Alum King Yaw Soon Envisions World through Animation

Friday, June 12, 2020

DAILY CALIFORNIAN (UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, BERKELEY) -- King Yaw Soon, a filmmaker originally from Malaysia and currently based in San Francisco, has always been an imaginative creator. As an alumnus of San Francisco State University, Soon studied Cinema, but before that, Soon trained as a watercolor painter and participated in the Chinese orchestra during high school. His most recent short films, “All I Did Was Smile and Say Hello” and “My Mother, Myself and I,” highlight his attentive, dedicated approach to filmmaking.

“All I Did Was Smile and Say Hello,” the opening film at the KQED Homemade Film Festival, takes on a range of relevant themes and brings awareness to the increased discrimination of the Asian American community during the time of the COVID-19 pandemic. As an Asian American artist, Soon feels it is crucial for his work to reflect his lived experiences and spread messages of solidarity.

“I was alarmed by the amount of hate and violence one can inflict on others based on the color of the skin when the real enemy is the invisible virus,” Soon revealed. “As an artist, I try to process the pain by making art, so something beautiful can grow out of the experience.”