Happy Year of the Tiger to our listeners! Our first podcast of the year is with journalist and business trends researcher Crystal Tai. She talks about her work across East Asia, the challenges of working as a non-visible "foreign correspondent" in South Korea, and how culture can reveal geopolitical tensions between countries around the world. The conversation is hosted by Joanna Chiu, our intrepid founder who has returned from book leave!
Crystal has been based in South Korea and Hong Kong as a journalist since 2010. Just a few of her memorable stories include ones where she infiltrated a K-pop training academy to report on the behind-the-scenes of the industry; navigating the -30 C streets of Ulaanbaatar to report on Mongolia’s street style scene; and speaking to students and frontline workers during the 2019-2020 Hong Kong Protests.
Crystal's book, Honjok, co-written with an American sociologist, is a work of nonfiction that takes a look at South Korea’s fascinating new solo-lifestyle movement.