Saturday, July 28, 2012

ArborWeb.com re Omi Chowdhury & Frances Kai-Hwa Wang

In Ann Arbor Observer's Arborweb.com for Tuesday, August 7, 2012: Listed under exhibits and readings both!
Omi Chowdhury & Frances Kai-Hwa Wang: Kerrytown Concert House.
Opening reception for Chowdhury’s photography exhibit Boots of Spanish Leather. Also, Wang reads from her new book Imaginary Affairs: Postcards from an Imagined Life, a collection of prose poems and short stories that writer May-lee Chai calls “a contemporary pillow of sensual longing, heartache, erotic impulse, and wry wit.” Chowdhury and Wang also discuss their current collaboration that revolves around their mutual fascination with landscape, light, space, identity, and human spirit.
5 p.m., KCH, 415 N. Fourth Ave. Free. 769-2999.  arborweb tree logo

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Chicago is the World » Culture on the Volcano

Sometimes I find myself categorizing our lives into “School,” “Sports,” “Music,” “Science,” “Arts,” and “Culture.” I want to make sure that we are living balanced lives, that I am exposing the children to a little of everything, so that they will grow up to be well-rounded, like the old Renaissance ideal.
It is refreshing to be reminded that life is not always so easily categorized.
Yesterday, we went up to Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park to check out the latest on the new eruptions. I usually think of a trip to the volcano as a “science” or “nature” expedition, but as always with our family, even this turns into a cultural experience.
click on link for more: Chicago is the World » Culture on the Volcano

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Jyoti Omi Chowdhury and Frances Kai-Hwa Wang - Calendar

Oops, Omi gets a sex change. in ecurrent.com:

Jyoti Omi Chowdhury and Frances Kai-Hwa Wang
EVENT DATE/TIME

Aug 7, 2012
5:00 pm

DESCRIPTION
This opening reception for photographer Jyoti Omi Chowdhury will display her thought provoking work focusing on the relationship between space and human identity. Most of the photographs come from warzones and dictatorships. Plus, writer Frances Kai-Hwa Wang will be reading from her new collection of poems.

click here for the entire post: Jyoti Omi Chowdhury and Frances Kai-Hwa Wang - Calendar

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Book Artist Laura Beyer--all retro all the time


This weekend, Laura Beyer is getting my chapbook ready for our August 7 reception and reading at Kerrytown Concert House with Jyoti Omi Chowdhury. Check out the big 1880's hand presses in her shop. Wait, this one she says is much newer technology--1890's. We'll see everyone in only two weeks?!! Details and directions (and a peek at Omi's photography) at: http://www.kerrytownconcerthouse.com/index.php/events/event/omi_chowdhury_frances_kai-hwa_wang

Friday, July 20, 2012

Chicago is the World » Culture of a Kiss

Culture of a Kiss

Another favorite article of mine reprised for the summer for Chicago is the World. What happens when Asian no-kissing culture meets Hawaiian kiss-everybody culture? And check out Ryan Suda's amazing Blacklava.net t-shirt!
We went to an art exhibit opening and reception last night at Wailoa Art Center. Afterwards, my son, Little Brother, pouted all night because he saw me kissing the artist, “that man.”
He cannot kiss me ever again, he says, and he rubs and rubs his skin with his shirt, to wipe off every last kiss that I give him. I try to explain that, actually, I was kissed BY the artist, that sometimes people kiss hello on the cheek just like others shake hands. But he will have none of it. This is not the first time we have had this conversation, but what am I supposed to do?
click on link for whole article: Chicago is the World » Culture of a Kiss

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Andrew Lam: When Was the Last Time You Received a Post Card?

Love this piece by Andrew Lam, beautiful, as always. I also have a fondness for postcards and still send them, although I have few mailing address for people anymore. Ironically, my chapbook that is coming out next month is titled, "Imaginary Affairs--postcards from an imagined life," with short short prose poetry that originally started out as postcards :) http://franceskaihwawang.blogspot.com/p/unofficial-book-launch.html 

I think I'm going to send Andrew Lam a postcard today. :)

Andrew Lam: When Was the Last Time You Received a Post Card?

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Teahouse - NAM EthnoBlog

My favorite article in New America Media's Ethnoblog:
Spent the morning with Linus Chao, renowned international artist and official “Living Legend of Hawaii,” at his home halfway up the volcano. My daughter Mango is taking art classes with him and his wife this summer. Four hours of Chinese art in the morning with Mrs. Chao, a little lunch, then four hours of western art in the afternoon with Professor Chao. All Mango needs, Professor Chao says, is a little formal instruction, and she will be on her way. The Chaos must be in their 80s. He is Shandong, she is Dongbei, their voices full of the old accents that I love. He is so warmly effusive, shows me everything, never lets me leave. I cannot believe my luck, and I want to soak in every word.
click link for more: The Teahouse - NAM EthnoBlog

Monday, July 16, 2012

Reading Michael Ondaatje

Reading Michael Ondaatje this summer. From The Cat's Table, p. 75:

That was a small lesson I learned on the journey. What is interesting and important happens mostly in secret, in places where there is no power. Nothing much of lasting value ever happens at the head table, held together by a familiar rhetoric. Those who already have power continue to glide along the familiar rut they have made for themselves.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Saturday, July 14, 2012

A Taste of Summer at the Japanese-American Obon Festival | InCultureParent

My daughter Hao Hao and I were at an outdoor music festival when she first spied the little girl. About 3 years old, in a pink Hello Kitty dress, and one long brown curly ponytail, the little girl was dancing and twirling and hopping and flopping along with the music in front of the stage. “Awww, so cute.”
“That was you, not too long ago.”
Then the little girl tried to climb onto the stage for her adoring fans, “That was definitely you.”)
I love listening to music at big outdoor summer events like Madcat Ruth at Ann Arbor Summer Festival’s Top of the Park or George Bedard and the Kingpins at Grillin’ for Food Gatherers.
click on link for more: A Taste of Summer at the Japanese-American Obon Festival | InCultureParent

Friday, July 13, 2012

Chicago is the World » The Teahouse

Reprising one of my favorite essays about spending a day with an amazing and cool artist at his pond and thinking about diaspora. wish i had taken more time to appreciate the connection we had that summer instead of rushing off to work...
Spent the morning with Linus Chao, renowned international artist and official “Living Legend of Hawaii,” at his home halfway up the volcano. My daughter Mango is taking art classes with him and his wife this summer. Four hours of Chinese art in the morning with Mrs. Chao, a little lunch, then four hours of western art in the afternoon with Professor Chao. All Mango needs, Professor Chao says, is a little formal instruction, and she will be on her way. The Chaos must be in their 80s. He is Shandong, she is Dongbei, their voices full of the old accents that I love. He is so warmly effusive, shows me everything, never lets me leave. I cannot believe my luck, and I want to soak in every word.
Today he shows me his teahouse. Funny, I have walked around it many times and never noticed it — from the outside, it seems a plain brown house. However, when you walk in through the two Chinese doors with the brass lion knockers, you walk into another world. The room is spacious and sparse, with rich red carpeting, natural wood walls, a low Chinese table, Chinese art on the walls, in front of you all windows overlooking the pond. It has the feel of an old Chinese scholar’s house, except with wall-to-wall carpeting.

click on link for more: Chicago is the World » The Teahouse

Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Obon Dance - NAM EthnoBlog

We went to the Obon Dance at the Puna Hongwanji tonight. I love first walking up to the temple grounds, totally transformed by the strings of lanterns glowing in the night, the tall yagura platform calling everyone’s attention to the circle.
It is always great watching the elegant older ladies from the Japanese dance schools in their matching kimonos and perfectly coifed hair lead the way, their hands so graceful, their faces so calm. (Calm because they know that they know all the steps!) The little girls, of course, in their pink and red and Hello Kitty yukata with the big chiffon bows and their hair all full of flowers and curls are utterly meltingly adorable. The energy of the rambunctious Dharma School boys is infectious, with their matching Dharma School hapi coats and headbands, as they half dance half kung fu each other, the flashing red lights in their shoes syncopating their best moves. The YBA teens in tank tops and cut-off jeans move in packs, either gossiping and squealing by the food booths or running and jumping right into the middle of the circle, the boys energetically showing off for the girls. The favorite dances are obvious, the crowd surges when those start, everyone shouting chorus and response.

click on link for more: The Obon Dance - NAM EthnoBlog

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Gallery Reception - Boots of Spanish Leather - Kerrytown Concert House, Ann Arbor, MI 08-07-2012 05:00pm - AmericanTowns.com

I just realized that we are now only one month away from Jyoti Omi Chowdhury's photo exhibit opening and my reading/unofficial book launch on Tuesday, August 7, 5-7pm! Hope you all can come join us. It's going to be fun! Details at Kerrytown Concert House.

also, look what i found today at AmericanTowns.com!
Photographs by Jyoti Omi Chowdhury - Hors d’oeuvres with live music - Reading by Frances Kai-Hwa Wang from her new book Imaginary Affairs: Postcards From An Imagined Life - Discussion with Chowdhury and Wang
Gallery Reception - Boots of Spanish Leather - Kerrytown Concert House, Ann Arbor, MI 08-07-2012 05:00pm - AmericanTowns.com

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Chicago is the World » The Obon Dance


We went to the Obon Dance at the Puna Hongwanji tonight. I love first walking up to the temple grounds, totally transformed by the strings of lanterns glowing in the night, the tall yagura platform calling everyone’s attention to the circle.

It is always great watching the elegant older ladies from the Japanese dance schools in their matching kimonos and perfectly coifed hair lead the way, their hands so graceful, their faces so calm. (Calm because they know that they know all the steps!) The little girls, of course, in their pink and red and Hello Kitty yukata with the big chiffon bows and their hair all full of flowers and curls are utterly meltingly adorable. The energy of the rambunctious Dharma School boys is infectious, with their matching Dharma School hapi coats and headbands, as they half dance half kung fu each other, the flashing red lights in their shoes syncopating their best moves. The YBA teens in tank tops and cut-off jeans move in packs, either gossiping and squealing by the food booths or running and jumping right into the middle of the circle, the boys energetically showing off for the girls. The favorite dances are obvious, the crowd surges when those start, everyone shouting chorus and response.

After all these years, I finally get to dance this time, sort of, no more babies to babysit on the side, although Niu Niu and Hao Hao are just at that age, too embarrassed and too surly to do it just for me. Please? The bon odori is not a spectator sport, you really have to get in there and dance (after you have eaten of course, that is the other big part of it — tempura, teriyaki chicken, Spam musubi, cone sushi, shave ice, manju, mochi, corn on the cob, saimin — I always have to take a moment to peek in on the temple volunteers cooking madly in the kitchen, big clouds of mochiko billowing, the sounds of tempura hitting the oil … and inhale).

click on link for more: Chicago is the World » The Obon Dance

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Badass APA Women: music video: "zzz top" by aesop rock

Check out this music video for all kinds of APA Woman Badass action with real-life wushu martial artist Patti Li. Never underestimate the nice Chinese lady sweeping up the room.

Now time to go practice my sword.

music video: "zzz top" by aesop rock

Traditional Chinese Poetry Gives Us a Better Angry Letter - Culture - GOOD

This is an awesome tradition. Chinese hate poetry. Someone please tell me more. Must include it in my Love Letter Writing Class next year.

Traditional Chinese Poetry Gives Us a Better Angry Letter - Culture - GOOD

Monday, July 2, 2012

A Melting Pot of Thoughts | 13 Minutes Books



Excited to just have been invited to contribute to "Miso for Life--A Melting Pot of Thoughts," the second anthology in the series by Thirteen Minutes Books edited by Mai Xuan Bui. (Thanks to the irrepressible Kate Agathon, who will also be featured in the collection.) Now to write something optimistic and hopeful without my usual curmudgeonly bah-humbug, lol. I think I have just the story.
Pho for Life: A Melting Pot of Thoughts is a collection of short stories and poems that takes readers on a journey of the many expressions of love, through the lens of Asian and other cultures. Immigrants will grapple with their new identity. Children will reminisce about mom’s homemade cooking. Parents will lose sleep over new generational gaps. Lovers will dance through the cultural lines. Friends will enjoy each other’s company over a tasty meal while discussing the heartaches, the challenges, and joys of life.
No matter where we are in our journey through life, Pho for Life will remind the readers that – in the end – love still conquers all. Its inspiring words will stir passion in their hearts and make their spirits soar.
A Melting Pot of Thoughts | 13 Minutes Books

Sunday, July 1, 2012

read these blogs | Angry Asian Man

fkwang vchin postcard

Thanks to Angry Asian Man Phil Yu for including my "greatest hits" of commentaries on the 30th anniversary of the Vincent Chin case in read these blogs

Update: One more. Ebens owes Mrs. Chin's estate $8 million... http://www.huffingtonpost.com/emil-guillermo/ronald-ebens-vincent-chin-murder_b_1632427.html
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