PREVIEW: Perspectives: An Exhibition of AAPI Expression

Tomorrow night, March 10th, prance to the Michigan Union’s Rogel Ballroom for MA:E Magazine’s Perspectives Gallery, held from 6-8pm

MA:E is a “publication and creative collective by and for the Asian Pacific Islander Desi American community.” To commemorate AAPI Heritage Month next month, they are collaborating with Stamps Student Life to “showcase an exhibition and celebration of the free expression and creative talent of the AAPI community at the University of Michigan.” Artwork in mediums including photography, paintings, illustrations, videos, clothing design, storytelling, and performances of poetry/ prose will be presented. The gallery also welcomes Alexa Borromeo, Stamps Class of 2016, as the night’s guest speaker. The dress code is semiformal. MA:E requests that you fill out this RSVP Form no later than Wednesday, March 9th if you plan to be in attendance:

As an Asian American creative, I’m excited to meet other Asian creators from both MA:E and the larger community of U of M. As someone constantly surrounded by writing, viewing visual art is always refreshing, relaxing, and sparks inspiration for my own craft. In comparison to writing, fine art is sometimes easier to consume, and quicker to get an immediate response to. My favorite thing about visual art is that two people can look at a piece together, simultaneously. Art is really cool because when it’s hung up somewhere, it defines that space. I really look forward to entering a space of culture and art that lifts and honors AAPI voices. And getting to enjoy each piece with the company of a friend.

Featured Image:


The record-breaking, history-making K-pop boy band, BTS, is holding their first concert of 2022 this Saturday, March 12th. You can watch the BTS Permission To Dance ON STAGE – SEOUL: LIVE VIEWING at both 4:30pm or 8:30pm at Ann Arbor 20 + IMAX theater in Ypsilanti. The actual concert will be held in Seoul, South Korea, but broadcasted to select theaters around the world, only on Saturday, March 12th. The price of one ticket is $35.00 + service fee.

BTS is my favorite band. They’ve broken cultural barriers as a foreign group who have gained global popularity, despite singing mostly in Korean. I have been to one other BTS concert live viewing before, and the theater was loud. I anticipate that this Saturday, the theater will be filled with fellow ARMY’s (BTS fans), and for BTS lightsticks to be flicked on, waving in action.

The Ann Arbor theater added four separate shows for both viewing times – eight theaters total – after the first showing nearly sold out immediately. So there’s plenty of tickets to go around!

Something to note is that due to South Korea’s COVID restrictions, the audience is not allowed to make any noise, a quite hilarious request for fans at a concert. Instead, the venue will hand out clappers – yes, these things:

– for fans to clap with. 

Here are some priceless screenshots from official concert etiquette guides:


In the theater, there will be no such restraints. Cheer, dance, and sing all you want!

BTS (방탄소년단) PTD ON STAGE – SEOUL: LIVE VIEWING SPOT (trailer/ info video):

Get tickets here!

Featured image:

‘things to know before attending the concert’ images:



REVIEW: The Batman

Trigger Warning // mentions of Asian violence

! Discreet spoilers ahead !

9:45 pm. Our lone car sits in the theater parking lot, rain striking its windows. As we run in, puddles quiver under our feet, breaking the neon reflections cast against the pavement.

Despite the drizzly, late hour, there’s no damper to my mood. I’m home for spring break, watching a movie with my family, for the first time in forever. We prance into the theater fifteen minutes late, but thanks to the endless trailers and commercials, we don’t miss a thing. In the very last row, reclined as far back as we can go, we even catch a teaser for the animated D.C. League of Super-Pets, which features a cast of Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart, along with Keanu Reeves, voicing their own cartoonish Batman. I attempt a wordle as we wait for the lights to dim. A solid two minutes; I give up. I imagine this is how Batman must feel, going up against the Riddler.

But all throughout the film, he solves them with ease. Bruce probably has no problem guessing his way to green squares in six tries– even the ones after the New York Times took over. He’s just cool like that: the hero who uses fear as a tool and carries a Presence™ everywhere he goes. But like user @NebsGoodTakes on Twitter, it “took me an embarrassingly long time to realize [that] Batman was walking slowly to record everything, not just for the vibes.”

In the opening of the film, the mood immediately reads darker, more melancholy than your usual superhero-starring motion picture. The eery, tired rasp of Curt Kobain’s voice sets the scene seamlessly: his numb hum shapes the perfect song when I walk into a room for the perpetually dark circle-sporting Batman.

To gush a bit more about the film’s score and soundtrack:

It’s the last show of the night. As well as a new beginning and end for Gotham. I Have But One Heart, Dido’s Lament, and the familiar Ave Maria all heighten the apocalyptic atmosphere of the place. If I were a professional playlist curator, I’d also sneak in Cannibal Holocaust by Riz Ortolani and Where Did You Sleep Last Night by Nirvana, as they’d fit right in with the rest of the tracks.

Also to applaud: the camera work and elements of depth of space, movement, and lighting. The use of upside-down and wide shots, blur, and an unmoving camera were extremely effective and refreshing, especially for a superhero movie. This veers from the movement-heavy style of most Marvel films, which accommodates the need to follow the action, draw the audience in, and heighten the intensity. But utilizing still shots – which allow the action to unfold without ceremony – lays it all out for the audience to take in, somehow creating a greater sense of emotion, tension, and magnitude. I felt closer to the events plastered across the screen; it all seemed more raw. Visceral.

The movie handled difficult themes, yet felt easy to watch. Even for somebody who went in not knowing the first thing about Batman (me). Something that immediately stood out to me was the early-on subway attack scene, where Batman defends an Asian victim against a group of men who target and follow him out of the subway. It caught my eye as an Asian American person wondering whether this was a subtle call-out or acknowledgement towards real life events. However, many viewers found the scene “triggering” and insensitive to Asian Americans during a time of increased violence against the community, regardless of whether the attack was intended as racially motivated” (Yang). David Chen, who hosts the podcast “Culturally Relevant,” argued that “depicting such loaded imagery without making a larger point about the meaning behind it is disrespectful. “To me, this was an irresponsible and inflammatory use of this imagery that (knowingly or unthinkingly) gestured at real life horrific events” (Yang). It also feels notable to mention that this is the only Asian representation in the entire film; using this scene simply to portray Batman’s “I’m vengeance,” tagline and foreboding demeanor feels off-putting.

Aside from this controversial choice, I genuinely enjoyed the film and found it brilliant, well-casted, and visually dynamic. Running back out into the empty lot at one am, I happily splashed my way back to the car. It may have been raining, but hey, at least this city wasn’t treading in deep water.


Featured Image from Hollywood Reporter:

NBC News – ‘The Batman’ criticized for scene of attempted subway attack on Asian victim:


PREVIEW: The Batman

This Saturday at 8:30 pm, The Batman plays at Regal Stonestown Galleria ScreenX, 4DX, & RPX Theater in San Francisco. 

Freshly released this Friday, March 4th, this highly anticipated D.C. film features an exciting lineup of Robert Pattinson’s debut as Batman, along with Zoë Kravitz as Catwoman. 

I, personally, have never watched Twilight, nor any Batman movies. So this will be my first exposure to the Batman cinematic universe aside from well, The Lego Movie and Teen Titans Go!, both which I watched over half a decade ago. I’m looking forward to watching the two hour, fifty-six minute flick with fresh eyes. Director Matt Reeves describes this film as a look into the “early days of being Batman.” However it’s not an origin story– instead, the film navigates the struggles this untraditional superhero must endure, and how he endures them. The movie will also explore deeply psychological aspects of the corruption within Gotham City. 

The trailer seems promising– dark lighting, intense gazes, plenty of fires and explosions. With Nirvana’s Something in the Way crooning through the action, and heavy downpours littering the cityscape, returning to my hometown (San Francisco) to watch this movie, seems fitting.

If you’d prefer to wait it out and watch from home, the movie will also be available on HBO Max on April 19th.

Featured image is a screenshot from the Batman trailer: