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Where I'm From | Adobe Diverse Voices

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Explore the work behind eight boundary-defying Asian and Pacific Islander artists who flip the script on the all-too-common question, “where are you from?” to lay claim to the myriad identities that inspire their work.

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Celebrating Asian & Pacific Islander creativity.
Swipe to explore their work
Hanna
LE
E
JOSHI
Jiaqi
WANG
Shyama
GOLDE
N
SHYAMA GOLDEN
Visual Artist, based in Los Angeles
“I’m always looking for what’s
missing,” Shyama Golden says of
choosing subjects to depict in her
art. “Growing up, when I’d draw
my friends and family, I was bridg-
ing that disconnect between what
was out there and what was in my
world,” the Sri Lankan American
painter says. “I did not see people
who looked like me in illustration
at all.”
Today, through oils, acrylics
and digital media, Golden paints
figures that allow her to unpack
identity in its many forms.
“We’re all different,” Golden
says, “and we’re celebrating that
difference instead of trying to
create one identity.”
“We’re celebrating
that difference instead
of trying to create
one identity.”
MEIKO ARQUILLOS
Photographer, based in Los Angeles
A Los Angeles-based photographer
with roots in Japan, Arquillos’
creative expression reflects an
undeniable flair for color, a trait
she no doubt shared with her
grandmother, her muse.
A similar lightheartedness carries
forward in Arquillos’ photography.
“I tried to be ‘the model photogra-
pher,’” Arquillos says, “but I couldn’t
help but take weird photos. Finally,
I said, ‘Forget it,’ because it wasn’t
helping me to stick to anybody
else’s vision. And that’s when I start-
ed getting more work. If you really
love what you create, there is going
to be someone attracted to it.”
“I couldn’t help but take
weird photos. Finally,
I said, ‘Forget it’.”
SHXPIR HUANG
Artist and Fashion Photographer, based in New York/Los Angeles
Based in New York City, Shxpir
Huang’s emphasis on artful,
exuberant compositions stems
from his background in fine arts.
However, his photographs diverge
notably with their emphatic inclu-
sion of diverse faces, a deliberate,
subversive choice on Huang’s part.
One that is not often seen in the
fashion industry.
“For fashion, an industry that draws
so many young people, it’s import-
ant to me that young people see
vibrant faces from all different races,”
he says. It’s about giving audiences
the power to envision themselves
in the fantastical realms that he
creates for his camera.
“It’s important to me
that young people see
vibrant faces from all
different races.”
JIAQI WANGv
DON MUÑA
Filmmaker, based in Guam
Creative expression is vital to
preserving and revitalizing various
facets of cultural identity. And the
ability to pass on that opportunity
to countless others is at the core of
CHamoru American filmmaker and
festival organizer Don Muña’s mis-
sion. So Muña and his brother Kel
launched the Guam International
Film Festival in 2011, the first and
only annual U.S. film festival in the
western Pacific Islands.
After a full decade of running the
festival, Muña says he feels lucky.
“Ten years is just opening the door.
OK, now we are here. We’ve started.
We are proven.”
“Creative expression
is vital to preserving
and revitalizing
various facets of their
cultural identity.”
JIAQI WANG
Globetrotting is a way of life for
Chinese-born, Los Angeles-based
illustrator and animator Jiaqi Wang.
She’s called three continents home
in adulthood, setting up shop in
cities like Rotterdam, London
and Shanghai.
These diverse tableaus find their
way into Wang’s work, where bold
colors and geometric shapes leap
from the screen and the page.
Wang says she’s found freedom
Illustrator and Animator, based in Los Angeles
“When you’re proud of
your culture, your
roots make their way
into your art.”
in reinterpreting the world she’s
captured on camera and through
her illustrations. Now she’s nod-
ding to the many people and places
that have shaped her. “When you’re
proud of your culture, your roots
make their way into your art,”
she says.
Anúncio

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Where I'm From | Adobe Diverse Voices

  • 1. Celebrating Asian & Pacific Islander creativity. Swipe to explore their work Hanna LE E JOSHI Jiaqi WANG Shyama GOLDE N
  • 2. SHYAMA GOLDEN Visual Artist, based in Los Angeles “I’m always looking for what’s missing,” Shyama Golden says of choosing subjects to depict in her art. “Growing up, when I’d draw my friends and family, I was bridg- ing that disconnect between what was out there and what was in my world,” the Sri Lankan American painter says. “I did not see people who looked like me in illustration at all.” Today, through oils, acrylics and digital media, Golden paints figures that allow her to unpack identity in its many forms. “We’re all different,” Golden says, “and we’re celebrating that difference instead of trying to create one identity.” “We’re celebrating that difference instead of trying to create one identity.”
  • 3. MEIKO ARQUILLOS Photographer, based in Los Angeles A Los Angeles-based photographer with roots in Japan, Arquillos’ creative expression reflects an undeniable flair for color, a trait she no doubt shared with her grandmother, her muse. A similar lightheartedness carries forward in Arquillos’ photography. “I tried to be ‘the model photogra- pher,’” Arquillos says, “but I couldn’t help but take weird photos. Finally, I said, ‘Forget it,’ because it wasn’t helping me to stick to anybody else’s vision. And that’s when I start- ed getting more work. If you really love what you create, there is going to be someone attracted to it.” “I couldn’t help but take weird photos. Finally, I said, ‘Forget it’.”
  • 4. SHXPIR HUANG Artist and Fashion Photographer, based in New York/Los Angeles Based in New York City, Shxpir Huang’s emphasis on artful, exuberant compositions stems from his background in fine arts. However, his photographs diverge notably with their emphatic inclu- sion of diverse faces, a deliberate, subversive choice on Huang’s part. One that is not often seen in the fashion industry. “For fashion, an industry that draws so many young people, it’s import- ant to me that young people see vibrant faces from all different races,” he says. It’s about giving audiences the power to envision themselves in the fantastical realms that he creates for his camera. “It’s important to me that young people see vibrant faces from all different races.”
  • 5. JIAQI WANGv DON MUÑA Filmmaker, based in Guam Creative expression is vital to preserving and revitalizing various facets of cultural identity. And the ability to pass on that opportunity to countless others is at the core of CHamoru American filmmaker and festival organizer Don Muña’s mis- sion. So Muña and his brother Kel launched the Guam International Film Festival in 2011, the first and only annual U.S. film festival in the western Pacific Islands. After a full decade of running the festival, Muña says he feels lucky. “Ten years is just opening the door. OK, now we are here. We’ve started. We are proven.” “Creative expression is vital to preserving and revitalizing various facets of their cultural identity.”
  • 6. JIAQI WANG Globetrotting is a way of life for Chinese-born, Los Angeles-based illustrator and animator Jiaqi Wang. She’s called three continents home in adulthood, setting up shop in cities like Rotterdam, London and Shanghai. These diverse tableaus find their way into Wang’s work, where bold colors and geometric shapes leap from the screen and the page. Wang says she’s found freedom Illustrator and Animator, based in Los Angeles “When you’re proud of your culture, your roots make their way into your art.” in reinterpreting the world she’s captured on camera and through her illustrations. Now she’s nod- ding to the many people and places that have shaped her. “When you’re proud of your culture, your roots make their way into your art,” she says.
  • 7. HANNA LEE JOSHI Illustrator, based in Vancouver For Hanna Lee Joshi, much of her work tethers her back to the memo- ry of her beloved grandmother. While her grandmother has since passed, she continues to serve as a role model for Lee Joshi, who finds fortitude and therapeutic value in working out life’s struggles on the canvas. “All artists go through self- doubt,” she says, “and when I was young, there wasn’t too much representation reflected back to me,” as a woman in the Korean diaspora. The hope now is that other women might see themselves reflected in the vivid female forms that she brings to life. “When I was young, there wasn’t too much representation reflected back to me.”
  • 8. REBECCA HSU Illustrator, based in California/Taiwan Rebecca Hsu’s art acts as an invita- tion to come closer. Inspired by the deceptive simplicity of traditional Chinese paintings, Hsu modernizes centuries-old techniques through her playful digital renditions that evoke the varied lines of calligraphy brushes and blushes of color. Hsu sees her art as a reflection of her Taiwanese family’s stories, her California childhood, and her deep reverence for her ancestral homeland. To her, Asian American identity is all about balance: “It’s not like you’re just American or just Asian—I think it’s a combination of everything you are and whatever you feel is part of your culture.” “It’s a combination of everything you are and whatever you feel is part of your culture.”
  • 9. NISHAT AKHTAR Creative Director, Professor and Illustrator, based in Portland Through her work, it’s clear that Nishat Akhtar has spent time articulating the experiences that have shaped her. “There are too many parts of my identity to distill into one singular expression,” the illustrator and creative director says. Which lead her to the world of independent comics and zines. “There are all kinds of people in this space, all ethnicities, people across the gender spectrum, who reflect their experience in a strange comedy to help people grapple with who they are,” she says. The freedom to create means hav- ing the ability to unapologetically embrace her many different identities and talents. “There are too many parts of my identity to distill into one singular expression.”