Tag Archives: Korean American

Why Asian Americans Are Coached to Achieve but NOT Suceed? The New Role Model: Jim Young Kim, President of Dartmouth College.

Model Minority Asian American Stereotyping JadeLuckClub

There are stereotypes of Asians that wouldn’t exist if there wasn’t a grain (or more) of truth to them:

  • “Driving while Asian” i.e. bad drivers
  • Students of EITHER classical violin or piano
  • Math genius
  • Music prodigy
  • Glasses wearing dork
  • Nerd
  • Hopelessly uncoordinated and bad at sports
  • Risk adverse
  • Boring
  • Bad dresser

This is not to say that there aren’t another ten positive stereotypes too.

  • Non confrontational
  • Hard working
  • Studious
  • Rule follower
  • Quiet
  • Obedient
  • Respectful of elders
  • Respectful of authority figures
  • Hands on parents
  • Tech savvy

Ok, this is not you or I and certainly we know lots of Asian Americans that don’t fit this. Actually, is this true ’cause I am just now thinking of my friends and most played violin?… Except for my college roommate that played piano. Uh, yes it was classical piano not jazz, folk or rock and, yes, she was quite good.

Here’s a funny question: Do you know any Asian American kids studying classical piano or violin who are really terrible musicians? Mediocre even?

Strange, because for all the practicing, I don’t think the parents want their child to be a professional musician. It’s just to get into a good college, right?

I guess my point is that are we Asian parents promoting these stereotypes and if so, to what end? Are we raising leaders? Are we raising our children to succeed or just get into a top Ivy League college and expect that, if it happens, to carry them through? The old stereotype model just isn’t working anymore, either to get into a top college or to break a glass ceiling (in my humble opinion).

I wonder why there isn’t equal emphasis on driving compentently. Seriously, bad driving can be fatal and it’s a useful life skill. Why don’t Asian parents enroll their children in race car driving not to qualify for the Indy 500 but just to avoid accidents. Why is that so different from practicing piano and violin just for the resume? Frankly a race car straight A AP laden high scoring Ivy League applicant is different from snoozefest classical stereotype.


Who is the new Asian role model for modeling your children after? Many would say it’s Dartmouth President Jim Young Kim. If so, I think this would be the right model to be shooting for. Who is he?

“Dr. Kim immigrated with his family to the United States at the age of five and grew up in Muscatine, Iowa. He attended Muscatine High School, where he was valedictorian and president of his class and played quarterback for the high school football team.” Wikipedia

“Dr. Kim trained as both a physician and anthropologist, receiving his M.D. and Ph.D. from Harvard University. He graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. from Brown University in 1982. A former senior official at the World Health Organization and co-founder of Partners In Health, he is internationally acknowledged for his leadership in the fight against HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and other diseases.

Dr. Kim received a MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship in 2003 and was named one of America’s 25 ”Best Leaders” by U.S. News & World Report in 2005. In 2006, he was selected as one of TIME magazine’s “100 Most Influential People in the World.” In a profile for TIME, Tracy Kidder, who described Kim’s work in the book Mountains Beyond Mountains, wrote, “One of his students told me that Kim was his most inspirational instructor; he made you believe you could change the world. I have no idea what he’ll do next. But looking forward to it gives me hope.'” Dartmouth News

Note that there is no mention of any classical instrument competency. He’s a doctor, yes, but he also studied Anthropology and applied both to developing countries. He’s well spoken and as for his driving ability, I don’t actually know, but as a quarterback he must have decent reflexes and eye-hand coordination!


1 Comment

Boston Mamas Blogger: Christine Koh, Choosing Creativity Over Science-y PhD

Christine Koh Boston Mamas JadeLuckClub Celebrating the Path Less TraveledPlease welcome blogger extraordinaire Korean American Christine Koh, who, on the eve of her PhD in psychology, did a career change into a creative career that includes blogging, web design, and making cute babies.

1) Tell me about your family background. Where were your parents born? What do they do? Brothers or sisters?

My parents were born in Korea and immigrated to the United States in their 20’s. They met while they were both living in the D.C. area and then eventually married and moved to Boston — my understanding is that part of the motivation was so all of their kids could eventually go to Harvard (of course!). Though my parents had training in other fields (my Mom completed her nursing degree here in the States), during my lifetime they owned and operated a market and invested in and managed real estate. At one point they had quite an empire of properties in the Cambridge area (again, in striking distance of Harvard!).I’m the sixth of seven — two boys, five girls — though a lot of people ask me if I’m the first born. I’m not sure whether or not that’s a compliment!

2) Where did you do your undergrad? What did you study and why?

A lot of people don’t believe me when I say this, but I wasn’t the greatest high school student — I was most interested in the performing arts and extracurricular activities such as the school newspaper. Anyway, I didn’t know a lot about Wheaton College (in Norton, MA) when I applied but I ended up matriculating (it is a lot harder to get in now than it was when I applied!) and what an extraordinary gift that was! I knew I wanted to continue playing violin but, given my experience with competitive orchestras in high school, I knew I wasn’t good enough to go professional (I started private lessons late…my Dad thought music lessons were a waste of money but my mom fought for them and eventually won). Thanks to some incredible professors I discovered my academic passion for psychology early on and pursued a double major, focusing on the experimental psychology and music performance tracks. Considering my high school slacker tendencies, it was remarkable to me that I graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, but it’s amazing how your motivation changes when you find your passion. And also when you have to pay your own way, as I did from sophomore to senior year. I worked 60-70 hour weeks during summer and winter breaks to save up for tuition and sent my work study checks during the school year to my Mom to help out at home. Being financially responsible definitely took my academic appreciation and motivation to a new level.

3) I find it inspiring that on the eve of your PhD in neuroscience, you decided to do a 180 degree career change into a creative field. Tell me more about that decision. Was it agonizing or a long time coming? How did your friends and family react?

Actually, the path to my 180 was a little longer. After I graduated from Wheaton I pursed a Master’s in psychology at Brandeis University (part-time, while working as a lab manager and research assistant full-time) and then completed my Ph.D. at Queen’s University in Canada. After finishing my Ph.D. I worked for three years as a postdoctoral fellow with joint appointments at Massachusetts General Hospital, MIT, and Harvard Medical School. Though I really loved and believed in my Ph.D. work, I was miserable at the postdoc, for reasons both personal and professional. However, I’m convinced that I needed to go through that experience as part of my life journey. I have always wrestled with insecurity about my intelligence and I think I needed to earn my Ph.D. and then get to a place like Harvard and MIT to prove to myself that I could do it. And ultimately see that it wasn’t such big a deal after all…I mean, yes, the people there are very smart, but they’re still just people.

Anyway, towards the end of my postdoc I started to think about faculty jobs. I was so inspired by my professors at Wheaton and that was my dream from the start – to go back and teach alongside my mentors. But not only had the postdoc sucked away all of my joy for research, I realized that I was a good academic but not passionate about the work in a way that would make me willing to sacrifice as one must in order to pursue academia in the Boston area. I have a lot of friends still in academia and I see how inspired and excited they are about the work… I just didn’t have that fire anymore.

Also, during my postdoc, my father’s health took a turn for the worse and my daughter Laurel was born. My priorities had definitely shifted. I kept thinking, if I’m going to spend time working, I need to be inspired and love what I’m doing.

By the fall of 2006, I was officially drowning emotionally at my postdoc so I jumped academicship before figuring out what was next – I am extremely grateful to my husband Jon for supporting that leap. I mean, yes, I had started Boston Mamas a couple of months prior to my jump, but it wasn’t a career yet. But the universe works in funny ways. A week after I left my postdoc, I was offered and signed my first major editing contract. And interest in Boston Mamas started to pick up and ads and other opportunities started rolling in. And I had been doing design projects on the fly for friends for a while and decided to formally launch my design business Posh Peacock. Eventually I started doing strategic creative consulting for companies. All of a sudden the pieces of my little media and design company were falling into place and intersecting in fun ways. Now, five years out, people talk about this brand I’ve built and while yes, I’ve worked very hard in the last five years, there wasn’t exactly a master plan – I never woke up thinking “OK, time to build my brand!” I just kept gravitating towards and creating in the spaces that I felt passionate about and things evolved from there – it was very organic.

As for reaction, I don’t think I came up against a single piece of resistance when I left the field. All of my friends were like, “Well, finally!” because they always felt I was such an extroverted creative spirit and not meant to toil away writing Matlab code by myself all day. And by the time I left academia, my father had died so when I told my Mom, she was so supportive. She and my father had worked so hard for so long – with a definite purpose but without joy as one of their professional criteria…she just wanted me to do something that made me happy. It meant the world to me.

4) You’ve won numerous awards as a blogger. Can you tell me more some of the awards that you are most proud of? What has been most challenging being a blogger? What has been the most rewarding? Which blog is your “favorite”?

I am truly honored and humbled by all of the press and accolades I have received over the years – it would be hard to pin down a favorite piece of coverage. But there are certainly highlights. I know lists can be rather arbitrary but being selected as one of Nielsen’s 50 Power Moms was definitely a turning point profile wise. And it meant a lot to me to share my perspective regarding blogging ethics on FOX 25 Boston and NPR. It also was pretty funny to have my picture appear in a Boston Globe column alongside Gisele Bundchen (I was interviewed about her comments regarding breastfeeding) and – given my love for fashion – it was extremely cool to be included in a fashion feature in Woman’s Day.

I would say that one of my biggest blogging challenges is witnessing or coping with bad social media practices. I’ve seen many things that have made me cringe over the years and I unfortunately have had many experiences where people have mistreated mutual acquaintances or crawled out of the woodwork in very tasteless ways in an effort to get covered on my site or procure free consulting services. It makes me sad. And as a mom, I can’t help but think, “What would your mother think of this behavior?!”

On the flip side, the most rewarding part of blogging is the community – both the social element and the ability of the community to rally for positive action. I operated in such a cave when I
first started blogging and a definite turning point was when I was invited to attend Disney’s first social media mom event and met a group of truly amazing bloggers. I’ve since attended many conferences and press events and have made incredible friends along the way – there is so much love and support and awesomeness in this space. I feel so lucky to be a part of it.

As for favorite blogs, goodness, there are so many bloggers I adore… I could never narrow it down to just one. But here are a few that spring to mind: Liz of Mom-101, Stephanie of Adventures in Babywearing, and Rebecca of Girl’s Gone Child write with such soul. Gabrielle of Design Mom is such a generous friend and talented curator. Asha of Parent Hacks is such an impressive community builder and is a wonderfully reflective friend…she was one of the first people I “e-met” in the digital space. I can never get enough of the words and photography of Tracey Clark or Karen Walrond. Jennifer James always has her finger on the pulse of the mom blogging community and is a dear confidante. Oh, and I read men too! I love Jim of Busy Dad Blog, C.C. Chapman, Pierre of Metro Dad, and Doug of Laid-Off Dad.

And of course there’s tons of great content at BlogHer, and Kirtsy just underwent an impressive overhaul – I’m inspired to visit daily to discover new blogs or to simply find visual inspiration.

5) With an infant and toddler, several blogs and a small business, you are one busy woman. How do you juggle it all? What is a typical day for you?

It’s a little crazy, I know. I think a big part of it is setting expectations and tuning into what matters in the moment. And another part is that productivity is easy when you love what you’re doing.

But you want details, right? When Violet was born in March, I had no formal maternity leave set up and even after a month when our babysitter started, she was only here 6 hours a week. But my first priority was growing baby Violet and helping my 6-year-old Laurel with the transition. For context, I should say that I had spent several years very privately heartsick over what appeared to be secondary infertility. I came to terms with it – in large part due to the support and love of this community when I “came out” about my feelings of failure – and then was shocked to learn a few months later that I was pregnant. So I feel acutely that this family of four is an immense gift and I want to be present in the moment.

So, during the weeks following Violet’s birth, I focused on my girls. And when Violet slept while Laurel was at school — which was a lot when she was a newborn! — I caught up on client work and blog posts and things. That was pretty much the way it went from March to June. It was delightful!

This summer the schedule has been equally lovely and my plan is to structure it like this during the school year. Our babysitters comes 4 days a week during elementary school hours. Then the rest of the time I’m off with the girls, and my husband is home one weekday with the girls. I work intensely during those hours and then stop the work clock when it’s time to go into family mode. I used to work most nights after Laurel went to bed when it was just three of us but Violet’s bedtime is really variable right now so I usually don’t work at night. Sometimes during the weekends, if I’m really on a deadline Jon will take the girls out for an adventure so I can work but otherwise I just roll with it. Somehow, everything seems to get done!

6) Do you have any regrets changing careers?

Not at all. I’m where I was meant to be. Also, I believe that every path brings you to the next. As I said, I needed to go through the academic process and get to the alleged highest point of achievement (Harvard/MIT) to prove to myself that I was an intelligent person. Sure, it would have been nice to not have to embark on a 10 year journey to answer that question, but that’s just how it worked out. I met so many amazing people along the way and learned an incredible amount about myself.

7) What are you working on next?

Well, I’m actually on the brink of change. Not much will change externally – meaning, I’ll continue with my blogs and such — but I’ll be doing more strategic consulting work. I can’t quite reveal the details right now but basically, I’m going to be doing great work but still on a flexible schedule that allows me lots of time with my family. Thank you, universe!

Also, I want to get back to thinking about fun things to explore on my life list. Oh, and planning a vacation with Jon, perhaps once I’m done nursing (probably next year)! I haven’t discussed him much here but he’s pretty much the most amazing husband in the history of the universe.

8) In terms on what is on your career plate, what do you do for love and what do you for money?

I would say that at this point I do what I love about 80% of the time and then the remaining 20% goes towards client work that is steady and lucrative but not that exciting. If all goes well with this new project I’ve got on the horizon, I’m hoping to knock that 20% closer to 0 in the coming year.

9) What advice would you give to Asian American college students who might have parents who only advocate “safe and traditional” career paths?

It’s so hard — I know! My parents were so bent on me being a doctor or lawyer (it’s always good to have in-house counsel, as my Dad used to say). And then later on in life when they saw my personality my Dad always thought I would be a great diplomat or the first Korean-American talk show host (there’s still time for the latter, right?). But my advice is to try to remain grounded and not be resentful – instead, work towards communication. Let your parents know what you’re trying and why it does or does not resonate for you. Some of the best experiences I had in college were internship programs where I would try something for a summer or winter break and learn that it was something I didn’t want to pursue. For example, being a White House intern helped me learn I didn’t want to go into politics. A mentored program at a law firm helped me learn I didn’t want to be a lawyer. And so forth. And I talked with my parents about all of these experiences. So that’s probably another reason why my Mom was so supportive when I left academia. She knew firsthand of my suffering and at the end of the day, she was my Mom – she wanted me to be happy. And even though she doesn’t completely understand what I do now (at least the blogging and consulting parts), I know she is happy that my work/life balance allows me to do other things that are important to traditional Korean moms – you know, like make adorable babies, be a loving wife, and get dinner on the table!

10) What advice would you like to share with new bloggers who want a great blog like BostonMamas?

My first piece of advice is to blog because of what you can give to it, not because of what you can get out of it. There’s so much more to blogging than free product samples or what have you. Think about what you love and want to share – start with an organic passion.

Second, immerse yourself in the community…really be a part of the community. Comment on other blogs, converse on Twitter, reach out, link to people whose work you love.

And finally, act with grace. Don’t link bait people, drop generic comments without having actually read any posts, badger people to follow you on Twitter, or generally act with the expectation of getting something from someone or with personal gain as the primary motivator.

Thanks so much for reaching out about this interview; it was an honor to share and reflect here!


Christine Koh is the founder and editor of Boston Mamas, the designer behind Posh Peacock, and writes a personal blog at Pop Discourse. She tweets about it all at @bostonmamas.


Top 10: Best Korean American Children’s Books (ages 2-16)

Best Korean American Children's Books Literature KidLit Young Adult Books Fiction JadeLuckClub, Jade Luck Club, Pragmatic Mom http://JadeLuckClub.com My husband is Korean and I joke that the Koreans are nicknamed “The Irish of Asia.”   Like the Irish, they have a strong culture despite a long history of invasion and occupation.  Like the Irish, they have a penchant for drinking and fighting.  And like the Irish, there is a vein of melancholy than runs through their DNA.   Or at least, this is my take on it.

When my 4th grader did a unit on immigration, they covered many nationalities — she did Japan — but not Korea.  I think it’s because the Korean immigration story to the United States is a fairly new one that began in earnest after the Korean War [think M.A.S.H.!].  And the Korean immigrants, more so than other Asian nationalities, have made it to the United States in pursuit of higher education, and thus, when they stayed, they were able to land squarely in the middle  class.

The Korean American authors have a unique stories to tell.  Their collective memories of the old country are still fresh, as is their immigrant experience.  And if you use food to tell the story of a culture as I do, Korean cuisine is becoming the Next Big Thing.  Or at least in New York City that seems to mark the beginning of every big food trend.  My husband and I found it amusing when we visited NYC a few years ago that the big trend was upscale, fancy Korean restaurants.  We lived near Korea Town in Los Angeles for many years so we equate good Korean food with small, but clean “dive.”

In any case, ride the trend and enjoy these 10 Korean American children’s books with your children.

Honorable Mentions

Dear Juno by Soyung Pak

Juno is a little boy who receives a letter from his grandmother in Korea. He can’t read Korean and his parents are busy with the usual household chores.  Despite the language barrier, he is able to understand the letter though his mother eventually translates it for him. The letter is special as are the enclosures — a dried flower and a photo of his grandmother and her new cat. And Juno decides to write a letter back. One that will also transcend their language barrier. He makes several drawings and encloses a very large leaf. And so they write each other back and forth … at least until she comes to visit! [picture book, ages 4-9]

The Korean Frogs: A Korean Folktale Retold by Yumi Heo

This is a cute picture book that tells the story of naughty frogs who don’t listen to their mother. A fun and funny story to remind the kiddos to listen to mom! [picture book, ages 3-8]

The Name Jar by Yangsook Choi

When Unhei moves from Korea to the United States, she is a little embarrassed by her name so she tells her new classmates that she doesn’t have one.  They all help to choose a new one for her by putting choices into a jar but in the end, Unhei decides that her Korean name is just perfect.  This is the perfect book for anyone with an “ethic first or middle name” that they are a little embarrassed about.  [picture book, ages 5-9]

F is for Fabuloso by Marie G. Lee

I happened upon this Korea-American author for grades 4-6th and wanted to share it because it’s a fabuloso book!  It’s unclear why her book didn’t make a bigger splash when it came out about 10 years ago.  She’s a really vibrant voice for Asian American children’s literature so I wanted to let you know about her.  The author is a second generation Korean American and grew up in Minnesota much like her lead character, Jin-Ha, in F is for Fabuloso.   It’s a tender and gentle story about straddling two worlds especially as the go-between for her mother who is shy to speak English.  [chapter book, ages 8-12]

If It Hadn’t Been for Yoon Jun is another book, also by Maria G. Lee,  that I was trying to locate at the library which I wasn’t able to find yet, but I suspect it is also very good.  I will find it and update you! [chapter book, ages 8-12]

Count Your Way through Korea by Jim Haskins, illustrated by Dennis Hockerman

This seems like a basic counting book on the outside, but it’s actually packed with interesting factoids about Korean culture.  AND the text is really advanced; it’s actually too hard for a toddler or preschooler learning how to count to 10.  I’d just this to teach older kids, say in elementary school or learning a Korean version of Karate, how to count to 1o in Korean. [picture book, ages 6-9]

Count Your Way through Korea, learn korean numbers, pragmatic mom

The Korean Cinderella by Shirley Climo, illustrated by Ruth Heller

This is the Korean version of Cinderella set in olden-times Korea.  [folk tale picture book, ages 4-8]

Korean Cinderella story set in olden times, pragmatic mom, pragmaticmom.com

Chi-Hoon, A Korean Girl by Patricia McMahon with photographs by Michael F. O’Brien

This is a day-in-the-life glimpse of an elementary school aged girl, Chi-Hoon.  My oldest found it fascinating to learn about life in modern day Korea.  The reading level is perfect for grades 3-5.  [non-fiction, ages 8-12]

Chi-Hoon, life in modern day Korea pragmaticmom.com




10. Sumi’s First Day of School Everby Soyung Pak.

Sumi doesn’t speak English and today is her very first day of school ever.  Will it go well?  [picture book for ages 2-7]

9. Bee-bim Bop! by Linda Sue Park.

A light-hearted rhyming picture book on a favorite Korean national dish.  It’s popular in restaurants but it evolved as a way to use up all the leftovers.  In this book, a family spends all day preparing this little girl’s favorite meal.  With a recipe at the end!  [picture book for ages 2-5]

8. Where on Earth is My Bagel? by Frances and Ginger Park.

A whimsical story about a little Korean boy who dreams of a New York bagel and, with the help of his friends, is able to make one.  [picture book for ages 3-7]

7. Halmoni and the Picnicby Sook Nyul Choi.

An advanced picture book about a girl and her Korean grandmother and how they both learn to bridge the cultural gap with food.   [picture book for ages 5-8]

6. Yunmi and Halmoni’s Tripby Sook Nyul Choi.

Halmoni takes her granddaughter on a trip back to Korea to meet the family, but Yunmi worries that her grandmother might not want to come back.  [picture book for ages 5-8]

5. Kimchi and Calamari by Rose Kent.

14-year-old Joseph Caldararo has a loving family and is a well-adjusted popular kid at school.  But when his social studies teacher assigns a paper on Your Cultural heritage, his world gets turned upside down.  He knows he’s adopted from Korea when he was just an infant and it’s never really bothered him before, but now it does.  It doesn’t help that the new dry cleaners are taken over by a Korean family who are off-out by his adoption.  And it makes his parents upset when he wants to learn more about his own cultural heritage.  His best friend assists him in conducting an internet search to try to trace his parents but that’s a long shot at best!  But what to write for this paper?  His confusion about who he is leads him down a path of deceit and now everything is a mess.  On top of this, he’s trying to get a date for the school dance.  Whoever said that middle school is tough is right!  [chapter book, ages 9-12]

4. The Year of Impossible Goodbyesby Sook Nyul Choi.

A haunting but ultimately uplifting story of author Sook Nyul Choi’s experience living in war-torn North Korea.  [chapter book for middle schoolers]

3. The Kite Fighters by Linda Sue Park.

Set in 15th century Korea, Korea’s Golden Age, two brothers — one  skilled in kite making and the other skilled in  kite flying — combine their skills to compete in a kite flying contest on behalf of the king.  [ages 7-12]

2. Seesaw Girl by Linda Sue Park.

A glimpse into the lives of the  nobility during the Golden Age of Korea and the restrictions placed on women.  [chapter book for ages 8-12]

1. A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park.

Newbery award winning book about a famous potter during the Golden Age of Korea.  [chapter book for ages 8-12]

To examine any book more closely at Amazon, please click on image of book.


1 Comment

The House of Suh: An Award Winning Movie of the True Story of an Asian American Dream Gone Terribly Awry…

House of Suh JadeLuckClubThe House of Suh: A Good Son is Committed for Life

Yoon Myung and Tai Sook Suh immigrated to America for a better life for their children, Andrew and Catherine. But their pursuit of happiness quickly became riddled with misfortune, culminating on September 25, 1993, when Andrew shot and killed his older sister’s fiancé of eight years, Robert O’Dubaine, at Catherine’s bidding.

Those closest to Andrew expressed shock and disbelief: how could a young man with a promising future allow himself to be convinced into committing murder? As the Suh’s complex history unfolds, issues of cultural assimilation, traditional values and justice are examined, raising questions of guilt, innocence and the illusive gray area in between.

Eric Hung from the 2010 San Diego Asian Film Festival says,” “The House of Suh” is by no means a one-sided film; Andrew is a complex person, and deserves to be portrayed as one.  I also do not doubt Andrew’s lawyer’s contentions that the prosecution misunderstood Andrew’s motives and that his 100-year sentence is substantially beyond the norm for this type of crime.  That said, I do wonder whether the film’s portrayal is a little too sympathetic.  One problem is that we never hear from Catherine Suh, who is portrayed as such a monster in the film.  This is unavoidable, as she did not cooperate or meet with the filmmakers.  Another problem is that Andrew, who even while admitting the heinous nature of his crime, seems to blame his actions almost exclusively on his heritage, specifically the idea of filial piety.  Is this really a convincing explanation for a murder in modern Korean or American society?”


Best Documentary/Audience Award at the Philadelphia Asian Film Festival.

Grand Jury Prize at the San Diego Asian Film Festival.

Directed by Iris K. Shim.

Originally from Chicago, IL, Iris K. Shim graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2004 with a B.A. in Psychology. After a year long stint in Los Angeles working on several films, including a documentary directed by Academy Award winner Jessica Yu, Iris returned to Chicago to produce and direct her first documentary short, OF KIN AND KIND, which tells the story of Andrew Suh, a man who, at the age of 19, was sentenced to a 100 year prison term for the shooting death of his older sister’s fiancé at her bidding. The film screened at the 2007 DisOrient Film Festival in Eugene, OR and the 2007 Chicago Underground Film Festival. THE HOUSE OF SUH is the full-length version of Of Kin and Kind and is Iris’ debut feature documentary.

Produced by Iris K. Shim, Gerry Kim and Joseph Lee.