May 5, 2017

Introducing APANO’s new art series, We are working toward a just world where…

Launched in celebration of Asian Pacific Heritage Month, We are working toward a just world where… commissioned six unique Asian and Pacific Islander artists to create original artwork envisioning a world of solidarity, justice, and empowerment. Each artist was selected through an open call application process and chose one of APANO’s core values to illustrate. Their artwork reflects the depth of our experiences and envisions the shared future we want to see: a prosperous, healthy future in which our families and communities have the rights, recognition, and resources to truly thrive.

From the justice movements of the 1960s to Black Lives Matter, creativity has been the right hand of movement-building and has helped shift tides that appeared insurmountable. Asian Pacific Heritage Month provides a special opportunity to focus on the challenges, accomplishments, and dreams of Asians and Pacific Islanders. This project amplifies APANO’s cultural work strategy, which seeks to use creativity to center the voices and experiences of Asian and Pacific Islanders, shift harmful narratives, and envision alternatives. It was strongly inspired by Strong Families’ Mama’s Day and Trans Day of Resilience projects, which we encourage you to explore. Learn more about our cultural work here and read about Asian Pacific American Heritage Month here.

We will unveil the six artworks over the course of May, and we are proud to introduce the first artwork in the series by Ameya Okamoto, illustrating APANO's value that All our families have the rights, recognition and resources they need to thrive, and their life outcomes are not tied to identity or social determinants of health.

Ameya Okamoto's Bio:

I am a 17-year-old artist, activist and student. I’ve always been passionate about social justice. Through art, I express the need for change and call action against inequality.

We live in a complex world at a challenging time. While few things can help deal with this complexity, art uniquely allows us to influence society by changing opinions, instilling values and translating experiences across space, time and culture.

I currently work as an artist for Don’t Shoot Portland, a social justice movement in support of #BlackLivesMatter as a response to police brutality and the criminalization of Black American Youth.

Artist’s Statement

All our families have the rights, recognition and resources they need to thrive, and their life outcomes are not tied to identity or social determinants of health.

I was inspired by family dinner and the symbols of health, security, and love that it holds. I created this piece as a response to the current day challenge of food insecurity that affects families across all demographics.

Stay tuned for more artwork over the course of the month from our participating artists, Lilian Ongelungel, Kathy Delumpa Allegri, A’misa Chiu, Masayo Simon, and Violet Dillard!

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