Actually, the whole idea of raising money with my prints started when Gail Nicholson, former executive director of Western New York Book Arts Center, saw my post about the first embossed prints I made, and she texted me to ask if she could buy the print for her daughter. I immediately changed the direction of these prints to pursue a larger scale campaign project. If there are people out there who want to buy these prints to show and spread support for their family and friends, I could help express that support and reach more people. So I made more prints (a lot more prints) to offer as appreciation for people contributing to all kinds of organizations supporting many different AAPI communities in a variety of ways.
The message is being translated into a variety of languages to engage diverse linguistic communities. There are two versions of the prints being made: (1) blind embossed prints and (2) screenprints—these are being traded in exchange for donations to organizations supporting Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities.
What problem or problems do you see that you want to address through the project?
The catalyst was the big increase in the rate of crimes targeting Asians—but the truth is it has always been going on. It did not just happen suddenly. It started happening (or perhaps being reported) more and more in public view, but still there is a lack of awareness regarding how painful these issues are to the affected communities. So, I wanted to screenprint these signs and distribute them to other places where there are large Asian communities like Los Angeles, New York City, Vancouver, Toronto, etc. so people there could feel supported and welcomed in their communities. I was inspired by the Black Lives Matter signs displayed in windows and on lawns, and how that signals to individuals they are welcome in these spaces. The decision to use multiple languages was an invitation for other members of our local communities to pay attention to these issues as well as address the idea that just because you are not Asian, does not mean you cannot talk about these human rights issues.