Students Curate First AAPI Exhibition, 'Growing From Our Guiding Roots'
Hotchkiss AAPI exhibit

The first-ever Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month student art and writing exhibition, Growing From Our Guiding Roots, is on display in Main Building through the month of May. Curators Albert Chen ‘26 and Phoenix Feng ’25 gathered paintings, photos, drawings, poems, and text from their peers and are showcasing their work in an interactive exhibit that takes the viewers on a journey.

“In celebration of Asian American and Pacific Islander month, we curated a collection of student work that not only reflects cultural identity, but also personal identity,” the pair wrote in their curator’s notes. “While these two facets of identity are undeniably intertwined, our mission is to show that we are not a monolith. We are not defined merely by where we are from, what language we do or don’t speak, or the food we eat. Instead, we are defined by how we operate within our identities: we are the perseverance it takes to be proud of our heritage; we are the courage and vulnerability it takes to take up space at Hotchkiss. Through brushstrokes, words, and mark making, each creative composes a piece which describes their personal identity, which inevitably, in subtle or loud ways, is uniquely tied to their cultural heritage. As artists and writers, we are guided by and grow from our roots, but we will not remain rooted in one spot.”

Hotchkiss AAPI exhibit Albert

Albert Chen '26 with his work, The Heart of My Home: Washing Dishes in the Kitchen Ballroom

The following students shared their work for the exhibition: Hanna Sun '24, Katie Yang '25, Phoenix Feng '25, Anthony Hu '25, Ophelia Cham '25, Jami Huang '25, Albert Chen '26, Ella Yin '26, Lindsay Miao '26, Remy Lee '26, Emma Liu '26, Olivia Kwon '26, Lauren Niem '26, and Lucas Juneja '26.

Phoenix explained that the Pan-Asian Affinity Group created a display in the Edsel Ford Memorial Library last year that featured student photography, writing, and more. “I wanted to expand on that and bring it to the Main Hallway in an intentional order,” she said.

Albert said, “I wanted to help spotlight AAPI artists. I have noticed a large demand among my AAPI peers to display work, and I wanted to help fill that desire. I was happy to help spotlight their work because they're all so talented. We want to encourage AAPI creativity.”

Hotchkiss AAPI exhibit Phoenix

Phoenix Feng ’25 with her work, Fishtail

“We want to have diversity in terms of what art means to people,” Phoenix said, walking past colorful paintings and black-and-white photographs. She pointed toward two books on pedestals by Albert and Emma Lui ’26. “We highlighted writing that you can pick up to experience through sight and touch,” she said. Albert nodded, adding, “We wanted to make this an engaging experience for the viewer.”

Albert and Phoenix plan to curate this AAPI exhibition again next year. “I can't wait to see how it evolves over time,” Phoenix said.

The curators thank Terri Moore, Joan Baldwin, Greg Lock, Rosemary Davis, Kelly Lorraine, Kim Gnerre, Charles Godfrey, William Kearns, Pierre Yoo, Nora Yasumura, and Ella Yu ’24 for their help creating the exhibition.

Hotchkiss AAPI Exhibit


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