9.03.2015

Interview with Artist Pearl Y. (aka Fumi Chun)

Pearl Y. (aka Fumi Chun)
(Cross-posted on my blog).

“It wasn't so much me not knowing I wasn't [B]lack[,] but me loving who I was enough to draw inspiration from my blackness.”

As a Blasian women of Chinese and Jamaican decent, storyboard artist Pearl Y. developed a stronger recognition of her blackness with the start of the #BlackLivesMatter campaign.

Recognizing and embracing blackness is one of the many topics under the umbrella of the current #BlackLivesMatter movement. What does it mean to be Black? How should blackness be represented? Who is Black? The last question is an especially touchy subject, especially for those in the Black community with a mixed race background. Some even debate the lexicon related to the mixed race community. Is a person “half black” or should the “one-drop” rule continue to define those with one non-Black parent?

Additionally, after the death of Sandra Bland, #BlackWomensLivesMatter has become a trending hashtag and discussions of misogynoir are more prevalent. These conversations place mixed-race Black women in an interesting position, especially those like Pearl who were raised by their non-Black side.


8.27.2015

#Kinjaz: Steam, Sex, Swag

Featured above: Longkue Lor a.k.a. Bboy VillN
Kinjaz followed Quest, using the bleacher area of the stage for a very smooth performance to "Earned it" by the Weeknd. The precision and sexy moves by the red and black clad crew fit perfectly with the song. These guys are showmen, and got to perform to the crowd. Not a technically difficult routine, but intricate, intimate and precise. Taylor said they gave her "naughty karate" with their moves. Frankie loved that they took the risk of staying in one spot the whole time. T-Pain pointed to a section of the crowd and said that everyone in that spot needed to take pregnancy tests after Kinjaz's sexy routine. (Source)
But it's true, tho!

8.07.2015

Asians in Media #ABDC

"And let's just say it: between the collective membership of Quest Crew, Super Cr3w, Kinjaz, We Are Heroes and I.aM.mE Crew, ABDC is the show with the most Asians on TV right now. No joke." -AngryAsianMan.com (original post)

This article was shared by the Blasian Narrative facebook a while ago and while a great read, made me think about how much time has passed and how much hasn't changed between America's Best Dance Crew now and its humble debut in 2008.

I still remember when it debut, that the stage for the show wasn't even complete yet but there was an immense amount of promise. The frontrunners would be Asiatic for almost every season to date which contrasted every other programming during its run as far as representation for the Asian-American community.


With the show returning for an eighth season (and possibly a 9th depending on ratings), its great that ABDC showcases a great if not majority representation of Asian-Americans though its discouraging that much hasn't changed anywhere else.

I came across a NPR article detailing shows based on or dealing with Asians and outside the recent Fresh Off The Boat series (which is great if you haven't viewed it yet) and Margaret Cho's All
American Girl, it is extremely scarce in TV land both currently and historically.

While I do appreciate the exposure shows like ABDC and FOTB provide, unless the viewership and support of the show is consistent and large, the pattern of lackluster and lacking representation will continue.

In a slightly happier note, this season is on par as one of the greats with champion crews of Season 2's Super Cr3w, Season 3's Quest Crew, Season 4's We Are Heroes, Season 6's i.aM.mE, Season 7's Elektrolytes, and newcomers Kinjaz (sorry no JabbaWockeeZ or Poreotix). The stage actually makes sense, the camera cuts are bearable, and the judges are so so. Personal suggestion should be they bring Mario Lopez back as the host though. All in all, I don't know who I'm rooting for honestly and that's a good thing.

What do you think? Do you agree? And who are you rooting for?

Chrispy AKA Kon
@chrispyakakon everywhere.

8.06.2015

5 Ways Black Girls Can Cope While Traveling Abroad in Asia

(Edited; Cross-posted on my blog and ForHarriet).

In 2012, I moved to Taiwan as a childish, unassertive, somewhat immature bright-eyed 22-year-old with residual high school insecurities finally striking out on my own. Earlier this year, I left Taiwan mature with more confidence and many good, bad, and ugly experiences under my belt. I wouldn't trade my experiences for anything; however, I know several of my positive experiences would have been impossible for me to recognize or enjoy had I not changed my mindset and attitude toward certain situations while abroad. Therefore, I'd like to share some tips I believe will assist Black women love every minute of their time abroad whether they've moved or are on vacation. 

Sometimes I find Black women are reluctant to travel or live abroad—especially solo—because they already feel marginalized in their own countries. Nevertheless, I don't think anyone should ignore their desire to see the world because they are worried about how they'll be received. Granted, it will certainly require a thick skin, if you don't already have any. Three years ago I didn't, and boy did I learn. There comes a time where you either develop the strength to be yourself in a sea of homogeneity or shut down, a prisoner of your own mind. 

I have only been to three Asian countries for longer than a layover; I lived in New Taipei City, Taiwan for nearly three years, completed a summer semester in Beijing as an undergrad, and vacationed in Tokyo. Nevertheless, I feel these tips likely apply to any nation where there isn't a significant Black population. 

1. Do whatever you like

You shouldn't, either!

Seriously, I think I enjoyed my time abroad most when I simply didn't care. Being a Black girl in a place where there virtually are none isn't a crime. There's no point in feeling bad about having a moment or doing what you'd do at home unless it heavily clashes with the manners or culture of the country you're in. 

Want to sleep on the train during the ride home? Like to whistle while you walk? Want to wear your favorite neon-colored dress? Go ahead! As long as you're respectful, you shouldn't prevent yourself from doing whatever you want.

Oh, you're just having some juice at 7-11? Guess what, even a simple action like that is going to make you stand out, so you might as well do all those other normal things you "can't" do. 

8.05.2015

Absence

So I am writing this post to explain my absence as of late. A while back I promised to post more videos and to get back into the midst of things.

I still intend to post up stuff on my second channel (subscribe here) and to write more on the Blasian Narrative site. I do need to explain whats been going on though so here it is.

Read the rest at:
http://chrispyakakon.blogspot.com/2015/08/absence.html

Chrispy AKA Kon
@chrispyakakon everywhere.

P.S. Will be writing more frequently very soon. Apologies for the wait.

7.20.2015

They'll kill you and say you enjoyed it (#POCLivesMatter)

Black Like Me

There's a scene in FOX's Empire where Cookie Lyon (Taraji Henson) hops in the back of a taxi and the driver (who is of Central Asian descent) objects, saying something to the effect of "you people" causing trouble. To which Cookie replies:


I was reminded of this scene this weekend while going for my semi-weekly Thai dinner with my East Indian bestie, blogger Miss Kaur, and a new mutual Nigerian friend.  While Miss Kaur often teases me for knowing waaaaay too much about Asia, she also tends to joke that she had to have been Black African in a previous life.

To which I always reply, "What do you mean 'previous life'?  You're African in this life."

And we all have a great laugh, but it really got me thinking this time around.  I've been planning this post for the past few days because I've noticed two things: 1) non-black people of color often want to identify with black people, but are basically programmed not to, and 2) non-black POC often make the error of believing there's so much of a difference between them and black POC in the first place.

7.18.2015

Getting ready for Daniel Wu this fall


Do I think Daniel Wu is a fine, sink-your-teeth-intoable specimen of man?  Of course.  Am I eager to see him play the tattooed, bike-riding, sword-swinging "Sunny" this fall in Into the Badlands?  Hecks, yeah.

Do I have some concerns after watching the trailer I'm about to share?  You betcha!

7.12.2015

Korean Movie Review: Twenty

The movie Twenty starring Kim WooBin, Lee JunHo (2PM), and Kang HaNeul is not your typical Korean young adult movie. It was released in March and before watching it a few weekends ago, I thought it was just the typical Korean coming of age story. My students, who are in middle school (ages 13-15, more so the 15 year olds) were raving about how they wanted to see it. I wanted to see it too, shamelessly only because of Kim WooBin. However, I never got the chance to watch it in the theatre. While watching online in the privacy of my own home, I kept saying to myself "my students better not have watched this". Although it has an age rating of 15 in Korea, its definitely not for kids. With that said, I loved it. It's about sex, sex, sex, finding yourself, and sex. The main thing this movies tries to teach us is that twenty year old guys in Korea have suppressed their sexual urges for far too long. Ok, ok, there's actually more to the movie so, if you haven't already, check it out on DramaFever or DramaCool and let me know your thoughts.


ChiHo (Woobin) is an unemployed self proclaimed player. I'm biased because I love Woobin, but he is a really good actor and not new to kissing scenes. In this film he uses expressions that just solidified his "bad boy"actor status. In one scene when he's driving and sees a beautiful girl standing at the crosswalk he exclaims "Ohh Shiiittt". There is also a line in the movie that will have your head spinning and asking "Wait, did he just say that? Yes, he did just say what I thought he said". When you hear that line write me a note. HAHA!!


Gyung-Jae (Kang Haneul) is the dork or nerd of the group. This guy is so adorable. He is kind of in Chi-Ho's shadow until he goes to college and meets what he thinks is the girl of his dreams. He has a masturbation scene that is more hilarious and sad than anything else. His character is pretty pathetic, but in a very lovable kind of way. I just wanted to hug him.


Dong-Woo (Lee Joon-Ho) is an aspiring comic artist. He wants to have sex really bad, but he has a lot of other things to worry about. He works several part-time jobs because his family's financial situation drastically changed. His story line is the weakest, I think, but he's still very good in the movie. And Junho is such a cutie so he's definitely an asset to the film.



7.11.2015

2PM Concert



This is for you KPop lovers! A couple of weeks ago I went to the 2PM concert "House Party" in Seoul. I'm a fan of KPop and I know some of you are too. However, I like grown up KPop, if that's even a real thing. Anyway, 2PM delivered a great concert. I don't always consider them KPop - sometimes more R&B especially with songs like "I'm Your Man" and "A.D.T.O.Y". Their image has always been branded as tough, masculine, and macho compared to other KPop groups who are marketed as "pretty boys".  My students love the cutie, pretty boy idols and they just look like girls to me.

Back to 2PM...their fifth album No. 5 continues to showcase the adult side of the group. With songs like "Red", "Not the Only One" and "Good Man", the concert had a steamy edge leaving the group's unprepared fans a little taken aback. While performing "Good Man" (written by the youngest member Chansung) they were caressing women on chairs and getting freaky on beds. You could hear the audience get a little uneasy. I was very pleased! Their fan base known as "The Hottest" were the only ones allowed in the standing area, so they had the best view of the performance and they didn't seem too happy with the grown and sexiness on the stage. They seemed to be shocked to the point of silence. Perhaps they were a little disappointed it wasn't them on the bed with Taecyeon. HA!

Anyway, check out their new album No.5 and also check out the YouTube videos showing their houses to go along with the title track "Our House" written by my favorite member and group leader Jun K. Also check out one my 2PM favorites "A.D.T.O.Y" from their 2013 album Grown.

Laterz!