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magazine

asian avenue September 2017 Volume 12 Issue 9

Connecting Cultures Linking Lives

Community Profiles People Making an impact

FRIENDS of ENCA FARM

Launches seed library in the philippines


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Dear Asian Avenue readers,

magazine

As we start this fall season, we would like to encourage all of our readers to enjoy the beautiful sceneries of the Rocky Mountains. We wish you all have cherished memories of fall 2017! In this issue, contributors shared stories of individuals making an impact in Colorado. We combined these pieces to highlight in our cover story. First, we are excited to announce the inaugural issue of Slant’d magazine, a new Asian American publication that launched on August 26 in New York City. Co-founders Katerina Jeng and Krystie Mak received full funding in support of the publication. We welcome Katerina to our Denver community! Two year ago, Dr. Tianlong Jiao stepped into the role of the Joseph de Heer Curator of Asian Art at the Denver Art Museum. He was selected after an international search to take the role once held by Ronald Otsuka who retired after 41 years with the museum. Dr. Jiao holds a Ph.D. in anthropology from Harvard, an M.A. in archaeology from the graduate school of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing, and a B.A. in archaeology from Beijing University. This year marks the 10th year College Community of Denver has hosted the Confucius Institute on the Auraria Campus. They will celebrate with many events including: Confucius Institute Day, Mid-Autumn Festival and Chinese Movie Festival. Congratulations on a decade of promoting Chinese language training and intercultural understanding! Enjoy,

staff & support Publisher & Founder: Christina Yutai Guo President: Annie Guo VanDan Senior Designer: C.G. Yao Copy Editor: Jaime Marston Cook Editorial Director: Samantha Quee Marketing Manager: Joie Ha Staff Writer: Patricia Kaowthumrong Staff Writer: Mary Jeneverre Schultz Photographer: Trang Luong

contributing writers Wayne Chan, Erwin Chemerinsky, Yijing Chen, Nancy Leong, Sherry Manning, Diane Mulligan, Phil Nash, Amy Ng, May Tran, Erin Yoshimura

contributing photographers Gil Asakawa, Dr. Sovrath Bong, Aurora Ogg, Tom Carney Photography

on the cover With several contributing stories about local individuals making an impact in Colorado, we compiled these community profiles into our September cover story.

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Christina Yutai Guo, Publisher Asian Avenue magazine | www.asianavemag.com

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asian avenue

September 2017 | Publisher’s Note

To subscribe, e-mail info@asianavemag.com or visit asianavemag.com/subscribe. A one-year subscription is $25 for 12 issues, a two-year subscription is 40 for 24 issues. Please make checks or money orders payable to Asian Avenue magazine. For details about special corporate or group rates, please call during business hours: Monday - Friday, 9am to 5pm. Shipping/handling included.

advertising Asian Avenue magazine offers businesses the most cost-effective way to reach consumers in the Denver/Boulder metro areas and beyond. For more information, call during business hours or e-mail us at marketing@asianavemag.com for our media kit and ad rates.

editorial To submit story ideas, letters to the editor or calendar events, e-mail info@asianavemag.com. Asian Avenue magazine (ISSN 1932-1449) reserves all copyrights to this issue. No parts of this edition can be reproduced in any manner without written permission. The views expressed in articles are the authors’ and not necessarily those of Asian Avenue magazine. Authors may have consulting or other business relationships with the companies they discuss.

Published by Asian Avenue Magazine, Inc. P.O. Box 221748 Denver, CO 80222-1748 Tel: 303.937.6888 | info@asianavemag.com

www.asianavemag.com

Asian Avenue magazine is in association with the Colorado Asian Culture and Education Network.


CONTENTS

september 2017

EVENTS

8

Event calendar

INSIDE STORY

10

11

Friends of ENCA Farm: Seed Library launched in the Philippines and upcoming Nourish event

14

Meet Boomers Leading Change: Achieving purpose through service

FEATURE

12

Don’t use Asian Americans to justify anti-affirmative action politics

14

Community Profiles: Stories of people making a difference throughout our state

NATIONAL AAPI NEWS

CHEF’S MENU

22

COVER STORY

20

This month, we feature community profiles of individuals making an impact through arts, media and journalism, and random acts of kindness.

A letter from Asian Americans Advancing Justice

How to make Durian Cake

UPDATE

24

Fall Staycations in Colorado featuring Trail Ridge Road, Rocky Mountain National Park

HUMOR COLUMN

Aurora Global Fest celebrates culture and diversity of the city

TRAVEL

29

Budget Travel Options with SQM

CULTURAL TIDBITS

30

Chinese Folklore: Don’t trust the Fox

25

There is such a thing as MSG withdrawal

BOOK REVIEW

26

The Gun by Fuminori Nakamura

FILM REVIEW

27

10

2016 documentary film: The First Monday in May

On Scene

28

17th annual Colorado Dragon Boat Festival

Asian Avenue Magazine, Inc. P.O. Box 221748 Denver, CO 80222-1748 | Tel: 303.937.6888 E-mail: info@asianavemag.com | www.asianavemag.com 6 September 2017 | Table of Contents

28 Find us @AsianAveMag

#AsianAveMag


WE THINK "AGE" IS REALLY SHORT FOR "AGENT OF CHANGE" If you are 55 or older, there is no better time than now to serve your country. Spend the next year as an AmeriCorps Encore Member with Boomers Leading Change. We’ll give you the opportunity of a lifetime to help your neediest neighbors live their healthiest lives. Half-time and quarter-time positions are available. Call today: 303.426.6637 (4-BOOMER) and we’ll talk about how to turn your energy and experience into impact. Learn more at BoomersLeadingChange.org

Job Opening at Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine:

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A FULL TIME IVF RN NURSE COORDINATOR Is needed for a world-renowned infertility and in vitro fertilization (IVF) center in the Denver metro area. Join our team of 25 RN's along with Drs. William Schoolcraft, Eric Surrey, Robert Gustofson, Laxmi Kondapalli, Sara Barton and Lauren Ross Ehrhart who provide care for more than 2,000 infertility patients each year. Two years previous RN experience required. Background in women's healthcare preferred. Candidate must speak fluent Mandarin and English. The position is perfect for passionate RN's who enjoy patient teaching and primary care nursing. CCRM has three offices located near the campuses of Sky Ridge Medical Center, Rose Medical Center and Avista Hospital. Please send resume to dianet@colocrm.com or fax to 720-873-6225.


events upcoming Nan Desu Kan Anime Convention September 1-3

Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel 1550 Court Pl, Denver, CO 80202 Cost: $45 through Aug 11, 2017 For more info and tickets, visit ndkdenver.org

tionale annual gala to help raise funds to provide life changing surgeries for children like this. Turn a life of ridicule into prosperity and hope! The event will feature a complimentary cocktail hour, wine cellar tours, delectable food, live music, auctions and heartwarming stories! Also, enjoy the live auctioneer Vic Lombardi.

NDK started in 1995 as a small anime festival at the Tivoli Student Union on the Auraria Campus in downtown Denver. Since then, they have grown to the largest convention in 13 surrounding states, excluding Texas.  They pride themselves on offering a small convention atmosphere with excellent programming, cultural material, and appearances from their wonderful guests of honor. NDK features a cosplay competition, art and model shows, video rooms, gaming tournaments, dance parties, AMV screenings, panel discussions and more.

Traditional Chinese Medicine 2017 Seminar

Thursday, September 28, 4:30pm - 6:30pm Community College of Denver Lowry Campus 1070 Alton Way, Room #233 Denver, CO 80230 Cost: Free and open to the public For more info, contact Jane.Lim@ccd.edu or visit ccd.edu/ci.

Asian Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours

ACC is excited to host their Business After Hours at the downtown offices of Comcast! A generous and solid community partner, Comcast has offered its lounge area for a reception and networking with chamber members and partners! Light appetizers from Guyz Fuzion and beverages served. Including remarks from Comcast business partners and management.

Traditional Chinese medicine reflects profound philosophical wisdom as well as theoretical and practical knowledge that has been in practice for thousands of years. It is a pearl of ancient Chinese science and a key to the essence of Chinese culture. In this seminar, Dr. Daisy Dong will discuss: brief history of traditional Chinese medicine, introduce acupuncture and its applications, share what is Chinese herbal medicine and its benefits and compare Eastern and Western medical approaches. Light refreshments and tea will be served!

Cambodian Cultural History: Pre-Angkor to Today

Nathan Yip Foundation Mid-Autumn Moon Festival

Friday, September 22, 6pm - 7:30pm

Comcast Office 1899 Wynkoop St. #400, Denver, CO 80202 Cost: $10 ACC members, $15 non-members

ACE - Asian American Cabaret Evening presented by TEA Sunday, September 10, 7pm - 9pm

Aurora Cultural Arts District (ACAD) Classroom 1400 Dallas Street, Aurora, CO 80010 Admission by donation, but due to limited seating, please reserve your seats by emailing: theatre.esprit@gmail.com.

of Vishnu, Krishna, Balarāma, and Ganesha, expressed a strong Indian influence long before Buddhism, also arising in India, became the dominate religion. Thousands of wonderful artifacts have been recovered and are treasured cultural and World Heritage objects conserved with care today. Angkor Wat photo courtesy of Dr. Sovrath Bong.

Tuesday, September 26, 6:30pm - 7:30pm

Saturday, September 30, Begins at 11am

Denver Art Museum Hamilton Building 100 W. 14th Ave. Pkwy, Denver, CO 80204 Cost: Free For more info, visit www.denverartmuseum.org or email blittle@denverartmuseum.org.

Presented by Theatre Esprit Asia, the evening will include continuing previews of TEA’s 5th Anniversary Season and also poetry by Juliette Lee with readings from Spireton, a novel by Zachary Drake. Refreshments will be provided.

Uplift Internationale Annual Gala Saturday, September 16, 6pm - 10pm Balistreri Vineyards 1936 E. 66th Avenue, Denver CO, 80229 Tickets: $75 per individual ticket More info and purchase tickets at: www.upliftinternationale.org.

Enjoy a wonderful evening at the Uplift Interna-

8

September 2017 | Event Calendar

Dr. Sovath Bong, archaeologist and President of the Royal University of Fine Arts, invites us to explore the wonders of Cambodia’s past with him in this presentation. Archaeological research into Cambodia’s past began in the late 19th century revealing the hidden treasure of now-famous Angkor Wat, the largest religious site in the world. Most pre-Angkor (before 1100 CE) objects recovered, such as statuary

King’s Land Chinese Seafood Restaurant 2200 W. Alameda Ave #44, Denver, CO 80223 Tickets: $35 Adult / $25 Child (12 and under) Advance reservations required Tickets at: https://nathanyipfoundation.org/ take-action/events/dim-sum The Nathan Yip Foundation’s Dim Sum Lunch is a traditional celebration of the Chinese Mid-Autumn Moon Festival. This is a fun way to involve the whole family while feasting on the most authentic and delicious dim sum in town. Dim sum means ‘touching the heart’ in Cantonese. If you’ve never tried dim sum before, it’s a great introduction to the cuisine, with a set menu hand-picked by Linda Yip herself!


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Friends of

ENCA Farm

Seed Library Launched in the Philippines and UpComing Nourish Event

By Sherry Manning, Founder and Executive Director, Friends of ENCA Farm

Benguet Congressman Cosalan at the Seed Library Launch

Farmer with seeds at the Seed Library

Friends of ENCA Farm (FoE), is a Denver-based international nonprofit organization committed to supporting food security and smallholder farmers throughout the Philippines. We accomplish this by offering high quality technical training programs to farmers and working with communities to establish community-owned and operated seed libraries. More than two billion people in the world, including the majority of the Philippines, rely on food that is produced by smallholder farmers, those who farm less than two hectares of land. However, today three major biochemical companies own the majority of the seeds in the world... not farmers. Often, much of this engineered seed is dedicated to industry crops such as soy, ethanol, cotton and tobacco, instead of food for families. By empowering smallholder farmers, we can further the sustainable food supply revolution. Through education and cooperative community empowerment, farmers begin to return to the historical practice of saving their own seeds. This ensures they are no longer dependent on purchasing seeds after each planting and forced to use harmful chemicals to grow their food. In 2016, FoE launched this seed saving movement in the Philippines. What started with a core group of ten farmers has now grown into an official association, the Benguet Association of Seed Savers (BASS). BASS currently has 20 members, representing four different municipalities in the Province of Benguet, and we aim to grow this group in the coming year. Each of the BASS farmers are committed to saving their own seeds, sharing and exchanging these seeds at a seed library, growing organic produce, and protecting their shared environment and biodiversity. In May of this year, the collaborative efforts of FoE, BASS and the Municipal Agriculture Office in Tublay officially launched the first of its kind collaborative Seed Library in Benguet Prov-

10

September 2017 | Inside Story

Celebrating the launch of the Seed Library with a traditional dance

ince. The seed library will ensure that both BASS members and other farmers have access to locally produced and affordable non-chemical seeds. The seed library will also serve as a community education space where farmers can access information about seed saving and organic farming practices and participate in our ongoing farmer-led technical training programs. To learn more about the dynamic work of Friends of ENCA Farm please visit us at: www.encaorganicfarm.com.

We invite you to join us in Denver on Saturday, October 14 from 11am-2pm for the 7th Annual Friends of ENCA Farm Nourish Event to learn more about our work in the Philippines. The event will feature an exciting silent auction and Filipino inspired Brunch Cuisine prepared by the Orange Crunch, LLC a Filipino Catering Company. We are honored that Dr. Padmapani Perez will join us from the Philippines as our keynote speaker. Dr. Perez is our Philippine NGO Board President and an accomplished anthropologist and community development expert. To learn more about Nourish and purchase event tickets, please visit: http://conta.cc/2uAeHgq.

7th Annual Nourish Event


m

BOOMERS LEADING CHANGE: Meet Achieving purpose through service By Phil Nash, Executive Director Boomers Leading Change The baby boom generation is rewriting the script for aging. Every day, ten thousand of us turn 65. But then what? More than ever, people of so-called “retirement age” are choosing to keep on working, keep on learning, and keep on finding ways to help their communities. Boomers Leading Change started with a big idea: older adults are healthier, better educated and have greater depth and breadth of work experience than previous generations. We are also living in communities facing complex social problems that need knowledge, skills and commitment to find solutions. How about developing ways for older adults to share their know-how and their time to make our communities—and our world—a better place? Several local and national foundations invested in this idea, and Boomers Leading Change opened its doors in 2010. Our focus is on improving the health and well-being of individuals, families and our entire community. More specifically, we have trained and deployed hundreds of adults 50+ into the community as health navigators and community health workers—an emerging niche within the health care work force that helps reduce the number of people who fall through the cracks in the health care and human services systems. Working with a network of approximately 40 nonprofit organizations, we train and place volunteers in community settings where help people in need health services they need. We also help people overcome barriers to good health, such as poverty, hunger, literacy, transportation and other factors.

An AmeriCorps member works with refugee children.

Boomers Leading Change operates three programs: • AmeriCorps Encore is a year-long program that provides stipends to people 55+ for direct service to people served by 10 host sites in metro Denver. Altogether, we have provided nearly 120,000 hours of service to more than 43,000 unique individuals. • Boomers Leading Change Volunteers serve at nearly 30 nonprofit organizations throughout the community. • Our Advocacy Academy educates people about issues that stand in the way of people living their healthiest lives, as well as actions individuals can take to promote positive change. During August and September, we are recruiting new members for our AmeriCorp Encore program. Our AmeriCorps members and volunteers tell us all the time how grateful they are for the opportunity to serve, to learn and to lead. For many, their service is transformational. And most important of all, we are inspired by the many examples of impact shared by our host sites thanks to the caring, committed service of people who can skillfully cut through red tape, or energetically walk the extra mile. Is Boomers Leading Change for you? If you are 50+ and looking for ways to get involved in meaningful service to others, come to a Volunteer Information Session. Upcoming meetings are listed at BoomersLeadingChange.org or contact Lynette Reiling at 303.426.6637 ext. 8 or email lreiling@ boomersleadingchange.org.

AmeriCorps Encore program is currently recruiting new members. Inside Story | asian avenue magazine

11


Don’t use Asian Americans to justify anti-affirmative action politics

By Nancy Leong and Erwin Chemerinsky

The Trump administration’s Justice Department recently announced that it would investigate and file suit against colleges and universities whose affirmative action policies discriminate on the basis of race. This new priority is unsurprising: Conservatives have long opposed affirmative action, and cracking down on policies perceived to disadvantage white people is likely to play well with Trump’s nearly all-white base. Yet affirmative action opponents are trying hard to argue that they are concerned about more than just white people. A comment by Roger Clegg, president of the conservative Center for Equal Opportunity, provides a window into one strategy the latest war on affirmative action will probably adopt. “It is frequently the case that not only are whites discriminated against now, but frequently Asian Americans are, as well,” Clegg said. Anti-affirmative action activist Edward Blum has specifically attempted to recruit Asian American plaintiffs, using ads with photographs of Asian American students to do so. (A Blum-backed lawsuit against Harvard University currently features a highly qualified Asian American plaintiff, perhaps as a more appealing alternative to unsuccessful plaintiff Abigail Fisher,

12

September 2017 | Feature

who lost before the Supreme Court in Fisher v. University of Texas and whose qualifications would not have merited admission to the University of Texas regardless of her race.) Yet this new tactic fails in multiple ways. The argument that affirmative action harms Asian American people is simply inaccurate. And worse, the argument is strategic rather than motivated by real concern for the well-being of Asian Americans. Legal precedent, extensive research and experience support the idea that affirmative action has benefits for all students, including Asian American students. The Supreme Court has accepted since 1978, and reaffirmed just last year, that race-conscious admissions policies comply with the Constitution when they promote diversity and include a holistic evaluation of all students. Research supports this view, finding that diverse learning environments improve learning, increase interracial understanding and better prepare students for careers in a diverse society. As professional educators, we can attest firsthand to the benefits of affirmative action. Diverse classrooms promote discussions that would not occur in racially homogeneous learning environments. In


our constitutional law classes, for example, we have found no substitute for the firsthand accounts of black and brown men who have been racially profiled, or for the narratives of Japanese American students whose relatives were sent to internment camps during World War II. Moreover, affirmative action programs benefit Asian American students in specific and concrete ways. Historically, such programs were critical in making public higher education available to Asian Americans in the 1960s and 1970s, before which Asian Americans had suffered exclusion and de jure segregation in public education like other people of color. So Asian Americans are already the beneficiaries of affirmative action in education, both firsthand and as the children of people who benefited firsthand and who consequently had improved professional opportunities and greater economic security. Affirmative policies continue to benefit Asian American students and communities today. While not every Asian American subgroup remains underrepresented, many are for at least some schools, including Vietnamese, Thai, Lao, Burmese, Filipino, Hmong, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander students. Race-conscious admissions policies give school officials the latitude to take into account the unique experiences of these individuals. Given the many ways that affirmative ac-

tion benefits Asian American students and their communities, we should see conservative solicitude for Asian Americans “harmed” by affirmative action as strategic rather than genuine. Conservative opponents of affirmative action have not, generally speaking, taken an interest in other issues that affect Asian American welfare in unique ways, ranging from employment discrimination to health care to immigration. So why the conservative concern when it comes to affirmative action? The answer is that Asian Americans provide a convenient tool for opponents of affirmative action. By framing opposition to affirmative action as concern for Asian Americans, opponents of affirmative action can protect the existing racial hierarchy — with white people at the top — while disguising their efforts as race-neutral rather than racially motivated. We suspect that Asian Americans will see through this clumsy and cynical attempt to deploy them in service of dismantling affirmative action. And at least for the time being, the Supreme Court has been clear that affirmative action policies are constitutional. But if anything, anti-affirmative action efforts demonstrate the need for racial diversity. One way to improve upon the shallow racial understanding of affirmative action opponents is to ensure diverse educational environments that promote clear thinking and honest conversation about racial issues.

Originally posted in The Washington Post www.washingtonpost.com/news/posteverything/wp/2017/08/03/dont-use-asian-americans-to-justify-anti-affirmative-action-politics

Nancy Leong is a professor at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law. Follow @nancyleong Erwin Chemerinsky is a dean and professor of law at the University of California, Berkeley School of Law. Affirmative Action | asian avenue magazine

13


Community Profiles Stories of people making an impact throughout our state

14

September 2017 | Cover Story


Katerina Jeng: Co-founder of new Asian American print magazine joins Denver community On June 15, 2017, Slant’d co-founders Katerina Jeng and Krystie Mak launched their Kickstarter campaign to bring its inaugural issue into the hands of readers across the country. Slant’d is a new print magazine that boldly challenges racial norms, encourages open-mindedness, and explores what it means to be Asian American. Why this matters: • Despite being the fastest-growing racial group in the U.S. at 5.8% of the total U.S. population, Asian and Pacific Islanders make up only 1.4 percent of lead characters in Hollywood, and are also sorely lacking representation in mainstream American mediaand publications. Slant’d aims to close this diversity gap by creating a platform for Asian American voices to spark meaningful conversations about what it means to be Asian American today. • Slant’d shines the spotlight on #badasians: game changers who are shattering stereotypes and breaking through the bamboo ceiling. In a world where hurtful stereotypes are widely perpetuated by mainstream media — ranging from Sixteen Candles’ grossly orientalized Long Duk Dong, to the tasteless model minority myth joke at the 2016 Oscars featuring three Asian children — truthful depictions of real Asian Americans pursuing diverse interests and careers are needed now more than ever. • By surfacing multidimensional stories ranging from Asian Americans in politics and the art world, to the complicated relationships between first-generation Asian Americans and their immigrant parents, to exploring intimacy and finding selflove as an LGBTQ Asian American, Slant’d aims to peel back the layers of complexity that make up the Asian American identity. “Asian Americans are often stereotyped as being passive,

Co-founders Katerina Jeng and Krystie Mak receive full funding to print the inaugural issue of Slant’d, a new Asian American print magazine that breaks cultural boundaries.

obedient, and silent,” says co-founder Katerina Jeng. “We created Slant’d to flip that stereotype on its head. By sharing real stories from real people, we are empowering Asian Americans to rewrite the narrative that has been historically written by non-Asians for far too long.” Slant’d uses personal storytelling in the form of poetry, short stories, essays, illustration, and photography to bring emotionally complex issues about race and identity to life. It is not afraid to provide a refreshingly candid take on contemporary Asian American culture. “Slant’d is for anyone who, at one point, was made to feel like an ‘other,’” explains co-founder Krystie Mak. “We started this so Asian Americans could feel proud of their identities and celebrate what it means to be an Asian American on their own terms.”

About Slant’d

Frustrated by the lack of Asian American representation in mainstream media, co-founders Katerina Jeng and Krystie Mak started Slant’d with a group of friends who were eager to change the perception of the Asian American identity. What started off as a passion project quickly evolved into a collective vision to build an intersectional community of Asian Americans who boldly defy stereotypes, one story at a time. Slant’d is a new print magazine that celebrates Asian American culture. By empowering real people to share real stories, Slant’d aims to challenge racial norms, encourage open-mindedness, and explore what it means to be Asian American today. Website: www.slantdmag.com Facebook/Instagram/Twitter: @slantdmag Community Profiles | asian avenue magazine

15


Dr. Tianlong Jiao

Joseph de Heer Curator of Asian Art at the Denver Art Museum By Erin Yoshimura

It’s been two years since Dr. Tianlong Jiao stepped into the Dr. Jiao was granted entrance and a full-ride scholarship, a large role of the Joseph de Heer Curator of Asian Art at the Denver feat for a young scholar. Art Museum (DAM). He was selected after an international Prior to landing in Denver, Dr. Jiao served as the art curator search to take the role once held by Ronald Otsuka who retired of Chinese Art at the San Francisco’s Asian Art Museum. Before after 41 years with the museum. that, he was the chairman of the Anthropology department at Perhaps Dr. Jiao was destined to have a career in Asian Art. the Bishop Museum in Honolulu, Hawaii for 10 years. He was born in Shandong Province in China, the birthplace It’s fascinating to deconstruct the mind of a curator. During a of Confucius, at the start of the Cultural Revolution. His name, recent conversation, Dr. Jiao often emphasized the amount of Tianlong, translates as ‘heavenly dragon.’ in-depth research and scholarly requirements of his job – very He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Beijing Univer- left-brain processing. And yet, as a curator, the other part of sity and a Master of Arts degree from the Chinese Academy of the job requires right-brain creativity, a deep sense of artistic Social Sciences. Earning his Ph.D. from Harvard University “was aesthetics along with the ability to tell a story that appeals to by accident,” he says. In 1996, he was invited by Harvard to be the general public. Simply put, starting with a focused area, art curators create a visiting scholar and moved from China to Boston, along with exhibits from envisioning concept and theme, and then often his wife and son (their daughter was born in the U.S.). In April of 1997, his professor urged him to apply for the Ph.D. create the exhibit from limited space. Along with the exhibit, program. Dr. Jiao figured since admission was already closed the curator also oversees the production of videos, photo laythat he would have to return to China and apply the following outs, and related art projects. The long hours of research culmiyear. But his professor told him, “If you want to stay we can nates in an exhibit catalog similar to footnotes in a book. Ribbon cutting ceremony among board members of SASE As an example, Dr. Jiao is passionate about illustrating the make it happen,” and talked to the department Dean and Chair.

16

September 2017 | Cover Story


Art ‘n Facts • The Asian Art Department was founded in 1915 and is as old as the Metropolitan Museum of Art. • The Denver Art Museum is the largest art museum between San Francisco and Chicago and ranks within the top 10 art museums in the U.S. • The Asian Art department is named after the late Dr. Joseph de Heer, emeritus professor of chemistry at CU-Boulder and collector of Asian art. • DAM’s Asian Art department has about 6,000 pieces from China, India, Japan, Korea, Southeast Asia, Southwest Asia, Tibet and Nepal. • With over 1,000 pieces, DAM is home to the largest bamboo art collection in the U.S. Photos by Gil Asakawa

Asian Art Exhibits curated by Dr. Tianlong Jiao From the Fire: Contemporary Japanese Ceramics from the Robert and Lisa Kessler Collection Through Nov. 19, 2017 Ganesha: The Playful Protector Oct. 1, 2017 – Oct. 28, 2018 Linking Asia: Art, Trade, and Devotion Dec. 17, 2017 – April 1, 2018 More info at:

denverartmuseum.org/exhibitions

evolution and acculturation of art across Asia as shown in the upcoming exhibit, Ganesha: The Playful Protector opening October 1, 2017. Originating in India, Ganesha is a Hindu god who is part human with an elephant head. He is touted for removing obstacles and granting wealth and success. This exhibit is in collaboration with the National Museum of Cambodia in Phnom Penh. The art curator also engages with the community and lectures to universities. They travel the world in search of acquisitions to build up the collection for the museum. In the case of the Denver Art Museum, the curator also provides guidance to the Asian Art Association, a special membership group of the department. Dr. Jiao’s first exhibit for DAM was From the Fire: Contemporary Japanese Ceramics from The Robert and Lisa Kessler Collection and took about six months to curate. He’s impressed that there are 400 (artifact) donors over the years who are primarily nonAsian but have a passion for Asian art. The Kesslers, who live in Colorado, travel to Japan twice a year in search of pieces to add to their collection. Although the acquisitions for the Samurai exhibit that was on display last spring were already set, the choice of which pieces to use from the collection, and the design and programming of the exhibit were based on Dr. Jiao’s vision. The show was a success and the collector

was pleased and deemed Denver’s presentation as the best thus far. Dr. Jiao is especially excited about the upcoming exhibit Linking Asia: Art, Trade, and Devotion opening on December 17, 2017. The works will illustrate how the Silk Road trade routes influenced art across Asia. This exhibit will feature about 150 artifacts, from sculptures to textiles, from 20 countries over a span of 2000 years. Linking Asia will show what he calls the “exchange of ideas, beliefs, and techniques which profoundly affected the development of Asian art,” a passion of Dr. Jiao’s. “What I hope people take away [from this exhibit] is that today many people view Asia as different countries: Japan, China, Korea, India. In reality, everybody was connected to some degree and the way that people make objects did not come from a vacuum and has to be inspired somewhere. Most of them are inspired by sources not in their own culture but somewhere else. I want to show the connection.” For the first time, an exhibit catalog will be produced recording DAM’s Asian Art collection from the launch of the department in 1915 that spans from the fourth millennium B.C. to the present. The Asian Art department at DAM may have been around for 102 years, but seems brand new through the eyes of Dr. Tianlong Jiao.

Community Profiles | asian avenue magazine

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From cutting hair to cutting cards Oanh “Tawny” Le builds a following at Monarch Casino Black Hawk By Diane Mulligan

Becoming a black jack dealer might be a strange turn for a hairdresser, but Vietnamese immigrant Oanh “Tawny” Le (age 49) has spent half her life in Black Hawk, Colorado, initially as a poker player and now as one of the most popular and longest serving black jack dealers in town. Black Hawk, a town established around gold mining and now known for its gaming industry, is undergoing another boom in casino expansions and tourism development. The Colorado Department of Revenue recorded 2016 as Black Hawk’s best year since gambling became legal in 1991, with adjusted gross proceeds topping $609 million dollars in revenue from slot machines and table games. Le never set out to work in the gaming industry, but quickly fell in love with the work after a pit boss recruited her to help improve the experience for its Asian guests. “I was a hairdresser, and when gaming was first legalized in Colorado my husband and I would drive up three times a week to play, even though we kept losing money!” Le recalled.

“I went and got my gaming license and every shift the pit bosses would help me get better. They’d say, ‘Straighten up your cards!’ and I kept on making mistakes. Sometimes players would yell, but the bosses were very nice and told them to give me a break while I was learning. I got to like the income.” “Also there’s a tremendous amount of personal interaction. It’s fun work, and you get everybody involved in the game so they have a great time. Most of the people who come to the table are nervous, so you have patience and show them how to win,” Le explained. Le enjoys the quick 45-minute commute to work so she can take in the mountain views, drink coffee, and listen to music in light traffic. If she were making the same commute to downtown Denver, the stressful heavy traffic would not give her the time to relax. Over the years Le has developed a following at Monarch Casino Black Hawk, and estimates she knows four out of five guests by name. Monarch Casino Black Hawk is the first landmark you come to when driving in from Highway 119. The casino is currently undergoing a multimillion-dollar transformation to add a hotel, a worldclass spa, and several restaurants. Le shows her pride. She says, “We are going to be the most famous casino in Black Hawk. It’s really exciting to see it grow and watch how pretty and new the casino is becoming. We pride ourselves on being the friendliest in town, but we also have the Las Vegas feel, so it’s the best of both worlds.” Looks like Le is worthy of a visit!

It’s fun work, and you get everybody involved in the game so they have a great time. Most of the people who come to the table are nervous, so you have patience and show them how to win.

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September 2017 | Cover Story


Helping Colorado’s Burmese community

By May Tran

On Sat. June 24, 2017, at Fields Foundation Opportunity Center, Sisters Betty Funderburke and Elinora Reynolds of Sisters Enterprise presented the 2017 Random Acts of Kindness (RAOK) Awards to the following honorees: Sandra Bea, Joe Gilliom, Karen Gonzales, Kathleen Hancock, Harvey McWhorter, Juanita Montoya, Sheila Robinson, Heath Rost, Andrew Thang and Glenn Younger. Burmese Pastor Andrew Thang and his family made Denver his home in 2009, after living in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for one year as a refugee. His wife and three children (two boys and one girl) enjoy living in Colorado’s Rocky Mountain region. Pastor Thang is very proud of his international family that includes his daughter who was born in Burma, the oldest son born in Malaysia and the youngest son born in the United States. His hobbies consist of spending time with his family and ministering to his church parishioners. Pastor Thang’s full-time job is serving as pastor at his church located at 1585 Kingston Street with service every Sunday from 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Relying on the Holy Spirit to inspire him, he also serves as a leader and friend in the Denver and Aurora Burmese communities. As a loving way to promote kindness, this pastor promotes random acts of kindness wherever he goes and sends gifts and other tokens to family and friends in Burma. As a kind-hearted servant, Pastor Thang always makes himself available to help those less fortunate in his community. May Tran, a boat refugee herself, nominated Pastor Thang as the hero in the community.

While entertaining an audience of more than 125 RAOK supporters, Sisters Betty & Elinora welcomed 103-year-old Lieutenant Jim Downing, the second oldest Pearl Harbor Survivor with the 2017 Centenarian Award. After 24 years, Jim retired as a Naval officer, and was a dedicated husband to his wife for 68 years and father to seven children. Having published three books, the Guinness Book of World Records is researching him as the World’s Oldest Living Male Author. Today, Jim is recognized as an accomplished author, speaker and leader, and has lived in Colorado Springs since 1956. Words of wisdom were shared by keynote speaker, Dr. Cenece Dixon, recipient of President Obama’s Presidential Lifetime Achievement Award. The program also included a stunning fashion show featuring Jeannine Montgomerie (Ms. 2017 Senior Colorado), May Tran (2015 Random Acts of Kindness recipient), and others. The audience thoroughly enjoyed a fun baby contest. Determined to promote RAOK wherever they go, the Sisters encourage others to become RAKtivists by inspiring hope, generosity and goodwill. Based on their mission to conquer the world one random act of kindness at a time, their community-strengthening program has become a popular teaching tool for children, adults and the community-at-large. To date, Sisters Enterprise has recognized a total of 141 phenomenal Coloradans for their kind and selfless acts of kindness. For more info, visit: www.SistersEnterprise.weebly.com.

Pastor Andrew Thang 2017 Random Acts of Kindness Honoree

Random Acts of Kindness Honorees: Back: Kathleen Hancock, Sandra Bea, --, Harvey McWhorter, Joe Gilliom, Glenn Younger Middle: Dr. Cenece Dixon, Juanita Montoya, Karen Gonzales, Sheila Robinson, Heath Rost, Andrew Thang Front: Centenarian Lieutenant Jim Downing Community Profiles | asian avenue magazine

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A Letter from Asian Americans Advancing Justice Dear fellow Asian Americans, Modern day Ku Klux Klan members marched through Charlottesville the weekend of August 12, 2017, emboldened, in their own words, by our current President.They lacked hoods but if anyone doubted their intentions, they carried torches and Nazi and Confederate flags to ensure the world knew what they stood for: white supremacy, white power, and nativism.They came ostensibly to protect and promote Confederate history, but took clear aim at African Americans, immigrants, and the civil rights movements of the past and present. While few Asian Americans trace our roots to the Civil War, our history in this nation is deeply intertwined and impacted by white supremacy and nativism. At the turn of the 20th century, white mobs threatened -- and even lynched -- Chinese, Filipino, and South Asian immigrants, in part for fear they would taint (white) American culture.White supremacist groups helped to pass the Chinese Exclusion Act, the first law to ban an entire ethnic group. And white supremacy birthed “alien land laws”, barring “non-citizens” from owning land at a time when mainly Asians could not become U.S. citizens, and anti-miscegenation laws, prohibiting interracial marriage (a law that in California specifically singled out Chinese, Japanese, Filipino, and other Asians).White supremacy also paved the way for the U.S. government to violate due process and incarcerate 120,000 Japanese Americans, many U.S. citizens, during World War II -- an action upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in Korematsu vs. United States and never formally overturned. Given our history, we as Asian Americans cannot stand idly by and watch as white supremacists march through our neighborhoods. Even before this weekend, hate crimes were surging upwards, including nearly 200 incidents against Asian Americans since January documented through our hate tracker (StandAgainstHatred.org) and the shooting of two South Asian immigrants, Srinivas Kuchibhotla and Alok Madasani, in Kansas earlier this year. We as Asian Americans also must not be complicit in the white supremacist agenda of this current administration. White supremacy drives the President’s Muslim bans, seeking to ban entire groups of people based on their national origin and non-Christian religion. It drove last week’s one-two punches from the White House. First, when the President announced his support for the RAISE Act, an immigration bill that would gut the current family-based immigration system, which has brought millions of Asian, African, and Latin American immigrants into the U.S. and remade the racial demographics of the U.S. in the past 50 years. And second, when the White House redirected federal civil rights resources to undo long-standing affirmative action policies.The administration’s purported claim to be fighting discrimination against Asian Americans flies counter to all other evidence that this administration and its allies and supporters seek to advance only the interests of fellow white Americans. Our nation is at a critical crossroads.White supremacist leaders like David Duke have seized upon Charlottesville as a turning point in moving their hate and nativism mainstream.Without clear and decisive leadership from the President or other administration officials or Congressional leaders, it falls on all of us to resist white supremacy, including efforts to be co-opted by white supremacists who do not and have never had our communities’ interests at heart. We call on all Asian Americans to join us in defending our vision of democracy – one where we protect the vulnerable amongst us, resist efforts to erode our hard-won rights and protections, and fight to advance progress for all marginalized communities.We pledge to challenge rising hate, to fight the President’s Muslim bans, to oppose the RAISE Act and the gutting of affirmative action, to fight deportations and defend DACA, to champion health care for all, and to ensure all voters can cast their ballots.We cannot do this alone, and we will be calling upon you to join us on the streets, in legislative chambers, and on the steps of the courts to stand up for our democracy. In unity and resistance, Asian Americans Advancing Justice (AAJC) advancingjustice-aajc.org

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September 2017 | National AAPI News


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how to make

DURIAN CAKE

By Samantha Quee

Regarded by many people in Southeast Asia as the “king of fruits,” the durian is distinctive for its large size, strong odor and formidable thorn-covered husk. Growing up in Singapore, I have always loved the fruit, and my family often travels 1-2 hours by car to our next door neighbor-Malaysia to get the best ones during the durian season. Luckily for me, durians are still available in the Asian supermarkets in Colorado. Today, I am going to introduce you my favorite durian cake recipe! Do not be turned off by the smell, try it with an open mind because it is in fact really scrumptious!

Ingredients

Directions

• 6 eggs, separated • 3/16 cup oil • 1/4 cup water • 3/4 cup of sugar • 1 and 1/2 cups of cake flour • 3/8 teaspoon of baking powder • 3/8 teaspoon of salt • Flesh of 3-4 durians (roughly 500g) • 1 tbsp milk • 10-15 tbsp cream • 3 tbsp XO whisky • 1/3 cup rum • Fresh cream (for frosting)

1. Preheat the oven to 350° F . 2. In a med-large bowl whisk together the egg yolks, half portion of the sugar, oil and water. 3. Sift the flour and baking powder and salt into a large bowl. Whisk gently to combine. 4. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Pour in the egg yolk mixture and mix to create a smooth paste. In the bowl of an electric mixer, whip the egg whites on medium speed until light and frothy. Slowly add the remaining sugar and continue to beat until stiff peaks form. 5. Add one-third of the egg whites and fold in to lighten the batter. Fold in the remaining egg whites. Transfer to the cake tin.

6. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Invert the cake immediately and let it cool in the tin. Once cool, run a knife around the cake to unmold the cakes. Lift the cake and run knife along the base before unmolding it completely. Cut cake into 3 round layers. 7. Puree the durian flesh with milk till 80% smooth. 8. Fold in cream and whisky. 9. Place one layer on a cake stand. Brush the surface with rum generously. 10. Top with half the durian puree and spread it evenly. Repeat with the remaining layers. 11. Frost the top of the cake and the sides with fresh cream frosting.

Interesting facts about durians! Durian season is usually from June to September. During these months, the fruit is available in almost every street corner in Indonesia and other South East Asian countries. One tree may have two fruiting periods per annum. The name durian comes from the word “duri”, a Malay word for thorn. In Indonesia and other South East Asia big city hotels, durian is forbidden. The fruit also cannot be carried on certain public transportation. In North Sumatra (in Indonesia), the petal of durian flower is cooked. Durian seed is roasted or grilled or fried and consumed as well while in Java, the seed is sliced and cooked with sugar.

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September 2017 | Chef’s Menu


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Fall Staycations in Colorado By Patricia Kaowthumrong

Fall ushers in a season of cooler-yet-comfortable temps and colorful displays of foliage in Colorado — making it the perfect time to explore our state. Plus, a seemingly endless roster of accommodation and dining options make it easy to turn a foliage-viewing excursion into a weekend staycation. Here’s our roundup of top places to experience Colorado’s fall beauty, with ideas on where to stay and sample the area’s diverse flavors.

Trail Ridge Road, Rocky Mountain National Park

Trail Ridge Road Photo by: Kent Kanouse Sandwiched by the gateway towns of Estes Park and Grand Lake, Rocky Mountain National Park boasts more than 415 square miles of some of Mother Nature’s finest landscapes. And fall is a special time in the park, when wildflower meadows are replaced with autumn colors and the sounds of bugling male elk (they’re hollerin’ to their harems or trying to attract new mates!) can be heard throughout the park. For top-of-the-world panoramas (literally) of the transformative alpine backdrops, drive Trail Ridge Road from Estes Park to Grand Lake, which crests at over 12,000 feet and includes many scenic overlooks. The road typically closes for the winter in mid- to late October, depending on weather conditions, so plan accordingly. Note: Dress warmly; the weather

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September 2017 | Update

can change rapidly in the autumn months, particularly at high altitudes. Food Stop: Great for a quick bite after a day exploring Rocky Mountain, Baba’s Burgers & Gyros in Estes Park offers comforting grub at affordable prices. You can’t go wrong with a classic gyro with an order of Greek garlic fries, but they also serve up satisfying elk and buffalo cheeseburgers. Stay: Located about 7 miles from the national park, Baldpate Inn has offered visitors a cozy place to rest their heads since 1917. Book one of the bed and breakfast’s 12 guestrooms and four cabins, have a daily three-course breakfast (the freshly baked cinnamon rolls are to die for) and check out the inn’s quirky key collection, lauded as the world’s largest. Correction of August 2017 cover story


There is such a thing as

MSG

By Wayne Chan

With drawal

I’ve heard that the symptoms of withdrawal can be dramatic. Only recently have I seen the effects of withdrawal in person. Typical expressions of withdrawal can include anxiety, depression, insomnia, irritability, and social isolation. Remington, my brother-in-law, came to the US from Beijing for a professional training course. His suffering from withdrawal was not a result of drugs or alcohol, not even from tobacco. Remington was going through withdrawal from Chinese food. You might say, “That’s ridiculous! How can anyone go through withdrawal just from not eating Chinese food?” I agree with you. The fact is, I saw it with my own eyes. The first couple of days after he arrived were easy. He didn’t even want Chinese food. After all, he lives in Beijing. When I asked him what kind of food he wanted to try while he was here, his eyes lit up and he said, “Mexican food!” We chose a place surrounded by Mariachis, bowls overflowing with chips and salsa, and a seemingly endless supply of refried beans. After polishing off a taco, a burrito, and an enchilada, we got back home and Remington lay back on our couch with a rounded belly, a deep sigh, and an overwhelmed expression on his face. “That was a lot of food,” Remington mumbled. “I think I’m going to skip dinner.” The next morning, I drove Remington to his seminar where he would spend the next three days. The hotel that hosted his training rests in an area geared toward people traveling on business. Since Remington wouldn’t need a car during his stay, his only dining options were those within walking distance. The culinary choices on hand included hamburgers, cheeseburgers, and that was about it. Three days later, I picked him up from the hotel and I could tell something wasn’t quite right. We had one evening together before he left for Beijing the next morning. Remington wasn’t the happy-go-lucky, up-for-anything brother-in-law I knew. He stood there next to his suitcase, eyebrows furrowed, lips pursed. His left foot was tapping the ground anxiously. “How was the training?” I asked, foolishly. Remington replied, “It was awful!”

After a few more minutes of tense conversation, it became clear what was happening. The training went well; my brother learned a lot, and the new certification would help him with his work back home. But the food… Three days of hamburgers! I can’t take it anymore! Every place I went, all they had were hamburgers! The one meal that wasn’t a hamburger was lunch, when the hotel brought in food for us during the meeting, and that was a sandwich, which is basically just a cold hamburger! If I have another hamburger, so help me! I headed straight for a restaurant near us called “The Tasty Noodle House,” one of my favorite Chinese restaurants. I drove there as if I was rushing him to the emergency room. Upon arrival, I realized the immediate problem – no parking. I worried he might have a meltdown in the lot. When the opportunity came, my brother ordered nearly everything on the menu. What is taking so long?!? It doesn’t take this long in Beijing! What, do I have to go back there and cook it myself? What is going on?!? This was after two minutes of waiting. When the food arrived, there was a frantic look of desperation and anticipation on his face. He practically didn’t even need to use chopsticks. The food looked like it floated off the table and into his mouth. With each bite of dumpling or noodle, he closed his eyes and his head tilted back, as if gripped by some kind of rapturous ecstasy. His skin tone literally darkened three shades, from a pasty white to a more normal hue. I could almost see the MSG coursing through his veins, bringing him back to life from three days of deprivation. After we finished and got back in the car – with no leftovers, by the way – he tilted the car seat, leaned back, rubbed his belly and said, “I’m so full. I think I’m going to skip dinner.” Just in case, I’m going to keep a cup of noodles in the car from now on in the event of another MSG-withdrawal. Humor Column | asian avenue magazine

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bookreview THE GUN

Author: Fuminori Nakamura Pages: 198 pages ISBN: 9781616957681 Translated from the Japanese by Allison Markin Powell Price: $14.05 Website: https://sohopress.com/authors/ fuminori-nakamura/

Reviewed by Mary Jeneverre Schultz Nakamura’s novel is a dark and probing tale. In Tokyo, a college student’s discovery and eventual obsession with a stolen handgun awakens something dark inside him and threatens to consume not only his life but also his humanity. Similar to an Alfred Hitchcock film, this chilling and suspenseful novel brings the reader into the psyche of the main character. Readers may find themselves holding their breath when the main character interacts with his girlfriend, classmate, neighbor, and then the main investigator. The Gun is a haunting and psychological thriller. On a random, melancholic walk late one night, a young college student takes a brief respite beneath a bridge in Tokyo. He discovers first the body and then the gun. It is beautiful --- a blackened steel revolver. His desire to hold the gun, an object illegal for civilians to own in Japan, overcomes his fear of the murdered man lying on the riverbank. He pockets the gun and quickly heads home with his treasure. What happens when a found treasure is a weapon? A Good Samaritan would report it to the authorities. This book outlines how one citizen, living an ordinary life, handles the situation of finding this shiny revolver. In the months that follow, he becomes obsessed with the weapon. He builds a special box for it. He seeks out bullets to fill its empty chambers. At night, he holds and cleans the gun with a reverence he never felt before. Soon the gun is the most important thing in his life.

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September 2017 | Book Review

mura ka a

inori m N Fu

About the Author Translated into English for the first time, The Gun was published by Soho Crime. This Shincho prize-winning novel by Fuminori Nakamura has been quick to fame, as the author is well known for his other works, The Thief and Last Winter We Parted, for example. Fuminori Nakamura was born in 1977 and graduated from Fukushima University in 2000. He has won numerous prizes for his writing, including the Oe Prize, Japan’s largest literary award, the David L. Goodis Award, and the prestigious Akutagawa Prize. The Thief, his first novel to be translated into English, was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Price. His other novels include Evil and the Mask, The Kingdom, and The Boy in the Earth. Nakamura’s impressive awards and accolades entice first-time readers to hunt down his other books, and like that shiny revolver, take them home. Only in his 30s, this author is an up-and-coming writer who specializes in the horror and crime genres and promises a thrilling read.


filmreview 2016 documentary film:

The First Monday In May Length: 1 hour, 30 minutes Reviewed by YiJing Chen

Is fashion art? How is clothing and couture considered art? Andrew Bolton, Chief Curator at the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, states, “Some people have a very 19th century idea of what art is. There are people within the museum who still dismiss fashion as a form of art.� Many still hold the belief that art only pertains to painting, architecture, and sculpture. Anything outside of those three forms were decorative arts and looked down upon. The First Monday in May does an outstanding job of confirming that fashion, costume, and clothing are indeed art, worthy of attention and recognition. Documenting the journey that leads up to the annual iconic MET gala in New York City, The First Monday in May covers both the behind-the-scenes preparation and the final product of the fashion exhibit. The documentary is directed by Andrew Rossi, and features many distinguished faces in the fashion industry such as Anna Wintour, Rihanna, Jean Paul Gaultier, Karl Lagerfeld, and more. With over 30 designers, the event is hosted by Andrew Bolton, and includes 150 designs that match the annual theme. In 2015, the year the documentary was filmed, the theme was China: Through the Looking Glass. The opening scene of the documentary introduces the viewer to various art curators. Anna Wintour discusses the theme, the designers that will be featured, the media outlets involved, the celebrities and politicians who will attend, and the creation of the actual designs. Down to the smallest details of design and structure, the documentary focuses on concepts, aesthetic principles, and refined techniques. Looking to high fashion designers for stylistic input, the film includes Yves Saint Laurent, John Galliano, and Alexander McQueen, all of whom have changed the path of fashion and the way that society perceives art. The First Monday in May analyzes the ins and outs of the fashion realm at one of the most significant global fashion shows. With unprecedented access, Andrew Rossi captures the play among high fashion, art, and media, as well as the transformation from cloth to finished display piece. Rossi sheds light on the process, helping the viewer to understand and appreciate the meaning of fashion in the fine arts. Film Review | asian avenue magazine

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Colorado Dragon Boat Festival at Sloan’s Lake The 17th annual Colorado Dragon Boat Festival presented by AARP was held the weekend of July 29-30 at Sloan’s Lake in Edgewater. On Saturday, July 29, the main stage began the festival with the “Awakening the Dragon” ceremony which includes the Chinese eye dotting ritual that is traditional to the dragon boat races. The Boulder-based Shaolin Hung Mei Kung Fu Academy (SHMKF) will perform the Dragon Dance (and Lion Dances and kung fu demonstrations later in the day) once again to close out the Opening Ceremony. They’ve performed the Dragon Dance every year at CDBF since it debuted in 2001. The main stage highlighted hip hop performances, Bollywood and Polynesian dance and Japanese taiko drums. The festival featured 20 different food vendors ranging from Thai food (Denver Thai Lions Club and Mile High Thai Food Truck) to Filipino cuisine (The Orange

Crunch). There were also food trucks representing Ethiopia and Puerto Rico. New this year was a spicy ramen eating contest, featuring the recent YouTube phenomenon of chowing down spicy Korean ramen noodles. For a $5 entry fee, festival goers competed against each other to finish the bowl in the fastest time! Of course, the main event was the dragon boat races! This year, there were 52 competing teams! In 2001, the festival began with 16 teams. The following year, there were 32 teams. Along the way, the festival has added a Youth Division, and also added Competitive Race Divisions when CDBF purchased two Hong Kong style boats, which are lower and faster in the water. The competitive races have attracted teams and paddlers from across the country, and eventually, will be an international draw for our festival. For more info and to see the dragon boat race results, visit www.cdbf.org.

Congratulations to Lao Buddhist Temple of Colorado on winning the competitive division.

Participants watch the dragon boat racing at Sloan’s Lake. Photo by Tom Carney Photography

4th annual Aurora Global Fest On Saturday, Aug. 19, the city of Aurora celebrated their fourth annual Aurora Global Fest filled with fantastic flavors, cultural experiences and artistic expression from around the world. The event kicked off with flags from more than 30 countries making their way around the event grounds during the parade of nations. Community members gathered on the Great Lawn of the Aurora Municipal Center. The Main Stage featured six acts: a mix of local, energetic performers and touring, dance-worthy bands, including the award-winning headliner Morgan Heritage, a reggae band with an authentic sound. This band recently won the 2016 Grammy for Best Reggae Album. On the Community Stage, local groups took the spotlight with Left Photo: Lily Shen and Jerry Hsu stand with the Republic of China (Taiwan) flag. Right Photo: Shirley Chang, Lily Shen, Jerry Hsu and Congressman Mike Coffman get ready for the Parade of Nations.

28

September 2017 | On Scene

international fashion shows and cultural performances. Event-goers sampledtheir way around the globe, visiting 11 different food vendors selling delicious appetizers and entrees. The World Beer Market featured refreshing beverages; Lao Wang Lager, Dry Dock IPA, Dry Dock Sour Apricot, Dry Dock Blonde, and Coors Light. Guests also visited the Aurora History Museum’s new exhibit “Picture Me Here: Stories of Hope and Resilience by Immigrants and Refugees,” that runs until Sept. 22. This exhibit features work by displaced and marginalized communities. The museum will be showcasing three Picture Me Here projects: Through a Refugee’s Lens: The Beauty of Humanity, Bhutanese Women and Damak to Denver. For more info, visit: www.auroraglobalfest.org.


Budget Travel Options By Mary Jeneverre Schultz

Those who wish to travel are often confronted by the reality of their budget first. Here is an idea for making a trip on the cheap: try to reduce your airfare by 50 percent. A Canadian-based company is offering opportunities for airline discounts in the U.S. Travelers can find airfares up to 50 percent off. They also boast free or reduced-price tickets on different major US bus and rail lines. David Lipton, president of Sensors Quality Management (SQM) in Toronto, Canada says, “We are thrilled to help consumers save money.” Here’s what to do: 1. Sign up at: www.sqm.ca 2. Create a profile that will require an email and contact information 3. After approval, you will have an opportunity to review the travel boards 4. Familiarize yourself with the website so you can navigate it easily 5. Wait for further instructions Then there are other things to consider before you book your trip: • Only one person can be allowed on the reduced-cost flight. Couples, families, and those traveling in groups won’t be able to

sign up on the same flight or plan a group trip. If you participate in a frequent flier program, you will not earn points since you are getting half off the flight. You are required to fill out an evaluation on each leg of the flight. The first survey takes a little longer than any others, usually an average of 30 minutes. Most airlines have wireless Internet that allows individuals to work on the survey during the flight. You will work closely with SQM to book your tickets. The process is typically easy and seamless. Last-minute travel won’t work – you will have to plan ahead. A good rule of thumb is to book tickets at least three weeks in advance.

Afraid of flying? SQM offers rail and bus options, too, allowing leisure travelers to see North America on the ground. As more airlines receive bad publicity or experience unfortunate incidents, discounted travel allows more airlines and rail companies to build and improve their brands. Lipton adds that his company also works closely with hotels and upscale restaurants to improve the complete traveling experience.

Mary Jeneverre Schultz travels all over the U.S. in search of ethnic enclaves. Follow her on Instagram @Jeneverre. Let SQM know you heard about this opportunity and they will prioritize your application. Travel | asian avenue magazine

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狐狸精 Don’t trust the Fox Demon 狐狸精 Chinese Folklore:

I

By Amy Ng

n Chinese, a popular way to describe sexy or promiscuous women is a “狐狸精” (hü li jing), which translates to “fox demon.” It’s pretty common even in English to call someone “foxy” or a “vixen” if they’re being coy or sly, since the animals themselves seem to embody such descriptions. In English, being called a fox usually means something positive, like being beautiful or cunning. In Chinese, being called a fox is almost always an insult. It implies that a person is wily, and uses seduction as a means of manipulation. Fox demons in traditional folklore are creatures that gain strength, beauty, and power by taking someone’s life energy (qi), or sometimes by eating a human heart. They have many magical abilities, so even though their true form is a fuzzy little fox, they can shape shift into a human. In traditional stories, fox demons are usually depicted as beautiful and mysterious women who lure and seduce men, then steal their qi when they start to get intimate. Many tales start off with a scholar travelling to reach the capital to take the national entrance exams. The sun is setting and the weary traveler hopes to find some lodging. He notices a lonely, but cozy house in the middle of the woods. When he asks to stay the night, a stunning young woman comes out to greet him. She gladly takes him in, and even offers to cook him a hot dinner. After a nice meal, she shows him to his room and bids him a good night. Just as the scholar settles in and thinks about what

luck he’s had to be hosted by such a lovely lady, his hostess glides quietly into his room and apologies about how brash she’s being (keep in mind these stories are set in ancient Chinese, with traditional and conservative overtones). She keeps gravitating to the mesmerized scholar until they’re close enough that their lips touch. He doesn’t notice it, but his body gets weaker and weaker with each kiss until his life force is drained, and the sly fox demon slips away undetected. The house is left with the husk of a man who dissolves in the night. Even though the connotation of the fox demon is usually negative, foxes are not always evil in the stories. There are stories of a woodcutter living in the forest who finds a fox stuck in a trap and sets it free. He works a long day and comes back to find his cabin filled with gold. Unfortunately, the woodcutter often becomes greedy and tries to get more out of the fox demon; when he finally catches the demon and demands more gifts, the little fox uses its magic to disappear along with all of the gold. These creatures are abundant in Chinese stories. Strange Tales from a Chinese Studio by Qing Dynasty writer Pu Songling is a compilation of short stories, many of which feature fox demons and their interactions with humans. Many other mythical creatures inhabit Chinese fables. Fox demons, however, are among the most well known, and appear in various other cultures’ stories as well, including Japanese and Korean folklore.

In traditional stories, fox demons are usually depicted as beautiful and mysterious women who lure and seduce men, then steal their “qi” when they start to get intimate.

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September 2017 | Cultural Tidbits


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