Reacting to the troubling rise in violence against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, Munky King has collaborated with Danil Yad’s YARMS on the Yeye art toy. Inspired in part by Munky King president Patrick Lam’s yeye (Chinese for grandfather), the moving, challenging piece presents two vastly different views.
Sculpted by YARMS, Yeye is an older asian gentleman with a cap. His eyes are closed, perhaps deep in thought, as he walks with a cane. He is a loving grandfather, a kind hearted soul, a passerby, part of the crowd one passes on a daily basis. He is anything, but a threat. Yet a growing number of people view Yeye as he is depicted on the rear of the figure, a target for their rage and hate against Asian Americans and Pacific Islands for imagined injustices and misguided reasons.
“My Yeye lived peacefully in San Francisco’s Tenderloin district amidst the chaos of the roughest neighborhood in the city. Were he alive today, would he still be treated as a human being? Because the inhumanity visited on these recent victims makes obvious the fact that we continue to be seen as something other.” – Patrick Lam, President of MK
Yeye’s emotional and political power lies in the jarring contradiction between the actuality of the elder’s nature as shown from the front and its distorted perversion revealed from the back. The piece confronts the viewer with the deeply uncomfortable and absurd truth that Asians, especially the older generations, are targeted by hateful individuals. It is also a reminder of the harsh truth that many Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders endure and carry on a daily basis.
Currently in production, the Yeye art toy (6.5″) is the second figure in Munky King’s Truth To Power series which began with The Messenger, a celebration of Colin Kaepernick’s self-sacrificing political gesture seen around the world. Kudos to Munky King for using art toys as a medium for political awareness and bear.