Artist Christine Sun Kim and designer Ravi Vasavan have teamed up with illustrator Meeya Tjiang and Jeff Staple of Staple Pigeon Streetwear to combat the recent dramatic rise in anti-Asian violence. Proceeds from sales of their new “Stop Asian Hate” shirt, featuring an illustration of two hands signing out the message in American Sign Language, will be split between the AAPI (Asian American and Pacific Islander) Community Fund and Stop #AAPIHATE with Asian Signers.
The project brings together “a Korean American in Berlin, an Indian Australian in London, a Chinese American in Washington DC and a Chinese American in New York City during historic unprecedented times,” reads a statement authored by the group. In a video accompanying the shirt’s release, the four collaborators sign the phrase “Stop Asian Hate” together.
One of the sweatshirt’s sleeves is adorned with the <0/ symbol, based on the written form of the phrase “Deaf Power,” which is signed with an open palm over the ear and the other hand in a closed fist in the air.
Kim, Tjiang, and Vasavan all identify as Asian Deaf creatives. In a practice that spans video, performance, sound compositions, and drawing, Kim questions the dominance of spoken over signed language, exploring alternatives like musical notation, body language, and ASL. Along with Vasavan, she co-founded Deafpower.me to promote the history, languages, and values of Deaf communities worldwide.
“We need all hands on deck to combat racism,” the group says. “There has never been a greater time to share our stories with non-Asian people. The more we share, the more space and support we get.”