asian in ohio gallery
“Asian in Ohio” lays out a framework that recognizes the unique intersection of cultural landscapes and physical geographies underlying our shared American experience. It’s a narrative that has been ongoing long before this effort, and it gestures at the dialectics of values that are both passed on from generation to generation and translated across borders. What it means to be Asian in Ohio is a crucial narrative to the Midwestern and American experience. Many more stories – right in our midst — await us.
asian american midwest
asian american stories across the midwest
For most people in Chicago’s Uptown, there’s a go-to neighborhood for grabbing some quality Asian food. Tucked right off the Red Line, Argyle’s streets are lined with business signs featuring various Southeast Asian cuisines. The smell of Chinese pastries wafts down the street. Multiple stores shelve bamboo plants in outdoor displays and West Argyle Street […]
On a sweltering summer afternoon, I want nothing more than a hot bowl of laghman noodles to slurp and savor; to chew through endless noodles and wash it down with spicy broth; to chase the broth with a glass of ice-cold kompot; to inhale the deep fragrance of cumin sticking to my clothes and to smell like it for hours – I want it all.
Last summer, when Sunisa Lee won the women’s all-around title at the Olympics, Minnesotans roared with tearful joy, and a simple — perhaps tardy — question emerged on Google: What is Hmong?
For almost 50 years, Chicago’s Chinatown gate has stood on South Wentworth Avenue, extending a warm welcome to visitors and holding the promise of a safe haven for those who call this community home. The phrase “天下為公” is hand-painted onto ornamental tiles: “The world is for all.”
“Hyphenated” is a magazine showcasing a collection of photos that strive to illustrate the Asian American identity in the Midwest. Created by Midwest photographer and designer Josh Chen, it explores both the diversity and the commonalities in the Asian American experience.
When Johnny Wu moved back to Cleveland in 1984, he was searching for a community to call home. Wu was born in Cleveland in 1967, and though raised in Central America, he returned to the city when he was seventeen years old. Upon his return, he sought connections in an area where he no longer […]
Stirring and gentle, “Minari” is an ode to director Lee Isaac Chung’s childhood. The 2020 film tells the story of a Korean-American family who leaves California to make a life in rural Arkansas. Jacob, the family patriarch, is eager to start a farm to sell Korean produce in the city. Once they arrive on the […]
Walking down the streets of Albany Park is like following a trail of breadcrumbs. Spotted with Korean signage, the Chicago neighborhood, once the city’s unofficial Koreatown, is filled with reminders of an immigrant community past its prime. Korean Americans have been gradually leaving Chicago, altering the neighborhoods they once lived and worked in. Chicago’s Korean […]
Vanessa Tsang Shiliwala was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, but feels more like a first-generation Taiwanese and Chinese immigrant. She spent much of her childhood proofreading her parents’ emails, or helping her mother when she did not have the words to communicate with a teacher or client. “I identify as first-generation because I felt very close […]
Where can you find Pocky sticks five steps away from tikka masala sauce? Across much of the U.S., products hailing from across the globe find themselves crammed side by side in the international food aisle. While international food aisles can be controversial (What counts as international, or American for that matter?), they hold a special significance in the Midwest, where access to ethnic ingredients can be sparse.
Most people know Wisconsin for its cheese—an aged cheddar in a bright red wax or an absurdly cartoonish cheese block in hat form if you’re a Packers fan. But while the state indeed produces 26% of the nation’s cheese—the most of any state—it’s also the number one producer of the little known culinary and medicinal […]
Michigan may not seem to be the most likely place for authentic Asian cuisine and experiences, but developers and city leaders in the city of Novi hope that Sakura Novi, a new mixed-use development featuring Japanese and other Asian businesses, will foster cross-cultural connections and support the Asian expatriate community there. The development will be the first of its kind in Michigan and one of only a few in the Midwest. Cover graphic courtesy of sakuranovi.com.
In these times of uncertainty, despite the chaos surrounding grocery shopping in a raging pandemic, we find ourselves… hungry still. Sometimes-ASMR, sometimes-experimental-food, this series pairs a memory with a recipe. Ingredients may be substituted—you know how it goes these days—and methods may be adapted, but the story behind them lives on.
Hi, how may I serve you? 저희 치킨 하나랑 빵 하나랑 샐러드 하나 주세요… “Finding Home” is a narrative about a girl’s experience from immigrating from Korea to Midwestern America. It is a story of the discomfort of an ambiguous home, about bridging both worlds through the medium of language. The chicken sandwich? 빵 하나 […]
The Midstory Team gives you a sneak peek into Balance Pan-Asian Grille’s newest spot in Downtown, Toledo. We speak with co-founders PK and CJ and hear about the inspiration behind Balance and their personal roots in Toledo. Balance Pan-Asian Grille opens their downtown location on N. Superior tomorrow! Grab a rice bowl, a bubble tea, […]
“Asian in Ohio” is produced by Midstory, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to inform, interpret and inspire in post-industrial communities across the Midwest through multimedia storytelling and solutions-oriented research.
special thanks to
- Advisors on the project: Dr. Ann Sherif, Dr. Pranav Jani, Dr. Nicolyn Woodcock who gave their valuable time and feedback;
- Those without whom we could not have made the connections we did and were wonderful resources besides: Elaine Tso, Anna Chen, Hope Harrington, Feiran Yang, Felicity Tao, Mely Arribas-Douglas;
- Our interviewees who generously gave their time and energy to share their stories.
This program is made possible, in part, by Ohio Humanities, a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Equity & Access Initiative Fund of the Greater Toledo Community Foundation. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this gallery do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.