‘Outloud’ Celebrates Asian American Artists; Honors Lives Lost In Targeted Shootings

“Split,” an oil painting created by artist Melissa Huang.

Atlanta Contemporary/Melissa Huang

Outloud” is a new online exhibition at the Atlanta Contemporary which demonstrates the artists as activists. The exhibition honors the lives of those who were tragically killed in a series of targeted attacks on Asian-owned businesses on March 16, 2021. Violence against people of Asian descent has increased exponentially in the past year — anti-Asian hate crimes went up by nearly 150% in 2020.

“City Lights” host Lois Reitzes was joined by Jiha Moon and Atlanta Contemporary Executive Director Veronica Kessenich to discuss the exhibit and the themes of Asian identity they explore.

“When Jiha calls, you answer,” said Kessenich. “We have always been an organization that reacts and engages with risky, thoughtful work. And so Jiha came with this incredible idea, and we said yes… It really was an honor to be able to do this.”

The exhibition will feature Jiha Moon’s own work, as well as pieces by Soo Kim, Sonya Yong James, Hannah Israel, Melissa Huang, and others.

“In this community, I feel that Asian immigrants… need to speak up their mind, and also try to help each other, and actively help other people to understand how our rights need to be activated in this country,” said Moon. “Not just go to an Asian grocery or restaurant, and enjoy their food, and love the culture… If you don’t love the people, what is the point?”

Proceeds from the exhibition benefit the Asian American Advancing Justice organization. The virtual exhibition is on view through Aug. 1.