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DAVID HENRY HWANG INTERVIEW
It's OK to be Wrong and/or It's OK to be Hwang
Presentations of idiosyncratic history pageants with a sense of humor and musicality
A Creative Soul, Successful Playwright, Screenwriter and Librettist with All the Work He can Handle

 

DIVERSITY
Within this section on diversity, we will receive an insight on how David treat conflicts that exist within any culture. In the process, maybe we will find that he is just a "liberal humanist?!?!"

"GOLDEN CHILD" AND CHRISTIANITY
US ASIANS: You've shared that writing Golden Child was part of your process of replacing the Christian fundamentalist mind-set that your parents embedded within your character during your childhood with something equally fundamentalist, did your search to transcend your past rigidity and "reactiveness" provide you the expected ability/freedom to achieve success?

DAVID HENRY HWANG: Well, I actually achieved my greatest career success (i.e. "M. Butterfly") before "Golden Child," so whatever personal benefits which accrued from writing it were mostly personal and artistic rather than commercial.

US ASIANS: Could your rejection of Christianity be part of your search to go beyond the seemingly imposed religious restrictions (condition of your father's marriage to your mother, great grandfather's break with Confucian tradition and conversion to Christianity - along with its impact on his three wives and succeeding generations, etc.)?

 
Calvin Jung's Responses
 
 
Calvin Jung
 
This is Part 4 of the interview.
Read Part 1 by clicking
HERE.

This long-winded response is another example of this F..K UP Asian American mentality to play by the rules and fit in. We need to say "F..K IT" and finance our own projects.

Now, that was the good intent of these previously mentioned theater groups, but unfortunately - most of their work is really BAAAAAD.

Sandra Oh's success is a rarity because she paid her dues and came from the stage/theater - she got a break and broke through. She was voted "Outstanding Actress" in all of Canada in the 90s - and she didn't only play "Asian roles."

Too many young actors don't put in the following:

  • Necessary work involved to be a serious actor
  • Lack of commitment
  • Don't do the stage training that teaches you about acting
  • Limit their thinking with the mentality of doing only Asian-type roles
  • No guts to challenge the status quo and
  • To challenge and accept the consequences.

And the idea of being discovered or I'm different because I'm beautiful, etc. - martial arts skill is B.S. (Read David's comments on the need for APA actors to be the best by clicking HERE.)

Feel free to elaborate and/or complete any thoughts that you want to express.

The plight of the Asian American actor is really difficult. The major stars of Asian descent from Asian can't speak English and are pretty much foreigners. This has given license to Hollywood to have Asians speak with accents and always portrayed as "foreigners."

Until there is a political figure who has the "balls" to speak out and unite the Asian masses or Asian Pacific American backers to make films, we are just working for the man as "N.gg...s" with slanted eyes and yellow skin.

To learn about Calvin Jung, click HERE
To discover the Calgon commerical, click HERE

. . . . . . e n d . . . . .

DAVID HENRY HWANG: Yes, and to find a set of spiritual beliefs which made sense to me.

US ASIANS: What battles involving the Chinese/Asian Pacific American communities were you trying to highlight within your production?

DAVID HENRY HWANG: I don't think I was highlighting American issues, per se, here, as much as those conflicts that arise in any culture when one tries to impose change, however necessary or progressive these advances may be.

US ASIANS: What perspectives would you hope that present-day audiences would pick up that will motivate them to explore why the conflicts (Western vs. Chinese ways & traditions, Christian vs. Non-Christian lifestyle viewpoints, family conflicts, etc.) still have considerable merit today?

DAVID HENRY HWANG: Well, we live in a time when a powerful and well-funded right-wing movement is actively trying to undo a half-century of social progress and return America to norms more prevalent in the 1950's. I hope that "Golden Child" explores why change is necessary, even when it faces powerful opposition.

US ASIANS: Could you share the status/role/importance/admiration of the convoluted rituals of feminine humility expressed by the first wife (who retreats from the Christian invasion by smoking opium because "it takes away the only thing that stands in the way of a woman's power - her feelings"), the second (the jealous wife who pretends to be interested in being "modern" to manipulate the household) and the third wife (the modest, favored young wife listens to "La Traviata" on the phonograph and, before disaster strikes, experiments with a love that dares to look directly in her lover's eyes)?

DAVID HENRY HWANG: I think I was trying to provide an alternative to views of women as passive victims in pre-Revolutionary China, in works such as "Raise the Red Lantern," as opposed to Western women, such as the protagonists of "Sense & Sensibility" who also face horrible repression, but still manage to emerge as fully-dimensional human beings, with aspirations and a sense of humor.

US ASIANS: Golden Child's "Kwong" remarked that "This is America; everyone is ashamed of their ancestors" in a play that reveals the complexities of assimilation that have many parallels to your life - does this tale to Noah (your first child) reflect your views on your own ancestors?

DAVID HENRY HWANG: I think I was mostly commenting on the fact that, in a nation where most people are descended from immigrants, we all have ambivalent views about the root cultures they chose to leave. Perhaps it also reflects the recognition that my children are likely to be ashamed of me some day -- especially during their teenaged years!

US ASIANS: If a life based on absolutes isn't sufficient to handle complex human experiences based on ambivalences, self-delusions, accidents, happenstance, etc. - what set of idea(s) provide that ability to be free to move beyond stereotypes to a new level of freedom with different type of roles/issues?

DAVID HENRY HWANG: I guess at heart, I'm basically a liberal humanist.

"FAMILY DEVOTIONS" AND CHRISTIANITY
US ASIANS: Considering the fast-growing population of Asian American Christians - especially in Ivy League schools, would you suggest people to experience the conflicts between the wealthy Americanized Chinese family of fanatical born-again Christians and an austere atheist uncle from Communist China to evaluate the value/importance/authenticity of religion?

DAVID HENRY HWANG: Honestly, I think "Family Devotions" is an exploration of my early conflicts with religion, but that it doesn't reach any consistent and coherent conclusions. I probably would recommend "Golden Child" as a more fully-formed piece.

US ASIANS: Remembering your character DiGoo's words to Chester of "Study your face and you will see the shape of your face that is the shape of faces back many generations, across an ocean and in another soil. You must become one with your family before you can hope to live away from it. Chester, you are in America, if you deny those who share your blood, what do you have in this country" - how does this highlights the conflict many Asian Pacific Americans have between "Authentic Culture" versus "Orientalism (obtaining our self image through Western/American eyes/viewpoints/prejudices/preconceptions/idiosyncrasies)?"

DAVID HENRY HWANG: I think it reflects my beliefs that our faces hold a mystery which are worth exploring. Perhaps we won't find ultimate answers, but it is the repeated asking of the question, at different points in our lives, which affirms our humanity.


David shares his need for the Asian/Asian Pacific American communities to support viable and tangible projects - along with his parting words for serious APA (Asian Pacific American) artists by clicking HERE.

Discover David's Viewpoints on the Wide Spectrum of Subjects by Clicking on the Below-Listed Links
AUTHENTICITY
CULTURE
CREATIVE PROCESS
DIVERSITY
MUSIC & MUSICALS

Applications
Authenticity vs. Stereotypes
Definition
Frank Chin Battles
Stereotypes - David's Views

THEATER
1000 Airplanes on the Roof
Chinese Railroad Workers
Dance and the Railroad
Family & Christianity
Family Devotion
FOB
Golden Child & Christianity
Origins of Interest
Rich Relations
Sound of a Voice
Steve Allen's Meeting of Minds
Trying to Find Chinatown

 

 

Critical Thinking
Cultural Symbol
Debating Issues
Ethnic Isolationism
Its Issues
Representations

PERSONAL INFO
2nd Marriage & Its Joys
David on Ismail Merchant
Henry Hwang (Father)
Kathryn Hwang (Wife)
Overview
Parents & Relatives
Parting Words
Personal Facts

SUPPORT
Financial
Needed from APA Artists
From Our Communities

 

Choices
Collaborators

Days of Education & Learning
Dealing with Expectations
Failure's Particular Lessons
Inappropriate Characters
Influences & Inspirations
"Lost Empire" Experience
Pressures with Success
Role Models
Working with Lucia Hwong
Working with Philip Glass
Working with Unsuk Chin

NEW & PAST PROJECTS
Chinese Mafia-type Films
Desired Projects
Hello Suckers
Inspiration of China
Status of Past Projects
Tarzan
Texas Guinan
The Fly
Yellow Face

 

APA Theater Organizations
Blind-Casting
Calvin Jung
Current Status
Daring Films w/Asian Males
Definition of an APA
Ethnic Theater
Life as a Librettist (Ainadamar)
Life as a Role Model
Ms. Saigon Protest
Perceptions
Proteges & Artists
Recognizing APA Artists
State of Asian Women Writers
Welly Yang Learning History

LIFE AS A SCREENWRITER
Across the Nightingale Floor
Experience with Hollywood
Golden Gate & M.Butterfly
Interculturalism & Objective Truth
NBC's Lost Empire
Neal Labute's "Possession"

 

Its Importance
M.Butterfly
Today's APA Communities
Working with Prince

FLOWER DRUM SONG
Anna May Wong
Arabella Hong-Young
Background Research
C.Y. Lee
Creative Choices
Its Importance
Original Version
Remembering Our History

REVIEWS
Yellow Face

       
       
       

 

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