Julia Yoo, 17
Korean and Indian
TYTIAHG is a painting based on a 1899 Anti Chinese immigration illustration. The illustration depicts a Chinese man causing terror and acting as a threat to white women in America. In the painting, an asian woman takes his place and steps over her own skin. TYTIAHG depicts the anger many Asian women feel but don’t express as well as the way some desire to be perceived- without stereotypes of objectifying delicacy and hyper-sexuality. Asian women are constantly fetishized and portrayed as submissive and easily controllable. The woman cuts her ponytail in frustration, wishing to be detached from fetishes and stereotypes. She crushes a lotus flower in her hand, a literal take on the ‘lotus flower’ stereotype. But most importantly, she steps over her own skin- showing that the biggest threat to an Asian woman’s humanity is her existence as an Asian woman. Merely existing as an Asian woman is perceived as an invitation for nonconsensual fetishization, objectification and sexualization, which can and has resulted in sexual violence and danger. This painting is not only a call out and critique of racial fetishes and the culture surrounding them but a cry of anger and exhaustion.