Stop Asian Hate by Tyrone Weedon

The first piece Tyrone worked on when he returned to in-person studio attendance last month was this one, his response of solidarity to the alarming rise in hate crimes directed against Asian and AAPI community members. He also wrote the following essay to share with the Make Studio community and beyond with the hope of projecting this message of support and unity.

[Image of a mixed media group portrait showing variously aged fictionalized persons of Asian descent together under a banner with a quote from actress Sandra Oh: “I am proud to be Asian!” The people are wearing face masks bearing slogans such as #StopAsianHate , #HateIsAVirus , #StopTheBias , and #LoveThyNeighbor.]

Since the Covid-19 (began) last year, there’s been incidents of Covid Hate Crime, harassment (verbally & physically), bullying and xenophobia attacks on the Asian communities in America and also around the world. This year, things have gone too far… First racist people attacking and shoving Asian elderly people, and now there’s an Atlanta shooting that kills eight people, including six Asian women in three different spa parlors on March 16th.

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!!!

As a human being, it hurts me and I feel sorry for the victims’ friends and families and also the Asian communities around the world. I’ve been thinking about Asian friends that I worked with from the Studio to my job, I want to make this artwork to give a positive message and spread love to my Asian brothers and sisters.

My artwork has 11 Asian American people (who) are wearing face masks that have powerful messages on (them). There are 2 real people who are in my artwork: the woman with the gray pixie hair is Xiao Zhen Xie, an elderly woman who fought back against her attacker by using her wooden board in San Francisco. And the second: the little girl with the bucket hat is 13 year old fashion designer turned activist Ashlyn So. She’s along(side) her Asian community (members) protesting against Anti-Asian racism in New York City.

My message to the people is this: this ignorance, racism, and blaming on China needs to stop! If you love Asian culture with different genres in movies, T.V., music, art, tattoos, books, fitness, sports, cosplaying, famous people, and many more, then you must support the Asian and AAPI communities. They’re the inspiration for you. No more staying silent, no more stereotyping, no more scapegoating, and more importantly…

STOP ASIAN HATE!!!

One last thing, I want to thank President Biden and Vice-president Harris to sign the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act Bill, (that) not only protects Asian Americans, but different races.

(as a P.S. There’s one more history lesson for celebrating AAPI month!)

For more information, please visit @asianmentalhealthcollective, @naapimha, and @asiansformentalhealth for resources and to learn more about how to support theirs and others’ anti-asian racism and community healing efforts.

Tyrone joined Make Studio in 2012. His current artwork is strongly influenced by television, cartoons, movies and comic books. Tyrone likes to keep things topical, often creating celebrity “tributes” and statements with a political or public message included. He particularly likes to make art about superheroes, and about people that he sees in Baltimore and/or “thinks up in my head”. To view more of Tyrone’s work, please visit our online store.

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