“Call and Response: Illustration in Uncertain Times” exhibition at Pao Arts Center

Opening reception (photo by Mel Taing)
Opening reception (photo by Mel Taing)

Thank you to the Pao Arts Center and curator Leslie Anne Condon for inviting me to participate in this spring exhibition along with some amazingly talented artists. The show runs until June 30, 2023.

Opening reception with participating artists. (photo by Mel Taing)

Here are some press of the event:

Over the centuries, artists have created images and illustrations in response to the world around them, to tell stories or to amplify messages of protest and solidarity, especially during times of widespread crisis and upheaval. This has been especially true for AAPI artists today, as our community continues to navigate multi-pandemics, including COVID-19 and its reverberations, and the rise of anti-Asian discrimination and violence. Like other illustrators over the years, local Boston AAPI artists have responded to these tragedies with images and words of resistance and of comfort.

Call and Response: Illustration in Uncertain Times features illustrations and graphic designs by seven local AAPI artists who have used their craft to speak to this complicated moment. As with other kinds of labor, these artistic gestures offer critical support to the community by giving voice to different experiences and encouraging care.

Curated by: Leslie Anne Condon

Participating Artists: Deborah Johnson, payal kumar, Lillian Lee, Shaina Lu, Yuko Okabe, Sanika Phawde, Wen-ti Tsen

Where have I Been?

Well, for the past couple of weeks after the opening reception of Call and Response: Illustration in Uncertain Times at the Pao Arts Center, I have been sick.

I caught the kiddo’s pre-K cough virus which knocked me out for 3 full days. I finally feel alive again even though I have hacking fits here and there.

I’m now super glad I was able to make it to the reception.

Looking forward to improved health and creating more artwork + comics!

Updated! MAPC’s Creative COVID-19 Communications

In 2022, The Metropolitan Area Planning Council’s Arts & Culture and Public Health teams patnered again with local artists and designers to update the messaging of the creative, culturally resonant communications about COVID-19 and vaccinations to include booster shots.

Lillian Lee chose the Cantonese/Hong Kong slang 加油! Add Oil! to be the rallying cry for the community to get their vaccine and to stay safe. Her comics, animated gifs, prints, and web graphics are designed to connect to the Chinese immigrant community.

View and download updated artwork here.

“Add oil! Get your booster shot.”

MassArt: “The Journey So Far” Panel

On March 26th four of my fellow MassArt Illustration alumni and I hopped on Google Meetup to speak with current seniors about our experiences after graduation. The Journey So Far panel talk & discussion was originally scheduled to take place on campus a couple weeks ago but was postponed due to covid-19.

It was great to share my zig zag experiences  with the students, but it was also great to “see” my former professors Irena Roman and John Roman as well as to learn about the different paths the other panelists have taken.

An interesting question Irena posed was” Where do you see yourself in five years?”

Honestly, I can’t really think even a week far out – even moreso given the current situation we’re all in. But, I did just have a simple goal and that was to continue creating art that I’m happy with without obsessing over whether it’s “good enough” or “perfect.”

I hope the students found something helpful in my talk.

If you want to check out my presentation (5MB pdf), click below. I included some links, especially in the Inspiration section: