Asian Art Museum Addresses Anti-Asian Sentiment During Pandemic

By N. Jamiyla Chisholm May 26, 2020

As Asian Pacific American Heritage Month comes to a close, the Asian Art Museum will host a virtual discussion on May 28 with three Asian-American women artists on “how the COVID-19 lockdown and the rise in anti-Asian racism have impacted their practices.”

Jenifer K Wofford of the Filipina-American artist trio M.O.B., writer Chanel Miller and muralist Jas Charanjiva, will join Abby Chen, head of contemporary programs at the museum, to discuss how art can create social change and self-transformation.

Part of that conversation can be seen on an art wall dubbed "Pattern Recognition" that Wofford created outside the San Francisco museum. “My hope is that this mural adds vibrance to the Civic Center area, as well as the neighboring Tenderloin and SoMa districts, by showcasing cultures and histories that reflect and empower the immigrant communities that live here," Wofford said in a YouTube video.

Included in the comic inspired artwork are nine Asian-American artists—including Ruth AsawaJade Snow Wong, Kay Sekimachi, Chura Obata and Carlos Villa—whose names pop out from the graphic mural in floating speech bubbles. “I chose to highlight American Asian art history because the Bay Area is such an amazing intersection of so many Asian immigration histories, it’s probably the highest percentage of Asian American artists in the country,” Wofford said. “So I feel like, let’s name that, let’s honor that. It’s not like it was invented yesterday; it’s actually a product of a long and rich legacy of Asian-American artists.”

Visit the Asian Art Museum’s website to learn more.