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Year of the Dragon
February 9 - March 16, 2024
Lunch & Panel February 10th, 12:30 - 3pm

Duane Reed Gallery in collaboration with The Very Asian Foundation is proud to present "Year of the Dragon," exhibiting over a dozen Asian American artists and work inspired by the Lunar New Year.


Since 2022, Congresswoman Grace Meng of New York has been pushing legislation to make Lunar New Year an official federal holiday. Approximately two-thirds of Asian Americans from China, Korea, Japan and Vietnam celebrate Lunar New Year. "With Asian Americans being the fastest growing population in our country, and with the popularity of the holiday continuing to grow, it makes sense to make Lunar New Year a federal holiday," Meng said. "My bill, coupled with my resolution, would demonstrate that the holiday celebrated by millions is also valued by their government." The significance of organizing this exhibition on Lunar New Year is to recognize our Asian American artists who combine cultural traditions/techniques with contemporary motifs and themes in their work. In the past few years, the increase in Asian American representation in the arts and entertainment industry has been phenomenal but so has the rise of anti-Asian sentiment. We are more than the cultural expectations of the “Model Minority”. This exhibition is a celebration of Asian American contribution to the arts and the breadth of Asian American identity and a stepping stone towards more opportunities for Asian American creatives in the Greater St. Louis area to meet and share their voices with the community.

The show will premiere with A Very Asian Fundraiser on February 10th, including a gallery viewing, lunch, and artists panel. Proceeds from this event will benefit the Very Asian Foundation Creators Grant. The program aims to provide financial support and mentorship opportunities to AANHPI individuals who are making a career pivot into a creative field and provide a launchpad to achieve their goals and make an impact in their communities and society.

The exhibition features Sam ChungJiyong Lee, Steven Young Lee, Aya Mori, Harumi Nakashima, Aya Oki, Marina Peng, Michelle Lee Rigell, Ria Unson,  Victor Wang, Kensuke Yamada, Sunkoo Yuh, and Yingxue Zuo.

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