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What’s Going On? Everything, All at Once By Ben Fong-Torres

Posted by Suzanne Kai - on Sunday, 08 May 2022

What’s Going On? Everything, All at Once By Ben Fong-Torres
What’s Going On? Everything, All at Once By Ben Fong-Torres MAY 8, 2022 With “Like a Rolling Stone: The Life and Times of Ben Fong-Torres” the documentary about me, now out today and streaming merrily along on Netflix, I’m officially in the film industry.  Actually, that’s been the case since last June, when the documentary, which stole its title from a popular column at Asian Connections created by director Suzanne Joe Kai's son Mike when he was 14, premiered at the...

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Coming to America through The Angel Island Immigration Station

Posted by Lia Chang on Monday, 15 August 2011


Nancy Lee Chang with her grandchildren Eric Lagandaon, Leah Baptista, Lia Chang, Tami Chang, Marissa Chang-Flores, Alaina Lagandaon (not pictured Karina Umehara), on her 90th birthday on July 16,2011. Photo by Albert Baptista


In recognition of my grandmother’s 90th birthday, I am sharing this article I wrote about her experience of being detained at the Angel Island Immigration Station, which appeared online in the September 19, 2000 edition of A. Media, Inc.

“What is was really like.”
“My name is Lee Bak Huen. In 1937, I was 15 years old when Japan bombed China and many of the people in my grandmother’s village were killed. At the time, my father, brother and two sisters lived in Locke, Ca, and my father sold clothes to farmers to support us. Fearing for my life, he sent my passport and a booklet that detailed everything about my family and my home for me to study. He managed to scrape together $300 Hong Kong dollars, enough for third class passage on the SS President Hoover. My journey from Hong Kong to San Francisco took 18 days. I slept on a hammock and was seasick the entire time.

Coaching Booklet Photo by Lia Chang


I expected to get off the ship in San Francisco, but was taken to Angel Island instead, and detained. My father hired a lawyer to facilitate the processing. The Chinese interpreter who interrogated me was so rude that she confused me with many questions. I was asked how many stones it took to build my house in China, how many sisters I...

OCA Awards Gala Photos: David Henry Hwang, Tamlyn Tomita, BD Wong, Dr. Bobby Fong and Tammy Duckworth

Posted by Lia Chang on Monday, 15 August 2011

Co-emcees Tamlyn Tomita and David Henry Hwang with OCA convention co-chairs Vicki Shu, June Jee and David Fung. Photo by Lia Chang

Tamlyn Tomita and David Henry Hwang co-emceed the 2011 OCA National Convention Awards Gala at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York on August 6, 2011. Photo by Lia Chang

On Saturday, August 6, 2011, it was party central in the Grand Hyatt Hotel Ballroom in New York, where actress and activist Tamlyn Tomita and playwright David Henry Hwang co-emceed the 2011 National OCA Convention Awards Gala. OCA, a national organization dedicated to advancing the social, political, and economic well-being of Asian Pacific Americans (APAs), held their 2011 National Convention, Advocacy Through Compassion – A New York State of Mind, from August 4-7, 2011 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel.

President of Ursinus College, Dr. Bobby Fong and actor, BD Wong received OCA Pioneer Awards; Tammy Duckworth received the OCA Outstanding Citizen Achievement Award. Astria Wong, OCA-Greater Phoenix, Kwong Eng, OCA-New York, Nancy Woo, OCA-Greater Sacramento, Peggy Chen, OCA-Westchester & Hudson Valley, Rita Chu, OCA-St. Louis, Sam Luk, OCA-Greater Los Angeles were among this year’s OCA Unsung Heroes Awards honorees.

2011 OCA Awards honorees BD Wong, Tammy Duckworth and Dr. Bobby Fong with former OCA National President Ginny Gong, OCA First Lady, Ashley Lee and OCA National President, Ken Lee. Photo by Lia Chang

2011 Pioneer Awards Honorees

2011 OCA Pioneer Award Recipient...

Extended through 8/23- “In Rehearsal” Lia Chang Theater Portfolio at Library of Congress Featuring Robert Lee and Leon Ko’s Heading East Starring BD Wong, Thom Sesma as Scar in The Lion King Las Vegas

Posted by Lia Chang on Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Lia Chang in the Asian Reading Room of the Library of Congress where her "In Rehearsal" display of photographs drawn from the Lia Chang Theater Portfolio are on view through August 23, 2011. Photo by Reme Grefalda

From July 20 through August 23, “In Rehearsal”, a display of photographs drawn from the Lia Chang Theater Portfolio in the Library of Congress’ Asian American Pacific Islander Collection, is on view in the Library of Congress’ Asian Division Reading Room, located in Room 150 of the Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First Street S.E., Washington, D.C. The hours of the Library of Congress’ Asian Division Reading Room are 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

The cast of Robert Lee and Leon Ko’s Heading East at the Lila Acheson Wallace Auditorium at Asia Society in New York. Credit: Photo from The Lia Chang Theater Portfolio at the Library of Congress/AAPI Collection


Sponsored by the Library of Congress’ Asian Division, the display features photos of Thom Sesma’s Makeup Transformation as Scar in Disney’s The Lion King Las Vegas and Robert Lee and Leon Ko’s Heading East Starring BD Wong, on view Through August 23.

BD Wong in rehearsal for a staged concert of Heading East, a Richard Rodgers Development Award-winning musical by Robert Lee and Leon Ko on May 22, 2010, at the Lila Acheson Wallace Auditorium at Asia Society in New York. Credit: Photo from The Lia Chang Theater Portfolio at the Library of Congress/AAPI Collection


In May, 2010, actor BD Wong...

Photos: Meredith Anthony, Henry Chang, Lyndsay Faye, David Levien & Dr. Julie Salzano Discuss the Mind of the Sexual Predator

Posted by Lia Chang on Friday, 19 August 2011

“Psycho-sexual satisfaction can be derived from the thrill of the kill, the thrill of getting over or perhaps wanting to torture. Sex crime is a power crime,” said criminal profiling specialist Dr. Julie Salzano, who was part of a fascinating panel discussion called THE EVIL MEN DO: Inside The Mind Of The Sexual Predator, at the Mid-Manhattan Library (NYPL), co-sponsored by the New York Public Library and the New York Chapter of the Mystery Writers of America on August 17, 2011.

Meredith Anthony, David Levien, Lyndsay Faye, Henry Chang and Dr. Julie Salzano at the Mid-Manhattan Library on August 17, 2011. Photo by Lia Chang/NYPL


Mystery fiction lovers came out in droves to hear Dr. Salzano and authors Henry Chang (Chinatown Beat, Year of The Dog, Red Jade), David Levien (City of the Sun, Where The Dead Lay, Thirteen Million Dollar Pop, Wormwood and SWAGBELLY: A Novel for Today’s Gentleman and Lyndsay Faye (The Gods of Gotham, Dust and Shadow), share their inspiration for the characters they create, what their process of delving into the mind of the sexual predator is and how they choose to decompress. Ladykillerco-author Meredith Anthony moderated the panel at an entertaining and enlightening clip.

Henry Chang, a New York native who spent his formative years on the streets of Chinatown, drew inspiration for his first book in his CHINATOWN TRILOGY series chronicling the beat of NYPD Detective Jack Yu, from the people he knew.

“For my first book, Chinatown Beat,...

Desipina & Co. Presents Pooja Kumar, Sunkrish Bala, Joe Petrilla, Eileen Rivera, Jon Norman Schneider & Rajeev Varma in Rehana Lew Mirza’s Barriers at HERE, 9/7-18

Posted by Lia Chang on Tuesday, 23 August 2011


To commemorate the tenth anniversary of the September 11th tragedy, and to celebrate their tenth season Desipina & Co. – a fusion arts company focusing in film and theatre, dedicated to promoting cross-pollinations of artistic, political and cultural dialogues – will present BARRIERS, a play by Rehana Lew Mirza (THE GOOD MUSLIM) about a South Asian family’s loss from the 9/11 attacks and the backlash they endure, featuring a cast that includes Pooja Kumar (Miss India USA 1995, “Hiding Divya”) and Sunkrish Bala (ABC-TV’s “Notes from the Underbelly”). Previews of BARRIERS will begin Wednesday, September 7 prior to an official opening date of September 9 at HERE (145 6th Avenue, enter on Dominick, 1 block south of Spring Street) in New York.

Rehana Lew Mirza’s play BARRIERS takes place four months after the 9/11 attacks and focuses on the Chinese/Pakistani Abbas family and the loss of their eldest son Nabhil who had been in the World Trade Center during the attack. When Sunima, the Abbas’s only daughter, comes home to announce her pending engagement to a white man – she finds her joyful news lost in a mire of household problems and quickly becomes trapped in the shared family loss that was never dealt with. As this multi-cultural family begins to fragment, they begin to piece together the past each one hides, and the future they all share.

Originally mounted in 2002 at HERE and then subsequently co-produced with the Asian American Theater Company...

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