Culture

'Banana' Magazine's Latest Issue Dives Deep Into Cultural Topics

In celebration of Asian Pacific American Heritage month.

By
3,429 Hypes

'Banana' Magazine's Latest Issue Dives Deep Into Cultural Topics

In celebration of Asian Pacific American Heritage month.

Since the release of its first magazine in 2014, Banana magazine has been the voice for contemporary Asian culture. It deals with subject matters that are concerned with how Asians are perceived in the West and try to find ways to re-address these misconceptions. In the previous Issue 003, the publication focused mainly on Asian American identity. Now, co-founders Kathleen Tso and Vicki Ho dive into deeper issues by exploring themes that are not so often talked about.

In celebration of Asian Pacific American Heritage month, Banana has released Issue 004 which is the latest edition of its annual print publication. The current magazine contains 168 pages and is filled with evocative content that centers around the triumphs and trials of being an Asian in the West. Touching on different topics such as gender identity in the Asian community and creating a whimsical Wong Kar Wai-inspired photoshoot showcasing the best spots to eat Asian fried chicken, the issue highlights the significance of what it truly means to be Asian today.

The magazine also features stories from Asian celebrities including professional stuntwoman Verena Mei (known for her work in Fast and Furious: Tokyo Drift) who gives her take on Asian femininity. See more of the images included in the magazine in the gallery above.

Read our interview with Vicki Ho and Kathleen Tso about Issue 004 below and get your hands on the latest copy, officially releasing May 7 and is available for purchase on stands and online.

Banana magazine Issue 004 Asian Culture Identity

What inspired the stories and people in Issue 004?

Kathleen Tso: The “Gender + Identity” package and everyone we feature in it was inspired by the Asian Male Masculinity panel we hosted in 2017 at Ludlow House with Miss Info including panelists writer and editor Jian DeLeon; David Yi, founder of men’s beauty and grooming site Very Good Light; Jeff Staple, entrepreneur and founder of Staple Design; Kevin Kreider, fitness trainer and model; and rapper Rick Lee, also known by his stage name Lyricks. We wanted to continue the conversation beyond the event with a series in Issue 004 and open up the topic to extend to the spectrum that exists between femininity and masculinity for Asian Americans.

Vicki Ho: Most of the talent we found to share their stories and perspectives with us came from references from our contributors and our Banana supporters! It meant a lot that everyone was so open to sharing their very personal journeys with us because they all really believed in creating more open conversation surrounding Asian gender and identity. This topic is so wide in range—we can’t capture it all but we hope it’s at least a starting point for dialogue.

Banana magazine Issue 004 Asian Culture Identity What was most challenging aspect in putting together Issue 004?

KT: Our biggest challenge is still just trying to find balance with creating this print magazine outside of our 9-to-5 jobs. As the issue evolves and matures, the work we put into it grows exponentially. A new challenge we face is the growing expectations from our readers for more representation. We have mostly covered East Asian-related topics and still have a lot of work to do for Southeast Asian and South Asian stories.

VH: This is the biggest issue we’ve ever published! 168 pages to be exact. Thicc with two c’s for real. This meant more people involved in the making of issue 004, more coordination between all of our contributors, more time and energy from us, more everything. It was really tough to manage with our limited bandwidth but it’s really important to us that we maintain in-person meetings, dedicated time, and high energy to everyone we got to work with. Building meaningful relationships and community with everyone we encounter gets tougher as we grow each year but we think it’s one of the most important things about Banana.

Banana magazine Issue 004 Asian Culture Identity How is the issue evolving from what we know and love about Banana into what’s coming next?

KT: We hope to just deliver more of what you’ve seen in the past. As we navigate new challenges as a community, we hope to join the conversation and give Asian voices a platform.

VH: The magazine has really evolved each issue in that the quality of our stories is always leveling up. This is the first time we’ve ever done a packaged story, which most people feel for issue 004 has been the most “thematic”. As for what’s next, we want to build more IRL community moments! So expect to see us around more than just once a year!

Read Full Article
Share this article

What to Read Next

Nike Air Max Terrascape Plus Dives Into the Deep End of the Sea
Footwear

Nike Air Max Terrascape Plus Dives Into the Deep End of the Sea

With a sustainable twist.
1,625 Hypes

TikTok Dives Into Anime Culture With Manga Lash Extension Trend
Beauty

TikTok Dives Into Anime Culture With Manga Lash Extension Trend

Who wouldn’t want the Sailor Moon look?
42,483 Hypes

Best Music of July: Steve Lacy, Beyoncé, BLACKPINK and More
Music 

Best Music of July: Steve Lacy, Beyoncé, BLACKPINK and More

A compilation of dance, pop, hip-hop and R&B-filled tracks.
38,745 Hypes


Welcome to Terminal G: Look Inside Glossier’s New Washington, DC Location
Beauty

Welcome to Terminal G: Look Inside Glossier’s New Washington, DC Location

The brand invades D.C.’s Georgetown neighborhood for the long-haul.
3,255 Hypes

OMG, Balenciaga's Platform Crocs Just Arrived in a Black Colorway
Footwear

OMG, Balenciaga's Platform Crocs Just Arrived in a Black Colorway

Studded and ready for stomping.
16,370 Hypes

KITH Women's New Activewear Is the Ultimate Fitspo
Fashion

KITH Women's New Activewear Is the Ultimate Fitspo

As seen on ‘Sports Illustrated’ model Danielle Herrington.
6,140 Hypes

Watch the Heartwrenching Trailer for Natalie Portman's Documentary 'Eating Animals'
Culture

Watch the Heartwrenching Trailer for Natalie Portman's Documentary 'Eating Animals'

An inside look at industrial agriculture and its harmful effects.
4,341 Hypes

Balenciaga's Sequin Knife Boots Are the Definition of a Statement
Footwear

Balenciaga's Sequin Knife Boots Are the Definition of a Statement

Bold, in true Gvasalia fashion.
2,035 Hypes



Adwoa Aboah Heads to Ghana with Burberry and Juergen Teller
Fashion

Adwoa Aboah Heads to Ghana with Burberry and Juergen Teller

The third chapter of the collaboration.
4,156 Hypes

Awake NY Debuts Its SS18 Lookbook Filled With Bold Colors
Fashion

Awake NY Debuts Its SS18 Lookbook Filled With Bold Colors

Featuring brand new designs.
2,871 Hypes

Resell 101: Industry Experts Share The Best Ways to Sell Streetwear and Luxury Items
Fashion 

Resell 101: Industry Experts Share The Best Ways to Sell Streetwear and Luxury Items

An insider’s look at the world of second-hand wares.
24,182 Hypes


More ▾
 
Subscribe to our Newsletter

Keep updated on the latest news.

By subscribing, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Looks like you’re using an ad-blocker

We charge advertisers instead of our readers. Support us by whitelisting our site.

Whitelist Us

How to Whitelist Us

screenshot
  1. Click the AdBlock icon in the browser extension area in the upper right-hand corner.
  2. Under “Pause on this site” click “Always”.
  3. Refresh the page or click the button below to continue.
screenshot
  1. Click the AdBlock Plus icon in the browser extension area in the upper right-hand corner.
  2. Block ads on – This website” switch off the toggle to turn it from blue to gray.
  3. Refresh the page or click the button below to continue.
screenshot
  1. Click the AdBlocker Ultimate icon in the browser extension area in the upper right-hand corner.
  2. Switch off the toggle to turn it from “Enabled on this site” to “Disabled on this site”.
  3. Refresh the page or click the button below to continue.
screenshot
  1. Click the Ghostery icon in the browser extension area in the upper right-hand corner.
  2. Click on the “Ad-Blocking” button at the bottom. It will turn gray and the text above will go from “ON” to “OFF”.
  3. Refresh the page or click the button below to continue.
screenshot
  1. Click the UBlock Origin icon in the browser extension area in the upper right-hand corner.
  2. Click on the large blue power icon at the top.
  3. When it turns gray, click the refresh icon that has appeared next to it or click the button below to continue.
screenshot
  1. Click the icon of the ad-blocker extension installed on your browser.You’ll usually find this icon in the upper right-hand corner of your screen. You may have more than one ad-blocker installed.
  2. Follow the instructions for disabling the ad blocker on the site you’re viewing.You may have to select a menu option or click a button.
  3. Refresh the page or click the button below to continue.