Growing up as an Asian American with immigrant parents from China. I was taught that America is the melting pot of the world. While I embraced my American upbringing, I also kept my Chinese background and culture close.
As a child, one event I always looked forward to was Chinese New Year. I would wake up to the sound of parades as colorful confetti filled the air and lion dancers pranced around the streets. In my house, my parents would greet us with red envelopes as they decorated our rooms with traditional Chinese ornaments such as lanterns, door couplets, and plants for good luck and good fortune. These elements often inspired my artwork with their delicate details and bold colors.
Moreover, in one of my high school art classes, I had to photograph multiple pictures that shared a theme. I decided to appreciate my Chinese heritage and chose to photograph traditional Chinese ornaments to capture their beauty.
Traditional pieces like these make me feel proud of my culture as they are admired and have influenced many parts of the world.
However, as I began to read about the hate crimes and violence towards Asian Americans, the feeling of pride that once filled my body soon dissipated into feelings of shame. In the news, elderly Asian Americans were often attacked which made me worry about my relatives and family. As my social media feed became flooded with friends posting about the Stop Asian Hate Movement, I felt like it was my responsibility to do my part in spreading awareness against Asian American Hate.
Ultimately, I decided an effective way to share the beauty, love, and warmth of my heritage was through my artwork. Although my actions are small, many small voices can make a huge impact. According to Malala Yousafzai, a Pakistani activist, “When the whole world is silent, even one voice becomes powerful.” This time of unprecedented difficulty has not disheartened me as I hope to encourage others to spread awareness in stopping violence towards Asian Americans and other ethnicities.
If you would like to contribute to the cause and do your part to #StopAsianHate, visit this link: