Author: Karen

Director/Star Justin Chon (credit: George Ko, Giant Robot Media) | Where My Heart Leads

Justin Chon: ‘Strangebird’ on radar

“Do you want to watch gook?” my brother asked. “What’s it about?” “LA riots.” (LA riots? Never heard of it.) “Oh. No thanks.” As he was getting gook to play on tv, I looked it up. Halfway through the trailer, I called out from my room, “Ok, I’m watching. Start from the beginning, please.”  The film plays, I’m like, hey this guy looks familiar. He’s the YouTuber. Justin Chon felt like a ‘strange bird’ – quirky, yet real in his YouTube videos. He looked Asian, but wasn’t your ‘typical’ Asian kid – you can’t quite put a finger on him. In his older YouTube intros, against, fun, child-like music he peeks out from a plastic dumpster, flips open the dumpster lid and leaps out with a bouquet of colorful balloons in one hand and a big, wide grin on his face. As if he’s going to “litter” the world with colorful balloons in ways you wouldn’t expect. gook was refreshing gook was refreshing. The storyline was refreshing. The cast was Korean Americans and African Americans. It …

View of tearoom for Japanese Tea Ceremony | Where My Heart Leads

Finding One’s Way in Japanese Tea Ceremony

As an ‘outsider’ to Japanese culture, I notice a stark contrast in how Japanese tea ceremony is taught versus how I am used to being “taught.” Growing up in Hong Kong and the US, I am used to being “directed”, “instructed” most of my life. So it was eye-opening to observe teaching through discovery.

Look beyond skin-deep

Are you more than skin-deep?

We got a slap on our hands without an actual slap. I realise that we judged him from how he looked, not how he was as a person. And that was surely not the Way of tea, or the Way of Life in any manner. Big lesson learnt.