Celebrating selfhood: AAPI artists illuminate identity through Art at 3.1 Phillip Lim

DIAGEO and its Brands Champion AAPI Heritage Month
Photos courtesy of Sonovisuals

AS AAPI Heritage Month drew to a close, DIAGEO and 3.1 Phillip Lim hosted an evening of conversation around bridging art and identity across generations moderated by Karen Wong, former Deputy Director of the New Museum with panelists Wen Zhou, CEO and co-founder of 3.1 Phillip Lim, joined by featured artists Helena Dong, and Lena Imamura.

Phillip Lim CEO & Co-founder Wen Zhou celebrates Crafting Selfhood Exhibition

3.1 Phillip Lim’s Great Jones Street location hosted a month-long program called Crafting Selfhood, an exhibition of Asian American female-identifying artists and designers working in ceramics and sculpture, celebrating the creativity, resilience, and cultural contributions of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) women in the arts.

Co-curated by Lora Appleton, founder of the Female Design Council, and Wong, Crafting Selfhood assembled a myriad of ceramic and sculptural works by these artists, opening a dialogue on how form, technique, and medium illuminate the creative process as these artists integrate heritage, identity, and, oftentimes, sly humor, into their work.

“Together we keep building on our relationship with Baileys/Diageo to align on moments that bring our community and culture together. Both our brands have a playful spirit that we bring to every project and this year, we’re all about celebrating joy and togetherness,” Zhou said.

As a part of DIAGEO’s Society 2030 plan to foster an inclusive and diverse culture for better business and a better world, DIAGEO partnered with ASL interpretation and performance group DEAFinitely Dope Angela ‘AV’ Vilavong to translate the discussion in real-time as it continues its commitment to inclusion, accessibility, equality and celebrating diversity.

“As we toast to AAPI Heritage Month, let’s also raise awareness and appreciation for the unique stories and experiences within the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities. Together with 3.1 Phillip Lim, we honor the journey towards selfhood and cultural empowerment today and every day,” said Zia Lotfi, Brands in Culture Manager of Multicultural for Diageo North America.

Among the featured artists in the exhibition were Janny Baek, Julia Chiang, Cecile Chong, Phaan Howng, Lena Imamura, Sonya Yong James, Myung Jin Kim, Antonia Kuo, Eunji Jun and Halin Lee, Eny Lee Parker, Linda Sormin, and Steffany Tran. These artists integrated heritage, identity, and, oftentimes, sly humor in ceramics, textiles, and sculptural objects, from Kim’s terracotta vessels referencing her passion for gardens to Baek’s porcelain creature figures inspired by “alien beauty” and Imamura’s self-portraits from her ongoing series called “Heads” where she explores evolving identities.n

Momar G. Visaya

Momar G. Visaya is the Executive Editor of the Asian Journal. You can reach him at [email protected].

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