Last Sunday, we co-hosted a community event at Textile Arts Center to celebrate the AAPI Heritage Month. We had an engaging conversation on preserving traditional arts & culture and sustainability, learned indigo dyeing techniques, and had lots of fun. Most importantly, we are reuniting and growing our creative community! ⁠

Panel Discussion on Cultural Sustainability

Tie-dye, embroidery, batik, sewing, and weaving are traditional folk art-making techniques inherited from Asian cultures. Instead of getting lost in time, these intangible cultural heritages are well preserved and reintroduced to the younger generations through teaching, exhibitions, and everyday products thanks to cultural entrepreneurs.

We’ve invited 5 panelists coming from different backgrounds & industries to join this conversation, sharing their knowledge and different roles in preserving culture and efforts they’ve made in creating more opportunities and scenarios for the traditional arts and crafts to attract and serve the modern-day audience. 

From right to left: Event moderator Sally Hong was talking to panelists Tom Chen, Ruoyi Jiang, Feng Ye, So Ye Oh, and Tinglan Huang

(From right to left: Five panelists, Tinglan Huang, So Ye Oh, Feng Ye, Ruoyi Jiang, Tom Chen, and event moderator Sally Hong.)

Meet Our Panelists

Tom is Founder of Kepler Mission Design. He’s also representing Momhandworks, a brand that transforms crafts made by ethnic minority moms into modern design goods. 

Ruoyi is the founder and creative director of CHOP SUEY CLUB, a Chinese design and boutique store located in Chinatown. 

Feng is founder of Sage Collective, a brand that explores the intersection of design, wellness, and progressive social change

So Ye is an artist, making soft sculptures by using various types of fabrics. Also, she is the marketing coordinator at Textile Arts Center. 

Tinglan is a mixed-media sculptor who was born and raised in the south of China and now lives in Brooklyn. She’s currently an artist-in-residence at TAC.

Learn more about our panelists here.   

Indigo Dyeing Workshop

Following the panel discussion, we moved on to the interactive past of the event - a drop-in indigo dyeing workshop. Hosted by artist and designer, Whitney Newton, participants of all skill levels will try their hand at resist-dyeing techniques using blue indigo. 


Meet the Team Behind Olala NYCC

Finally, we got to introduce you to the team behind the Olala NYCC! Founded in 2019, Kepler Mission Design is a multidisciplinary design studio based in New York. We are a group of designers, developers, dreamers and doers who are driven by the mission of amplifying voices of AAPI creatives.

Led by our visionary leader, Tom Chen, we launched “2022 Year of the Tiger" campaign, promoting new, modern designs and products that are rooted in traditional Asian culture. Through the month-long campaign, we've received many positive responses from our customers, which encouraged us to go further and continue our mission. Learn more about our story

Thank you to Our Partners and Friends