Nai-Ni Chen's first experience in the United States was as a cultural ambassador. A teenage dancer from Taiwan, she was invited to be a youth representative from China to the U.S. and traveled to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to speak with students. At MIT, her group was welcomed by a student-led club, headed by Andy Chiang, who was also Taiwanese and studying computer science. Andy had lived in the U.S. since he was in high school, but was deeply connected to and influenced by his Chinese heritage. He met Nai-Ni, and the two instantly bonded over their mutual love of Chinese culture.
Nai-Ni Chen in “Flower Maiden.” Photograph by Carol Rosegg