While one agency recently jumped onto the NFT trend to help the environment, another is leveraging non-fungible tokens to support the Asian American and Pacific Islander community as hate crimes against them continue to surge.
Deutsch L.A., which was one of the first agencies to create a brand-related NFT push with Taco Bell, has created a new collection, “Against Asian Hate.” The series features works by Asian and Asian-American talents, including Deutsch L.A.’s own, Angie Kang, a UX designer and artist who created “Asian Sailor Moon” (above). All proceeds of the NFTs will go to Stop AAPI Hate.
“I was a super nerdy Sailor Moon fan as a child,” says Kang of the inspiration for her piece. “I ran a weekly Sailor Moon fan newsletter on AOL that had about 150 members. I was drawn to Sailor Mars, because she was Asian with long black hair and we share the same birthday. This was a bit before Mulan, so there weren't any Asian protagonists to admire. Personality-wise, I felt more like Sailor Moon. Goofy, gluttonous, lovable. It's silly, but I didn't feel like she should be my favorite, because she didn't look like me. I wanted to imagine myself as the hero of the story, rather than the sidekick. The piece is a reflection of a childhood fantasy.”
The artwork is also a bit of a “jab” at so-called artists who trace Asian artworks and resell them in fine art galleries at “extortionate prices,” she says. “The theme of our collection is focused on how America takes from Asian culture” though the country seems to fall short “when it comes to uplifting, protecting, and fighting for equality within Asian American communities.”
That idea is also evident in director JJ Augustavo’s “You’re Welcome,” which plays on the classic takeaway bag that take-out Asian food often comes in.
“Instead of thanking people, I wanna say ‘YOU’RE WELCOME” — cuz people love our food and our culture, but they don’t love us,” he wrote on his Instagram post.
The collection also includes works from Chris Cordingley and Hiromi Yamamura (“Aisle of Dreams”); Alex Lee (“Thank You For Nothing”); Stacey Nguyen (“Why Isn’t This $6”), Kathy Pham (CUTE!!); and Jooeun Bae (“Letters to You”).
The auction is running on Rarible through April 23.
“Aisle of Dreams” by Chris Cordingley and Hiromi Yamamura
"Why Isn't This $6" by Stacey Nguyen
"Cute!!" by Kathy Pham
"Letters to You" by Jooeun Bae
"Thank You For Nothing" by Alex Lee