By Aaron Zhang and Stellan Min
Min Jin Lee is the New York Times bestselling author of "Free Food For Millionaires" and "Pachinko." Born in Seoul, South Korea and raised in Queens, New York, Ms. Lee studied at the Bronx High School of Science and at Yale University. On March 17, Ms. Lee graciously met with Stellan Min and Aaron Zhang over Zoom to talk about literature, identity, and history.
Q: How did immigrating and growing up in Queens, New York inspire you? What was your experience attending elite institutions like Yale and the Bronx High School of Science?
A: I loved growing up in Queens, and I love the Bronx High School of Science, not because I'm a science student, but because I know that it's possible for people of different backgrounds to live in peace, to form a community. If I grew up in a monoracial environment, it would just be imagination. I think that I have a stronger vantage point because of my experiences of heterogeneity and diversity and inclusiveness. It's not perfect, but it's possible. And that gives me an enormous amount of strength about the things that I argue about.
By Aaron Zhang
“I would describe myself usually as a person of words,” Mehek Gosalia said. This may seem counterintuitive, considering how she incorporates STEM in art—in our conversation, she made coding analogies to describe her work. However, she explained that she uses technological and artistic mediums to explore non-verbal communication.
By NhiVan Tran and Hallie Xu
Recently, Sia’s movie “Music” incited heavy criticism due to the film’s problematic portrayal of autism. This controversy brings up the underlying issue of prejudice and representation in arts and entertainment. We were fortunate to sit down with Naomi André to discuss this lingering trend in the art industry. André’s speech was a blend of vivid personal experiences and lessons from operas, all framed by her research around representation of race and gender in artistic settings. André currently works with the Seattle Opera as the inaugural Scholar in Residence.
In the opera community, racial issues pertain to both the material they perform and the representation in cast. André first began her diversity work for the Seattle Opera as a panelist for the operas “Porgy and Bess'' and “Carmen,” eventually leading her to a consulting role with the company. While both of these works contain art that is highly regarded and appreciated, they contain racial negative stereotypes that needed to be addressed, raising the question “how do you bring a story like [Porgy and Bess], and introduce both the white and the non-Black, and the Black communities to this?” This was where André first stepped in and what she continues to advise on today.
By Aaron Zhang
Michael Johnson explores different emotions through his vibrant doodle art pieces. In his piece about 2020, “CANCELLED,” he layers drawings of an Amazon package, a BLM hashtag, him graduating, a hornet nearly blending into the background, and one of his signature characters giving a thumbs-up to the viewer. He shows a range of colors and directions depicting the nuances, both happy and sad, of the year.