From the beginning of the pandemic, Asian targeted hate crimes skyrocketed. A 52 year old Asian American woman was shot in the head with a flare gun in Oakland. Two men lit an 89 year old woman on fire near her Brooklyn home. These types of incidents were on the front cover of newspapers for months. It was dark yet eye opening times for the Asian communities around the states. We participated in fundraisers and demonstrations to discussions.
These cruel hate crimes seem to have subsided now- at least on media but racial injustices are far from ending. I have been working on these digital artworks for the past year. These are direct responses of the current racial climate and on the other hand it is more of my personal experiences as an immigrant from Japan at a young age. Many of the sources/subjects that are in these digital works are pulled directly from the internet. During the pandemic, everyone was stuck indoors and what kept us connected was online news and social media platforms. Whether you have similar experiences as I or a completely different upbringing, humor in my work is a starting point to many viewers and has the potential to break racial barriers. In one of my work, “I will assimilate but will be bringing my own fried bean curd for my udon noodle soup”, the asian avatars are clearly out of place wearing nike sports bra and workout pants surrounded by cows in one imaginary farm in midwest.
With racial divide and injustice prevalent all over the world, we need to keep making relevant art as artists. With the pandemic calming down, I had the time to really reflect and look inward into my own identity and how I relate to the world around me. This year my work will be a continuation from last year but also with more understanding and new perspective from events that occurred from these past two years.