I was born in Canberra, Australia, whilst my father was there finishing his PhD, and have grown up in Sarawak, Malaysia and Auckland, New Zealand, and moved to London at to study performing arts. The thing that people get most confused about is my name - Anna Sulan is my first name, and Masing is my last name, but I go by 'Anna' on a daily basis; I like things to be short and sweet!
My father is Iban, an indigenous community in Sarawak, and my mother is a New Zealander of predominantly Scottish heritage. The continued crossing of borders and cultures has made me acutely aware of changing identities. My work consistently looks at identity, race and gender and looks to decolonise the cultural spaces we live in.
My career has span hospitality, the corporate world, media & the arts.
In early 2014 I completed her doctorate, looking at how identity changes when space and location changes. It was through dance, storytelling and food that these concepts of changing identities were embodied - more details here.
Journalistically I write about food, drink and the hospitality industry for publications globally, here for more details. I co-founded the popular Voices At The Table events with editor Miranda York, which brings together the food, literary and performance world for a literary salon around food; which is now an acclaimed podcast. I launched the online magazine AMP to amplify women's voices in food & drink with an eye on a sustainable future - currently on pause as the pandemic threw off schedules and plans, as it is a crowdsourced project.
In 2020 I founded and run SOURCED with writer, academic + chef Chloe-Rose Crabtree. SOURCED is a public research project aimed at developing lines of inquiry into our relationships with food and drink, focusing on ingredients. In 2020 I also launched CHEESE, the magazine of culture with Holly Catford, Apoorva Sripathi + JB Beroud, the first issue was published in May 2021, and is a bi-yearly publication.
I also works as a brand and communications consultant with PR expert Frankie Reddin on various food and cultural projects, under A + F Creative. This work has so far spanned from th UK, to France and Estonia.
In 2021 a version of my play Don't Sing In The Kitchen, Or You'll Marry An Old Man was performed at part of the arts festival Encounter Bow.
The first season of my podcast Taste of Place, created by Whetstone Radio Collective, will be out 27 June 2022.
My book Chinese And Other Asian, published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson (W&N), will be out February 2024
Food is a huge part of my identity and it continuously features in my writing, performance and research.
Ask any Malaysian they will tell you that we can talk about food 24/7, if given half that chance!
Instead of 'how are you?' we ask - have you eaten?
Food is fun. It is how we build home and is very much how we learn to navigate our belonging - it is emotional, visceral but mostly - it is fun.
Photo by Patricia Niven