A juried art Contest featuring “Stop Hate”, organized by KJC International, Inc., concluded with an award ceremony at West California Academy of Art and Design on March 26, 2023.
One student was chosen to be the Grand Prize winner and seven students were chosen to be the First Place winners.
Stella Wu，15 years old，Grand Prize，Title：Self Love Is the Beginning of Lifelong，School：Walnut High School
Allen Wu, mayor of Walnut, presenting the award to Stella
John Wu, vice mayor of San Gabriel, presenting the scholarship to Stella
Stella Wu: “In my opinion, I think stop hate can me many meaningful things. Maybe you do not get my piece of idea, but it means to stop hating yourself. Why did I choose this topic? This is a good question. I have been trying to think about a unique topic surrounded by stop hate. The category is very generalized, and it did take me a while to settle it down. Nowadays teenagers like us are losing self confidence, they would always try to climb up to somewhere that does not give a good future for, its really ok to be upset by anything but just please give some self love, sometimes you don’t need to think about others feelings that much, even it might be a bit selfish, but that’s just how it is, you should take care and satisfy yourself first. Now on to the drawings, as you guys can see i choose the flowers that all having a meaning of self love or gaining much. On the right side, you can see it represents darkness and threats, that’s not what we want, take a step forward and everything will be alright, forget about the past, there are many things that will gives you joy.”
Helen Liao，15 years old，First Place，Title：Only Human，School：Cerritos High School
Tony Ding, councilmember of San Gabriel, presenting the scholarship to Helen
Robert Liu, president of Chinese American Education Association, presenting the award to Helen
Helen Liao: “What I want to express in this painting is: no matter which country you come from, no matter what your appearance looks like, no matter what race you are, because we are human beings, we have different love, and all the blood flowing inside our bodies is the same color, so we should love each other, stop hating and hurting each other, fill the world with peace, and let us human beings develop and progress better.”
Jason Liu，17 years old，First Place，Title：Stop Hate，School：West California Academy of Art and Design
Florence Lin, community relations manager of Asian Youth Center, and Heidi Lau, AYC coordinator, presenting the award to Jason
Jason Liu: “My art piece was based on togetherness and help for one another. I wanted to show in my work the ability for others to care about each other, help each other, and spread love in daily life instead of hate. This is regardless of race, religion, creed or color and I believe this should be of fundamental importance if not a minimum ability in all people to get along better. We should all contribute the most positive we can instead of continuing to be negative and once we do that we can stop hate in all its forms.”
Jenny Guan，16 years old，First Place，Title：Keep the Faith，School：West California Academy of Art and Design
Wang Ximeng, president of American Chinese Experts Association, presenting the award to Jenny
Jenny Guan: “My artwork revolves around the theme of Stop Hate, and the three characters in the painting are described by me as "excessive ideological beauties." In this context, it refers not only to appearance anxiety, but also to a symbol of "Hate", a symbol of evil. In this world, many things actually do not have a completely accurate standard, and everyone has his/her own grand road. I think the theme of Stop Hate is grand and heavy. I hope that this art contest will call for more people to pay attention to this theme. Our students should bear the responsibility of stopping any form of hate. Keep the faith, believe in hope, and make progress together, our human society will surely be better. Keep the faith, the light will break through the darkness.”
Irene Zhou，17 years old，First Place，Title：At Peace，School： Arcadia High School
Sun Wei, president of U.S. China Trade Culture and Arts Association, presenting the award to Irene
Irene Zhou: “My artwork for the theme of Stop Hate is titled ‘At Peace.’ It symbolizes hatred towards race, hatred towards gender, as well as hatred towards oneself. For a little description of the work itself: it’s a mixed media project that illustrates a Black male with a strong, masculine appearance as its primary focus, the background is based off a gender neutral color theme that is comforting and harmonious, and I also designed the pose of the character himself to seem relaxed and comfortable. There’s a lot of hate that resides within our world, coming from people we may not even know or perhaps even ourselves. From having to conform to confining social norms to being categorized as certain stereotypes, we often find ourselves struggling to be confident with our own identities. The man in my painting represents someone who has endured immense amounts of hate that targets his ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, and much more. Yet, he was ultimately able to find peace within himself, be comfortable in his skin, and be proud of the person he is. I want my art to be seen as a symbol of hope to those who are suffering from pain caused by hatred. I want people to know they should love themselves and be proud of who they are.”
Sophia (Yanuo) Li，11 years old，First Place，Title：Stop Hate，School：West California Academy of Art and Design
Sophia is the resident of Beijing, China, and she is currently taking online art courses at West California Academy of Art and Design.
Sophia Li: “At our school in China, some people get bullied because of their looks and their hobbies. In my class, one girl likes to play with boys, so no one wants to play with her. When I see them bullying her, I try to stop the mess, and it helps her a lot. And now, she is very confident and doesn't care what others think of her. Sometimes at science class or PE class. The teacher gets angry and yells at us. But the girls in our class just quietly say bad things about the teacher and curses them. But I never do that because I think it's not good to hate people, and it is just only bad for yourself. Everyone is equal—no matter your looks or your hobbies. In my class, there is one girl who is mean to everyone, even the teacher. When she gets angry, she throws stuff and yells, and if someone doesn't play with her, she will hurt them. So we are all scared of her. But things got under control, and she went to another school. So I want this painting to tell everyone no matter who you are and what your skin color is. You are important, and you can control your life how you want don't let others hurt you because they don't like the way you are, and don't change yourself because of them. Everyone is special in their own way. Go and chase your dream. Do what you want. Say what you want. If they weren't hate, there won't be war. There won't be slavery. There won't be hate. There won't be murder. Love yourself the way you are. Be the one who you are, and again don't let anyone change your goal. Like Martin Luther King Jr. said, ' darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.’ "
Angela Zheng，12 years old，First Place，Title：Stop Hate，School：West California Academy of Art and Design
Nana Xu，18 years old，First Place，Title：Stop Hate, School： China Shen Zhen Art School
Nana is the resident of Shenzhen, China. Her artwork expresses that “all colors are important and beautiful, but only together can create stunning colors.”
“In recent years, verbal violence and physical attack targeting minorities in America has apparently increased. Hate crimes and incidences not only hurt the victims themselves, but the community as a whole,” said Jennifer Liu, the founder of KJC International, a media company headquartered in San Dimas. “The society calls for equality, diversity and inclusiveness. The purpose of this art competition is to motivate younger generation to raise the Stop the Hate awareness through visual arts.”
Jennifer Liu, founder of KJC International, Inc.
“As a philosophy of learning, we value learning through creative processes as authentic catalysts for social change in our arts education.” Omar Gallegos, vice president of West California Academy of Art and Design, said in his opening speech at the award ceremony, “Creative learning is the change needed in education that creates a connected community and therefore a connected society. One that cares for one another and values inclusivity and diversity and equality in our shared experiences.”
Omar Gallegos, vice president of West California Academy of Art and Design
Local elected officials and community leaders, including Allen Wu, mayor of Walnut, John Wu, vice mayor of San Gabriel, Tony Ding, councilmember of San Gabriel, Florence Lin, community relations manager of Asian Youth Center (AYC), Robert Liu, president of Chinese American Education Association, professor of East Los Angeles College, Wang Ximeng, president of American Chinese Experts Association, Sun Wei, president of U.S. China Trade Culture and Arts Association, Linda Lin, international spiritual education instructor, and parent representative Jane Sun, attended the award ceremony and shared their inputs on how to stop the hate, and how to make available the helping resources to victims.
“KJC International Inc. and West California Academy of Art and Design have invited students in high school in valuing arts integration and promoted engaging students in participation and contribution to help our community learn through self-expression, identifying multiple perspectives and sense of self and voice.” said Lei Wang, Principal of West California Academy of Art and Design.
Lei Wang, Principal of West California Academy of Art and Design
According to Lei, the competition drew an active participation of local high school students in Southern California, who all demonstrated their understanding of social justice and racial equity and equality through art works.