Published on May 31st, 2019 | by Guest Editor


Panda Express Asian-American Originals Campaign Celebrates The Originality Of Asian Americans

In honor of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, Panda Express—an American company founded by Chinese immigrants—will celebrate originality by sharing stories of Asian Americans from all backgrounds in a visual-forward format, as seen above. Featuring the likes of several public figures such as actor and dancer, Harry Shum Jr. and Olympic gold medalist Chloe Kim, this visual campaign features APA trailblazers across an array of industries to celebrate Asian-American originals. In a hyphen-culture, people are more than meets the eye. They transcend stereotypes, break rules, and combine cultures – bringing fresh thinking to everything they do, inspired by two entirely different worlds. Through highlighting the intricate stories of these APA Firsts, this campaign is intended to uplift the APA community and share themes of cultural duality.

The image-focused campaign was launched through a partnership between Panda Express and fashion photographer Peter Ash Lee—the American Chinese restaurant launched an initiative titled Asian-American Originals which spotlights the stories of prominent APAs through striking visuals alongside impactful hyphens showcasing the many facets of each participant’s personality.

Lee photographed a handful of APA talent, creating beautiful artwork that highlights each Asian-American Original in his or her element. See below for a list of those who participated:

  • Harry Shum Jr. – Best known for his connection to Crazy Rich Asians, Glee and Shadowhunters
  • Chloe Kim – The youngest woman to win an Olympic snowboarding medal at the age of 17
  • SoSuperSam – Samantha Duenas, AKA DJ SoSuperSam is a world-renowned music artist and style icon
  • Verena Mei – Model and race car driver paving the way for women with unconventional dreams
  • Marcus Choi – Broadway performer who portrayed George Washington in the hit show Hamilton
  • Boba Guys – Andrew Chau and Bin Chen who together created a first-of-its-kind, high-end boba tea pop-up which has turned into a brick and mortar store with a national footprint
  • Angry Asian Man – Phil Yu, AKA Angry Asian Man who launched a well-respected blog dedicated to Asian-American culture

Below are the videos featuring these APA trailblazers that reference their views on being apart of this campaign honoring Asian Pacific American Heritage Month.

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