We had the good fortune of connecting with Jose Feng and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jose, what is the most important factor behind your success?
Love, I believe it has been all the love I have experienced in my life during my time being raised in Venezuela, my time visiting my family in China, and finally the time I have spent after I moved to Los Angeles California to pursue my dream of a storyteller.
I have to thank all of those people who I have met for years and including for just a couple of minutes. Ever since I was a little kid I would ask too many questions and absorb all the information I can, this helped me to understand the other person better. Ever since I aim to receive love from those people I have met. Then I use that to create a story of the human beings who are trying to live and understand their intention.
You see, everything has a perspective, and that changes based on where the person has been and what culture this has gotten. Being Chinese Venezuelan has not allowed me to stick to one set of traditions or rules but rather has allowed me to adapt and choose those positive traits that make each culture shine. For example, The traditions and laws of being respectful to the elder in China, the outspoken and social interactions in Venezuela, and the constant creative atmosphere I have experienced ever since I arrived to the United States.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I believe life can be easy if the person has no expectations from anyone. However, if we can love then we have to care too. My parents work really hard to place me where I am today. Thanks to this circumstance I have been able to explore the world of cinema and movie making. I believe that my path has been very unique and getting into filmmaking in the first place would have been very rare if not for my family and the circumstance of how my country Venezuela is currently.
I think the term happiness has been fixated for so many years by different generations and has not changed as well. I always thought that having a stable job and fulfilling my physical needs and financial needs was the most important thing to achieve in my life. Once I separated myself from my individual self and compare myself to my whole Asian community, I saw how weak we were in terms of the creative side. I say this because in my culture, singing, making art, and making movies isn’t really something that great. Especially if you live in a country that does not see it that way as well.
Venezuela isn’t known for its movies, so after, leaving Venezuela due to political and financial issues, I gain a new perspective that allowed me to separate myself from it and gave me the desire to create a pathway for Asian Latinos to Hollywood. I felt the urge to tell these stories from our perspective to the world.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I grew up in a country where mom and pops business were the main attraction. So I would say DTLA and small cities such as Santa Ana and Redondo beach where small businesses thrive are the best places in town. It’s not pretty but for sure is real and honest and tasty as well! There is a Cevicheria on Pico and Norton Avenue named “La Cevicheria” Monica makes the best Shrimp cocktails in LA.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would say first of all my family specially my mother who from nothing has grown to be a leader and an inspiration for me. She who against all odds succeeded in what she set to achieve and more. My family has supported me in my dream to attempt to become a film director, which is hard enough but also almost impossible for a fraction of a minority that I am. A Chinese who was born and raised in South America, specifically Venezuela. No matter how hard this seems, my family, every day tells me that I can and more.
The other group would be the Asian Latino community all around the world. I understand the hardships and the priorities that most Chinese and Asian communities have when they move to another country and especially a country where Spanish is the main language. I remember seeing my friends and members of my Chinese community in Venezuela focus on improving their business, adapt to the city and its customs, blend in, and learn to love others. One thing that I notice it was that as Chinese Venezuelans, we didn’t care about being represented in media because we were just so busy trying to make a living and succeed financially.
Now that I live in Los Angeles and finally have learned the importance of this representation in media, especially movies and commercials, I have realized my goal. Thanks to the lack of Chinese Latino representation that is clear in South American countries I have set my goal. The goal that one day I will see a movie on the big screen where the Chinese person speaks in Spanish and it feels completely normal.