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Celebrating 8 Asian American Pacific Islander Creatives

Updated: Jan 28, 2022

May has been a month of recognition for the Asian American Pacific Islander community as it is a moment to reflect upon and celebrate heritage. During a time where anti-Asian sentiments have been running high, I want to highlight some of the contemporary AAPI artists, musicians, and dancers who are bursting with creativity, showcasing abilities, and making an impact upon their specialties within the arts. Obviously, there are thousands of AAPI creatives doing astounding work, but I only have time (and space) to explore a few.


[Note: all artwork and videos are property of the listed individual artists and musicians]


Aimee Thieu

Aimee Thieu is a two- and three-dimensional artist, living in Southern California, who works with hand-cut and intricately layered paper. She juxtaposes geometric shapes with organic forms to represent the relationship between structure and fluidity. She draws her inspiration from the ocean, textures, architecture, the balance of space and light, and anomalies that she finds in nature.

Alex Aiono

Alex Aiono is a rising Samoan-Maori-American musician who initially showcased his music on YouTube. He began writing and recording music at the age of 15. He has explored a variety of hybrid genres, playing around with gospel, folksy, hip-hop, alternative, and pop styles. In 2020, this Pheonix-born, Los Angeles-based musician released his first independent album: The Gospel at 23. Aiono launched a podcast Let’s Get Into It, in 2020 with iHeart Radio. He also stars in Netflix’s Finding Ohana. Aiono’s career is just blooming and is someone to continue to follow.

Alex Wong

Alex Wong is a well-known ballet dancer who has danced professionally with the American Ballet Theatre and the Miami City Ballet. Born in Canada, Wong has won awards around the world, however many people may best know him for his time on So You Think You Can Dance, where he snapped his Achilles tendon and had to withdraw from the competition. Despite this setback, two of his dances won Emmy Awards. Since then, Wong made a full recovery and has been making appearances all over the media in the United States as well as overseas. He danced on Ellen and American Idol, has been a guest speaker as universities like Yale and Dartmouth, performed on Broadway, and worked as a choreographer for a variety of projects from the Buick car launch in China to the Disneyworld Christmas Parade. He now teaches dance at the Broadway Dance Center in New York, in addition to performing at a variety of dance conventions and Hollywood films such as Crazy Rich Asians and The Greatest Showman.


Dwinisa is a self-described “artist, craftsperson and adventurer” who moved from Jakarta, Indonesia to New York City in 20210 to pursue the “American Dream”. She fell in love with handmade crafts and explores a variety of materials in her art including leather and metal. She had the opportunity to study under Barbara Shaum, a well-known sandal maker, in the East Village then moved on to learning more about handmade leather production. She is constantly exploring new crafts and had been taking jewelry making classes to expand her knowledge when the pandemic hit in 2020.

Khai Dreams

Khai Dreams is a half-Vietnamese singer from Los Angeles who is a talented lyricist. His lyrics are poetic and transformative, carrying the listener to a dreamlike world. Khai Dream's musical career began on Sound Cloud, where he now has over 58.2K followers. His musical genre falls between indie and R&B. He blends his mellow vocals with acoustic ukulele or guitar and often a lo-fi beat. He describes himself as his own spirit animal.