South Korea’s Disgraced Power Structures

February 6, 2013

Democracy : demo from studio shelter on Vimeo. What is democracy anyways? According to this tongue-in-cheek “video game” by South Korean outfit, Studio Shelter, it’s just another platform for repression. In under three minutes, a video simulating a MIDI game found in penny arcades takes you through 20th century Korean history, marked by protests, uprisings, […]

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Cultural Symbols and Nationalism

January 29, 2013

With all the buzz about the clash of nationalisms in Asia today, I found my attention slowly turning towards less newsworthy but visually arresting items. Like this captivating photograph of a Japanese geisha, whose finery, grace, and beauty underscores an important point about gender: because in Japan, even if men are politically powerful, it is […]

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Seoul’s Gwangjang Market

January 25, 2013

It was a chilly day when I visited Gwangjang Sijang in Seoul, but the subzero temperatures didn’t seem to bother some of Korea’s hardiest street stall entrepreneurs. Most of them, nearly all women, were too preoccupied with pancakes on the griddle, or cauldrons filled with porridge. Maybe it was because it was a Saturday, but […]

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North Korea Talks Consumer Slaves

November 23, 2012

Today is Black Friday. In the United States, this is a chance for citizens to prove their financial worth by shopping for things they don’t really need. Or, go into debt trying to accomplish this bizarre feat. Through some Foucauldian coup of governmentality, we now believe a citizen isn’t really a citizen unless that citizen […]

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The Last Prince Of Korea

October 31, 2012

Many people don’t know this — but Korea’s royal family was guaranteed into the mid-twentieth century to regain their role as monarchs if Korea was ever liberated from Japanese colonial rule. For Korea’s royals, it was only a matter of time. The end of the second World War and the near immediate effect of the […]

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NYCAS 2012

October 12, 2012

New York state is not yet a hotbed of Asian Studies, but there are signs it already rivals Tokyo and Hong Kong. This was one consensus at the annual New York Conference on Asian Studies at SUNY New Paltz, the largest regional academic conference of the Association of Asian Studies. Over the course of two […]

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Laowai-Foreigner | Kraine Gallery

September 21, 2012

What’s the latest connection between China and New York? After visiting the ‘Laowai-Foreigner’ exhibit at Kraine Gallery in the East Village, the answer was pretty clear. It’s art. Curated by Cory Dixon of the New York Academy of Art, the tiny corridor nestled on the second floor of a walk-up building on East 4th street […]

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Meanwhile In Tibet

September 10, 2012

I received this Tibetan parable in my inbox. It’s from Ji Hyang Sunim who’s the head of the Wellesley Buddhist Community. Such a great morning read. Or any time of the day. There was a great teacher in the land of Tibet named Milarepa, He had a very bright, promising woman student named Paldabum. She […]

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Portraits in Taiwan | Brenda Zlamany

August 2, 2012

The human gaze is a powerful thing. I realized this the other day as I was watching a video featuring MIT Professor Sherry Turkle as she spoke of the emergence of sociable robots. These imitators look you in the eye, gesture in friendship, and practice face recognition, that last piece of trivial technology now the […]

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Pearls Of The Far East (2011)

June 6, 2012

[FYI: There will be a free screening of Pearls Of The Far East (2011) on June 18, 2012 at 6:30 PM at Pratt Manhattan (144 West 14th Street, Second Floor, Room 213). Amy Guggenheim, Founder and Director of Global Cinema, has curated and produced nine film screenings. The series is co-presented with Pratt’s School of […]

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