One of the highlights of NYCxDesign 2023 was a groundbreaking exhibition featuring the works of 20 emerging and established, Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) female-identifying artists and designers. In partnership with the Asian American Pacific Islander Design Alliance (AAPIDA), Upon Further Reflection was co-curated by Lora Appleton, founder of the Female Design Council and kinder MODERN, and Andrea Hill, founder of Tortuga Forma, to celebrate the diversity and talent within the AAPI design community.
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The participating designers were invited to “challenge and address the ideas of reflection through surface exploration, materiality, and self discovery.” Some of the featured artists took the concept of mirroring and reflection quite literally, while others went the more obscure route – all equally enticing though.
Historically, the AAPI community has not gotten the recognition that they deserve, but with this exhibition, and hopefully many more to follow, their talents will continue to be celebrated and amplified. “As an AAPI business owner who collaborates with talented designers as part of my business model, it made sense to turn to the diverse AAPI design community for inspiration,” shared co-curator Andrea Hill. “The exhibition format also felt right for showcasing how each artist has interpreted the concept and materiality of reflection. Partnering with organizations like the FDC and AAPIDA as well as the 3.1 Phillip Lim store is an incredible example of how nonprofit and for-profit entities can come together around shared values and a common vision.”
From co-curator Lora Appleton: “It is an ongoing privilege to work with so many talented female-identified designers and to be able to shine a much needed spotlight on the AAPI creative community. Allowing people of all ages to see themselves reflected in others inspired this exhibition, and enables me to help enlighten others on how broad and dynamic the global community of female driven AAPI studios in design is.”
Exhibiting designers included: Bowen Liu, Caroline Chao, Ellen Pong, Jean Lee, Jean Pelle, Jialun Xiong, Lynn Lin, Pooja Pawaskar, Rosie Li, Susan Maddux, Syrette Lew of Moving Mountains, Teruko Kushi, Ti Chang, Tina Scepanovic, Urvi Sharma, soft-geometry, Virginia Sin, Windy Chien, and Wu Hanyen.