Chanel Miller at the Asian Art Museum

I was, I am, I will be

Chanel Miller on "I was, I am, I will be"
Chanel Miller

As you watch this video, think about how you move through the world, and what experiences you’ve endured. How might you share those experiences with others? What bravery would it call upon in you?

Curator’s Note

“The tenderness of Chanel Miller’s figures, their knowing yet emotionally open features, and the strength of her commitment to togetherness and community as curative make her works universally relatable in this strange moment of politics and pandemic. Imagining the busy street this part of the museum faces as a public platform for expressions of hope is exactly the message of resilience people across this city, this country, and the world, need right now.”

– Abby Chen, head of contemporary art at the Asian Art Museum. Learn more here.

Artist’s Note

“Art requires imagination, and imagination is the key ingredient to empathy. That’s the power of art, it’s letting people see how you move through the world and what experiences you’ve endured. I hope any visitors who come through will see my work and say, ‘maybe this is possible for me, too.’”

– Chanel Miller

About the Artist

Chanel Miller is a writer, artist, and author of the critically acclaimed memoir KNOW MY NAME. She is a 2019 Time Next 100 honoree and a 2016 Glamour Woman of the Year honoree under her pseudonym, “Emily Doe.” Learn more here.

About the Contributor and Organization

Jay Xu, a member of the Academy and of the Commission on the Arts, is Director & CEO of the Asian Art Museum. Located in the heart of San Francisco, the Asian Art Museum is home to one of the world’s finest collections of Asian art, boasting more than 18,000 awe-inspiring artworks ranging from ancient jades and ceramics to contemporary video installations. Learn more here.

Jay Jie Xu

Asian Art Museum of San Francisco
Academy Member
Commission Member

Commission on the Arts

The Commission - drawing on the expertise of its members who are artists, scholars, activists, and leaders, as well as the input of people across the country who participated in listening sessions - dedicated itself to recognizing and supporting the essential role of the arts and artists in American life.