“A Heart Broken Mask” is a poem and fiber artwork, which expresses the heartbroken feelings about racism and its impact on Asian people and as an Asian during the period of COVID 19.
This is a mask.
This is a cloth face mask.
This is a mask that helped me prevent seasonal flu on tram and subway.
This is a mask that used to keep me warm when I ride a bicycle in winter.
This is a mask that was brought by my partner from China when he visited me in Australia.
This mask was the symbolization of care, health, and love.
However, one day it is suddenly stigmatized as if it is a virus.
It becomes the excuse for the racists and xenophobes to expound their hatred.
People of colour are having anxiety about wearing masks.
Some Asian people are targeted as scapegoats.
Some Asian people are discouraged to wear it and expose themselves to the virus because they try to fit in the “dominant culture.”
The heart of the mask is broken.
Arrogance and prejudice should not have been and cannot be universal.
True freedom and human rights will mean all of us can experience the world with respect.