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Linjie Deng
Photograph: Courtesy of Linjie Deng

This new exhibit in midtown seeks to combat anti-Asian hate

"Asian Art SPA" will be on display through May 24.

Anna Ben Yehuda

On March 16 of this year, 28-year-old Linjie Deng, a Chinese conceptual artist, was attacked at the 86th Street subway station while being referred to as "yellow." Deciding right then and there to reclaim the Asian slur, the artist started working on three pieces that feature yellow as the main color and seek to pay respect to the pain that his own community has felt in recent months. 

Linjie Deng
Photograph: Courtesy of Linjie Deng

As acts of anti-Asian violence skyrocket around the country, Deng has been hard at work on a new exhibition, now on view at Carlton Fine Arts Ltd. at 543 Madison Avenue. Titled "Asian Art SPA," the show is on view through May 24. 

The exhibit features Deng's three "yellow" works alongside others from his Yin-Yang series and his Teeth Falling Out one. According to the exhibit's official press release, the former collection is made up of "a selection of contemporary calligraphy works consisting of a set of mutually opposing and coexisting words: freedom and hope, you and me, me and we, proud and humble." The latter series, on the other hand, spotlights works the likes of The Tooth, Water, Sunshine, Soil and Leaves, where the artist paints each basic element of life individually, "aiming to magnify the small and potentially invisible visual characteristics of each."

Linjie Deng
Photograph: Courtesy of Linjie Deng

Attendees heading to the midtown gallery to dissect Deng's art will also be treated to a curated selection of pieces by the likes of Andy Warhol, Marc Chagall, Mr. Brainwash, Keith Haring and Roy Lichtenstein. 

The proceeds from the three pieces inspired by his violent attack—8 Deadly ShotsI am White, Black and Asian; and I don't like the way he looked at me either—will benefit Think! Chinatown, a non-profit whose mission is to foster inter-generational community though neighborhood engagement, storytelling and the arts.

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