Mina Lee strives for more than stardom

By Chi Hao James Lo, The China Post

TAIPEI, Taiwan — Performance artists who seek to find their stage in front of the screen usually aim high to achieve acknowledgement and a chance to feature their talents for the world to see. Because of the nature of the occupation and the time it usually takes to promote one’s images and to refine one’s artistic capabilities, artists usually keep to their own businesses to develop their skills for the sake of their audience. However, there are a few individuals who also aim to impact the world positively using their public image and influence to spread awareness to the world. Hollywood royalties like Matt Damon who founded the H2O Africa Foundation and green-enthusiast Leonardo DiCaprio are examples of esteemed artists who strive for more than art and fame, through active participation in social activism. Local artist Mina Lee (���W) is one such individual. Lee first began her journey as an artist at a fairly young age, displaying interest in singing and dancing when she was a little girl. Her interest in performance eventually led her to enrol herself in the Taipei National University of the Arts (���߻O�_���N�j��), where she majored in drama. It was also during her years in college that she was first introduced to social activism, which kindled her passion to speak on behalf of the less fortunate. ��My very first experience with being involved with social activism was with an environmental group in university,�� Lee said. ��Soon after, as a drama major, I did an awareness performance piece with the Life Conservationist Association (���h�ͩR���|), to bring to light severity of the stray animals situation in Taiwan, hoping to lower the amount of strays and the correlating amount of animal euthanasia which comes with it.�� A Celebrity with

an Activist’s Heart Lee’s involvement with animals also led her to switch to a vegetarian diet to set an example to further her cause to bring animal rights to the attention of the general public. After completing her college education, Lee eventually became a part of the entertainment industry, first becoming a member of the girl band GIA (Girl, It’s Awesome!), and then as a solo artist with a current focus on acting. ��Currently, I am advancing my career toward acting, although I do wish to also focus on my passion for singing,�� Lee said. ��As far as acting goes, I have recently starred in a movie called ‘Taipei Story’ (�x�_���y), which was an intense experience all on its own, so much so that it elevated my skills in acting. I am also actively involved in local television drama and with a musical group that tours around the nation to put up musical plays at various areas.�� Her capabilities as a performer and passion as a social activist have also driven her further to become a speaker for the less fortunate. Most recently, Lee drew national attention for her performances in animal rights demonstrations and the ��Rather Nude than Nuke�� awareness protest in hopes of educating the nation to the potential problems that nuclear energy might bring. ��My social activism has garnered enough supporters who agree and the attention from people who disagree with me. And although I am more than happy to take part in proper discussions from those with an opposing point of view, I feel that a lot of people should properly educate themselves on topics before engaging in a debate with another, instead of blindly following a point of view as an angry hater.��