Maya Man



Pittsburgh, PA

THE MODEL MINORITY IS A MYTH! is an interactive billboard inspired by the Gospel Billboards that are placed alongside roads across America that loudly encourage those who drive by to call the displayed number “FOR TRUTH.”

While driving cross country in 2018, I passed so many gospel billboards that eventually I gave in and decided to try calling one. A man named Ralph who lived in Virginia picked up the phone. We discussed religion, God, marriage, enlightenment, and the church. Although I didn’t agree with all of Ralph’s views, I left the call with a deeper understanding of where he might be coming from.

So, when For Freedoms approached me to contribute a billboard design in celebration of AAPI Heritage month, I considered the billboard’s original purpose. Billboards are a medium for manipulating the mind, they clamor for the attention of those driving by in hopes of convincing them to do, buy, or think about what is advertised. Considering this, I felt compelled to design a piece that might extend beyond the billboard itself and offer a chance for interaction, education, and conversation around a topic that deeply affects the Asian American community’s experience: The model minority myth.

The final design intentionally mimics the style of Gospel Billboards with their attention grabbing text, use of cutout photos, and desperate, yet ethereal energy. The phone number listed at the bottom is an invitation to engage with the concept. Anyone curious about the Model Minority Myth can call, listen, and even respond via voicemail. You can’t really experience the full piece unless you call, so if you see the billboard, whether it’s while driving by or scrolling by online, I’d love for you to give me a call.

Photograph by Di-ay Tesoro Battad
Photograph by Di-ay Tesoro Battad


Orange Barrel Media

Artwork Caption 
This is some text inside of a div block.