“Through hardship, we could see diversity and see it as a strength” – CBS Miami

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – At Art Basel 2021 in Miami, Asian American artists were celebrated and recognized at a one-of-a-kind event at the Michelin-starred COTE Miami Korean Steakhouse.

The event was a collaboration between Gold House and esteemed artistic advisor Kelly Huang to launch the Gold Art Prize.

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Gold House is a non-profit collective of founders, creatives and leaders from Asia and the Pacific Islands.

Five Asian American artists received the inaugural award and a cash award of $ 25,000.

Maia Ruth Lee of Colorado was one of this year’s winners.

“I like to focus on the abstract and difficult experiences that diaspora communities have,” Lee explained.

“Language can get lost in translation. “

“This complicated dual dynamic between owning the things we hate and owning the things we love, fighting and struggling for, is uniquely Asian-American,” said Bing Chen, president of Gold House.

For many, the emotion and pain felt at an increase in hate crimes and anti-Asian xenophobia has been expressed in a new push for community representation and use.

New FBI data has revealed that these crimes increased by more than 73% in 2020 alone.

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“The voices of Asian Americans should be included in this dialogue just like everyone else’s voices should be,” said Huang.

“Why not rally the support of the community to bring more visibility to these artists, to amplify their voices.”

Huang explained that although the past year has been difficult for the AAPI community, she wanted to focus on the positive.

“What we learned during the challenges is to rely on the people we feel closest to, our community and how to build community and really feel supported and belong,” Huang said.

Lee and Huang both know what it’s like not to feel that portrayal, being from Indiana and Colorado.

“An artist said that it was the first time that I felt supported by a community, that I felt a community behind me. To be seen and to feel this sense of belonging is particularly powerful, ”said Huang.

In the ritz and glitz of Art Basel and all the beautiful and unique works of art, there is a small but strong community that struggles to be seen.

“Through the challenges we have had this year, we have had time to examine the diversity of our community and see it as a force to come together,” said Huang. “This is a one-of-a-kind event so we are delighted with it. I think everyone can smell it here tonight.

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The first Gold Art Prize will be awarded every two years.

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