K-pop is everywhere and growing in popularity, but a British East and South East Asian (BESEA) perspective is rare to find! Asians Have Feelings Too is a beautifully composed song written in solidarity with the #StopAsianHate movement. This original piece of music was created by British-born, queer, trans-male, non-binary Chinese performer and composer The Mollusc Dimension (Missing Parts, 2016; Adventures in Times and Gender, 2020; Breaking the Spell of the Armada Portraits, 2020). Asians Have Feelings Too will be presented at Rich Mix in April, followed by a live panel discussion. Ready or not, BESEA-pop is here!
Asians Have Feelings Too is about being East Asian, LGBTQIA+ and growing up in the UK. Infused with sing-along songs and transformative storytelling, the song promotes the positive portrayal of BESEA and the art of mental health. The song blends magical pop melodies and feel-good dance breaks with subversive lyrics that address anti-Asian racism, but also speaks deeply to anyone who has ever struggled to fit in.
With its universal message of belonging, the song has inspired teachers, parents, professionals as well as intersectional feminists, disability activists and anti-racists. The Mollusc Dimension will now perform this song with a live panel discussion, where they will be joined by dancers from the original music video, Lusty Lovelace and Tim Lytc, along with multidisciplinary playwright Enxi Chang and producer Tuyet Van Huynh, chaired by actress Mei Mac (Call the midwife, 2012; Faa IheIhe, 2016; Sifu, 2022).
Asians Have Feelings Too speaks powerfully and directly to communities that have experienced post-Covid-19 anti-Asian racism. A second pandemic that could last longer than the Covid-19 virus itself, racism linked to Covid-19 is a specific hostility that emerges from the search for scapegoats. Donald Trump has called Covid-19 a ‘Chinese virus’, anti-Asian hate crimes in London have increased by almost 179% in 2020 and global anti-Asian hatred has increased by 300% in the first quarter of 2020 alone Like many ESEAs, The Mollusc Dimension has experienced Covid-19 related racism. The #StopAsianHate movement has spoken out against this crisis to raise awareness of the rise in racist hate crimes and engage in anti-racism action. Asians Have Feelings Too is a case of using the arts and music to raise awareness and influence social change, in an enjoyable, community-based way.
Mollusc Dimension’s comments, We exist – yet we are still erased from culture and the school curriculum. Ultimately, and it may surprise you… I sincerely believe that you don’t necessarily need to be ESEA, Asian or LGBTIQA+ to benefit from Asians Have Feelings Too. Because the message is about things that many people have struggled with or have struggled with – “being yourself” and finding magic in the everyday.
In his role as a piano teacher, The Mollusc Dimension noticed that his BESEA and Asian students lacked institutional and parental support that blocked their access to creative careers. The musician also felt this lack of support, hiding the identity of his partner from his family, but the music became a creative outlet. As he explains, music really helps me with my mental health. I often struggle with a lack of confidence that largely comes from being underrepresented and marginalized as a Chinese, queer and older trans artist of British descent – something this video aims to address!
To raise the profile, voices and talents of artists from bands that have historically been vastly underrepresented in society, culture and the arts, the production team behind Asians Have Feelings Too consists of BESEA, Asians , black, people of color, LGBTQIA+ and disabled artists. . The music video was produced by a team of 17, whose main creators are multi-award winning director Darius Shu, producer Tuyet Van Huynh, multimedia dance creator Tim Lytc and interdisciplinary artist Raisa Kabir.
Asians Have Feelings Too is supported by funding from Arts Council England and supported by Theater Deli.
The event will take place on Thursday, April 28, 2022 at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets are on sale from £10 (£6 discount) and can be purchased online at https://richmix.org.uk/events/asians-have-feelings-too/ or by contacting the ticket office at boxoffice @richmix.org.uk or 020 7613 7498.