How South Korea's K-pop sex crime scandal reveals a nation grappling with toxic masculinity
K-pop’s recent scandal highlights some of the underlying sexism and misogyny so pervasive in (and no just limited to) South Korean society.
The perks and pitfalls of Japan's obsession with punctuality
A look at the history of Japan's progression into a nation where punctuality has become a core cultural value. But could there be setbacks as well? In my research, I also learned that people from different cultures tend to see time on two possible continuums: M-time and P-time.
The controversy over Miss Philippines Universe Catriona Gray
For some, Catriona Gray’s Miss Universe Philippines 2018 victory was a double-edged sword. This story looks into pageant culture, colonialism, and eurocentric beauty standards all in one piece!
The real fuccbois of Mongolia 🇲🇳
I went to Ulaanbaatar in search of fuccbois, fuccgirls (and other non-binary street style-lovers)... and found them! This story looks into Mongolia's fascinating transition from a North Korea-like communist state (till the 80's) into an upcoming culture hub today.
South Korea's Escape Corset (an anti-lookism movement)
While doing research for another story on South Korea's burgeoning Metoo movement, I came across videos of women destroying their makeup on Youtube. This rabbit-hole I took down social media ended up becoming a separate story on the Escape Corset makeup-free movement that is growing in the notoriously image-focused nation.
The death of romance and the rise of the loner in South Korea
Loner culture is emerging not just in countries like Japan and Hong Kong -- South Korea is seeing low birth rates, low marriage rates and the rise of single person households. Along with this, an entire market catering to solo activities and lifestyles is growing in otherwise collectivist Korea.
DIASPORA & THE ASIAN IDENTITY
Living in South Korea as a Chinese-Canadian woman is a lesson in the strange world of “contradictory privilege”
I wrote about my life in South Korea and the unique experiences and encounters of being a non-visible “Westernised” foreigner in Asia.
Last Hike: The Chinese-Canadian hikers who vanished on Christmas Eve
In December 2016, I was in Vancouver when Lam Chun-sek and Roy Lee went missing during a hike. It was terrible and tragic news for everyone. Two year later, I spoke to their families and would-be rescuers about what went wrong, while they also provided me with glimpses into Lam and Lee’s lives as Hong Konger-Canadians who loved to hike.
"Dude, where's my crown?" - The fresh prince of South Korea
Through a series of emails, calls and FaceTime chats, I connected with Andrew Lee and his uncle, Yi Seok to write this double profile on their lives as the last surviving members of Korea’s imperial Yi Dynasty.
The complexities of intercultural dating for Asians in North America
This is a Valentine's Day piece I wrote on the contrast between Asian women (who remain among the most highly-sought after dating partners according to dating apps), and Asian men (who are oftentimes ranked the lowest on the same apps).
Ganja Gap: the cultural divide Asian-Canadians tread over getting high
In light of legalisation in Canada, I interviewed fellow Asian-Canadians over how they viewed Canada's weed culture and how it has impacted their relationships with family.
The cure for loneliness is… Robots
Or is it? Across Asia, the demand for social robots, A.I. designed to be human companions, is expected to soar as aging populations mount, and single person households increase. But can more technology become part of the cure for an issue that so far has only been exacerbated thru tech?
The Miniso Story: How China's cultural copycats took over the world
I look at the rise and proliferation of discount chains from China that are often masquerading as Korean or Japanese firms. It was fascinating to learn about this new world of fakes.
Cannabis growers in Singapore: A look at how one firm has managed to find all the loopholes for their marijuana business
I interviewed a marijuana growing firm headquartered in Singapore, but based in China (!) as a grower. It was really interesting to learn how they managed to make it work.
Why fake K-beauty = booming business
In this "spiritual" counterpart to the Miniso story, I look into the real and fake K-beauty business, as well as notions of culture and appropriation.
BROADCAST WORK, PANELS & COMMENTARY
University of Hong Kong guest lecturer on longform story-writing.
BBC World Service Radio - on image and beauty standards in South Korea.
CGTN America - on body positivity in China and East Asia
"Unpacking the South Korean couple-twinning phenom" i-D magazine
"The Rise of Seoul Style" Matches Fashion
Fashion Culture Design Salon at Seoul Fashion Week S/S 2017
Corée du sud Fashion Documentary, TF1 Channel, France
Inside Story on ATV World Channel, Hong Kong
KBS World News Today on KBS World TV, South Korea
Koreascape on TBS Radio, South Korea
The News-tellers on Arirang TV, South Korea