19 Dec 2020
What We’re Watching: House of Ho (HBO Max)
When I first imagined what Vietnamese representation would look like on mainstream television, this isn’t exactly what I had in mind. The show highlights a wealthy Vietnamese American family out of Houston. It’s sort of a cross between My Super Sweet Sixteen and A Real Housewives series. However, the quality level looks like it could be on the Bravo network so they’ve got that going for them! House of Ho is purely for entertainment. It’s not educational or inspiring, but it’s clearly tailored for an audience that is more modern and young. I don’t have a similar upbringing like the Ho family, but there were some similarities that I recognized about my own childhood. There are seven episodes today and we finished the series in two days.
What We’re Listening To: KATIE – Our Time Is Blue
This album actually came out the same weekend as “Evermore,” so it was a bit distracting trying to do both. I was able to dedicate more time to KATIE’s this week though and I loved it so much I added all six songs to my current playlist. KATIE was a new artist for me as I only discovered her through another person’s Instagram account that I follow. Her sound reminds me so much of the kind of old school R&B that I used to listen to like pre-Jhene Aiko or even present day Summer Walker. Also, we will never get tired of hyping up Asian American artists.
You could say that this shirt is a bit out of character for me, but there’s a story behind this. As some of you know, we’ve spent a significant amount of time with BTS in the last few months. Naturally their sense of style has peeked my interested a bit. You might even say that I ripped this look directly off of Jungkook from this year’s MAMA performance of “Dynamite.” It’s fun though, right?
What We’re Eating: Trader Joe’s Hearts of Palm Pasta
I’ve decided that I think I don’t understand vegetable substitutes of pasta after tonight. There’s a chance that I could’ve butchered this in the cooking, but I think that probability is low. Tonight, I threw this in with garlic, green beans, olive oil and a sauce from my local market, but finished it feeling unsatisfied and hungry afterwards. I know that there are people who swear by vegetable pasta, but the real thing is so much better! I’m not convinced by these.
29 Nov 2020
Before BTS came into my life, we’ve always profiled photographers that we’ve been impressed with. The “Dynamite” era proved to be successful for the group and with that came a wave of western press. For months, this left with me a lot of questions. Before I became a fan, were they always getting this much press attention? Why don’t American artists and bands have nearly the same amount of press the way they do? I read every cover story: Variety, Wall Street Journal, and Esquire – all released back to back with each other. Each piece had a different voice and focus because obviously – three different outlets here. The ones I didn’t love as much were the pieces that continued to compare them to The Beatles. Enough, already. The one I loved most was [Esquire]. Dave Holmes had clearly done his research on the group and allowed each member to bring more depth and vulnerability to the piece in a way we haven’t seen before.
After reading each piece, I never returned to the content, but what I came back to more than once was the photos. It’s no secret that, by now, the guys are outfitted in the best looks for these types of shoots. Who can forget the Dior era they had on stage even? But it’s not just about the fashion here. Why do they look like they’ve been modeling for years? Are these the same guys I watched wood carving and singing karaoke from “In the Soop?” Each of these cover stories had one thing in common, photographer, [Hong Jang Hyun].
A quick search leads me to [Hong Jang Hyun’s] Instagram page, a very well known fashion photographer. His range of work spans editorials, collections, and advertisements. In addition to BTS, he has photographed some of my favorite Korean celebrities. Song Hye Kyo, Park Bo Gum, and Park Seo-Joon have all worked with him. Even though these pieces have been out for some time, I keep going back to the photographs – something I rarely do for anyone else.
A few favorites:
There’s a theme here as we follow the guys through this promotional process for “Dynamite” and their new album “BE.” But let’s also not forget that Hong Jang Hyun can do this with BTS too:
When I read pieces, I often leave thinking only about the content and the photos as an afterthought. Hong Jang Hyun’s work leaves me feeling the complete opposite. As someone who wrote for their high school newspaper and yearbook, this concept of these two things supporting each other should have been more important to me back then. I don’t know how many more pieces BTS will have through the end of the year, but we secretly hope that Hong Jang Hyun will continue capturing them every time.
30 Oct 2020
I don’t know why seeing Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on the cover of Vanity Fair makes me emotional, but it does. These days leading up to the election have made me feel nervous and uncertain about the future. There is only one hand (if that) I can use to recall the number of people in politics that I respect and look up to. AOC is one of those five. For as long as we’ve known her in this spotlight, her voice has been unwavering. She is a role model without even trying and she’s so cool that she’s a household name under my parent’s roof.
Seeing her on the cover of Vanity Fair is powerful. Whether it’s being on this cover or playing “Among Us” live on Twitch, there is no doubting how relatable she is as a figure. She’s one of us. Not that this even needs to be said, but here she is in a matter of weeks being a gamer, in politics, and talking about how her red lip is her signature. As BTS army would say, “the duality!”
For the full cover story, you can read this at [Vanity Fair]