The Pings is a new children’s book idea from CAAMFest 2017 photographer Gabe Chui (who also goes by Gabe Chewy). The Pings is a whimsical fantasy book about adventures through Chinatown, featuring two friends who are more like siblings.
Chui, who launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund the book, is hoping to raise $7,000. So far, the project has raised almost $3,000. They need to raise the full amount by Thursday, June 22, in order to receive any of the funding.
Chui who was born in Chinese Hospital in San Francisco Chinatown and spent a lot of his childhood in Chinatown playing with his friends. Many of his friends lived in the housing project Ping Yuen; “The Pings” is a play on the name.
The idea initially was an animation series that Chui and his animation friends dreamed up in 2009, responding to stereotypical portrayal of Asian Americans. He was spurred into action more recently as Chui’s friends started having children, and wanting this new generation of children to read stories that reflect their experiences. He remembers fond memories of his mother reading with him.
“One of the happiest memories of being a child was sitting and reading with my mom,” he said. “She would spend hours with me looking over all the hidden details in the pictures and making up stories and teaching me words.”
Chui is the writer, while Leslie Lee is the illustrator. CAAM intern Czarina Garcia is their social media manager. Chui studied at Gnomon School of VFX in Los Angeles and has worked on several films. This is his first children’s book.
The digital book should be available by the end of July, with the hard copies arriving in August. If you are interested in supporting the project, please visit their Kickstarter page.