Interview part 1 for a school paper at Cal Tech!
1) When you were coming up with the idea of GR, what factors inspired you to create this kind of magazine?
There was a lack of magazines out there with the pages of info that excited me, so the only way to fill that void was to make a magazine myself. The climate of magazines especially with an Asian American angle was small and bad, so perhaps that was another reason. Then finally, I didn’t have a job and writing jobs weren’t flowing my way, so using what I knew about photo, and using copiers, making a zine wasn’t that tough.
2) Why do you think that contemporary Asian American culture fits a magazine so well? What aspects of a magazine make it an ideal vehicle for these purposes?
I’m not sure if it fits that well, or we make it fit. But for now, let’s say it fits well. I think there’s a growing interest in the culture, but at the same time, it’s never been documented well. So I’d like to think we’ve trailblazed a path for it to be documented, not just by us, but also by others. Obviously, a magazine works well, but I’m sure a television show, DVD, etc would be fine too. I think paper is a long standing and strong method.
3) What sort of relationship do you think the magazine and its associated stores have with their audience? With the Asian American community as a whole?
The stores display stuff the magazine writes about. Sometimes a lot, sometimes, a little, but over all, there’s a common element with the stores and the magazine, and for those who follow the magazine closely, it’s very obvious, but for those who don’t know the magazine well at all, it also works. This is all calculated. GR isn’t a private club for insiders, it’s for everyone. The stores and magazine hopefully supports part of “the culture” that we like and find interesting. We can’t support everything, so we pick and choose.