"In The Visible" (trailer for her short film)

Asians in America have had a long and weighted history. From the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 to the forced internment of Japanese Americans during WWII, and more recently, the wave of anti-Asian hate crimes as they’re scapegoated for the coronavirus, the experience of being Asian in America is one of discrimination - whether overt or covert.

None of this is new, but it is re-surfacing age-old problems so deeply rooted in our cultures and the American culture – including the model minority myth created by white supremacy. The AAPI community has both benefited from and been hurt by this myth, and it is now our responsibility to change the course for a more inclusive and just future. We can’t sit back and let others tell our stories anymore. We can no longer be complicit in our own invisibility. Asians are critical in the making of a forward America, in all fields and industries.

Having immigrated to the US from Malaysia at the age of 9, I hid my Malaysian-Chinese heritage as much as possible. As I grew older and began exploring race and identity in depth with my AAPI friends, I realized how much of our cultures and origins have gone untold. Contrary to popular belief, we are not a monolith. There are about 50 recognized ethnic groups under the ‘Asian’ umbrella - to be grouped together as one is to erase our different experiences, histories, and customs.

Through In The Visible, I wanted to make a film that captured the range of experiences of Asians of various ethnicities, ages, and backgrounds. By putting our subjects front and center in telling their own stories on camera in the hopes of building empathy in the community and dispelling stereotypical assumptions about Asians.

In the process of creating the film, it was important that the audience see and hear not just stories of struggle, pain, and shame, but also of ones of hope, optimism, and resilience, not to mention the tremendous commitment Asians in America have to creating a better future for this country for future generations. By creating this project with an all AAPI crew, we are taking back our narrative. We taking back our visibility. We are in the visible.