HUSH 「Same」

Posted on October 30, 2015 commentaires

HUSH 「Same」【同一個答案】- released on October 30, 2015.

Avec cette vidéo très touchante et cette balade, le chanteur-auteur-compositeur taïwanais, HUSH, soutient le mariage gay. Il dit très justement :

“Marriage is not every gay’s choice, and not every gay wants to get married. Let marriage become everyone’s choice, because that’s why marriage equality worth-treasured.”

Les paroles en chinois et anglais :

生命裡潛藏著無數可能
回過頭看重複的日落
永無止盡地讓你做選擇
這一路上有幾片雲經過

親眼見過天空灑下彩虹
你一直是這樣相信著
在那裡會有真正的快樂
讓所有散落的心都結合

那多精采
就讓他們去猜
就讓我們愉快
有誰還能無視愛的存在
就伸出你的手來
擁抱你的愛

也許愛會被試探
也許愛有遺憾
也許那麼一天回想起來
我們都有同一個答案
There are many possibilities in life
Look back at the repeated sunsets
It makes you choose over and over
While some clouds float across the sky

You’ve also seen the rainbow in the sky
Firmly, you always have believed
The happiness is at the rainbow’s end
Let all the separated hearts be together

How wonderful it would be
Just keep them wondering
Just let us be gay
No one can ignore love
Just reach out with your hands
Embrace your love

Love might be tested
Love might be regretful
One day when we recall and question
Our answers will be the same


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Xu Guanyu 徐冠宇 「What It Means To Be Asian and Gay in the Western World」

Posted on October 29, 2015 commentaires
Xu Guanyu, Death In Bath Tub

Xu Guanyu is a 22 year-old originally from Beijing but currently based in Chicago, where he recently earned his BFA from The School of the Art Institute. In his series of photographs 「One Land to Another」, Guanyu uses a mix of self-portraiture and staged photography to hint at his condition as an Asian and a gay man living in the Western world.

Read below Guanyu’s project statement to better understand his ideas behind the pictures and for a more detailed analysis of the images:

My photo-based works are the expression that I have as a result of being a gay man and an Asian in the United States. I use self-portraits, staged imagery and landscapes to explore my struggle of being both a homosexual and a homophobic person. I question the norm set by the hegemony, including race, sexuality and ideology. Raised by a conservative family, a military father and a civil servant mother, I feared to admit that I was gay until I came to the United States in 2014. Fortunately, I grew up in the capital city of China where I had the chance to experience the global vision through the Internet. On the one hand, I learned knowledge of being a gay man, and received the representation from Hollywood movies that white people are ideal and superior in many ways. On the other hand, via the Internet, I witnessed the debates between the Chinese political and cultural ideology and the Western ideology led by the United States. Among these conversations, I found out that I have always been trying to seek and identify a better world, not only as a gay man, but also as a human being.

The self-portraits of my death not only expresses the inequality of gay men in this world, but also reveals my self-denial and self-hating in a problematic society, which includes both China and America.

My photographs of people that I find through online dating apps expose my current situation with other gay men in the States. I examine the racism and discrimination in the white-dominated gay community, the worship of masculine whiteness and the pervasive misogyny in the world. Furthermore, my landscapes of China and America document the paths to finding a utopian space. They juxtapose hope and apathy, which keep shifting back and forth along my changes of geographic location and psychological states. Through my photography practice, I use various subject matters to investigate my identity and interrogate the world.


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M.I.A. 「Borders」

Posted on October 27, 2015 commentaires

M.I.A. 「Borders」 - released on October 27, 2015.

Director: M.I.A.
Creative: M.I.A. and Tom Manaton

Music video by M.I.A. performing 「Borders」. (C) 2015 Maya Arulpragasam under exclusive license to Interscope Records


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f(x) 에프엑스 「4 Walls」

commentaires

f(x) 「4 Walls」 - released on October 27, 2015.



Et en bonus le remix de Nugu Who? :


f(x) 「4 Walls」 (Nugu Who? Remix) - posted on October 27, 2015.

f(x) 에프엑스
Official Website (South Korea): http://fx.smtown.com/
Official Website (Japan): http://www.fx-jp.jp/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/fx.smtown


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C. Winter Han 「Opinion: On sexual racism and the racial hierarchy of desire」

Posted on October 26, 2015 commentaires
By now, the debate around “sexual racism” is about as predictable as it is tragic. In popular parlance, “sexual racism” is defined as the act of excluding members of certain racial groups as potential sexual partners based only on their race or of fetishizing members of racial groups as the sexual “other,” whether it is through exclusion or preference. Whether one wants to see such exclusion and fetishization as “personal preference” or as an act of racism, what’s not debatable is that such actions are marked by explicitly racist language.

For example, for some gay white men, it isn’t enough to simply state that they are not attracted to men of color. Instead, they use the opportunity to state their “preferences” using racist logic and language. Comments such as “Squinty eye, no reply,” and “I don’t like Asians, I like big cocks,” or “Asians, prease reave me arone,” along with similar comments degrading black men and, to a lesser extent Latino men, are common on gay dating sites and apps. Rather than simply stating a racial preference, gay white men use these electronic spaces to actively denigrate men of color.

But sexual racism is more than simply excluding members of a racial group as potential sexual partners or fetishizing them when they are the object of sexual desires. In fact, whether one is sexually excited, or left frustratingly flaccid, by someone of another race is among the most trivial of concerns. What is important is that deeply embedded in those very stereotypes about sexual attractiveness and sexual prowess that lead to one’s seemingly “natural” sexual preferences is a very public distortion of the sexual worth of one group and the sexual bankruptcy of another.That has roots in the larger system of racial maligning of minority groups deployed by the dominant group, specifically for the purpose of promoting racial segregation. Thus, the erotics of race not only construct people of color as being sexually undesirable but socially undesirable as well. It is in the ability of sexual racism to hide, under the guise of “personal preference,” rather than be exposed as part and parcel of the larger system of racial oppression, which depends on constructing one race as fundamentally inferior to another, where the true danger lies.

But there’s a larger issue here. The problem with racial oppression is that it often depends on the active participation of those that it oppresses to maintain the validity of that oppression. When the oppressed act as agents of the oppressor by adopting their values, their beliefs, and – in this case – their racial hierarchy of desire, we give validity to that hierarchy and oppression. In fact, on the website BathhouseBlues, a white man responding to accusations of sexual racism specifically notes that “even Asians don’t find themselves attractive.” Thus such racist hierarchies of desire become “natural.” In the white imagination, if Asian men don’t even find other Asian men attractive, why should they? And if Asian men don’t even find other Asian men attractive, isn’t this just “natural”? Our compliance is used against us to justify their racist acts. On too many occasions, I’ve heard gay Asian men proclaim that they do not find other Asian men attractive. Rather than challenging sexual racism, gay Asian men’s sexual fantasies follow the same racist logic. And doing so, we lower our own worth and the worth of our gay Asian brothers.

Recently, many gay men of color have begun to challenge erotic preferences based on race. Many have done so despite accusations and insults by gay white men and other gay men of color who prefer white men. But that’s not enough. While pointing out the problem of sexual racism practiced by gay white men, we’ve not only ignored our own actions but have become actively confrontational to those who suggest that we address our own colonized mentality surrounding who is and isn’t attractive.

For example, a blog post on Angry Homosexual that suggested, tongue-in-cheek, that gay Asian men should stop dating white men was largely met with vitriol. The less caustic have suggested that the “problem” that needs to be addressed is gay white men’s racist attitudes, not our own. But this isn’t an issue of “this” or “that.” Challenging the racist actions of gay white men doesn’t preclude challenging our own beliefs and values. Similarly, racist acts won’t magically disappear if we all wake up tomorrow desiring each other instead of them.

But what is clear is that addressing one without addressing the other is pointless. Sexual racism portrays us as being less desirable as, and of less sexual and social worth, than white men. Our compliance justifies that portrayal. True social change will only come when we can collectively challenge our own beliefs and values, reflect on our own desires, and demand our sexual and social worth. Challenging ourselves is never easy, especially when it is so much easier to challenge others. But little good is ever found on easy street.

Winter Han is the author of『Geisha of a Different Kind: Race and Sexuality in Gaysian America』, published by NYU Press. Available on Amazon and anywhere else that great books are sold.

About the author: C. Winter Han
C. Winter Han is an assistant professor of Sociology in the department of Sociology and Anthropology at Middlebury College.

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Kathy Novak 「The problem with being gay in South Korea」

Posted on October 19, 2015 commentaires

Seoul, South Korea (CNN) – Micky Kim remembers the day two years ago when he married Tony Ruse in California.

“All the people from City Hall suddenly came out and congratulated us,” he recalls.

“People who I don’t know are congratulating our marriage. But in (South) Korea, no-one even knows my marriage and I couldn’t even tell my family.”

As far as Micky’s relatives know, Tony is just his business partner at their recording studio in Seoul, South Korea’s capital. When asked about his personal life at recent family event, Micky had his lines ready to go.

“It felt like I couldn’t breathe because now I had to suddenly pretend I’m a different person,” he recalls. “I put on this persona, and like ‘OK, I have a girlfriend and it’s been a year.’ I create these fake stories to cover up.”

He says he did the same thing when he worked as an intern at a major South Korean company.

“I went into the closet again because of work. Because my superiors are all (in their) 40s and 50s and they don’t really know what gay is, and I was afraid I might lose my job.”

Unfamiliarity
But now he’s decided to open up to help increase understanding and tolerance at home.

Unfamiliarity, he says, is part of the reason why South Korea can be a difficult place for people like him to be themselves.

He thinks many South Koreans see homosexuality as a foreign phenomenon – especially the older generation.

There are some prominent LGBT South Koreans, including film director Kim Jho Gwang-Soo, who is fighting in court to have his marriage to Kim Seung-Hwan recognized, but they are few and far between in popular culture.

A Pew Research Center study found that 57% of people surveyed find homosexuality unacceptable. Just 18% said it is acceptable.

“Generally you cannot say you are gay openly in South Korea, because South Korea is a very conservative country,” explains Kang Myeongjin, organizer of the Korea Queer Culture Festival.

“The worst thing is the rejection and isolation from belonging to a group, such as family, workplace, neighborhood, society and the country.”

Fierce opposition
The opposition to this year’s KQFC parade was so fierce, Kang and his team had to change the date.

Conservative protesters demonstrated against the public display of LGBT pride as sinful and a bad example to children.

Transgender counselor Edhi Park says children are running away from home and turning up at the DDing Dong LGBTQ Youth Crisis Support Center where she works.

“These adolescents don’t get any information from school or from their community, so they think they have contracted a disease,” she says.

The center has only been up and running for about a year, and is one of the few services available for LGBT youth.

Park believes LGBT issues should be taught more openly at South Korean schools.

“It is extremely important. For these adolescents, the only person to get hope from is their teacher, because teachers are in a neutral position,” she says.

Micky Kim remembers that feeling of confusion when he was a teenager.

“Because, OK, why am I like this?” he says he thought at the time. “I know no-one who’s like this. Maybe I’m crazy. I’m mentally sick... because you don’t know anybody who’s gay you think you’re the only crazy person. So I was very suicidal sometimes and very depressed.”

But he thinks the situation is getting better – slowly.

He believes the recent ruling in favor of marriage equality in the United States will help.

“Even though Korea is not very gay friendly... Korea likes to does whatever America does,” he laughs. “So I think they’re going to follow the trend.”

Or at least he hopes so.

Author: Kathy Novak/Date: October 19, 2015/Source: http://edition.cnn.com/2015/10/18/asia/south-korea-being-gay/

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Pierre-André Bizien 「Racisme anti-asiatique - entretien avec le rappeur Lee Djane」

Posted on October 18, 2015 commentaires
La question du racisme anti-asiatique est rarement posée dans notre société. Le fait s’explique avant tout par la faible représentation médiatique de la population concernée. Dans ce contexte, le rappeur Lee Djane a souhaité briser le silence avec un tube très musclé : 「Ils m’appellent chinois」.

Ce jeune artiste dérange un peu dans l’univers du rap, qui a comme partout ses codes de préséance et son aristocratie. En tout premier lieu, il faut remarquer que le flow de Lee Djane s’impose par ses scansions lentes et fluides, qui tournent le dos aux rythmes parfois trop écrasés des rappeurs ordinaires ; ici, la part du contenu philosophique prime sur la violence textuelle. L’agrément sonore est manifeste. On se prend à réécouter deux, trois, quatre fois le tube... pour éprouver plus finement ce qui se révèle, pour savourer chaque effet. L’audace de Lee Djane, sa volonté de faire bouger les lignes, c’est cela qui nous fait penser enfin : « Merde, ce type prend vraiment le rap au sérieux !»... tout simplement parce qu’il exploite jusqu’au bout la raison d’être de ce genre musical controversé.

Sans se contenter de « contester » le fonctionnement de la société, il pense cette dernière et en explore les mécanismes. C’est en cela que le rap est ici sublimé, qu’il atteint concrètement sa raison d’être. Les faits sont formels : gueuler pour gueuler est un écueil fréquent qui fait du rap un genre mal aimé de beaucoup de gens. Ici, clairement, on se retrouve face à un type qui offre à penser, à phosphorer, à suivre ses réflexions bien pesées. Il offre au genre une légitimité indiscutable. Le plus surprenant, dans tout ça, c’est que Lee Djane est tout nouveau dans le rap. Il y a déboulé très tard, mais il a su conquérir le respect des professionnels du secteur par son acharnement et son talent.

Examinons plus avant ce qui s’exprime dans 「Ils m’appellent chinois」 :

Le clip est filmé en noir et blanc, dans un univers périphérique monotone. La mélodie débute doucement, elle sécrète quelque chose de nostalgique, de triste. Lee Djane apparaît seul, très grave, vêtu d’un blouson noir. Il pose des paroles dures, pleines de colère, contre la ribambelle de surnoms qu’il endure depuis l’enfance : « chinois », « bol de riz », « Tching tchong », « citron »... Cette méchanceté gratuite l’interroge profondément. Comment réagir face à ce racisme tranquille, que tout le monde semble tolérer gentiment ?

Cette situation le dégoûte, et il tient à le faire savoir. Il « dépose » devant nous ce qui le blesse. À mesure que le clip avance, son dépit se transforme en haine et en rancœur ; bientôt, il se met à retourner les insultes et le mépris contre toutes les autres catégories de Français. C’est alors qu’intervient la lumière : une voix off l’extirpe de sa colère et le met face à ses contradictions. Pourquoi répondre à la haine par la haine ? Pourquoi s’insurger contre ce que l’on imite soi-même ? Alors Lee Djane s’éveille à un nouveau regard, plus serein, plus noble. Libéré. C’est magnifique, tout simplement bouleversant. 「Ils m’appellent chinois」 est un appel au respect mutuel, à l’humanisme et à la paix. Après son écoute, nous prenons conscience d’une réalité que nous ne soupçonnions pas. Il est temps de faire évoluer nos consciences.

Pourquoi notre jeunesse métissée, avide de respect, s’esclaffe-t-elle toujours en cœur dès qu’il est question de chambrer le chinois, ses nems et son accent nasillard ? La question du racisme anti asiatique, c’est un peu l’angle mort de l’humanisme hexagonal. En France, donc, certaines souffrances ne bénéficient pas de la même attention que les autres. Depuis trop longtemps, le roman national est gangréné par la concurrence des mémoires. Les jeunes d’origine asiatique sont trop souvent sacrifiés à l’hilarité générale pour éponger les ratés du vivre-ensemble. Pourquoi tant de mépris ? L’humoriste Kee Yoon Kim aime rappeler que dans les imaginaires français, l’Asie est constituée de deux seuls pays : Chine et Japon. Vous avez beau être Français jusqu’au bout des ongles, éventuellement parisien d’origine vietnamienne ou lyonnaise d’ascendance coréenne, pour le commun vous resterez toujours chinois...

ENTRETIEN
Milkipress : Lee Djane, ta présence dans l’univers du rap est une surprise ; étant donné tes origines, tu as décidé d’y apporter ta différence et tes réflexions philosophiques. Un rappeur asiatique en France, c’est plutôt rock’n roll pour l’imaginaire collectif... surtout lorsqu’il est question de penser la société à contre-courant d’un certain mainstream. Quelle est ton histoire ?

Lee Djane : Mes parents sont arrivés en France en 1982, sous l’ère Mitterrand. Ils fuyaient le Cambodge, encore tout fumant du génocide perpétré par les Khmers rouges. Leurs origines sont chinoises. Moi, je suis né ici, en France, et c’est là que j’ai tout reçu. C’est mon pays de cœur.

Milkipress : (durant l’interview, la question politique fut abordée) Tu es très sévère avec les politiques. Ne penses-tu pas qu’il est un peu illusoire de toujours tout attendre d'eux ?

Lee Djane : en France, la plupart des politiciens sont des cumulards qui se reproduisent et engraissent sur le système. Alors qu’ils devraient révolutionner les choses, ils préfèrent maintenir les réseaux d’injustice qui nous entravent et nous étouffent. Pourquoi ? Simplement par carriérisme. Plutôt que d’énoncer des vérités difficiles, ils préfèrent caresser les électeurs dans le sens du poil en flattant à tout va : « la banlieue c’est l’avenir », etc... Ce type de discours est tellement insuffisant ! La réalité des violences dans les quartiers populaires a longtemps été minorée pour des raisons peu avouables.

Milkipress : Peux-tu préciser ?

Lee Djane : Soit on se décide unis avec un destin commun, soit on vit dans le chacun pour soi. Il faut une France fraternelle où les Français seraient fiers du drapeau. Or les politiciens ont abandonné le patriotisme. Ils préfèrent faire avec les failles du système et en tirer profit. Je vois la mascarade... ce jeu de chamaille perpétuelle gauche-droite à l’Assemblée... La vie politique française est platement bipolaire, et non révolutionnaire. Le système écrase les petits partis, les voix utiles et indépendantes. Les grosses machines écrasent tout.

Milkipress : Penchons-nous sur le message que tu délivres dans 「Ils m'appellent chinois」 (ton seul clip, comme tu le précises) : ce morceau, très engagé, décrit de manière très crue les clichés et les stéréotypes qu’endurent chaque jour les asiatiques. La réflexion philosophique que tu déploies au travers de tes couplets énonce quelque chose de fort, et complexe. Peux-tu nous éclairer ?

Lee Djane : à la base, je pose le problème sous la forme d’une simple question : « Les gens sont-ils stupides, ignorants ou maladroits ?» Le racisme ordinaire résulte du va et vient continuel entre ces trois déficiences. Elles nous guettent tous, nous surprennent à notre insu. Car le racisme n’a rien à voir avec cette monstruosité grossière et monolithique dont on nous gave ; c’est quelque chose de plus subtil, de plus diffus, quelque chose qui agit à plus ou moins basse intensité... et qui pourrit bien plus, au final, que ces invectives caricaturales (« sale arabe », « sale nègre »...).

Milkipress : Comment les asiatiques vivent-ils le racisme dont ils font l’objet ?

Lee Djane : Les asiatiques ne sont pas très plaintifs à la base. Ils sont pragmatiques. On dit souvent que nous sommes sournois, qu’on ne dit rien directement... C’est un peu vrai quelque part. « Blaguer sur nous c’est trop facile », car nous ne choisissons pas la confrontation directe et frontale. Les gens ont l’impression qu’ils peuvent tout se permettre. Le problème, c’est que nous n’oublions pas ce que nous entendons, et que ça ressurgit tout de même d’une façon ou d’une autre. Le plus effrayant, c’est le fait que lorsqu’on se moque d’un asiatique, on ajoute toujours spontanément que c’est juste « pour rire ». Or, jamais on ne se permettrait de traiter avec le même mépris un jeune noir ou un jeune arabe, à moins de sciemment « chercher la merde ». Ce qui fait le plus mal, dans le racisme anti-asiatique, je l’ai exprimé dans cette rime :

On a parfois l’impression que la France de ladite « diversité » nous a totalement oubliés de son agenda. Il suffit de regarder notre représentativité au sein des médias : à part Frédéric Chau et quelques rares personnalités, les français d’origine asiatique sont globalement invisibles dans l’univers d’identification des jeunes. Du coup, personne ne les prend pour référence, et ce malgré leurs talents. Des fourmis anonymes... c’est peut-être ça, l’étiquette qu’on nous assigne ici. À nous de changer les choses.

Milkipress : Dans ce contexte morose et médiocre, tu as choisi de dénoncer le racisme que subissent au quotidien les asiatiques de France, mais tu veilles à ne pas t’arrêter à ce constat... pour ne pas tomber dans le piège communautaire.

Lee Djane : Je n’éprouve pas énormément de racisme contre moi au quotidien. C’est plutôt quelque chose de diffus, et surtout de généralisé. Le racisme, je l’ai vécu de la part de toutes les composantes de la France Black-blanc-beur, ce qui m’a permis de relativiser : avant que de dénoncer telle ou telle communauté, j’ai pu constater que c’est avant tout l’humain qui est exposé à la tentation du racisme... toi, moi, chacun d’entre nous. Victimes et coupables s’entremêlent, ce qu’ont du mal à admettre les grosses machines antiracistes : il y a toujours du clientélisme, des dominantes identitaires implicites, ici ou là. Dès lors, elles empêchent l’antiracisme revendiqué d’être clairement universel... et à cause de cela, nous en sommes encore au stade de l’antiracisme de niches.

Milkipress : Que penses-tu des explications traditionnelles du racisme en France ?

Lee Djane : Ce ne sont pas les blancs seulement qui sont racistes, comme on l’entend trop souvent. Lorsqu’on parle du racisme des blancs, on en fait des romans, des volumes... En fait, les hommes blancs vont prochainement disparaître dans le monde. C’est une simple logique démographique. D’ici 200-300 ans, ils ressembleront aux Amérindiens en voie d’extinction. Si l’homme blanc va bientôt disparaître, c’est à cause de sa naïveté, de son manque de fermeté, de son auto-culpabilisation permanente ; au fond, il pense qu’il a commis tous les malheurs du monde. Il suffit pourtant de regarder le passé de notre planète : au cours de l’histoire, les chinois Han ont massacré des millions de personnes... Les blancs n’ont rien à voir avec la plupart de ces massacres qui ravagent la planète. Pourtant, ils se perçoivent toujours comme coupables du malheur de tous les hommes... et c’est cela qui les perdra. Dans quelques siècles, l’humanité sera partagée en trois grandes familles : noirs, asiatiques et métisses. Les blancs constitueront alors une infime minorité, marginalisée.

Milkipress : Au final, comment traiter le racisme diffus qui gangrène notre société ?

Lee Djane : Une amorce de réponse réside dans cette strophe : « J’pense que c’est dans les moments de faiblesse où l’ignorance prend le dessus sur nous ». Si l’on parvient à éviter de nous retrouver en posture de faiblesse, si l’on parvient à demeurer forts ensemble, Nietzschéens, volontaires, conquérants, nous éloignerons de nous l’ignorance, qui est autre chose qu’une simple déficience intellectuelle. Il faut avant tout réfléchir, méditer tout cela, nous maintenir en tension, préparer des révolutions... pour le bien de tous.

Propos recueillis par Pierre-André Bizien




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Nick Chan 「Front Cover interview with director and cast」

Posted on October 16, 2015 commentaires
James Chen & Jake Choi

Hong Kong-based director Raymond Yeung and his Asian American cast members Jake Choi and James Chen speak to Nick Chan about their new dramedy, 「Front Cover」, and how the conflict between sexuality and cultural identity is very much alive

The opening film for the Hong Kong Lesbian and Gay Film Festiva (HKLGFF) and the official selection for the Seattle Lesbian and Gay Film Festival, 「Front Cover」 tackles not only the topic of sexual identity, but also cultural identity. The film features a romance between Ryan, a gay Chinese American fashion stylist who shuns his ethnic heritage, and Ning, the hottest, up-and-coming (and closeted) actor from Beijing.

Wrapped up in a witty and humorous production, 「Front Cover」 provides the perfect metaphor for a generation that faces the constant struggles of self-discovery.

This is director Raymond Yeung’s second feature film and『Time Out』speaks with him and his two main leads, Jake Choi and James Chen during their visit to HK about what it means to be caught within a space that society is only slowly starting to recognise.

How much of the film is based on your own experience?

Yeung: I’ve always felt like a guest in my own home, since I was educated in an English boarding school. Hong Kong has always faced an identity crisis as a result of British colonisation and it is not much different to the American-born Chinese character Ryan. His desire to fit into ‘white’ society is the main reason behind his disregard for Chinese heritage. I have had experience trying to be as British as possible. At the end of the day, we all tend to put up a front and pretend to be something we are not.

Describe the relationship between Ryan and Ning.

Chen: It’s a journey of discovery – literally and physically [laughs]. Having read the script, I thought it was beautifully written, with three-dimensional characters playing off to each other’s strengths and weaknesses.
Choi: At the beginning, there are so many things they hate about each other, yet their differences help them rediscover who they really are. Sometimes we hate someone purely because we are suffering from insecurity. While one person may be proud of their sexuality, another may be ashamed, so they end up detesting it out of jealousy.

Do you find it difficult to be accepted for your identity in today’s society?

Yeung: It really depends on how comfortable you are in your own skin. If you find it difficult then you will undoubtedly try and hide it. It all comes down to insecurity because when everyone is talking about one thing, you don’t want to be the person saying something else.
Choi: I also find it depends on where you are. Ryan’s character says it’s not that difficult to be gay nowadays, but that being said, he was referring to NYC. There are still countries with conservative backgrounds that have people fighting for their lives simply for being who they are.

On that note, is the situation getting any better?

Yeung: Hong Kong is definitely becoming more aware of the LGBTI community with its fair share of events, namely the HKGLFF, and more recently, the Pink Dot event. It’s great to hear that there are more and more celebrities who have become more vocal in recent years. You also see people being more comfortable about their sexuality in public. Though I don’t expect gay marriage to happen overnight, I believe we are heading towards the right direction.

Is it hard being openly gay in the film industry now?

Chen: As a Chinese American auditioning for a role, it’s hard not to feel the pressure of being an Asian actor or play into the stereotypes that have been ingrained into the minds of society. Thankfully there has been more exposure as to what it means to be Asian with TV shows, such as the new ABC comedy 「Dr Ken」. For the past few years in a row, each show with Asian leads has outdone the last in being a watershed moment for cultural representation.
Yeung: However, I do find the representation of Chinese people lacking in comparison to gay characters. Asians are still sadly cast in the same stereotypical fashion. It’s one reason why I want to focus on local narratives for my future projects.

What are some of the difficult aspects when dealing with LGBTI issues as a director?

Yeung: I suppose it’s trying to make things as realistic as possible. The conclusion was something that I had to rewrite several times in order to avoid giving the audience a Hollywood ending. Often times, we get a rosy picture of the LGBTI community that in reality is not the case. It’s a bittersweet journey that reveals the sacrifices people make to achieve what they want in life.

「Front Cover」 Official release date is to be confirmed.

James Chen, Ray Yeung & Jake Choi





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Allyson Escobar 「Vincent Rodriguez III: CW star paves the way for Asian Americans onscreen and onstage」

Posted on October 14, 2015 commentaires

“YOU do crazy things when you’re in love.”

At least that’s what Filipino-American actor Vincent Rodriguez III believes: that love is an all-consuming and powerful thing – especially when you absolutely love what you do, it can make you crazy.

“I walked into my first day of acting school and the teacher asked us, ‘Is this what will give you life? Is this the part you want to play in society?’ And then I asked myself, ‘What else could I possibly be doing?’ From then on, I knew exactly what I always wanted,” he said.

“If you want something badly enough in life, you work hard to go get it. It’s not an easy path – it is arguably the hardest journey you will ever have. But in the end, it’s worth it.”

Finding home in the theater
Rodriguez was born in San Francisco, California, and grew up in what he calls the “Second Philippines of the World:” south suburban Daly City. He is the youngest and only boy of four, with three older sisters all born in Manila.

“I was the bunso,” Rodriguez told the Asian Journal. “My sisters are all smart, musically talented, and into theater. I [had] really powerful role models growing up.”

Motivated by a desire to try and learn new things, at a young age Rodriguez was involved in track and field, taekwondo, and martial arts. Later he became very active in his high school’s drama department, where he quickly found his love for musical theater.

After graduating from high school and a year in junior college, Rodriguez enrolled at the Pacific Conservatory of Performing Arts (PCPA) in Santa Maria, California, and began to pursue acting as more than a hobby, but a full-time career.

“My family was always supportive of me, but it was not an easy journey,” he said. “My dad didn’t always think I could make this [acting] into a viable career. When it came to showbiz-ness, he wanted me to be a businessman.”

“But that initial resilience pushed me to be a harder worker, and has made me even more passionate about what I do.”

After finishing musical training in acting, voice, and dance, Rodriguez ventured to Los Angeles for his first successful audition, becoming a member of the ensemble (and later principal understudy) in the first national tour of 「42nd Street」.

“It was my first professional role,” he recalled. “I really put my whole self into it, and I began to relish in the joy of being an entertainer.”

Pursuing his dreams in the theater, Rodriguez moved to New York City to audition for numerous acting, singing, and dancing roles. He eventually joined the companies of 「Thoroughly Modern Millie」, 「Xanadu」, 「Honor」, 「Pipe Dream」, as well as the original cast of Irving Berlin’s 「White Christmas」 in Toronto and Boston.

“Half of my career was in the ensemble, and then the other half I played feature parts, joined national tours and other New York productions, and was asked to sing on cast recordings,” Rodriguez said.

Most recently, he joined the 1st national tour of 「Anything Goes」, appeared on CBS’ 「Hostages」, and workshopped for Richard Maltby Jr. and David Shire’s new musical, 「Waterfall」. He also sang ensemble in a cast recording of the stage production of Disney’s 「The Hunchback of Notre Dame」.

Wanting to share his life lessons with other aspiring actors, Rodriguez became a teacher back at his alma mater, PCPA. He taught professional technique, song interpretation, dance workshops, and other aspects of the musical audition process.

“It’s not about making people into professional actors, or to be like me. For me as a mentor, it’s about helping the person to see what their potential is, and to learn how to use the theater as a form of expression, or as a gateway to who they really are,” Rodriguez noted.

The young actor’s extensive background and resume boasts a double black belt in martial arts, CrossFit, stage combat, roller-skating, billiards, and even magic tricks. “A good amount of my previous jobs required special skills [like dancer, comedian, magician], and on TV, they can write these skills into the show,” he said. “The cool thing is that the writers know my special skills are things I’ve learned to do growing up. I knew that my interests would help color my career as an actor.”

One of Vincent’s most recent, favored theatrical roles was in the 2014 off-Broadway revival of David Byrne and Fatboy Slim’s 「Here Lies Love」, a disco-rock musical about the life of Filipino former First Lady Imelda Marcos.

“I met Ruthie Ann Miles, who was playing the lead, and she encouraged me to audition,” he recalled. Along with Miles, Rodriguez understudied other distinguished Fil-Am actors, Jose Llana (Ferdinand Marcos) and Conrad Ricamora (Ninoy Aquino), and played the DJ for a month.

「Here Lies Love」 eventually led Rodriguez to the right people – including film director Marc Webb (「The Amazing Spider-Man」) – and to his first audition as a TV series regular: playing ex-boyfriend Josh Chan in The CW’s new musical-comedy, 「Crazy Ex-Girlfriend」.

Many of the actors involved with the show – including Santino Fontana, best known as the voice of Hans in Disney’s 「Frozen」 – have a theater background. In true musical-fashion, the writers have prepared a killer comedic soundtrack with different musical styles and genres, from 1940s Hollywood to 90s R&B.

Rodriguez is excited to use his Broadway theater experience on the TV screen. “Yes, I will be singing,” he said excitedly.

Crazy parallels, crazy in love
Being Filipino-American and making waves both onstage and onscreen, Rodriguez faced many challenges as an actor.

“The Filipino community is big into entertainment, karaoke, performance culture. At first, pursuing theater and other talents were more like hobbies for me, until I began taking them seriously,” he said. “And my family noticed too; it wasn’t just a hobby anymore.”

When Rodriguez first auditioned for the title role in 「Crazy Ex-Girlfriend」, directed by Marc Webb (who initially discovered the actor through his character in 「Here Lies Love”), he knew the part was special. Esteemed writers Aline Brosh McKenna (「The Devil Wears Prada」) and Rachel Bloom (from 「Robot Chicken」 and YouTube’s Rachel Does Stuff) are a part of the project, and it has a primetime spot (Monday nights at 8:00pm) on the CW network.

The show follows Rachel Bloom as Rebecca Bunch, a successful, miserable young woman who impulsively leaves her job as a real estate lawyer in New York in search of love and happiness in West Covina, California – also the suburban hometown of her Filipino ex-boyfriend.

“「Crazy Ex-Girlfriend」 explores this idea of feeling crazy over someone,” said Rodriguez, adding that the show includes themes of family, friendship, and finding home away from home. “When you’re in love, it’s fun, ridiculous, and exciting.”

“As the show progresses, you learn what makes Rebecca that way – she’s just a normal girl in love. Each of us have been in a place where we’ve been infatuated with someone or the idea of someone, the idea of love, and we’ve all done pretty crazy things because of it.”

“There’s such a crazy parallel between my character, Josh Chan, and who I am as a person,” he admitted. “From Josh’s personality, his family and friends, and how he grew up – it’s kind of scary.”

Josh Chan is basically “a SoCal Asian bro,” Rodriguez described. Coming from a family of mixed parents (Filipino, Chinese, and Spanish, just like Rodriguez), Josh – the one that got away – is also finding his place in reality and romance.

“You’re going to meet Josh Chan, find out that he’s Filipino, and see his family values,” Rodriguez shared. “The Chan family dynamic is very true to form – it feels very real to my own family.”

“It’s exciting to see Filipino culture being portrayed in the mainstream,” he added.

“I always wanted to be the ASIAN guy”
At the 2014 PaleyFest Fall TV Preview, main actress Rachel Bloom said she wanted the location of 「Crazy Ex-Girlfriend」 to be in Southern California, based off her own childhood experience living inland.

“We knew we wanted it to be a fish-out-of-water story, but most of those happen in the Midwest or on the East Coast,” Bloom said this month in an interview with Vulture, adding that she and McKenna were drawn to the number of chain businesses and cultural diversity that San Gabriel Valley is known for. “We also liked how multicultural Southern California was, which is... what new suburbia is, and will continue to grow and be — people from all different cultures going to the same Applebee’s.”

Since the show is set in a suburb notorious for Asian American (and especially Filipino) families, the writers were careful to make sure actors accurately represented the culture and diversity of West Covina.

“We always wanted the male lead to be Asian,” Bloom shared, “because I grew up with Asian bros, and I hadn’t seen that represented on TV.”

Rodriguez is proud to be among a growing number of Asian American series regulars on fall TV. “It’s an honor,” he remarked. “It means that we’ve evolved, that we’re at a new place when it comes to television. It’s breaking ground.”

“You know how there’s always ‘the Black guy,’ or ‘the Mexican guy?’ I always wanted to be the ASIAN guy, the mirror of society,” Rodriguez said.

“As a Filipino actor, I always wanted to be a part of the growth of Asian-American representation on TV and onstage. Now I feel like I’m a part of that journey to exposing modern, cultural America.”

He added, “I’m hoping that my presence in this show will open up the minds of the Filipino community, especially young Filipino men.”

Rodriguez also applauded shows that put Asian-Americans in the forefront, such as ABC’s 「Fresh Off the Boat」, which successfully portrays both the stereotypes and the injustices experienced by the minority community in a fresh, comedic way.

“There are always extremes that exist with all ethnicities, and it’s nice to be a part of a show that explores these identities, and portrays who we really are: people with a specific background and a place,” he said, regarding comedies [like 「Fresh Off the Boat」 and 「Crazy Ex-Girlfriend」] that put Asian-Americans in starring roles.

“We’re showing the world our reality – sometimes, that can be painful and uncomfortable. But it can also be funny.”

Be who you are
To aspiring actors, musicians, dancers, and entertainers of every color, Rodriguez offers a simple piece of advice that is reflected throughout his new show: be who you are.

“Be open to yourself, to new experiences, to your interests, and never let anyone tell you, you can’t do something. As an actor, you get to create who you want to be, and become who you really are. Be kind to yourself, strive to be the best in whatever you choose to do. Love your life, and live it joyfully, fully, and authentically.”

It just might make you a little crazy.

Published in『MDWK Magazine



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TAEYEON 태연 feat. Verbal Jint 버벌진트 「I」

Posted on October 07, 2015 commentaires

TAEYEON feat. Verbal Jint 「I」 - released on October 07, 2015.

Résumé du clip : TAEYEON est serveuse en Nouvelle-Zélande (?!), mais comme ça la fait chier, elle se barre en faisant tout un scandale, et elle se balade en robe de chambre dans la nature (#BurnOut!), pour se retrouver nez à nez avec... elle-même ! Elle s'est (re)trouvée, ta-daaa ! Côté musique, c'est une balade qui se laisse écouter sans difficulté, ça pourrait être la musique de n'importe quelle pub de yaourts au bifidus actif. La chanson est surtout dotée d'un refrain super efficace, impossible de se le sortir de la tête !
On adore le remix de Nugu Who?, qui accélère le titre sans le trahir, ça donne envie de tourner sur soi-même en levant les bras vers le ciel tellement on est heureux d'avoir un bon transit !


TAEYEON feat. Verbal Jint 「I」 (Nugu Who? Remix) - posted on October 07, 2015.




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