Featuring work from 11 new artists including Joe Taylor, Angela Ho, Holly St Clair, Inari Sirola, Kyuri Shin, Mica Warren and more.

The Communitea Shop is back at it again with yet another incredible selection of prints following the success of its first print fundraiser which was held in May and saw the collective of 55 artists from Communitea came together to help support the centre, which has been a beacon of the Asian and wider communities since 1980. Through its fundraising art platform, the first campaign raised a whopping £10,000, with works from artists such as Melissa Kitty Jarram, Charlotte Mei, Wei Prior and more.

Now they strike again with a campaign running from 22 June through to 12 August this year in collaboration with Print Social to bring us a slightly smaller fundraiser for the LCCC (London Chinese Community Centre), with 11 new artists contributing T-shirt designs on the recurring theme of tea and their connection with Asian culture. The artists involved are; Joe Taylor, Angela Ho, Holly St Clair, Inari Sirola, Kyuri Shin, Mica Warren, Scotty Gillespie, Siu Yen Lo, Tim Easley, Yan Rong Wu and Yeye Weller.

An example of the work contributed is Angela Ho’s Banana: Yellow On The Outside, Not Quite White On The Inside. “The term ‘banana’ is sometimes used as a derogatory description for humans of Asian heritage who have Western attitudes and behaviours. I’d always thought it was a funny and quirky term instead of belittling. I fit into the space between two cultures having been born in Melbourne, Australia to Chinese parents. I’ve also made Hong Kong my home for the last 12 years. I am a perpetual alien. The pandemic-induced xenophobia towards Chinese people created much discussion here in Hong Kong between myself and my BCC (British-born-Chinese) friends about our experiences of racism when growing up. I hope this tee may help keep the LCCC doors open at this time when support and understanding are so important.”

Another dazzling work in the collection is Holly St Clair’s Protect Asian Elders! which looks at how elders are “being disproportionately targeted in racist attacks.” Their piece is designed to “act as a talisman of protection and a loving celebration of those cute group photo formations our grannies adore.” Inari Sirola has created Shiny Bubble, a print about China’s “amazing, mind-melting fashion, kicks attitude and, of course, great tea,” she says; and Joe Taylor has made Together we can all drink tea, an abstract tea set inspired by the “varied forms the tea ritual has taken as it has spread from China throughout the world.”

In a year that has seen nothing but unfair blame, harassment and terrorism cast on the Asian community, the Communitea project is a beautiful way to shine a light on the nuances, complexities and beauties within Asian culture. All profits from T-shirt sales will go towards helping the LCCC continue its work, as well as supporting people from within the Asian community. 

 (Copyright © Yeye Weller, 2021)

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