Happy New Year from The Amp!

By Shannon Lee
January 2, 2024

Happy 2024, Amp readers!

When we launched The Amp in November of 2022, our aim was to cultivate a critical space where AAPI artist voices could be heard loudly, clearly, and on our own terms.

Since then, The Amp has published 78 stories, read by nearly 17,000 readers from around the world. These essays, reviews, and interviews tell us that the artists in our community are defiant, healing, inspiring, and reimagining possibilities. We are cyborgian, revealing, expanding, alienated, fractured, and interconnected. Our music is calling on people to mobilize, our artworks are challenging narratives, our films are unpacking the American dream, and our performances are battling cultural assumptions.

As we rein in a new year, I wanted to take this opportunity to highlight some of the biggest stories we’ve published since launching:

Ryan Lee Wong reflects on how the two recent AAPI blockbuster films, “Past Lives” and “Everything Everywhere All At Once,” explore the concept of the multiverse within the immigrant experience.
In winter of 2022, amid ignorant, micro-aggressive reviews and lukewarm attendance, “KPOP the Musical” suddenly shuttered its Broadway run after only 17 shows. Howard Ho shares his thoughts on what the production’s short-lived stint means for representation on the Great White Way, and what we may still glean from the show’s enthusiastic supporters.
Over a Zoom interview from Busan, South Korea, artist Maia Ruth Lee discussed the intimacy of her new “Bondage, Baggage” works, the strangeness of parenthood, and her reflections on uprootedness with The Amp.
Rohan Zhou-Lee provides a critical, Filipinx perspective on David Byrne and Fatboy Slim’s hit Broadway musical, “Here Lies Love,” which brings audiences into the modern history of the Philippines by following the rise and fall of Imelda Marcos, former first lady to the dictator Ferdinand Marcos.
Jasmine Liu offers her insights into the documentary “Free Chol Soo Lee,” which tells the story of a Korean American immigrant wrongfully convicted of a murder committed in 1972 San Francisco’s Chinatown.

To see such an extraordinary multitude and breadth of artistic expression has been deeply affirming as an editor. I am so grateful to the phenomenal writers and photographers we’ve commissioned for lending us their remarkable insight, clarity of thought, and distinctive points of view. Thank you! Without you, The Amp couldn’t exist.

Additionally, I’d like to thank the team at A4 for their steadfast support and profound sense of care. Lisa Gold, Justine Lee, Danielle Wu, Leo Chang, Stephanie Shin, and Maka–thank you for making A4 a home.

Finally, thank you reader! Your continued interest and support are what make this work so worthwhile.

Here’s to another year of strong AAPI cultural voices! Your continued interest and support are what make this work so worthwhile. Consider a donation to help us keep making these stories possible.

Shannon Lee
Editor, The Amp

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