The fortune cookie is an American invention. However, its cultural birth was one of institutional racism and trauma. President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed executive order 9066 in 1942 to incarcerate all Japanese Americans on the West Coast of the United States. Unconstitutionally, 120,000 Japanese Americans, two-thirds of whom were natural born citizens, were sent to incarceration camps. Homes, businesses and property were unloaded hastily before the indefinite detention. Omikuji cookie makers in California sold their companies to Chinese families and fortune cookies began to appear in American Chinese restaurants. Lucky numbers and fortunes were marketable messages due to the exoticism and othering of Asian Americans which made its way into everyday U.S. culture.


The Fortune Cookie Archive is a collection of over 25 different fortune cookies for viewers to take. Each of the 25 different cookies holds the date of an anti-Asian hate murder(s). These killings go back to massacres in the 1870's to the present day.
installation at the Gibbs Museum of Art
installation at the Gibbs Museum of Art
Unlucky Numbers: 9, 2, 85 - Rock Springs Massacre in Wyoming.  28 Chinese Minors Murdered.  On September 2, 1885, at least 28 Chinese miners were killed and 15 were injured in an anti-Chinese riot. A newly made chapter of the Knights of Labor mainly comprised of European immigrant miners burned 78 Chinese cabins. 16 White miners were arrested and later released.
Unlucky Numbers: 9, 2, 85 - Rock Springs Massacre in Wyoming. 28 Chinese Minors Murdered. On September 2, 1885, at least 28 Chinese miners were killed and 15 were injured in an anti-Chinese riot. A newly made chapter of the Knights of Labor mainly comprised of European immigrant miners burned 78 Chinese cabins. 16 White miners were arrested and later released.
Unlucky Numbers: 2, 13,  22 - Murder of Christina Lee in New York City, NY .  In the early mornings of February 13, 2022, Christina Lee was followed into her apartment building and stabbed 40 times. Lee’s murder comes during a time when anti-Asian Covid19 scapegoating incidences are prevalent. I feel this murder personally, as she worked at the Eli Klein Gallery with whom I conducted business.
Unlucky Numbers: 2, 13, 22 - Murder of Christina Lee in New York City, NY . In the early mornings of February 13, 2022, Christina Lee was followed into her apartment building and stabbed 40 times. Lee’s murder comes during a time when anti-Asian Covid19 scapegoating incidences are prevalent. I feel this murder personally, as she worked at the Eli Klein Gallery with whom I conducted business.
Unlucky Numbers 6, 19, 21 - The Murder of Vincent Chin.  At his bachelor party, Vincent Chin, a Chinese American was confronted by two men in Detroit, an out-of-work auto worker and his stepfather. At the time, Japanese auto companies were being blamed for the failure of U.S. auto companies and mass layoffs. AAPI individuals were scapegoated. Chin and the two men fought and Chin was killed. The two men were charged and convicted but at sentencing received no jail time.
Unlucky Numbers 6, 19, 21 - The Murder of Vincent Chin. At his bachelor party, Vincent Chin, a Chinese American was confronted by two men in Detroit, an out-of-work auto worker and his stepfather. At the time, Japanese auto companies were being blamed for the failure of U.S. auto companies and mass layoffs. AAPI individuals were scapegoated. Chin and the two men fought and Chin was killed. The two men were charged and convicted but at sentencing received no jail time.
Unlucky Numbers: 3, 16, 21 - Atlanta Spa Shootings. A man entered 3 different Atlanta area AAPI owned spas and killed 8 people. He claimed to be eliminating a sexual temptation.
Unlucky Numbers: 3, 16, 21 - Atlanta Spa Shootings. A man entered 3 different Atlanta area AAPI owned spas and killed 8 people. He claimed to be eliminating a sexual temptation.
Unlucky Numbers 10, 24, 71 - Chinese Massacre of 1871, 18 Chinese killed in Los Angeles, CA.  Police responded to a gun fight in Chinatown over the kidnapping of a young Chinese woman. One police officer and civilian, Robert Thompson were killed. Rioters avenging the 2 deaths quickly grew to 500 people. The rioters took control and dragged the captured Chinese to makeshift gallows. In total 18 Chinese men were hung by the angry mob.
Unlucky Numbers 10, 24, 71 - Chinese Massacre of 1871, 18 Chinese killed in Los Angeles, CA. Police responded to a gun fight in Chinatown over the kidnapping of a young Chinese woman. One police officer and civilian, Robert Thompson were killed. Rioters avenging the 2 deaths quickly grew to 500 people. The rioters took control and dragged the captured Chinese to makeshift gallows. In total 18 Chinese men were hung by the angry mob.