Hennessy x David Hoang x Asian Gold Ribbon
Earlier this year, for the lunar new year, Hennessy partnered with Chronic Ink Tattoo to reinforce artistic heritage, celebrate tattoo art, support local artists and shed light on the Asian Gold Ribbon campaign.
When communities around the world welcomed the Year of the Tiger earlier this year, not only did they commemorate the roar of Asian tenacity, fierce courage, and renewed hope, but they also celebrated the beauty of Asian culture and heritage. During the same period, Hennessy initiated a partnership with Chronic Ink Tattoo to commend tattoo art and support local artists and the Asian Gold Ribbon campaign. A collaboration where one of the main goals was to raise money to bring awareness to stop anti-Asian racism.
"I want to bring my work to the mainstream as not many people know what Neo-Asian is, and an opportunity like this is a great way to push that forward," says David Hoang, the Toronto-based tattoo artist behind the name Chronic Ink Tattoo. Hoang enrolled in art school from the age of eight. His art style, predominantly Neo-Asian, is a contemporary take on Irezumi, a traditional Japanese tattooing style created using large scale motifs based on Japanese mythology and religious icons, historical characters and scenes from nature, the elements, and Japanese fables. "I love being a part of this new wave of Asian art – one where you can learn from tradition and make it your own," Hoang further explains.
Well-known in Toronto, Chronic Ink has become the leading name in the tattoo industry. Hoang strives, much like Hennessy, to create meaningful change and lasting impacts through collaborations, mentorships, and community building. Inspired by Hennessy and the 1,000-year-old traditional style of blue and white porcelain paintings, also called Qinghua, Hoang created a design that genuinely blends with the modern and bold aesthetics of tattoo art. This combination represents the intersection of culture, heritage, and vision; of East and West. Whereas the tiger, known as the king of beasts, symbolises strength and leadership and justice and duty. "I wanted to pay homage to a style that has been around for a thousand years and one I grew up looking at. The bowls, cups, and tea sets were all blue and white in my parents' house. Because of that, this illustration feels nostalgic to my childhood," explains Hoang.
Hennessy's partnership with Chronic Ink Tattoo was also initiated to reinforce artistic heritage, celebrate tattoo art, support local artists and the Asian Gold Ribbon (AGR) campaign, a platform developed to create widespread visibility against anti-Asian racism in North America and around the globe. As a long-standing supporter of the Asian community, Hennessy collaborates with initiatives such as AGR to help amplify voices, educate, raise awareness, and advocate for the wellbeing of Asian youth, community members, and seniors. "Hennessy is all about never settling, and I really agree with that; you always want to be the best version of yourself. Never settle is what I preach to my apprentices; you always want to keep pushing it," says Hoang.
The Asian Gold Ribbon campaign's support and dedication to a 21st-century movement that further supports Asian heritage align with Hennessy's commitment to this community. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Asians have experienced elevated acts of racial discrimination, and these experiences predict ongoing mental health struggles. This is aggravated by the shortage of integrated Asian mental health services in Canada. In addition to a donation from Hennessy to the Asian Gold Ribbon campaign, the proceeds raised will go towards the development of the Asian Mental Health Collective in Canada, which will provide essential mental health programs and services for those affected by anti-Asian racism.
People can however support the movement throughout the year by getting involved, speaking up, and speaking out against racial injustices in all forms. Specifically for the Asian Gold Ribbon campaign, continuing to support through donations, invitations to lead discussions in organisations about systemic and institutionalised racism and its insidious nature, follow them on social media and sponsor their organisation. Every year, AGR urges individuals, organisations, and communities to demonstrate visible solidarity against anti-Asian racism and to recognise its profound psychological impact. Throughout the month of May, individuals around the world can wear AGR lapel pins or gold ribbons to signify hope, unity, and solidarity for a better tomorrow.
Asian Gold Ribbon Day will take place on May 20 annually when individuals across the globe join the visibility campaign by posting a group photo/selfie and tagging @asiangoldribbon along with using the hashtag #asiangoldribbon while wearing a gold ribbon.
Director: Iris Kim @kimsauce
Production Company: Andras @andras.ii
BTS Photographer: Alex Han @alx.han
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