Pong's father was a doctor who loved painting and calligraphy, while her mother was a nurse, with an interest in literature, movies and opera. Her parents' appreciation of art encouraged Pong to become a free thinker since childhood.
She skipped school frequently because she didn't like the education system. In college, she negotiated with teachers so she could skip classes and read in the library.
Pong's passion for jazz started in primary school, when her family lived in central Taipei. One day, she got a tape of her favorite song, Moon River, performed in jazz style.
"That rhythm made me peaceful inside immediately, and for some time I forgot noisy Taipei and everything around me," she says. Pong then went to jazz clubs and met musicians.
Pong found living in France relaxing and good for her creativity. She studied France's culinary culture, and learned photography and film direction. For years, she also spent evenings listening to jazz at clubs. She eventually became a good cook, too.
"I love food. Every time I ate something nice, I would analyze its ingredients and practice cooking it."
Her first book on French food was published in 1998 and her book on jazz in 2002.
"I wanted to introduce the culture to Taiwan in a practical way, to help people learn about its value and change their lifestyles. It was my cultural mission."
Pong tends to go beyond her original subjects to include other hidden stories. For example, her books cover how closely French jazz is related to American jazz and African jazz by including historical backgrounds, music theories and musicians.