Maia Ruth Lee

Stand For Asians


Denver, CO

This billboard is an open call for collective care for the vulnerable. 

The image for the billboard is part of a project I had made in 2016, titled “Women at work” - originally a clip art book - depicting women in various workforces in the 80s/90s. They posit soldier, firefighter, nail technician and massage workers as equal (working) women, insisting on the legitimacy of all roles for women in society. Yet many of these depictions reaffirm the stereotypes that still persist today. A stark reminder the racism and sexism, deeply rooted into our American history, that continues to perpetuate divide and violence. 

It was important for me to reclaim these images, paint/re-interpret them, and to re-infuse them with the dignity and honor that they deserve. It is more important than ever to Stand for Asians that work within unprotected environments, those who are often times unsafe from this violence and misogyny. We must consider everyone in this movement, especially in light of the horrific Atlanta shooting, we must actively fight class and hierarchy - something that is very prevalent within Asian communities too - not to get stuck in the stereotypes that were labeled on us by White America and White history. If our government isn’t going to protect mis-treated workers, we must at least do our part and protect and care for them, and ultimately uphold these women with pride and celebration, as our aunties, sisters, mothers.

Photograph by Bruce Tetsuya
Photograph by Bruce Tetsuya


Orange Barrel Media

Artwork Caption 
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