I made this piece when I thought about the stories that have shaped and nurtured my identity. Growing up as an Asian American girl, I clung to the animated film “Mulan” because it featured a blackhaired Chinese heroine in the spotlight, instead of the typical blond-haired Disney lead. While there is nothing I hold against blond hair, my childhood self felt alienated by the media due to their exclusive standards on beauty, race, and other elements of self-identity. My work urges the media to further portray all types of diversity on screens, pages, and any form of communication in hopes of promoting better self image and confidence for all people.
Valerie Kao is a 17 year old high school student from the San Francisco Bay Area. Her experience as an Asian American has distinctly shaped her voice as an artist as she promotes positive social change in her artwork. Her enjoyment of visual communication and storytelling has brought her to the California Institute of the Arts, where she will be studying Character Animation beginning fall of 2015.
Mission San Jose High School