May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, and to celebrate, Panda Express wanted to look beyond the stereotypical success stories that Asian-Americans are known for. And so the inventors of Orange Chicken decided to put people they consider Asian-American Originals on a pedestal.
We worked with photographer Peter Ash Lee to capture portraits of gold medal snowboarder Chloe Kim, actor/dancer Harry Shum Jr., DJ and entertainer DJ SOSUPERSAM, Broadway actor Marcus Choi, blogger Angry Asian Man, rally car driver Verena Mei, and the Boba Guys. To tell their stories, we used a device often seen as a divider—the hyphen—and turned it into a bridge. Each person is more than meets the eye in many ways, and their extended hyphens show that they can’t be reduced to a simple stereotype.