“Although I enjoyed experiencing the diverse culture and people on campus, a sense of homesickness would always strike me when I talked to my parents on the phone. I felt lost and disconnected from my own culture,” says Au Yu Hsiao of what led him to try to rediscover his home country, Taiwan, in a literature course in the East Asian Cultural Studies department.
UC Santa Barbara’s Asian Resource Center (ARC) hosted a celebration for Lunar New Years last week with different Asian Pacific Islander clubs organizing activities and performances that showed off traditional aspects of different Asian cultures. “Lunar New Year is not only about family reunion and local communities. It is also about cultural diversity when celebrated globally such as today in this building,” said East Asian Studies professor Xiaorong Li.
Japanese artist Aisuke Kondo recently spoke about his Diaspora Memoria exhibition from his Matter and Memory series, which explores the idea of reconstructing memories of self and history.
“In doing research about your own history, you come to see how the larger societal history has developed,” Kondo said Thursday in a talk hosted by UC Santa Barbara’s Theater and Dance department. Kondo’s work explores the history of his great-grandfather who immigrated to the United States and was then forced to stay at the Topaz internment camp in Millard County, Utah.
In a two-day International Conference on Chinese Religio-Environmental Ethics and Practice, an array of speakers touched on environmental issues such as the extinction of animals and how traditional Chinese religious cultures view them. Panelists spoke about religious rituals like making trees and forests sacred, the care of animals, preserving sacred sites and native places, and the ethics of these religious practices.
Korean pop music [K-pop] has become popular in the United States in recent years thanks to the viral trend of PSY’s “Gangnam Style” in 2012. UC Santa Barbara’s department of East Asian Languages and Cultural Studies in 2014 added a course called the “New Korean Wave.” Clearly, there is an increasing interest in - and awareness of - K-pop and Korean culture in general outside of South Korea.
Personifying that trend is Tyler Devin Clark, who goes by Devin. He is co-president of UCSB’s K-pop club, Seoul’d Out. In this interview, Clark shares his perspective on K-pop’s advance into the American market as well as K-pop’s influence in his own life.