Banana Magazine 003
Banana Magazine 003
"The choice for the name Banana is meant to be an inside joke. For anyone who has ever been called a ‘banana,’ you know that it’s a nickname that has been given to many first generation Asians growing up in a western world, like us. It’s not meant to be derogatory, but celebratory. Birthed in Chinatown NYC, Banana strives to navigate through the blurred Eastern and Western boundaries and create a voice for contemporary Asian culture. We want to use the magazine as a platform to feature, celebrate, and join the conversation with Asian creatives in a journey to define our collective identity.
Whether it is rediscovering your grandma’s herbal soup recipes, exploring current Asian beauty culture through an editorial, or commissioning original artwork to represent the dichotomy that can exist between two cultures, our content aims to cover all things AZN."
Kathleen Tso + Vicki Ho
Cover + Feature: Shawna X - Visual artist and designer Shawna X is Banana’s featured cover artist for issue 003. Our profile on Shawna explores her upbringing, and how identity and sexuality plays a part in her work. Shawna also shares select pieces from her recent exhibition, All Alone. With vibrant taste and a strong point of view, Shawna brings issue 003 to life right at first sight. Words by Tiffany Tso and all artwork by Shawna X.
Calling All Bananas - Banana held an open call on its social channels, asking Asian friends and supporters to submit a personal thought or experience that represented the societal strains and racial tensions that exist in America today.
The Asian American Identity - A first-person narrative, writer Peter Trinh takes Banana on a moment of self discovery as he navigates through what the Asian American identity is today. Supporting illustrations by Jason Raish.
Life in a Chinese Takeaway - Growing up in a family-owned Chinese take out restaurant--or takeaway, as the British say--writer Angela Hui recounts her childhood and reflects on how her upbringing has shaped who she is today. Illustrations complemented by Jocelyn Tsaih.
Ross Alley - Banana tapped photographer Vincent Trinh to capture a slice of life in San Francisco’s Chinatown, specifically a small street within named Ross Alley.
Welcome to Chinatown - Banana explores New York’s Chinatown through the eyes of six locals who represent the next generation of Chinatown. Curated by Nom Wah founder, Wilson Tang, we brought together thought leaders, business owners and creatives to discuss the future of the beloved and quickly gentrifying neighborhood. Featured subjects include film director Evan Leong (Linsanity, Snakehead); Sophia Ng Tsao, owner of Po Wing Hong; developer Phil Chong of Canal Street Market; head chef of Nom Wah Nolita Calvin Eng; co-owner of L.E.S. Kitchen and Breakroom, Christopher Wong; and photographer and director An Rong Xu. Words by Kathleen Tso and photography by An Rong Xu.
Hot Pot, Three Ways - Bon Appetit photographer Alex Lau and food stylist Tyna Hoang join forces to explore traditional Asian hot pot within three different cultures: Chinese, Japanese and Thai. Writer Eric Diep interviews Tyna on the similarities and differences between each region while she shares mouth watering recipes to try at home.
Ashley Yang-Thompson- Artist Ashley Yang-Thompson shares her recent work with Banana--vibrant paintings that reflect on her personal struggles and upbringing as a hapa, while tackling issues on identity and sexism. Written by Michael D. Nguyen.
Asian Glow - Banana tapped 10 NYC-based creatives to share their experiences with Asian glow, the often embarrassing redness effect of Asians drinking alcohol. Writer Vicki Ho explains the scientific and societal effects of Asian glow, while subjects are captured on camera to physically showcase the glow. Featured creatives include Jian DeLeon, editorial director of Highsnobiety; Daryl Oh, founder of Holyrad Studios; and designer David ‘China’ Chang. Photos by Alex Hodor Lee, with hair and makeup by Make Up Pro New York.
Private Policy - Writer Jian DeLeon interviews Private Policy on the inspiration behind their Spring/Summer 2017 collection, a genderless line intended to raise awareness on the plight of Southeast Asian fishermen who are promised jobs on boats but end up as modern slaves. Photographer Natalie Fong captures sun-soaked images of the collection. Styling by Beverly Nguyen, makeup by Lisa Thai, and hair by Juli Akaneya.
China’s Next Great Export- Writer Allyson Toy travels to China with Hubei-born, Brooklyn-based rapper Bohan Phoenix to unearth the bubbling hip-hop and rap scene in the cities of Shanghai, Taipei and Chengdu. Through interviews with Bohan, Beijing-born producer and founder of bass music collective Do Hits Howie Lee, and Chengdu rap group Higher Brothers, Allyson discovers China’s next great export.
SOSUPERSAM- DJ and artist SOSUPERSAM, otherwise known as Samantha Duenas, talks to Banana on how she’s gotten to where she is today and the emotional first time visit to her motherland, the Philippines. Words by Vicki Ho, images by Joonie Jang, styling by Diana Tsui, hair and makeup by Make Up Pro New York.