Here’s an except from my interview with Japan Cinema. Check out the rest of the interview here. My 180g vinyl 12” reissue of Some Small Way is now available via the Native Sound.
What are some of your favorite Asian films or anime?
I was raised on Akira Kurosawa films such as Seven Samurai and Kagemusha. I loved Zatoichi, the blind swordsman. Bruce Lee’s films and writings are works I continue to return even now. Asian cinema and the portrayal of Asians in American media have definitely had a major impact on my life. As a kid in the States, I only ever saw Asian people portrayed positively in a very violent way. Otherwise, it was bucked tooth caricatures. As a teenager, I found artists like Takashi Murakami, Hayao Miyazaki or Rei Kawakubo who are involved with many disciplines of art. Their work and the fact that they transcended from Japan to the West’s consciousness made me feel, as an Asian American, that there was a place in culture for someone like me. What I saw in the media was very important in constructing a sense of identity because I did not have many Asian peers growing up in central Pennsylvania. My experiences made me recognize the important role the arts can play in disenfranchising or empowering a person.
Photos by Tracy Nguyen, Philadelphia, 2014.
This interview rules. Read for more on one of the best artists out there.