Asian Heritage Month is a time of "hope" for prolific Canadian artist

May 1 2023, 10:16 pm

Vancouver artist Paige Jung discovered her creative passions during a time of change in her life, and it has rewarded her in many ways.

“During a season of uncertainty, I really started to fall in love with art and illustration,” Jung told Daily Hive. “It became a powerful way for me to express myself. After I started to share more of my work, to my surprise there were other people that resonated with my art and it made my voice feel important and inspired me to keep creating.”

Jung describes herself as a Chinese Canadian illustrator and muralist, born and raised on the unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh peoples. And her heritage plays a big part in her artwork.

“Being drawn to bold colours, my work often explores themes of community care, food and culture, diverse representation, and experiences of the Asian diaspora,” explained Jung. “I strive to create accessible art, that always holds community at the centre and makes people — who often feel in-between — seen and represented.

“My work also draws inspiration from memories of being in my grandparents’ homes and offers a modern, colourful interpretation of Chinese ceramics and patterns.”

To help celebrate Asian Heritage Month, the UBC alum has created a newly commissioned piece for Daily Hive.

Asian Heritage Month by Paige Jung

Asian Heritage Month by Paige Jung/Submitted

“Throughout generations, many individuals in the Asian community have paved the way for us to experience the life we get to experience now,” Jung said. “For this illustration, I wanted to use the symbolism of lanterns to represent the passing of hope through different communities and generations, as if they’re lighting the way or passing the baton.

“The colours of pink, red, violet and green give the illustration a feeling of boldness, representing the pride that we have for our unique cultures.”

Jung added that while Asian Heritage Month is a time to celebrate the diverse accomplishments of Asian communities, it is also important to raise awareness about historical and present-day injustices.

Paige Jung

Paige Jung (Solomon Hsu/Submitted)

“It’s an opportunity to acknowledge the extensive diversity within the term ‘Asian’ and renew our commitment as a society to ending anti-Asian hate, exclusion, and discrimination in our society,” shared Jung. Asian Heritage Month is important because society has, for so long, stereotyped and generalized the lived experiences of Asian communities.

“While efforts to highlight Asian voices and end anti-Asian hate should be ongoing, this month presents an amazing opportunity to highlight the array of cultures, traditions, and accomplishments within Asian communities, and allows us to challenge the stereotype of Asians being ‘all the same.’ We are not a monolith, but a multitude of beautiful cultures and people.”

Paige Jung

Paige Jung/Submitted

While the Vancouver artist has been creating for a relatively short amount of time, her work has already become prolific. Jung has worked with a variety of clients ranging from Anthropologie to BC’s Office of Human Rights Commissioner to Hua Foundation and Vancity Credit Union.

“What I enjoy most about being an artist is being trusted with the opportunity to tell people’s stories and do my little part in making people feel seen in art. Everyone deserves to feel represented, and there are so many important voices and stories that have been historically marginalized and deserve space and our attention.

“I love that illustration uses colours, textures and lines in strategic ways to say bold things, or evoke strong emotions, without even using words.”

Paige Jung

Paige Jung/Submitted

The Chinatown-based artist is already gearing up for a busy summer, with a number of murals planned that focus on community collaboration. Jung is also excited to see where her artistic journey leads her.

“I feel very fortunate for the overwhelming support I’ve received from my family, friends, clients, and the community. As cliché as it is, I wouldn’t be where I am today without their trust and encouragement.”

Daily Hive

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This content was created by Daily Hive's Community Partnerships team.
Daniel ChaiDaniel Chai

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