Amy Hwang On “Asian Babies: Work From Asian New Yorker Cartoonists”

Here’s The New Yorker cartoonist Amy Hwang writing about the current Pearl River Mart Gallery exhibit: “Asian Babies: Work From Asian New Yorker Cartoonists”

When I started drawing cartoons for The New Yorker in 2010, I did not think much of the fact that I was possibly the only cartoonist of Asian* descent contributing at the time. It was hard enough to get into the magazine, so I was mainly focused on staying in it by consistently sending in cartoon batches hoping that more would sell. Eventually, I realized I was an anomaly. Being the only Asian New Yorker cartoonist contributing at that time, I felt pressure to keep producing cartoons as if I was an endangered species.

My cartoons are not explicitly “Asian” in topic or style, and without seeing my surname at the bottom corner of my drawings, most people probably wouldn’t think that I am Asian-American at all. I decided from the beginning to sign my cartoons legibly with my full name so that anyone seeing them would surmise that I was both female and Asian, both of which are underrepresented groups among cartoonists. I did this in hopes that there might be some recognition of that fact even if it was subconscious. I also did this so my friends wouldn’t ask me which cartoons were mine. But they still did.

Asian Babies
Jeremy Nguyen, Christine Mi, Amy Hwang, Suerynn Lee, and Joanne Kwong (President of Pearl River Mart) are shown L to R.

Nearly ten years later, there are now several New Yorker cartoonists of Asian descent currently contributing to the magazine. Many, like myself, are based in the United States: Colin Tom, Jeremy Nguyen, Christine Mi, Suerynn Lee, and Evan Lian. Alice Cheng and Hartley Lin are in Canada, and Maddie Dai is a Kiwi living in England. All of them seem young to me. Or rather, I feel old next to them. But I am still caught off guard when any of them will mention my work as if it has been around forever. The passage of time is funny that way. I was well into adulthood when my first cartoon was printed in the magazine, but many of them were practically kids.

Jeremy Nguyen approached me a little over a year ago to curate Asian Babies with him. He had the idea to have a group show featuring New Yorker cartoonists of Asian descent, and the Pearl River Mart Gallery was the perfect venue for our small group. The exhibition developed organically. When we started planning, we had about five cartoonists. In late 2018 and into 2019, four more had their first cartoons printed in The New Yorker, so we added them. There is no way of knowing if we included every cartoonist of Asian descent in the show, but we tried our best by looking at everyone’s surnames which certainly isn’t 100 percent foolproof.

Jeremy Nguyen, Nicolette Leung Renz (granddaughter of Monroe Leung – with her baby), Amy Hwang are shown L to R.

One month before the show was slated to open, Jeremy came across the name Monroe Leung. He was listed with other cartoonists who had had only one cartoon published in The New Yorker. His cartoon was published in 1949. Jeremy was able to contact Monroe’s daughter Corinne Leung Katow with the help of cartoonist Michael Maslin, and we secured permission to include Monroe’s New Yorker cartoon and other works of his in our show. I think people will be as surprised as we were when they discover his works among the others. In my view, he was years ahead of his time.

©Monroe Leung, The Sun

Monroe passed away in 2004, several years before my first cartoon was printed in The New Yorker. And while he may have been the only New Yorker cartoonist of Asian descent in his lifetime, I take comfort in knowing he is no longer alone today.

*Asian in this article refers to East Asian and Southeast Asian

— By Amy Hwang

Asian Babies: Works from Asian New Yorker Artists
Pearl River Mart Gallery
395 Broadway, NYC
Open every day, 10 a.m. to 7:20 p.m. Free and open to the public.

Note: this piece originally appeared on a commercial site. It appears here through the kind permission of Ms. Hwang.

 

Video Of Interest: New Yorker’s Cartoon Editor Emma Allen On NYC’s NY1; More Addams Family; A Friday Fave Photo; Today’s Daily Cartoonist & Cartoon

The New Yorker‘s cartoon editor Emma Allen appeared on the New York’s NY1 this morning, along with cartoonist J.A.K.  See it here!

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Addams Family Reviews

The L.A. Times Review

The New York Times Review

For way way more more on Addams and The Addams Family, check out Linda Davis’s 2006 Charles Addams: A Cartoonist’s Life (Random House).

And here’s a link to the official Addams website.

 

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A Friday Fave Photo

New Yorker cartoonists Amy Hwang and Jeremy Nguyen, co-curators of the recently opened Asian Babies exhibit.  The show features work by Ms. Hwang and Mr. Nguyen along with New Yorker cartoonist colleagues Maddie Dai, Alice Cheng, Hartley Lin, Colin Tom, Christine Mi, Suerynn Lee, Evan Lian, and Monroe Leung.

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Today’s Daily Cartoonist & Cartoon

The terrif artist Peter Kuper on Trump, impeachment and the Nobel Peace Prize

“Live” New Yorker Cartoons On Late Night With Seth Meyers And David Remnick; A Saxon In Stockbridge; Mon., Tues. Wed.’s Daily Cartoonists & Cartoons

“Live” New Yorker Cartoons On Late Night With Seth Meyers & David Remnick

The New Yorker‘s editor, David Remnick joins Seth Meyers for the 8th installment of “Live New Yorker Cartoons.” Cartoons by: Ben Schwartz, John McNamee, Maddie Dai, Ed Steed, and Drew Panckeri.  Watch here.

 

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A Saxon In Stockbridge

If you happen into The Red Lion Inn in Stockbridge, Massachusetts as I did this afternoon, you’ll find an original Charles Saxon drawing hanging on a hallway wall just off the Inn’s pub. According to The New Yorker database it doesn’t appear to have been in the magazine. No matter — it’s a lovely drawing (what Saxon drawing isn’t?).  –photo by Bruce Crocker

Mr. Saxon’s entry on The Spill‘s A-Z:

Charles Saxon (self portrait above left from Best Cartoons of the Year 1947) Born in Brooklyn, Nov 13, 1920, died in Stamford, Conn., Dec 6, 1988. New Yorker work: 1943 – 1991 (2 drawings published posthumously). Key collection: One Man’s Fancy ( Dodd, Mead, 1977).

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Catching Up With The Daily Cartoon Cartoonists & Daily Shouts Cartoonists

Today’s Daily is by Teresa Burns Parkhurst, yesterday’s Daily was by David Sipress, and Monday’s was by J.A.K..

Today’s Daily Shouts...“What Your Followers Were Really Saying When They Liked Your Post” by Tom Chitty and Irving Ruan. Monday’s was by Emily Flake.

The Weekend Spill: Liana Finck At The Strand; Illustrated Narrative Of Interest: Marcellus Hall; The Tilley Watch Online, The Week Of September 16-20, 2019

Reminder: Liana Finck At The Strand Monday

Liana Finck’s book tour for her just-about-to-be-released Excuse Me: Cartoons, Complaints and Notes to Self  begins tomorrow at NYC’s legendary Strand bookstore. All the info here.

Ms. Finck began contributing to The New Yorker in 2013. Visit her website here.

And…

From Attempted Bloggery Ms. Finck’s promotional postcards tied-in to the purchase of Excuse Me

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Illustrated Narrative Of Interest: Marcellus Hall

Here’s a really terrific illustrated piece in The Guardian by New Yorker cover artist Marcellus Hall.  See it here.

You can also see Mr. Hall’s spot work in the current issue of The New Yorker (September 23, 2019).

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The Tilley Watch Online, The Week Of September 16-20, 2019

A listing of New Yorker cartoonists who contributed this past week to the Daily Cartoon or Daily Shouts

The Daily Cartoon: Avi Steinberg, Teresa Burns Parkhurst, Maddie Dai, Robert Leighton, and  J.A.K.

Daily Shouts: Liana Finck

Article Of Interest: John O’Brien; Today’s Daily Cartoonist & Cartoon

Article Of Interest: John O’Brien

From Adweek360, September 17, 2109, “The Stories Behind the #AWNewYork 2019 Guide Cover Presented By Hulu”

The cover is by long-time New Yorker cover artist and cartoonist, John O’Brien (he began contributing to The New Yorker in 1987).

Visit his website here.

 

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Today’s Daily Cartoonist & Cartoon…

...is by Maddie Dai, who began contributing to The New Yorker in 2017.