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Asia Pacific Arts comes to USC

The popular and influential web magazine is now published by the USC US-China Institute in cooperation with the Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism and the East Asian Studies Center.
December 14, 2009

Asian pop culture has captured a wide audience across the globe. The influence of Asian creators and motifs is felt throughout the visual and performing arts as well as in literature and interactive media. For six years Asia Pacific Arts has documented these trends and brought these artists and their work to millions of readers and viewers. And now Asia Pacific Arts is being published at USC.

The multimedia magazine (available at offers interviews with and reviews of the work of both rising and established artists. The current front page features interviews with director John Woo (creator of Red Cliff and many other popular films) and Korean pop star BoA, looks at how three Southeast Asian artists represent the human body and at a Singaporean company’s jump into animated films, along with coverage of the “Hollywood Chinese” exhibition.

Asia Pacific Arts has two missions. The first is to illuminate key trends, individuals, and institutions in Asian and Asian American pop culture and the second is to provide hands-on journalism training for students interested in Asia and pop culture. Asia Pacific Arts is where you learn how the American release of Red Cliff differs from the version that sold $120 million in tickets across Asia and why Leon Dai's small-budget No Puedo Vivir Sin Ti swept Taiwan's Golden Horse Awards last month. It’s where you hear BoA explain her efforts to achieve success in the US market. Students produce Asia Pacific Arts, developing stories, carrying out research, conducting interviews, and composing the multimedia stories. Through regular workshops and informal consultations our student journalists draw on the expertise of distinguished scholars as well as veteran writers, filmmakers, and critics.

The USC US-China Institute publishes Asia Pacific Arts in cooperation with the Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism and the East Asian Studies Center. The magazine fits well into the university’s commitment to having students produce and not merely consume knowledge. It draws on one of the world’s premier journalism schools, including a leading program in arts journalism, and EASC’s leading role as a center for research and teaching about Asian visual cultures.

Asia Pacific Arts began at UCLA in 2003. Tom Plate and his students launched the magazine as part of the Asia Pacific Media Network. From fall 2003, the magazine was based at the UCLA Asia Institute, its home until the move to USC. Ada Tseng, the magazine’s managing editor, continues in that role, and many UCLA students who contributed to the magazine are continuing to do so. At USC, Tseng is again working under the direction of Clayton Dube and Linda Truong. They oversaw the magazine at UCLA from 2003 to 2006. Many USC students have already joined the magazine and are at work on their first stories for it.

The publication sports a new look and more accessible design. Coverage of literature and gaming is being expanded. An interview with John Woo is just the start, Asia Pacific Arts writers covered film festivals in Shanghai, Hong Kong, and Taipei and you can count on the magazine to bring you news about Chen Qiulin's latest art exhibition, Ha Jin's current novel, Zhang Ziyi's next American crossover and anything in between.


Please sign up for the APA weekly update. Just complete the simple form on the magazine's front page to receive a weekly summary of new stories and what's in the news.

Students are invited to apply to join Asia Pacific Arts. Write to for more information.

Want to support these and other USCI efforts to increase public understanding of China and the rest of Asia? Want to help us provide students innovative learning experiences? Please contact us at or use your credit card at USC’s secure online giving site. Please be sure to indicate that your tax deductible gift is intended to support the USC US-China Institute’s student publications program.