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ArtsResponders Asian American Resource Center

The Austin Parks and Recreation Department’s Division of Museums and Cultural Programs has launched ArtsResponders: Social Practice Responds to COVID-19 to commission artists to engage the community in an artistic response to cope with and overcome COVID-19. The program will run October 5, 2020 to March 31, 2021. Through a juried process, the AARC selected two artists and their Social Practice projects. Learn more about Lizzie Chen and Peelander-Yellow. Browse the this page to read about their work, engage in family-friendly activities, and enjoy outdoor exhibits onsite at the AARC.

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"Dear Neighbor"

by Lizzie Chen

Illustration of Courtesy of Lizzie Chen

Photojournalist Lizzie Chen collaborates with her neighbors to portray their personal experience of social distance and sheltering in place. AARC invites residents of Chen’s neighborhood to mail a handwritten letter that reflects on their experience of the past year. Chen will meet with selected authors outside their homes and photograph their portraits for exhibit. Commune at distance with residents of District 4 and surrounding neighborhoods while you explore an outdoor exhibit that amplifies their stories with large-scale prints of their portraits and writing.

This exhibit contains expression of some strong emotions that may not be suitable for sensitive audience members and children.

"Kristen" Lizzie Chen, 2020

"Dear Neighbor" is now available to view outdoors at the Asian American Resource Center Great Lawn (8401 Cameron Rd Austin, TX 78754). All visitors are required to wear a mask and practice safe social distancing when visiting the site.

Left Image: Chen visits her installation at the AARC Great Lawn.

About the Artist

Lizzie Chen is a visual storyteller based in Austin, Texas. With a photojournalism and documentary storytelling background, she is interested in long-form and collaborative projects. Her work has been published nation-wide with a focus on education, immigration and social issues. She enjoys long discussions about the TV show "King of the Hill".

Right photo: "Self Protrait" by Lizzie Chen

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"Austin Amabie"

by Peelander-Yellow

"In 1846, AMABIE emerged from the ocean and spoke in human language, predicting six years of good harvests, followed by a wave of diseases. The creature said: draw me and show to the people, so that you can be from disease"

Inspired by Japanese folklore, artist Kengo Hioki, aka AKA Peelander-Yellow, draws from stories of monster-like Amabie (ah-mah-bee-eh) who ward off disease. Hioki brings these fables into the contemporary art Hioki brings these fables into the contemporary art world and visually responds to COVID-19 with an Amabie creation of his own. In his unique street-art style, Hioki has painted three murals of this mythical creature wearing a mask and stationed them outdoors at the Asian American Resource Center. This grand gesture signals that Amabie’s fight against the pandemic involves utilizing all public health safety measures possible. But the fight doesn't end here. Peelander-Yellow is calling on you, Austin, to participate in a symbol of solidarity and create your own Amabie! Learn more below.

Peelander-Yellow's "Austin Amabie" murals are now available to view outdoors at the Asian American Resource Center, 8401 Cameron Rd Austin, TX 78754. All visitors are required to wear a mask and practice safe social distancing when visiting the site.

Left photo: Visitors practice safe distance with the "Austin Amabie" murals at AARC

Participate in the Amabie Search

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Print the free “Austin Amabie” template provided for download here.

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Color the template and make your own original Amabie art.

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Display it on your window, lawn, or garage... anywhere it is easily visible to the public.

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If you would like to, let us know where you are! Submit the location via the link below and we will add you to the Austin Amabie Map! It may take a couple days for your location to appear on the map. If you don't see it right away, check back weekly.

Use the map to search for other Amabie in Austin! Take an evening stroll and find the Amabie in your neighborhood, or travel to search for Amabie art in different neighborhoods!

Share Amabie photos and videos.

#AustinAmabie

Looking for more inspiration or want to get your kids in on the fun? Take a look at these family-friendly videos.

Watch The Story of the Austin Amabie Movie.

Watch Peelander-Yellow create the murals.

There are many creative approaches to making an Amabie. Watch and follow along as the Dougherty Arts Center's Annie Davieaux makes one while also putting her cardboard box pile to good use.

Image right: "Join the Amambie Search in Your Neighborhood. 1. Print 2. Color 3. Display 4. Map it (www.tiny.cc/austinamabie)"

About the Artist

Kengo Hioki (AKA Peelander-Yellow) is an Austin based visual artist who themes his work with the color yellow, by wearing all yellow, surrounding himself with yellow objects, and always starting every new painting with the color yellow. He leads his process with imagination, where lovable monsters embody the joy of creation. When he paints a new creature for the public, he hopes it will project the happiness he feels when creating, and bring a smile to the viewer's face.

Image left: "Self Portrat" courtesy of Kengo Hioki.

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AARC Austin
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