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We Are Here is a collection of mosaic portraits aimed at both exploring what the Asian experience in America is like for those who have grown up in different places and sharing those testimonies with others outside of the Asian community to show that they exist. To show that they matter. To show that they are deserving of dignity and respect. To show all these things that are forgotten when they are attacked shamelessly in the street. The main interest is how other Asian people connect with their respective cultures, whether it be a lot or none at all, and how that connects to how they have grown up and now see themselves.

I want this project to be something that brings attention to Stop Asian Hate and the Asians in our local community. When people come to view my work, I want them to see each person and relate to them. I want to be able to create role models apart from the stars you rarely see in TV and movies. The Asian icon in that popular show or movie isn’t the only person you can look up to. That Asian person sitting next to you or walking across the street can be someone with a story that you can learn from and view as a role model. There are so many amazing people in this community and I want everyone to know about them and treat them with respect. I want society to treat all Asian people with respect and to stop attacking us for existing. Stop creating hurtful stereotypes about us and just let us live our lives peacefully. Treat us like people, with dignity and respect, because WE ARE HERE, and we aren’t going anywhere.

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