About The Co-Founders
The founding collective members, Tomie, ManSee and Betty have deep roots to social justice activism, cultural organizing, and community arts engagement in New York City and NYC’s Chinatown. Two of the three artists are children of low-income Chinese immigrant parents and have been actively organizing around labor and housing issues in Chinatown for over a decade.
Tomie Arai is a public artist who collaborates with writers, architects, historians, curators, and local communities to create work that explores the rich cultural diversity of the Americas. She has designed permanent public works of art for the NYC PerCent for Art Program, The San Francisco Arts Commission, the MTA Arts for Transit Program, the NYC Board of Education and the US General Services Administration Art in Architecture Program. Her latest public commission will be an architectural glass mural for the new Central Subway Station in San Francisco Chinatown, sponsored by the SF MTA.
ManSee Kong creates films and videos inspired by stories of liberation and justice from grassroots organizing campaigns and narratives grounded in social movements. Current directorial projects include a feature documentary about Pvt. Danny Chen, a 19 year-old who died after being racially and physically hazed by fellow soldiers during his deployment in Afghanistan, and “Chinatown Tenant Stories”, a video series about gentrification and displacement through the voices of low-income immigrant residents of Manhattan Chinatown.
Betty Yu is a Chinese-American NYC based filmmaker, multi-media artist, media educator and longtime social justice activist. Her documentary “Resilience” about her garment worker mother fighting against sweatshop conditions, screened at national and international film festivals including the Margaret Mead Film and Video Festival. Betty was a 2012 Artist in Resident with the Laundromat Project. Yu’s interactive multi-media installation, “The Garment Worker” was featured at Tribeca Film Institute’s Interactive 2014. She recently co-created the "Monument to Anti-Displacement Organizing" which is part of the Agitprop! show at the Brooklyn Museum. Betty is the recipient of the 2016 SOAPBOX Award from the Laundromat Project.