5 Standout AAPI Designers From SHEIN X’s Art Discovery Program
Each created one-of-a-kind pieces in honor of AAPI Heritage Month.
Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month is a time to honor the rich heritage and traditions of AAPI communities during the month of May. This year, global fashion retailer SHEIN celebrated with a block party on May 13 in Houston, Texas, honoring the city’s high AAPI population with its second annual SHEIN X Art Discovery Project. Hosted at the Dan Huang Plaza in Chinatown, the program aims to spotlight local artists and bring their community together. For this year’s celebrations, SHEIN featured five Houston-area AAPI artists: Amy Malkan, Davona Stimpson, Caroline Truong, Amol Saraf, and Dandee Warhol.
The five artists are part of SHEIN X, the brand’s incubator program which empowers up-and-coming designers and illustrators by giving them a platform to design clothing, all while guiding them through the process and ensuring the artists retain ownership rights. For the program’s Art Discovery Program, SHEIN tapped the artists to paint murals on monoliths and picnic tables; the latter of which will live permanently in the Dan Huang Plaza to celebrate the diverse culture of the AAPI community year-round. Both SHEIN and the artists were honored by the City of Houston, its council members, and Mayor Sylvester Turner. The event also featured a SHEIN Sample Sale Pop-up, as well as live music, food trucks, and local vendors.
Ahead, learn more about the five AAPI designers showcased in this year’s SHEIN X Art Discovery Project, as well as the beautiful pieces they created for the event. Plus, explore and join the SHEIN X program for yourself here, and stay tuned @sheinx__official to find out where the next Art Discovery program happens.
Mural artist Amy Malkan paints in a contemporary style, often inspired by her Indian heritage. She infuses purpose and optimism into every piece of her art, with the goal of empowering others to unlock their own untapped potential. The work she created for the SHEIN X Art Discovery project features bright colors that call to her South Asian background, as well as henna-inspired graphics and a mandala design.
Filipino-American artist Devona Stimpson creates murals, paintings, and portraits that combine abstract and realism. She uses bold, vibrant colors and layering techniques that help represent the strength and complexity of her subjects. For the SHEIN X Art Discovery Project, Stimpson paid tribute to her Filipino background by painting a table with aspects of the Philippines flag, incorporating red and blue stripes and an eight-rayed golden sun into her design.
Vietnamese-American artist Caroline Truong has been creating art since she was a child growing up in Houston. As she got older, art became a way for her to work through anxiety and depression, which she subverted with bright colors and her Dream Bird character. According to Truong, Dream Bird serves as a reminder to live a creative life and pursue your aspirations.
For SHEIN’s Art Discovery Project, Truong painted a picnic table with an idea given to her by her mom, who encouraged her to incorporate yellow cherry blossoms, or hoa mai, which symbolize Vietnamese New Year. Truong also included three red stripes in her design to represent the Southern Vietnam flag. Another table Truong painted featured a water buffalo, which is her zodiac sign and symbolizes hard work, as well as Dream Bird wearing a Vietnamese cone hat, or nón lá.
Filipino artist Dandee Danao, aka Dandee Warhol, is known in the Houston art scene for his distinct style. A self-taught artist who is also colorblind, Daneo uses bold, contrasting colors in his work, which mainly features acrylic on canvas. He often uses pop culture influences, as well as famous cartoon characters, to invoke nostalgia. To symbolize AAPI month in the monolith and picnic tables he painted for SHEIN, Daneo incorporated cherry blossoms into his work.
Amol Saraf was born in India, and has showcased his art throughout India, Japan, Sweden, and other parts of the world. He believes that art has the power to heal and make a positive impact on people. Working with different mediums, including murals, paintings, and relief work, Saraf is inspired by both human and environmental nature. His pieces for the SHEIN X project include a display of vibrant colors, depicting images inspired by his Indian background.