It was a night of vision, visibility and voice. Tonight was the opening ceremony of the V3 conference. Four awards were given out: one Vision, two Visibility, and one Voice award. There were more than 200 people tonight at the Pacific Asian Museum in Pasadena for the V3 Digital Media Conference opening and awards ceremony.
It wasn’t just a night of awards, but of intergenerational celebrations and music.
The first award was given to Jeff Yang, editor-in-chief of “Secret Identities: The Asian American Superhero Anthology”, the first ever comic book written about superheroes from the Asian American perspective. Keith Chow, co-editor of Secret Identities as well as the presenter of the Vision Award, touched upon Jeff Yang’s long-time involvement in Asian American Media and the overlap of the traditional media world and the digital media world. Yang’s commitment has led to many insights on modern media’s hold and influence over Asian American presence. He’s not only involved in traditional media, but he believes that the Internet and digital era has leveled the playing field. During an interview, he said:
“Asian Americans were marginal, we were on the periphery of both awareness and ultimately empowerment, as far as the media is concerned. We had no ability to really control our image, we had no infrastructure to contribute our voices and stories…. For us, the first platforms on which we can actually share our stories and present our image is the one that is going to dominate the future: the Internet. Digital media is the mainstream media. This is our traditional media.”
Phil Yu, famous blogger of all-time favorite angryasianman, presented the first visibility award to David Choi. As a popular YouTube singer with over 1 million hits and has worked in conjunction with Wong Fu Productions, Choi is breaking grounds with non-traditional channels. “I started posting music because it’s what I love to do…” Choi said during his speech, “and I guess that leads to something.”
Lisa Ling stepped up to receive the second award after being introduced by her long time friend and role model, Gordon Tokumatsu. She is the host of Our America on OWN. “My parents were divorced by the age of 7, and so I grew up with the TV. I used to watch Brady Bunch all the time and pretend that I was one of them…” She later touched upon her desire to see more Asian Americans on TV and said that the “the passion for what I do and being immersed in so many kinds of worlds… it’s so invigorating and so fascinating that it’s hard to give up.”
After a warm welcome by Tamilyn Tomita, pictured above, Jocelyn “Joz” Wang wrapped up the night with the Voice Award. Joz is editor of 8asians.com, a website that writes Asian American issues.
“It’s not really for the work that I do, it’s really for the work that you do…” Jocelyn said.
She said she felt so incredibly inspired by the people here and on the Internet, that she had to do her part to help bring more visibility, vision, voices to the community.
“Whenever we feel like we’re invisible and we’re not heard,” Jocelyn said, “It’s our job to take that step and do it ourselves. And that’s the spirit of v3.”
- Jenny Lin and Robert Moran, V3con bloggers