From immigration and domestic violence, to hate crimes and human trafficking, Attorney Robert Uy has been championing the community as a legal counsel for some 15 years, as well as an advocate.
And now he’s using his artistic talents to fight racism and uplift the community amid the crisis. Just a couple of weeks ago, he launched the Pandamic Clothing Company.
“I’ve been getting stressed out by all of this, I might as well try to make it something positive, and fun so I decided I draw a lot, I’ve been painting a lot, over a couple years, so I was thinking what would be a cool thing. Out of all these characters, I’ve just decided we could work with them — and the whole idea of a Panda, we’re in a pandemic right — so you can’t spell a pandemic without the first part of panda so I had that go together.”
And as hate crimes against Asian Americans have increased during this pandemic, the Filipino-Chinese American artist and lawyer is hoping to spread a message.
“This pandamic shirt that I have is a bear basically telling, putting up two middle fingers, telling people like F-Off in particular, its F-Off to hate, F-Off to people who disrespect you… and sometimes you have a bad day and you just want to be able to tell the world that. Or sometimes people treat you badly and you want to be able to do that.”
“And I think it’s important for us as Asian Americans to take back the narrative, as Filipino Americans to take back the narrative, as people of color to go out and fight… and we can do that through art, we can do that through law through so many different ways.”
In between his legal work, Uy managed to start up the company and the online store from his San Francisco home. Many of the designs reflect his experiences, as well as his friends.
“I’m enjoying it, I like having like a creative outlet, and I like being able to put out some good messaging and putting out things people like and that’s actually the main thing a lot of my designs are things near and dear to people.”
Uy expects the current backlog in court cases will keep him busy when court resumes, but even then, with the fun he’s having with Pandamic Clothing — he said he’ll keep the designs coming and the shop running.