By Greg Hugh, Staff Writer
Hennepin County Library celebrated Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month last month by holding its Spice & Slice series of events at selected libraries throughout its system. The series was produced in collaboration with Mu Performing Arts which presented a number of interactive and humor-laced productions which highlighted the “good, the bad and the truly ugly” of the Asian American experience.
The series included the premiere of American Bamboo and other productions such as Japanese Taiko, FOB, Hmong Tiger Tales and Korean Adoptee Stories.
Unbeknownst to this writer who decided to attend the performance of FOB, this was a play written by David Henry Hwang in 1978, which earned an Obie award in 1980. Since then, Hwang has risen to prominence as a preeminent Asian American dramatist.
The play’s title, FOB, is explained by the character Dale in the first lines: “F-O-B. Fresh Off the Boat. F.O.B.,” which are also the play’s closing lines. Dale continues his speech by describing the characteristics of F.O.B.’s, Asian people who are recent immigrants to the United States. He calls them “clumsy, ugly, greasy” and “loud, stupid, four-eyed.” Dale himself is an A.B.C., an “American Born Chinese,” and traditionally the relationship between A.B.C.’s and F.O.B.’s has been anything but pleasant.
The 2012 Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival will be April 12 to May 3. One of the films included in the Festival is a documentary from China, Together (2010), by director by Zhao Liang.
By Greg Hugh, Staff Writer
China's most celebrated dancer, Jin Xing, and her company Jin Xing Dance Theatre Shanghai, recently performed at the Orpheum Theatre as part of Northrop Dance. Jin Xing's courage, fighting spirit, and beautiful artistry have contributed to her great success as a dancer and owner of China's only independent dance company, which is the resident dance company at the Oriental Arts Theater in Shanghai. Her choreography is graceful, subtle, and filled with visual appeal. Jin Xing is also an accomplished film actress and she is known her support of human rights, artistic freedom, and community activism in China.
Jamie Ford, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet (New York: Ballantine Books, 2009). 290 p. ISBN 9780345505330
This is a story that deserves to be told and retold many times and in numerous ways.
Here’s the gist: soon after Japan bombed Pearl Harbor, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 that declared particular areas of the United States to be military zones, resulting in the removal of Japanese and Japanese-Americans from the West Coast to so-called “relocation camps.” Most of the relocated were American citizens, many of them born in the United States. And the “relocation camps” were in fact prison camps in the most austere surroundings. Indeed, some of the camps consisted of nothing but barren land and barbed wire. The internees, known euphemistically as “evacuees,” had to build their own prisons.
By Anthony James, Staff Writer
The decorative and culinary purpose of porcelain runs deep in modern American culture. In the 1940’s or 50’s one probably couldn’t find a nuclear family household without its glorious china cabinet. Still, Chinese porcelain is not as popular today as it was in past history, but the artifacts and remnants of its pieces are extremely valuable to collectors and historians in contemporary society.