Science-fiction author Ted Chiang

During World War II, President Roosevelt once commissioned “New frontiers of the mind are before us, and if they are pioneered with the same vision, boldness, and drive … we can create a fuller and more fruitful life.” The letter was of course addressed to Vannevar Bush, the first director of the Office of Scientific Research and Development, and would later be published in “Science — The Endless Frontier.”

Easily a mantra worthy of acclaimed science fiction author Ted Chiang, Roosevelt’s missive reminds us that science and technology don’t exist in a vacuum. …

If South Korea comes off as more sure-footed in their response to the coronavirus pandemic, that’s because they are.

South Korean mask culture refers not to traditional stage masks but protective face coverings

Now that much of the U.S. is cautiously reopening amidst fears of a second wave, the country of South Korea continues to set new guidelines on living in a post-coronavirus world.

Hailed as a paragon of managing COVID-19, South Korea was once the epicenter of the largest known outbreak outside of China. …

BTS stands for “Bulletproof Boy Scouts”

When BTS first debuted in 2013, they were supposed to be just another South Korean boy band.

They were all but seven teenagers — Jin, Suga, J-Hope, RM, Jimin, V, and Jungkook — hailing from different parts of South Korea and like so many young Korean hopefuls, trying to make it big in the K-pop music industry.

Backed by a modestly sized production company and recording label, Big Hit Entertainment, they were outfitted with all the necessary accoutrements typically associated with popular K-pop acts: aggressive dance sequences, heavily stylized visuals, and an old school hip-hop track.

But at the time…

Interpreter Sharon Choi with “Parasite” director Bong Joon-Ho

No one is perhaps more surprised than South Korean director Bong Joon-Ho by the runaway success of his film “Parasite”. After winning the Palme D’Or at the Cannes Film Festival last May, the foreign-language film has gone on to collect a bevy of international accolades and at its climax, make Oscars history by taking home best picture at the Academy Awards.

Widely acclaimed as an upstairs-downstairs drama, “Parasite” is about a poor Korean family who hustles their way into a rich household only to confront the original parasites already living there. The arrival of a lucky stone-turned-monkey’s paw sets off…

How about “Normal, Middle-Class, Asian-Americans”?

“I mean, how many twinkies do you know who can relate to Crazy Rich Asians?” is what my best friend from Beijing snidely asked me in a somewhat condescending tone.

I had been thinking the same thing when I first heard that Warner Brothers was launching a movie based on Kevin Kwan’s campy book of the same name, “Crazy Rich Asians”.

But what I found to be even more curious was the obvious disconnect between how mainstream America was billing this film as “Asian-American” when it resolutely, was not. Much like its oft-compared predecessor, “The Joy Luck Club”, most of…

Frances Kang

Creative writer, illustrator, and storyteller focusing on Asian-American issues and culture // *Veritas vincit*

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