Chanel Miller: I was, I am, I will be

By Asian Art Museum

A new public artwork at the Asian Art Museum introduces artist Chanel Miller, who represents healing as a three-part process: reflecting on the past, being mindful in the present, and envisioning the future.

Chanel Miller.Asian Art Museum

Chanel Miller is a Palo Alto–born artist and writer. She first came into the public eye as “Emily Doe,” the victim of a 2015 Stanford University sexual assault whose impact statement presented in court went viral. Miller relinquished her anonymity in 2019, when she published the acclaimed memoir, “Know My Name.”

View of Hyde StreetAsian Art Museum

"I was, I am, I will be" is Miller’s first commissioned artwork for a museum and is on view through February 2022. The work can be seen from Hyde Street through the windows of Wilbur Foundation Gallery, located within the museum's new Akiko Yamazaki and Jerry Yang Pavilion.

This virtual tour welcomes you to explore the 75-foot vinyl mural, accompanied by the artist's own words.

I was, I am, I will be, detailAsian Art Museum

"Life is a state of endless becoming. It is vital not to forget where we’ve been, to take inventory of all that we currently have, and to envision bigger lives for ourselves."

"I WAS — In a society that is forward facing and fast moving, there is value in pausing and looking back.The first phase asks us to rest and reflect. To acknowledge the stages we have survived, the people we have loved, and the losses we have accumulated."

Installation views of Chanel Miller: I was, I am, I will be, Brayton Wilbur GalleryAsian Art Museum

"We must make a home for all of our experiences and allow them to take shape. How will we let our past inform us? How will we carry it forward? How will we become bigger than what has hurt us?"

I was, I am, I will be, detailAsian Art Museum

"I AM — The character sits centered, anchored in the present."

Installation views of Chanel Miller: I was, I am, I will be, Brayton Wilbur GalleryAsian Art Museum

"We must take the time to absorb what is happening now without letting life mindlessly pass us by. Pay attention, even to the hard parts."

I was, I am, I will be, detailAsian Art Museum

"I WILL BE — Evolution is inevitable. Should we ever feel stuck or trapped, we can seek comfort knowing we exist in a state of flux."

Installation views of Chanel Miller: I was, I am, I will be, Brayton Wilbur GalleryAsian Art Museum

"The character exits the frame, envisioning a life beyond what the viewer can see."

View of Hyde Street View of Hyde Street by Jenifer K Wofford (American) Chanel Miller (American, b. 1992)Asian Art Museum

"This piece serves as an homage to process, rather than outcome. Healing happens when we are able to incorporate the full spectrum of our experiences and integrate our collective selves. Instead of keeping parts of us in the dark, we deserve to live wholly and authentically. I hope you will honor every leg of your journey, knowing life is infinitely unfolding."

- Chanel Miller

Credits: Story

"Chanel Miller: I was, I am, I will be" is a part of the Asian American Experience, which is made possible with the generous support of Glen S. and Sakie T. Fukushima, an anonymous donor in memory of Ambassador and Mrs. Sampson Shen, and Claudine Cheng.

Sustained support generously provided by the Akiko Yamazaki and Jerry Yang Endowment Fund for Exhibitions.


For more information, visit: https://exhibitions.asianart.org/exhibitions/chanel-miller-i-was-i-am-i-will-be/

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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