Interview: Vienna Teng And Not Being A Liability

Sunday, October 12, 2008

I was reading this article on Vienna Teng down at Mochi Magazine and one of the quotes that stuck out me was this:

Describing the mainstream response to her music as "overwhelmingly positive," she said being Asian American "has never ever been a liability."

"I was surprised because there’s nothing particularly Asian American about my music," she said. "I don’t talk about Asian American issues or cultural heritage, but mainstream readiness to see minorities is here. And within the Asian American community there are enough pioneers for it to be legitimate to go into the arts. It’s something that has got enough visibility where you can tell your parents about it."
Isn't that a great quote? As Asian Americans we still have a long way to go in my opinion towards universal acceptance by mainstream society, but at the same time, it's just refreshing to hear from an artist like Vienna Teng that for her, being Asian American has never been a liablity - because at some point we have to start recognizing where we are as opposed to where we've been - and I don't mean that in a "why can't we just get past things" type of comment (which should be obvious just because of what I blog about) but I do think sometimes, myself included - we don't always focus on those situations from individuals when they haven't experienced many barriers in regard to race (or where race has been a liability), and when they've felt they've had a great foundation to build on and move forward.