Susan Sponsler

“My new series Yellow Work consists of mixed media, encaustic and photo-based images related to my experiences as an Asian American adoptee. Nobody wants to be “yellow” in America.

To be yellow is to be a coward. Lemons are products that fail; yellow peril names the fear of America being overrun with Asian people; traffic signals and signs use yellow as a color for caution.

My dislike of the color yellow was closely entwined with my low self esteem as an Asian American. In recent years Asian American writers have begun to embrace ‘yellow’. We are taking back yellow, as black Americans turned ‘black’ from derogatory to powerful in the 1960s.

Naming ourselves yellow now comes from acknowledging a history of racism and the strength of our survival.

The Yellow Work series uses the color yellow in abstract encaustic works that incorporate rice and Korean hangul text, in conceptual photos of a young Asian American woman, and in landscapes which feature an element of yellow, either placed or natural to the environment.”