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 expectation-defying Asian-Americans. 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.