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5 Pieces of Asian American Art to Check Out!

By Mina F. '26

“Peripheral Visions” - Cathy Lu

Visual artist Cathy Lu created “Peripheral Visions,” a ceramic installation which features several pairs of eyes mounted against a bright blue background with tubes and streams of trickling water that resemble tears falling into a menagerie of brightly colored basins. The eyes represent those of Asian American women. Lu uses texture and patterns to bring each set of eyes to life through clay. The streams of flowing water and recycled tears represent the perpetual sorrow and frustration felt by Asian Americans who continue to face racism and stereotyping in the U.S. Overall, the display is a captivating representation of the Asian American identity; the sound of trickling water and piercing sets of eyes that demonstrate a struggle to find belonging in America and American society. This piece is one of a four-part series of ceramic installations that was on display at the Chinese Cultural Center in San Francisco through December of 2022. It can now be viewed online.

“Cypress” - Sarah Kinsley

Sarah Kinsley is a rising Asian American musician based in New York. Her music combines elements of pop, disco, and ethereal melodies. She wrote the EP “Cypress” while spending time in California. Inspired by the growth, change, and freedom she observed in nature, Kinsley wanted to incorporate these elements into the EP. My favorite song from the EP is “What Was Mine.” She utilizes wordplay, rhythm, and build-up throughout the song, which has a dream-like and airy quality. I also like the song “Green,” where she discusses growing up and changing while unable to let go of the past fully. All the songs have an uplifting quality, with stunning bridges and contrasts.

“Beef” - Created by Lee Sung Jin

In the Netflix series “Beef,” a road rage incident is blown out of proportion following a series of vengeful actions taken by the two main characters.. The dark comedy explores the violence and severity of anger and emotion. It follows the story of Amy, an unfulfilled and stressed Asian American entrepreneur, played by Ali Wong, and Danny, a struggling Korean American contractor trying to save his family from financial ruin, played by Steven Yeun. The two characters engage in occasionally comical retaliations that allow them to discover more about each other and themselves. It explores themes of generational trauma, emotional expression, and community that I think are an integral part of the Asian American identity. This is one of my favorite series, and it uses beautifully detailed colors, set design, and music.

“The Land Is Inhospitable and So Are We” - Mitski

“The Land Is Inhospitable and So Are We” is Asian American artist Mitski’s latest release. The album explores themes of love and pain, with intense highs and lows through every track. Mitski explains that the album also examines the many contradictions and struggles of love. I enjoyed many of these tracks, but my favorite song on the album is “The Deal.” I enjoyed the use of drums and volume that build tension throughout the song, culminating in a loud and dramatic finale. Her eerie and painful ballads paint a beautiful image of love and conflict.

“Ascension” - Sarah Kinsley

Sarah Kinsley’s latest EP was called “Ascension,” and it has a melodic quality with a complex array of layered elements that make up each song. She wrote it while inspired by her collective memories of love and connection. My favorite song in the EP is “Ascension,” where she uses overlapping vocals to create a dramatic build-up and ending. I especially liked her use of echoing noise and background violins.


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