Empowering New York’s Asian American Community Since 1989

Eva Chen'S
New York City

“It was so interesting to compare Eva and my different—but shared—experiences growing up as children of Chinese immigrants. In the poster, we look through a taxi window out onto a surrealistic tableau of Eva’s New York City, with the classic #EvaChenPose framing the foreground. Scattered throughout the billboards are Eva’s family (with a nod to her children’s book career), favorite spots growing up and sentimental Chinese foods from her childhood.”

—Sophie Diao, Illustrator

Get Eva's poster as a gift with a donation to Hope Against Hate. Digital downloads start at $25 and printed posters start at $150. All contributions, regardless of amount, fund critical programs that keep Asian Americans safe in New York City and beyond.

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About Eva Chen

Eva Chen is a Chinese American editor, author and vice president of fashion partnerships at Instagram. She identifies strongly with her hometown of New York—specifically downtown Manhattan—and holds a fondness for Chinatown and Washington Square Park. She is proud of her Chinese identity and cultural values, including the closeness of family and joy of eating together.

WHERE AM I REALLY FROM?

“I grew up going to Washington Square Park, not in some ‘exotic,’ far-flung place or whatever otherness you want to put on me. It can be frustrating because people will sometimes explain things to me in a certain way. I was literally an English major.”

—Eva Chen

Parents

“Home is less a physical location and more about where my parents are. There’s a food called huoguo, which translates to ‘fire pot.’ So home is sitting with my parents eating huoguo and, usually, squabbling. I love that closeness of family in Chinese culture. It’s a value I want to pass on to my children.”

Dance Studio

“If someone asks me where I’m from, I say ‘Downtown New York.’ That would be my answer. I feel that encompasses all of me. There’s Chinatown, where I grew up going with my parents. My uncle and aunt had this dance studio there on Mulberry Street called Chen & Dancers that’s a fixture in Chinatown.”

Bao With Grandma


“When I was young—probably about my daughter’s age, seven or eight—my grandmother and I would make bao together. We had this wooden kitchen-island cart, and she’d cover the surface of it with flour to knead the dough. We’d watch it rise in a big metal steamer. I remember the shape of her hands and the ring she always wore when we were cooking.”

Dragon Fruit

“I love buying fruit in Chinatown, it’s the best. A designer I work with has his studio on Canal Street in Chinatown. Every time I go visit him, I bring him a treat. I brought him dragon fruit from one of the Chinatown stalls once. Another time, I showed him the best Vietnamese sugarcane-drink place.”

Mott Street

“The lanterns on Canal Street and Mott Street always make me think about New York. There’s this vendor in Chinatown who sells what looks almost like little French madeleine cookies. They’re made out of pancake batter, and they cost a dollar. They come in a little paper bag, and they are so yummy.”

Washington Square Park

“When I say I’m from Downtown New York, that’s because the downtown area encompasses all different sides of me. As important as Chinatown was to me, I grew up two blocks away from Washington Square Park on University Place and 10th Street. That’s the park I grew up going to.”

MEET THE ARTIST

Sophie Diao

Sophie Diao is a Chinese American illustrator and animator in Oakland, California. She strives to imbue her work with a sense of place. She and Eva Chen have also collaborated on Eva’s upcoming book, I Am Golden, which is an ode to the immigrant experience through the lens of an Asian American child.

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Combat AAPI hate with a donation to Hope Against Hate today, and get a limited-edition travel poster. Digital downloads start at $25 and printed posters start at $150. All contributions, regardless of amount, fund critical programs that keep Asian Americans safe in New York City and beyond.
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