Earlier this month, HBX New York teamed up with Meta Prosper on an intimate group exhibition entitled “Love in Translation” that delved into the unique experiences of parental love within the AAPI community. The presentation explored the diverse ways Asian Americans were loved by their parents while growing up, even in the absence of explicit expressions like “I love you.” The exhibition originated from the curiosity of Connie Chweh, the gallery curator and art director, about the shared experiences within the AAPI community.
“It warmed me to know how much this concept resonated with the artists, but the most surprising thing I learned is that some Asian American households did grow up with affection and hearing ‘I love you’,” says Chweh.
The exhibition featured the works of seven talented AAPI artists whose practices span various artistic mediums, including photography, sculpture, canvas, and digital art. An Rong Xu, a photographer and director based in New York City and Taipei, presents a photo series that pays tribute to his grandfather, whose life journey greatly influenced his own. Through his art, Xu captures the quiet moments that have taught him profound revelations, love, and loyalty amidst times of fear and unrest.
“My relationship with my parents is like a pot of boiling water — it hardens eggs and softens potatoes — reflecting my peculiar yet entertaining relationship with them” – Aarman Roy
Aarman Roy, a visual artist and graphic designer from New York, combined techniques, technologies, and traditions in his artwork, often infused with a touch of mischief. His pieces express the elusive tokens of love extended by his parents and emphasize the freedom they granted him in covert ways. Reflecting on his relationship with his parents, Roy metaphorically described it as, “My relationship with my parents is like a pot of boiling water — it hardens eggs and softens potatoes — reflecting my peculiar yet entertaining relationship with them.”
Clare Kim, a Korean-American artist based in Brooklyn, weaved together referential images from her memories and personal history to create narrative-driven artworks. Inspired by the myth of the American Dream and the accompanying Western iconography, her pieces reflect the immense love shown by her parents, who made the significant decision to move to the US primarily for her and her brothers.
“It has fueled my desire to obsess over every detail, decode and reinterpret the cultural history, and eventually work with many of my favorite brands across the span of my career” – Honorroller
Honorroller, a multidisciplinary artist, employed sculpture to explore social constructs, branding, popular culture, and the transition from youth to adulthood. His piece takes inspiration from the Nike SB Dunk and White Rabbit candy, symbolizing his lifelong passion for fashion and the limitations imposed by his Asian immigrant parents, who never spent more on the pieces he desired and doubted opportunities for Asian men in sports. Honorroller (aka Christopher Chan) explains, “It has fueled my desire to obsess over every detail, decode and reinterpret the cultural history, and eventually work with many of my favorite brands across the span of my career.” Please note that his artwork is not a collaboration with Nike or White Rabbit Candy.
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Khôi Bảo Phạm, originally from Saigon and now based in Brooklyn, showcases digitally crafted artworks that blur the line between surrealism and everyday life. His piece visually represents his relationship with his father, an authoritative figure during his upbringing, through the imposing scale of a grater, capturing the feelings evoked in his presence. Moreover, Mischelle Moy, a Brooklyn-based digital artist and product photographer, celebrates and preserves her Chinese American culture through vibrant and colorful artwork. Her pieces explore various aspects of Asian American culture and reflect on the joys and challenges of growing up with dual Chinese and American influences. Moy recognizes the significance of cut fruit as a love language while acknowledging the sacrifices, gratitude, and inspiration passed down from elders.
Wenjing Yang, an award-winning illustrator known for her unique visual voice and strong digital skills, presented a piece that explored the relationship between space and emotions, particularly within the context of her childhood home’s kitchen. Through her artwork, Yang aims to convey how space can evoke feelings and serves as a manifestation of parental love.
“Love in Translation” was an exhibition production of HBX and Meta Prosper that launched as a one day exhibition on May 16 at HBX New York. Check out our original announcement here for more information.
HBX New York
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