By Dave Carlin

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Rallies held on the Lower East Side and in Downtown Brooklyn on Saturday used art and culture to combat anti-Asian hate.

It is a good thing artist Bianca Romero can handle heights as beautifully as she designs and paints.

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It is a good thing artist Bianca Romero can handle heights as beautifully as she designs and paints. Springing to life is a prominent mural by her, covering the side of a building on the corner of Delancy and Eldridge streets. (Credit: CBS2)

Springing to life is a prominent mural by her, covering the side of a building on the corner of Delancy and Eldridge streets.

It’s steps away from Chinatown, where escalating anti-Asian assaults there and citywide are responsible for fear and pain.

“During this rise in hate crimes, people don’t have representation and feel like they’re not seen and heard and there’s silence. I’m hoping that a mural this size can help combat that,” Romero told CBS2’s Dave Carlin.

Romero, who is Korean and Spanish, says her multicultural upbringing informs her art, which is bright, uplifting and healing.

“So each person in the mural is holding a bouquet of flowers in their hands,” she said.

Getting to see her at work was a bonus for those attending a combination rally, concert and art fair.

“Today we are called to speak out loud and reach out into the community with this message of love and not hate,” said Rev. Dr. Stephen Ko, lead pastor at New York Chinese Alliance Church.

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Members of the group Martial Artists Against Hate were the invited guests at another rally outside Brooklyn Borough Hall.

Visibility and inclusion make a difference, says internationally known tai chi master Alex Dong.

He moved from his native China to Hawaii and then New York.

Martial arts, he says, bring people together.

“Once you meet other nationalities, different people, you learn how to love them because they’re all the same. It’s just that people sometimes don’t have the exposure to different kinds of people,” Dong said.

He says there is value in teaching people self-defense tricks, but he prefers another approach.

“I don’t recommend untrained people to do certain things. It might not be safe without experience, so I think just be aware be vigilant and just try to watch your surroundings,” Dong said.

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Romero and Dong, the two masters at these two events, show us beautiful art and artistry can help us battle the ugliest problems.

Dave Carlin