SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — There are a lot of heavy hearts in the Asian American community right now, but artists are using their talents to send the message of healing and solidarity.
With each stroke, San Francisco artist Kate Tova is hoping to uplift the Asian community in light of the recent violence.READ MORE: San Leandro Community Rallies for Reform on Anniversary of Steven Taylor's Police Shooting Death
Known for her street hearts across the city, her latest work on Grant Ave. in Chinatown spells out a message.
“As an artist, I feel like I’m obligated to do something, because it feels bad right now to just sit in the studio when I have all this paint and skill,” said Tova.
Though the meaning of the heart is universal, Tova wanted to do more.
“I asked Lily, one of my friends, to help me with the translation, because I didn’t want to just put it in Google translate,” she said.
The phrase “You Are Loved” for example is translated to mean “together we love and help each other or “I care about you” in different Asian languages.
“Growing up, San Francisco local here, I grew up with a lot of Asian communities and Asian friends, but I think part of it is unite with others who don’t look exactly like me, who want to participate,” said Tova’s friend Lily Chan.
The Asian Art Museum is also making a bold statement on its website with the hashtag “Stop AAPI Hate.”
It’s statement from CEO Jay Xu reads in part:READ MORE: Lodi Parachute Center Skydiver Dies After Chute Gets Tangled on Descent
“We mourn these victims and stand in solidarity with their families and the Asian American community in Atlanta. Our hearts also go out to the residents of San Francisco Chinatown and Oakland Chinatown, whose elders have been especially impacted by recent anti-Asian violence, and to members of the many other communities that have made the Bay Area a historic center for Asian American life. We also recognize that other marginalized groups — whether based on race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexuality, immigration status, or place of origin — are also being targeted. Sadly, these anti-Asian attacks have sometimes led to tactics and actions that reinforce structures of anti-Black racism, which only detracts from the overall goal of racial justice. We denounce this rhetoric and call for unity among communities and coalition-building that addresses these systemic issues at their roots.”
When the COVID pandemic kept the museum closed, it also showcased new artwork by Asian American female artists on its façade. Works currently on view including Chanel Miller’s “I was, I am, I will be and Jenifer K Wofford’s Pattern Recognition.”
“The museum is proud to provide these platforms for Asian and Asian American voices — platforms that matter more than ever in a political climate that has emboldened racist beliefs and actions,” continued Xu.
The museum is also preparing to launch a series of events to directly address AAPI violence and solutions.
“Despite these artists who have a really loud voice, and we’re doing our best to amplify them, but I feel like we’re not loud enough,” said Asian Art Museum’s Head of Contemporary Art Abby Chen. “We need journalists, we need art critics, we need supporters, we need audience to all help us amplify these voices.”
In the meantime, Chinatown’s newest art display is capturing the attention of passerby.
“With all the hate going on, especially with the Asian community, we really need to show solidarity, and love to them and be allies,” said Lyndsay Pullem of San Francisco.
Robert Montano is a tourist from Pismo Beach.MORE NEWS: Saratoga Resident Displaced in 2-Alarm House Fire Sunday Morning
“We’re Mexicans, from California, and I love to see this kind of thing happening everywhere,” he said.