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Victim of anti-Asian assault turns pain into art with proceeds benefitting local nonprofit

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    NEW YORK (WCBS) — Amid the rise in hate crimes against Asian Americans in New York, one assault victim is using his pain to help the Asian community.

CBS2’s Ali Bauman spoke to an artist who was attacked while waiting for the subway. He is one of many Asian New Yorkers targeted in recent weeks.

Manhattan artist Linjie Deng created three pieces last week after he was assaulted on the subway platform at 86th Street.

“I tried to make it look like a gun hole,” he said about one piece.

The art is beautiful, but the inspiration is ugly.

“Some tall guy suddenly ran towards me and yelled at me, ‘Get the [expletive] out of my way, you [expletive] yellow,’” Deng said.

He says the man pushed him to the ground and hit him with his backpack. Plenty of people were around, but nobody stepped in.

Stewart Loo, the commanding officer of the NYPD’s Asian hate crimes task force told CBS2 sadly, that is common.

“I speak to a lot of my victims,” he said. “What they tell me is, ‘I’m being attacked. I’m verbally being assaulted, and the worst thing is that there’s so many people around and they’re not doing anything.’”

Sources tell CBS2 the NYPD will be deploying plain clothes officers to help gather intel and quickly respond to hate crime incidents, hoping that will encourage cooperation while protecting the community.

Crimes against Asian Americans have long been underreported. Even Deng did not call police.

“I question myself. I feel, what did I do wrong?” he said.

Hours after his assault, six Asian women were among eight people gunned down in Atlanta spas.

“One word spinning in my mind is [expletive] yellow,” Deng said. “As an artist, I decided to make some art with the yellow color.”

He’s reclaiming the slur to express his pain and promote peace.

The pieces are now on display at Carlton Fine Arts in Midtown. The proceeds will go to a nonprofit called “Think Chinatown.”

“What do you hope people feel when they see this?” Bauman asked.

“Most times, we say, ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover,’ and now they judge you by skin color. Whatever, who you are, your race, be proud of yourself and be smart and stay safe,” Deng said.

To learn more about Deng and his art, visit

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