Unapologetically Asian – 1, 2, and 3

No Longer Available


Canvas, muslin, Korean silk patchwork


5” x 14”


​​Unapologetically Asian is a series of face masks that draws inspiration from the long history of traditional Korean patchwork. The work is in response to the fact that preventative masks worn especially by Asian people has largely been perceived as an unnecessary overreaction, a proof of illness, or an open invitation to commit hate crimes during the COVID-19 pandemic. ​Now a growing number of officials and health experts argue that people should wear non-medical fabric masks in public to help prevent spread of the virus. ​​Kwon's work unapologetically celebrates her ethnic identity to confront coronavirus-related racism that is prevalent today.

About this Artist

Julia Kwon

Julia Kwon

Julia Kwon is an interdisciplinary artist who has her work is in the permanent collection of Smithsonian American Art Museum and Renwick Gallery (Washington, DC), Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum (New York, NY), Museum of International Folk Art (Santa Fe, NM), and The New York Public Library (New York, NY). She has exhibited at venues including the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art, The Peale Center at Carroll Museums, Hartnett Gallery of the University of Rochester, and Torpedo Factory Art Center. Her work has been featured and reviewed internationally including the Smithsonian Magazine, The Washington Post, Korea.net, BmoreArt, PBS’s WETA Arts, and SBS International News. She was awarded artist residencies at Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, Chautauqua School of Art, NARS Foundation, Textile Arts Center, Vermont Studio Center, among others.   ​Julia Kwon holds an MFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University and a BA…
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