of his comfort zone, inspired by the words and actions of Representative Alexandria OcasioCortez, that You re scared, but when you decide to work though that fear and look at the path, then it becomes bravery and courage. In his willingness to open up about fear and how they ve affected him, he invites the listener to be brave enough to do the same to see how our fears immobilize us. He does this from a place of tenderness, as opposed to judgement.


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sam riedman

If did ge i f m he i le, Ga ia i a i i icall i e ec i al, lea i g i he me c m le i ie f he ali f li ed e e ie ce, a he ha il hem i ea il dige ible c e .


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hen am able to define every single part of who am whatever identities people want to confer upon me it s easier for me to be able to say no to that or reject what is projected upon me because ve made it a point for myself to define who am.


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zine staff

about I'm Katherine and I'm an art teacher and artist in California. I curate two other ines - Canto Cutie and Dead Dads Club. My favorite places to in Asia are Ky yl, Taipei, and of course Hong Kong I could eat Hong Kong-style egg waffle for days. Canto Cutie ine: Ca C e.c Dead Dads Club ine: DeadDad .C Art: e ga .c

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katherine leung

Hey I'm Grace and I am a working artist based in Massachusetts. I like to paint abstractly but I am also into mixed media. I also just launched my own scrunchie shop called Up&Down where I sell handmade vinatge/thirfted scrunchies In my free time, I like to pay animal crossing and cook. I'm a big fan of a good rainbow roll and a crunchy banh xeo :) Art: g ace . e Art Insta: @g ace a Scrunchie Shop: g ace

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grace vo

Hey there I'm Misha and I'm a high-school student based in Tampa. I'm passionate about the humanities and I've picked up writing over the past few years I'm also very passionate about music, and I play violin, along with snare drum for my school's pipe band. In my free time I love to write, bake, and play a few good video games. Instagram: @

a.0811

misha patel


about the editors

page 80

the editors I m Sam and I m a writer, farmer and social activist based in Seattle, WA. I graduated from The Evergreen State College in 2019 with a BAS in Ecological Agriculture and Sociology. My love language is leading seminar and gift giving; and I am permanently craving a taro milk tea. If you can t tell, I m a Taurus. Instagram: @ ca d

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sam riedman

I'm Jaden and I'm a high school student based in Massachusetts. I'm a photographer and musician who occasionally writes poetry and feels strongly about too many humanitarian issues. I sell handmade earrings and knit hats when I have time to make them to raise money for various charities, and I read an alarming number of Webtoons and drink way too many matcha lattes. Photography Instagram: @ ade c.

jaden chee

hi i'm baotran and i am a linguistics major and film/tv minor at ucla i am usually sipping milk tea that i made myself while watching a show or movie i've already seen 17 times. i can be found with my australian shepherd at dog parks throughout los angeles. i am always looking to consume more books, preferably while under a fu y blanket as one of my spotify playlists is on in the background.

baotran truong


page 81

thank you for reading

thank you


asians in the arts

Asians in the Arts exists to diasporic represen a ion fields, by celebra ing e is narra i es of the

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enco rage Asian in all artistic ing ar is s and Asian diaspora.

ind more information at asiansinthearts.com or asians_in_the_arts on nstagram.