29 Mar An Interview with Perry Yung
During the global Covid-19 Pandemic one of my favorite programs to watch on television was the Cinemax miniseries called “Warrior”. Set in San Francisco’s Chinatown during the late 1870s, this amazing show, inspired by the writings of Bruce Lee, is an action packed period drama that depicts the realities of anti-Asian racial oppression along with the furious fists of Kung Fu fight scenes. One of the main characters in this exciting series is Father Jun, the leader of the City’s most powerful gang or tong, played by the New York-based actor Perry Yung.
His portrayal of this hard-edged and often violent leader is so captivating I began an instant fan. By an odd coincidence Yung and I just happen to have a mutual friend on Facebook. After getting acquainted online I also discovered that he is a passionate advocate for the resistance to the rise of hostility toward Asian people and the climate of hatred being perpetuated by white supremacists nationwide. As a master of the performing arts Yung uses his talents to personify prototypical roles of Asian men to give them Both depth and texture far beyond the cliched stereotypes so often presented by Hollywood.
In his latest film “Boogie”, Yung plays the father of the title character, a young man who struggles with his identity as an Chinese-American basketball player with NBA aspirations at the intersection of the Black and Asian communities of the modern era. Yung and I spoke over Zoom not long before the mass murder of 6 Asian women in Atlanta. In addition to the parallels between the current state of anti-Asian sentiment of today and the violence and oppression of the past, Yung and I discussed his long career as both an actor and the maker of the traditional Japanese flute called the Shakuhachi.
You can learn more about Perry Yung on his website at PerryYung.wordpress.com. In light current climate of racism and bigotry across America, I want to encourage everyone to seek out and experience cultures of every variety. Buy their art, learn their language, eat their food watch their media and demand of all those around you to stop the hate.
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For now, go be joyful. And Until next time. Take care!