LA illustrator honors Monterey Park mass shooting victims with artwork

A Los Angeles-based illustrator honored the Monterey Park mass shooting victims through his artwork.

Jonathan Chang is an artist who had his work displayed at New York's Times Square last year. When he heard about the mass shooting that killed eleven people, he said he could not believe the news.

"I was just really shocked because I've been doing portraits of the Asian community, victims of violence since 2021, and I always thought the San Gabriel Valley was insulated from all that, and it's really shocking for something to happen there because that area is a safe haven for Asian people and culture and food. It was really heartbreaking to see," said Chang.

Chang depicted each of the victims, using his digital artwork, and also wrote information about each of the victims' lives on his social media.

"We feel really terrible when we read the stories, but sometimes we don't associate a face to the tragedy and I feel like doing a portrait of them and running a snippet of who this person was and who we lost is really important too," said Chang.


The artwork was well-received by the community. Chang said the daughter of the owner of Star Ballroom Dance Studio, where the shooting took place, reached out to him thanking him for honoring the victims.

"It's just really tragic because of the significance of the Lunar New Year. It's usually about new beginnings, so a lot of these people were dancing the night away, celebrating and looking forward to the future. In that context, and I'm Chinese, I can't imagine what the families are going through," said Chang.

Meanwhile, outside the Star Ballroom Dance Studio in Monterey Park Tuesday night, dozens of people gathered to pray for the victims and their families.

"We're here to support, and to have prayer for the deceased as well as the victims that are alive so that they can be more at peace in facing this very critical situation," said Guo Yuan, one of the Buddhist monks who led the vigil Tuesday.

Investigators are still looking into the motive for the shooter who killed the 11 victims before allegedly dying by suicide.