Never Forget

My Black friend created the song ‘Hangin On’ in 2021 for Black History Month. It seemed appropriate to pair it with this poppy piece made in remembrance of those who died in the Atlanta Spa Shooting. Our struggles are not exactly the same but there are similarities and parallels. The struggle against systemic and normalized racism is the Asian American struggle as much as it is for any other not-White person in the U.S. (and beyond where it has, and still is, applied regardless of skin-tone) – the humiliation, oppression and subjugation of people who are considered to be sub-human and less than by others. We are all part of one race, the human race.

Full Lyrics:

I want you back
I want you here
I want to save you but I can’t, oh I can’t
The drums, they call for us to march on
but I’m still here on the floor, crying for

the son that I’ll never have
the daughter that I can’t get back
the children, so convinced they don’t matter
the system, showing us we don’t matter
our leaders, self-obsessed and greedy
the masses turn their heads; they’re sleeping
And I’m here, and I’m here
writing this song, chugging along

I want to fight
I want to save lives
and stand my ground, but who am I? Who am I?
The drums, they call for us to march on
but I’m still here hanging on, hanging on

for the son that I’ll never have
the daughter that I can’t get back
the children, so convinced they don’t matter
the system, showing us we don’t matter
our leaders, self-obsessed and greedy
the masses turn their heads; they’re sleeping
And I’m here, and I’m here
hanging on

I’m here, hanging on
I’m here, hanging on
We’re here hanging on
We’re here

See a short video of Never Forget and hear the song performed live at Exhibition Heartwork on Instagram here.

Never Forget
2021 cerámica hecha a mano, tallado y pintada a mano, esmaltada y dorado
13 x 9cm pieza única
Never Forget Series
[Price: 2,400€]

More of my work – http://nicholehastings.com
Music by: Feroza Cayetano (buy her album on bandcamp)


This year has been full of challenges for me as an Asian American, a Korean adoptee, and a biological female. I didn’t know the eight victims (six Asians, four Korean women, and two Whites) murdered in the March Atlanta spa shootings personally but it deeply affected and disturbed me. The killer’s reason for taking their lives, the ignorant prejudiced insistence of others that the woman were prostitutes, and the silence of White and Black friends about it was a slap to my face.

I have never felt more angry, confused, sad and unhappy about being a citizen of the United States, about being an Asian woman, about being adopted. For most of my life I have ignored my past and resigned myself to the racist treatment I experience. I have made excuses for others behaviors and silenced myself so others don’t feel uncomfortable. It’s a strange place to be in sitting with so many emotions – angry with and concerned for others, happy to be creating yet also sad. As a result I decided to take all of it off the shelf. I decided to sit at the table with it inviting people to join me to discuss feelings and thoughts in a different way with this piece (and others to come) made in memoriam to the victims.

Say their names:

Soon Chung Park, age 74
Hyun Jung Grant, age 51
Suncha Kim, age 69
Yong Yue, age 63
Delaina Ashley Yaun, age 33
Paul Andre Michels, age 54
Xiaojie Tan, age 49

I share this on the 4th of July, Independence Day, to celebrate my and other Asian Americans’ liberation from our own silence and acceptance of the way we are treated by White and Black America.
The poppy is a flower symbolizing remembrance in many cultures. In the past 100 years, Britain has staked a claim of ownership on this flower that originated from the middle east. For the East, I take this flower back. For the Asian Americans murdered, I invoke “Never Forget”. For other Korean adoptees I light a lamp beside the golden door. For all the women who have suffered by the hands of a man, I stand beside you and hold your hand offering strength and consolation for the wrongs done to you.

REMEMBRANCE
2021 wheel-thrown ceramic, handpainted with oxides, matt and transparent glazes, crackled and gilded
10.5 x 9.5cm, unique piece
Never Forget Series
[SOLD]

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