We live in anonymous times. As our social ties weaken, we have less face-to-face contact with our friends, even casual ones. Airports and cities are places where anonymity is the norm. We pass closely by complete strangers and are mostly alone in our thoughts.
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This is a story of Asians in America and Asian men in particular. Asians are sometimes called “the model minority.” Asian men historically have not been viewed as leaders, or as thinking, feeling, or sexual beings. In popular culture, Asians were the Kung-Fu masters, the enemy soldier, the chef. Never the hero or the one people could relate to emotionally. tt's the story of Asians in America from the time they first stepped on our shores. In 1880’s: the Chinese Exclusion Act. In the 1920’s: immigration quotas aimed largely at Asians. In 1942: 120,000 Japanese Americans forced to move to “internment camps” in remote, desolate areas—made “invisible” by their complete removal from the West Coast.The invisibility of Asianss a story that needs to be seen and heard, by my children, my generation, and the American public. In this series, I depict Asian Americans posing for family portraits, working, walking, going about their daily lives. The figures are not fully there, mostly washed away. But the faces are clearer: Look at me. I am an Asian American. I exist. I am human. I am not invisible.