Kairu Tong

"Our Dystopia"

Class of: 2025

Major: Product Design BFA

Medium: Adobe Illustrator and Micron Ink Pens

Faculty: Diana Shpungin

Prompt: We were assigned to make a project which was 50% digitally created and 50% analogue. The project creates an image which is inspired by a location of our choosing and elements of the past, present, and future. We were to choose a symbol to create the piece out of.

The concept of my piece is about how it felt during the peak of the pandemic as an Asian American. Constant fear, scapegoating, and news surrounding our pain. I set this in the location of Chinatown, using pictures I’ve taken while growing up visiting there and historical photographs from the area. The symbol I drew everything from is the Chinese character for 4, a number which is associated with death in my culture. It’s meant to look dystopian with the news on the TVs and Asian people’s heads replaced with microscopic virus particles. In this time, we were not seen as people with features or lives of our own, only as something to fear and threaten. In each section it’s indistinguishable which pictures come from the past, present, or future. It’s a warning towards the cycle we’ve seen in the scapegoating of Asian people throughout history and the damages this mentality causes.