jason chu Honors Asian American History with New Collaboration

Last week, jason chu and creative director Tinhua Hsia released video art collaboration “Honor.” This three minute video, set to jason’s new song “Honor”, highlights over 150 years of Asian American triumphs, painful history, and every day lives with over 220 clips.

“We consider it important to embrace the good (progress), the bad (racism), and the ugly (our own complicity) of our community’s truth.”

jason chu, “HONOR.” VIDEO ART PIECE CAPTURES 150 YEARS OF ASIAN AMERICAN
HISTORY IN 3 MINUTES

jason’s words really struck me as I was watching this video. Too often, people will only focus on one aspect, whether good or bad, in history and just ignore everything that doesn’t fall in line with their perception. However, with “Honor.” jason and Tinhua really embraced the entirety of Asian American history, completely unafraid to show the ugliness and own it as part of their cultural history. I really give them my respect for that; it’s so easy to highlight the amazing things, but to also show the bad and the ugly gives me an impression of strength of character.

“The Asian American story isn’t mine alone to tell. The 220+ video clips here represent my reflections, as a Taiwanese American man born in the ‘90s, on the struggles and the victories of being Asian in America. If it was anyone else’s project, it would look different. That’s part of what I want viewers to see: our stories are many, painful and powerful.”

Tinhua Hsia, “HONOR.” VIDEO ART PIECE CAPTURES 150 YEARS OF ASIAN AMERICAN
HISTORY IN 3 MINUTES

Tinhua also highlights another reason why “Honor.” is so important. It doesn’t only show celebrities and their triumphs or failures, it shows regular people. Kids. Young adults. Elderly men and women. Alongside many celebrities, Tinhua and jason have really put together a comprehensive look at the everyday, average person and the struggles and the successes in their lives. These snapshots really allow viewers to relate to the message and to have a better understanding of the Asian American community from another point of view.

“It’s an honor just to be Asian.” Sandra Oh’s statement at last year’s Golden Globes sparked something truly beautiful. The Asian American community is often swept aside and ignored, but “Honor.'” is an inspiring look at just what America is losing by sweeping the minority aside. In these turbulent times, this message of solidarity and unity is something I think we all could use a reminder of.

~ Jordan

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