K-Pod

K-Pod

By KoreanAmericanStory.org
K-Pod, a production of Korean-American Story, is a series dedicated to the stories of Korean-Americans in arts and culture. Hosts Catherine Hong and Juliana Sohn talk to artists, writers, designers, directors, musicians, chefs and other creatives about their work, their lives, and how they came to forge their careers. Episodes are released every 2 weeks on Thursdays at 7AM EST.
More places to listen

More places to listen

Jenny Kwak | K-Pod | Ep. 9
Jenny Kwak put Korean food on the map when she opened the restaurant Dok Suni in New York's East Village in 1992 when she was just 19.  Later, she opened a second successful restaurant, Do Hwa, where Quentin Tarantino was famously an investor. Catherine and Juliana catch up with the pioneering chef-restaurateur at her new Brooklyn restaurant, Haenyeo, where she’s flexing her creativity with dishes like cajun-inflected dduk boki. Jenny talks about her thwarted plans to be a painter; the rollicking early days of Dok Suni; her ambivalence about celebrity chef culture and her close relationship with her mom (who still keeps her kimchi recipe a secret, even from Jenny). Follow Haenyeo @haenyeobk and Jenny Kwak @jennyk.bk on Instagram. Hosts: Juliana Sohn @juliana_sohn and Catherine Hong @catherinehong100 Executive Producer: Hj Lee Producer: Kevin Park Editor: Aj Valente. Watch on YouTube: https://youtu.be/bd6haUYcmDM
28:33
September 19, 2019
Byron Kim | K-Pod | Ep. 8
Byron Kim is a Brooklyn-based artist who works in an area known as the abstract sublime. Part of the permanent collections of the National Gallery of Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art, his minimalist paintings sit at the threshold between abstraction and representation, conceptualism and pure painting. Catherine and Juliana learn about Byron’s original plan to become a poet (he switched to art, thinking it would be “easier”); his physician parents, who immigrated to New York back in the 1950s; the gigs that got him through his early years as a struggling New York artist (four words: Skadden Arps graveyard shift); his career breakthrough at the landmark 1993 Whitney Biennial; and his ongoing series known as “Sunday Paintings,” arguably his most personal work to date. Hosts: Juliana Sohn @juliana_sohn and Catherine Hong @catherinehong100 Executive Producer: Hj Lee Producer: Kevin Park Editor: AJ Valente. Watch on YouTube: https://youtu.be/ode9nx0PdDU
33:52
September 5, 2019
Soyoung Lee | K-Pod | Ep. 7
Soyoung Lee built her career at Metropolitan Museum of Art where she was the museum’s first curator of Korean art, organizing such landmark shows as  “Silla: Korea’s Golden Kingdom” and “Diamond Mountains: Travel and Nostalgia in Korean Art." Last year, after 15 years at the Met, she was appointed Chief Curator of the Harvard Art Museums. She talks to Juliana and Catherine about her childhood as the daughter of a South Korean diplomat living in Jakarta, Stockholm and London; her early love of Japanese art; and the challenges of making ancient art compelling to modern American audiences. Hosts: Juliana Sohn @juliana_sohn and Catherine Hong @catherinehong100 Executive Producer: Hj Lee Producer: Kevin Park Editor: AJ Valente. Watch on YouTube: https://youtu.be/4nuVk3Ka2Jk
33:49
August 22, 2019
Romon K. Yang aka Rostarr | K-Pod | Ep. 6
Romon K. Yang — aka Rostarr — is a Brooklyn-based artist, currently living in Bali, who works in painting, drawing, sculpture, digital and film. His signature works are large-scale black-and-white abstract paintings that recall both calligraphy and street art. In 2016, he collaborated with Nike on a much-coveted collection of sneakers and apparel; he has also created work for the Standard Hotels group and Moncler. Rostarr tells Catherine and Juliana about his rebellious childhood in Virginia, his fraught relationship with his parents, and the years he spent as a break dancer, graphic designer and music industry art director before finding his calling as an artist. Hosts: Juliana Sohn @juliana_sohn and Catherine Hong @catherinehong100 Executive Producer: Hj Lee Producer: Kevin Park Editor: AJ Valente. Watch on YouTube: https://youtu.be/jxYaLowMj08
59:29
August 8, 2019
Karen Chee | K-Pod | Ep. 5
Writer-performer Karen Chee is a rising star in the comedy world and the youngest member of the writing staff of Late Night with Seth Meyers. A 2017 graduate of Harvard, she’s known for smart, quirky humor that’s unafraid to take on issues of gender, race and politics. Thanks to the recurring segment “What Does Karen Know?” she’s also known for her millennial ignorance of fax machines and Nirvana. Karen tells Catherine and Juliana about her childhood as a “square” (she only watched PBS and C-Span), her early ambitions to be a political speechwriter and how she got her first big gig, writing jokes for Sandra Oh at the Golden Globes. Follow Karen Chee on Twitter and Instagram @karencheee. Hosts: Juliana Sohn @juliana_sohn and Catherine Hong @catherinehong100 Executive Producer: Hj Lee Producer: Kevin Park Editor: AJ Valente. Watch on YouTube: https://youtu.be/X-Wt4uaNO9w
39:07
July 25, 2019
Peter Kim | K-Pod | Ep. 4
Peter Kim grew up in New Jersey knowing he wanted to do one thing in life: act. A graduate of the Yale School of Drama, he made his Broadway debut in Thoroughly Modern Millie and has since built a solid stage, film and television career. This past fall, he astonished audiences with a funny and heartbreaking performance in the play Wild Goose Dreams at the Public Theater. Catherine and Juliana learn about Peter’s family (spoiler alert: his parents weren’t exactly thrilled about having a "gay actor son"), the casting challenges he’s faced, and his growing role as a mentor, teacher and activist. Follow Peter Kim on Instagram @peterkimpeterkim. Hosts: Juliana Sohn @juliana_sohn and Catherine Hong @catherinehong100 Executive Producer: Hj Lee Producer: Kevin Park Editor: AJ Valente. Watch on YouTube: https://youtu.be/WsrCMiaonkE
40:41
July 11, 2019
Oejong Kim | K-Pod | Ep. 3
Oejong Kim worked as a translator, chef and corporate housing specialist in Tokyo and New York before discovering her true passion: knitting. In 2004, Kim co-founded the yarn and knitwear company Loopy Mango, which has become a creative force in the knitting world. Loopy Mango’s signature product is Big Loop, a luxuriously thick, chunky merino wool yarn that has inspired many imitators. Catherine and Juliana travel to Beacon, NY to meet Oejong and see for themselves why this artsy, eccentric Korean-American in the oversized glasses has become a cult figure in the DIY world. Follow Oejong Kim on Instagram @loopymango and @oejongkim. Hosts: Juliana Sohn @juliana_sohn and Catherine Hong @catherinehong100 Executive Producer: Hj Lee Producer: Kevin Park Editor: AJ Valente.  Watch on YouTube: https://youtu.be/m1sx1e3GBOA  
28:57
June 27, 2019
Ji Lee | K-Pod | Ep. 2
Facebook creative director Ji Lee is one of the most influential graphic designers working in the country today. Born in Korea and raised in Brazil, he built his career in advertising, working for Google Creative Lab, Droga 5 and Saatchi & Saatchi. But it’s his wide range of witty and subversive personal projects — like the Bubble Project and the Instagram sensation Drawings for my Grandchildren, which features the artwork of his 76-year-old father — that are dearest to his heart. Catherine and Juliana learn about his Korean-Brazilian childhood, his unique creative process and his passion for challenging the way we see the world. Follow Ji Lee on Instagram @ji_lee_. Hosts: Juliana Sohn @juliana_sohn and Catherine Hong @catherinehong100 Executive Producer: Hj Lee Editor: AJ Valente. YouTube: youtube.com/koreanamericanstoryorg
53:29
June 13, 2019
Jin Soon Choi | K-Pod | Ep. 1
Celebrity manicurist Jin Soon Choi has been a force in the beauty world for the last two decades. Her pioneering work has been featured on countless magazine covers and has made her a backstage fixture during New York Fashion Week. In the industry, everyone loves Jin — she’s the fun-loving, ageless cool kid who hangs out with Marc Jacobs and the Hadid sisters, always with a smile on her face. But what Catherine and Juliana learn is she’s never forgotten her humble start in the States when she spoke just a few words of English and worked as a waitress at GamMeeOk in Koreatown. Follow Jin Soon Choi on Instagram @jinsoonchoi. Hosts: Juliana Sohn @juliana_sohn and Catherine Hong @catherinehong100 Executive Producer: Hj Lee Producer: Kevin Park Editor: AJ Valente. YouTube: youtube.com/koreanamericanstoryorg
35:00
May 7, 2019
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