The Upon Further Reflection Exhibition Celebrates Dynamic AAPI Designers

06.01.23 | By
The Upon Further Reflection Exhibition Celebrates Dynamic AAPI Designers

One of the highlights of NYCxDesign 2023 was a groundbreaking exhibition featuring the works of 20 emerging and established, Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) female-identifying artists and designers. In partnership with the Asian American Pacific Islander Design Alliance (AAPIDA), Upon Further Reflection was co-curated by Lora Appleton, founder of the Female Design Council and kinder MODERN, and Andrea Hill, founder of Tortuga Forma, to celebrate the diversity and talent within the AAPI design community.

overall exhibition view of multiple pieces of art and design

Photo: Angela Hau

The participating designers were invited to “challenge and address the ideas of reflection through surface exploration, materiality, and self discovery.” Some of the featured artists took the concept of mirroring and reflection quite literally, while others went the more obscure route – all equally enticing though.

Historically, the AAPI community has not gotten the recognition that they deserve, but with this exhibition, and hopefully many more to follow, their talents will continue to be celebrated and amplified. “As an AAPI business owner who collaborates with talented designers as part of my business model, it made sense to turn to the diverse AAPI design community for inspiration,” shared co-curator Andrea Hill. “The exhibition format also felt right for showcasing how each artist has interpreted the concept and materiality of reflection. Partnering with organizations like the FDC and AAPIDA as well as the 3.1 Phillip Lim store is an incredible example of how nonprofit and for-profit entities can come together around shared values and a common vision.”

exhibition view of multiple pieces of art

Photo: Angela Hau

angled view of art exhibition

Photo: Angela Hau

exhibition view of multiple pieces of art

Photo: Angela Hau

From co-curator Lora Appleton: “It is an ongoing privilege to work with so many talented female-identified designers and to be able to shine a much needed spotlight on the AAPI creative community. Allowing people of all ages to see themselves reflected in others inspired this exhibition, and enables me to help enlighten others on how broad and dynamic the global community of female driven AAPI studios in design is.”

Two women sitting on stadium platform amongst artwork on display

Co-curators Andrea Hill + Lora Appleton \\\ Photo: Angela Hau

Exhibiting designers included: Bowen Liu, Caroline Chao, Ellen Pong, Jean Lee, Jean Pelle, Jialun Xiong, Lynn Lin, Pooja Pawaskar, Rosie Li, Susan Maddux, Syrette Lew of Moving Mountains, Teruko Kushi, Ti Chang, Tina Scepanovic, Urvi Sharma, soft-geometry, Virginia Sin, Windy Chien, and Wu Hanyen.

Woman sitting on bend in front of art on wall

Tina Scepanovic \\\ Photo: Angela Hau

Asian woman standing next to wood table and mirror

Syrette Lew of Moving Mountains \\\ Photo: Angela Hau

angled exterior view of sculpture in window

Rosie Li sculpture \\\ Photo: Angela Hau

closeup view of bubble iridescent sculpture and lighting

Rainbow Bubbly by Rosie Li

hands outstretched holding a mirrored artist palette

Mirrors for Aliens by soft-geometry

angled chair in front of artwork hanging on wall

Agree To Disagree by Tina Scepanovic

series of glass and gold objects in front of curtained window

Boundaries For Dinner by Tina Scepanovic

wall hanging mad from knitted rope

Hitching Post by Windy Chien

painting of woman floating in water

Pool Portrait by Jean Pelle

Caroline Williamson is Editor-in-Chief of Design Milk. She has a BFA in photography from SCAD and can usually be found searching for vintage wares, doing New York Times crossword puzzles in pen, or reworking playlists on Spotify.