New Online Exhibit Highlights Asian American Student Narratives

An illustration by the artist Simi Kang of a reflection written by Tamanna Brar '20 (CLAS):
An illustration by the artist Simi Kang of a reflection written by Tamanna Brar '20 (CLAS): "I also feel blessed that my family can make home-cooked meals. In other words, my family is Punjabi therefore we cook Punjabi food that is enough for all of us at this time," it reads in part.

While students have answered the call to stay at home and help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus, they are confronted with unprecedented challenges to both them and their friends, families, and neighbors. For Asian American students, the threat of racism, targeted discrimination, and social isolation can take an additional toll.

To provide students with a creative outlet, and to bring light to the experiences of Asian American students in isolation, UConn’s Asian and Asian American Studies Institute (AAASI) has launched Illustrated Resilience – an ongoing online exhibit of student narratives and work from professional artists intended to document student experiences and raise awareness about the personal and societal impacts of the lack of medical preparation, access to testing, imbalanced relief, and deepening inequality while providing a creative outlet through the use of visual arts.

The exhibit launched this week with four pieces of art as well as corresponding written narratives that discuss student coronavirus experiences and their feelings about the social, emotional, and political implications of the ongoing pandemic.

The AAASI is inviting UConn students who would like to contribute to the project to submit their stories as part of the ongoing effort by email to aaasi@uconn.edu. For more information and to view the online exhibit, visit asianamerican.uconn.edu/illustrated-profiles.

A sample of some of the work created so far:

An illustration by the artist Szu-Chieh Yun of a reflection written by Ermerson Femc '22 (CLAS): "Every time I go out in public I take pictures of all the measures we as a society are taking in order to combat the pandemic. It’s quite cool to see how our society has shifted in time of crisis from week one to week four and five," it reads in part.
An illustration by the artist Szu-Chieh Yun of a reflection written by Ermerson Femc ’22 (CLAS): “Every time I go out in public I take pictures of all the measures we as a society are taking in order to combat the pandemic. It’s quite cool to see how our society has shifted in time of crisis from week one to week four and five,” it reads in part.
An illustration by the artist Quyen Truong of a reflection written by an anonymous UConn student: “I’m terrified that I may not ever get the chance to properly say goodbye to some of the people I wanted to. I’m concerned for the safety of my friends and peers, and for the whole nation, I’m shocked to see how young people do not take it seriously,” it reads in part.
An illustration by artist Dinh Tran of the personal reflection written by Tam Vu '23
An illustration by artist Dinh Tran of the personal reflection written by Tam Vu ’23: “If I am being completely honest with myself, I admit to falling into despair after coming back, and I think this is an experience a lot of kids in traditional Asian American first generation families are going through,” it reads in part.