Retrospectively Speaking, Part 7: The Cool Kid

As part of Assaulted Fish’s 10-year anniversary, we asked some of our closest friends, fans and families for their memories of the past decade. Today we present our conversation with Ken Tsui.

Ken Tsui is Vancouver-based filmmaker, proud community organizer (take that, Sarah Palin) and arguably the coolest guy we know.

Ken TsuiHe’s also really good at picking things up.

Here is a music video that he directed for Uncle Skeleton:

We have been proud to collaborate with Ken several times over the years, most notably on our short film Dandy Lions.

Ken and Jeff directingCo-directors Ken Tsui and Jeff Chan show Diana, Marlene and Yumi how to be psychopathic bakers.

For more information about Ken and his role in reviving the Vancouver Chinatown Night Market go here.

What do you think makes Assaulted Fish unique?
I first saw the Fish at a time in my life when I was looking at Asian Canadian culture with a more conscious and critical eye. There weren’t many Asian comedy troupes around town back then and I thought they were as hilarious as they were inspiring. They were proof to a young impressionable kid like me that Asian Canadians could run with the funniest of them. They were the OGs* of the Vancouver scene.

You’ve produced a number of digital shorts for Assaulted Fish – how does their comedy translate from the stage to film?
Their sketches have such theatricality to them that you can’t help but get ideas for a film. Their sketches also borrow and reference from film too. Fortunately, they have good taste in movies.

What makes Assaulted Fish fearless in their approach to sketches and comedy?
When you’re billed as an Asian comedy group, ethnicity is going to be part of the joke. It doesn’t always have to be but it’s going to come up. I think the Fish have always represented Asian identity without tapping into Asiatic tropes and clichés. At their most effective, they’ve used comedy to address the Asian Canadian experience.

On the occasion of their 10th anniversary, what celebratory message would you like to share with the group?
I think it’s time to let Nelson Wong go, guys. Just kidding. Congratulations!

(Interview by Linda Ong – Photo by Kuan Foo)

*Editor’s note: to people not in Ken’s demographic, this apparently means “Original Gangsters”, which according to the Urban Dictionary means “ones who have been around, old school gangsters”. Yes, I had to look it up.

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