culture & entertainment

“I Throw Everything into a Blender When I DJ”: An Interview with Misty Penguin

No Man Is An Island

No Man is an Island presents the first of a set of collaborations with Electric Soul, a Hong Kong-based electronic music magazine and ticketing platform. For our...

The KMT Does Not Know How to Wear Pants

No Man Is An Island

The jokes started in 2018 after legislator Apollo Chen and then-chair Wu Den-yih appeared in a publicity photo together, awkwardly posing with their fists. If this...

A Romanticization of Taiwanese Gangster Life

No Man Is An Island

Gatao: The Last Stray is a competent gangster film of its genre, as a prequel and the third of three films in the Gatao franchise. Of course, one would expect a...

Island Nation 2 Encounters Same Issues as Other Recent Taiwanese Historical Television Dramas

No Man Is An Island

Island Nation 2, the second season of 2020’s historical drama Island Nation, continues the first season’s dramatization of recent Taiwanese history. Though the...

Two Working-Class Taiwanese Women in Guangzhou

No Man Is An Island

Mickey on the Road has the makings of a great film, but fails to live up to its promises. Consequently, it represents much wasted potential for what could have...

A Trainwreck of an Asian American Gangster Film

No Man Is An Island

With violence against Asian immigrants in the US spotlighted by incidents such as the shootings of Asian spa workers that took place in Atlanta in March, Snakehead...

Seqalu: A New Page for Taiwan Historical Dramas

Ketagalan Media

Why has Seqalu: Formosa 1867, which is based on true events in Taiwan’s lesser-known history, become a phenomenon in Taiwan?

A Competent but Problematic Adaptation

No Man Is An Island

SEQALU: Formosa 1867 has been widely discussed in Taiwan in past few days, following its premiere last week. As the title implies, the television drama is set in...

Pioneering in Ordinary Life

No Man Is An Island

New Bloom/No Man is an Island editor Brian Hioe interviewed Lance and Stuart Chen-Hayes, who recently published 兩個爸爸. This follows up on an interview conducted...

Review: “Born to Be Human” Interrogates Medical Violence Against Intersex Individuals

No Man Is An Island

Through the lens of its intersex protagonist, “Born to Be Human” explores the harmful impacts of coerced surgeries and transition for intersex people

An Insipid and Vaguely Authoritarian Hong Kong COVID Comedy

No Man Is An Island

2021 Hong Kong comedy All U Need is Love is likely one of the earliest films in the world to make the COVID-19 the central focus of its story. The movie features a...

What Disappears During an Outbreak

No Man Is An Island

It’s likely that a lot of bars or nightclubs will disappear during the current outbreak—particularly smaller establishments that eke out a living with what few...

Convenience Store Encounters, by Katie Chen

Taiwanese American.org

HONORABLE MENTION, HIGH SCHOOL CATEGORY
The alarm beeps. And where there is no response or movement from the lump of blankets on the bed, it beeps again, with...

Stamp Thief, by Ying-Ann (Annie) Chen

Taiwanese American.org

FEATURE PHOTO ADAPTED FROM Dave Weatherall on Unsplash
The fire ate loudly. It spit ashes everywhere as it gorged down our offerings. “The gods are hungry today,”...

Exploring Tainan’s Cosmopolitan Roots

Taiwan Business Topics

Not known for being a particularly international city, Tainan has nonetheless been influenced by foreigners for hundreds of years. Contemporary visitors can still...

Taiwan’s Travel Industry Grapples With Uncertainty

Taiwan Business Topics

With no end to the pandemic yet in sight, it may take years for the travel industry to fully recover. In the short term, the leisure market has the best prospects....

Surfboards, Pets, and Piety: Niche Markets in Taiwan’s Hotel Industry

Taiwan Business Topics

Travelers in Taiwan these days can expect to find a wide range of unique, modern places to stay. Type the name of any popular resort area or major city into a...

心得:《疫病與社會的十個關鍵詞》

No Man Is An Island

...

Chewing on Home: Boba, Authenticity, and Identity

Taiwanese American.org

FEATURE PHOTOS PROVIDED BY AUTHOR
In 2019, Domino’s rolled out a limited-edition pizza in Taiwan topped with sweet tapioca balls and honey, drawing mixed...

Does Taiwan Already Have the English Teachers It Needs? Yes and No

Ketagalan Media

It would benefit Taiwan in the long term to commit to developing the potential talents it already has to achieve its goal of becoming more bilingual.

In Search of a Lost Limb

No Man Is An Island

Offering a fluent interplay of the humorous and melodramatic, A Leg is a standout film. A Leg is the directorial debut of Chang Yao-sheng, who penned the script...

Telling a Story About Two Generations in Hong Kong

No Man Is An Island

No Man is an Island interviewed Kelvin Chan Kin-long, the director of recent Hong Kong film Hand Rolled Cigarette

The Polyvalent Work of Sid and Geri

No Man Is An Island

Sid and Geri is a Taiwanese visual creator and maker of short films, exploring themes of identity, the body, and the peculiarities of human culture through the...

Language Diplomacy and Bilingual Ambitions in Taiwan

Ketagalan Media

Taiwan’s “Bilingual Nation by 2030” policy, while an impressive goal, would benefit from better communication between levels of government and simpler, more...

Taiwanese Celebrities Come Under Fire from Chinese Netizens for Congratulating Olympics Athletes

No Man Is An Island

Singer-songwriter Jolin Tsai and television host Xiao S, whose real name is Dee Hsu, are among the Taiwanese celebrities to have come under fire after expressing...

A Cross-Genre Thriller About Life After Death

No Man Is An Island

The Soul stands out among recent Taiwanese film as an effective and well-executed commercial thriller. Though the film fails to stick the landing, with its...

Having Faith in a Secular World

No Man Is An Island

Joshua E. Livingston’s Sunrays on the Beachhead of the New Creation, a book with 54 short stories with black and white graphic illustrations that serve the tales...

Of Garbage and Redemption

No Man Is An Island

City of Lost Things, a CGI animated film, surprises not only because of the well-scripted, tightly knit story but also because of its inventive animation. It...

Review: Little Big Women (孤味)

New Bloom

Little Big Women is a film powerfully evocative of the experiences of many Taiwanese families

“Danny, Danny”: Meet San Francisco filmmaker Huan Cheng

Taiwanese American.org

FEATURE PHOTOS COURTESY OF HUAN CHENG, 2021
San Francisco-based filmmaker and multidisciplinary artist Huan Cheng explores the loneliness of the immigrant...

Anne Hu’s Short Film “Lunchbox” Unpacks a Complicated Mother-Daughter Relationship

Taiwanese American.org

Independent filmmaker Anne Hu is cooking up a new project rooted in her own experience growing up Taiwanese American in a predominantly white suburb of Cleveland....

The Heartaches and Joys of Organizing Music Festivals in Taiwan

Taiwan Business Topics

Taiwan has become a hub for music festivals, both big and small, over the past two decades. The passionate organizers – many of them foreigners – work hard to put...

Century-old Folk Festival Charms Taiwanese and Foreigners Alike

Taiwan Business Topics

A unique Taiwanese experience and spectacular showcase of the island’s temple culture, the annual Dajia Mazu Pilgrimage brings together longtime adherents and,...

Mapping Taiwan

Taiwan Business Topics

Despite the prevalence of satellite data, traditional map-makers continue to tell remarkable stories with historical and contemporary images of Taiwan.  In the age...

Stories of Survival from the Origin of the City

No Man Is An Island

“A Century of Craftsmanship—The Wanhua Story” is a modest exhibition, occupying two small rooms in the Bopiliao Historic Block. However, the exhibition takes on...

Democratic Experiments in Action

No Man Is An Island

Deliberative Democracy in Taiwan: A Deliberate Systems Perspective by Mei-Fang Fan is a useful look at contemporary democracy in the Taiwanese context. 

The Story of a Gangster with a Heart of Gold

No Man Is An Island

Man in Love, adapted from the 2014 South Korean film by the same name, is an impressive first outing for director Yin Chen-hao. Yin notably entered the film...

A Humanistic Look at How the Outbreak Was Brought Under Control in Wuhan

No Man Is An Island

Wuhan Wuhan, directed by Yung Chang, is a humanistic look at everyday residents and medical workers in Wuhan at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic last year. The...

A Powerful Look into the Struggles of Two Generations in China

No Man Is An Island

Father is a standout documentary, whose strengths primarily derive from the revealing moments it manages to capture on camera. This is due to the fact that...

Intertwined Narratives: A Survey of Books on Taiwanese History

Ketagalan Media

What are the best books on general Taiwanese history? They offer clear timelines for beginners, as well as dive into the local culture.

Huiru May Huang: On Encountering a Stranger  

Taiwanese American.org

My students were putting on Little Red Riding Hood today and I was the Big Bad Wolf, so I showed up to Sister Marianne’s door in my wolf costume. Sister Marianne...

Review: “Hotel Iris” Exhibits Transgressive Love…and Taiwan-Japan Amity

No Man Is An Island

Based on Yoko Ogawa’s popular novel, “Hotel Iris” is the latest movie that highlights Taiwan-Japan relations through the lens of love and lust

A Beat Ahead or Behind of the World

No Man Is An Island

My Missing Valentine surprised in 2020 when it swept the Golden Horse Awards, Taiwan’s top film awards. The movie took home not only Best Feature Film, but also...

Cross-Racial Friendship in Hong Kong’s Underworld

No Man Is An Island

Hand Rolled Cigarette is a well-made film, proving something like the Hong Kong version of Clint Eastwood’s Gran Torino. Although the film starts off slow, its...

The Effects of Unfettered Development on Nature

No Man Is An Island

Anima depicts the human effects of unfettered development in China, while also featuring elements of Chinese ethnic minority film. The final results are passable...

Now at the Honolulu Rainbow Film Festival: “Taiwan Equals Love”

Taiwanese American.org

FEATURE PHOTOS FROM THE HONOLULU RAINBOW FILM FESTIVAL PRESS KIT
Taiwan Equals Love will be streaming free from now until August 14th on GagaOOLala, Asia’s...

cóng mei guo lai de, by Vanessa Wan

Taiwanese American.org

FEATURE PHOTO PROVIDED BY VANESSA WAN
When I was little, I thought I was Chinese. That’s what my parents said when we were asked the inevitable question: “What...

Yunlin County Offers Visitors a Trip Through Time

Taiwan Business Topics

Despite its gloomy reputation, Yunlin County – rich in culture and history – can provide a tranquil escape from the bustle of big city life. Photo credit: Steven...

A View From the Top of Taiwan’s Tallest Building

Taiwan Business Topics

For most citizens and long-term residents, Taipei 101 is likely not on their radar as a source of leisure and entertainment, though some recently added attractions...

Doses, Distance, and Data: The Road to Safe Travel

Taiwan Business Topics

Despite rigorous border control and strict measures, COVID-19 has made its way into Taiwan. Now businesses, researchers, and government are working on innovations...