Curator Kelly Lan and artist Bo Feng Lin at their exhibition

Curator Kelly Lan and Artist Bo Feng Lin: Against All Odds: Asian Women Who Dared to Be Great (March 14–May 3, 2020)

Hazel Lee. Anandibai Gopalrao Joshi. Thelma Buchholdt. While you might have heard of these women, chances are you didn’t learn about them in history class. You were never taught that Hazel Lee was one of the first Chinese American women to earn a pilot’s license, or that Anandibai Gopalrao Joshi was the first Indian female physician, or that Thelma Buchholdt was the first legislator of Filipino descent in the United States.

Artist Bo Feng Lin, curator Kelly Lan, and Pearl River President Joanne Kwong in front of gorgeous paintings of important women in Asian American history

Curator Kelly Lan never learned about such figures as she was growing up in Bucks County, PA. In fact, she didn’t see much of herself in anything around her. “In school, we never talked about Asian American history or Asian American figures,” she says. “Things like the shape of my face and eyes bothered me. Mascara commercials didn’t apply to me. And I didn’t have the resources to help deal with those feelings. I just want to provide those resources that I didn’t have.”

Curator Kelly Lan with portrait of Hazel Lee, early Chinese American female fighter pilot

That’s why she created Hello Prosper, an educational organization that strives to use storytelling and creative expression to empower children, teens, and young adults with knowledge. This exhibition was the manifestation of that mission. Through the gorgeous and striking paintings of Chinese German artist Bo Feng Lin, AGAINST ALL ODDS shared the amazing stories of some incredible Asian and Asian American women who strove against institutional barriers and adversity to make their marks and achieve their dreams.

Three portraits from the exhibition

Check out a virtual tour below from Kelly and Bo, and moderated Pearl River President Joanne Kwong. 


You can learn more about Kelly in our interview with her, and find out more about Bo at his website.

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