I’m a musician, visual artist and educator living on Gadigal Land, Sydney. I was born in Hong Kong and moved here when I was six years old. I feel most at home when I’m cooking a big meal for family and friends.
Abounding conjures two important Chinese symbols—the colour red and the circle—which represent vitality, unity and harmony. I wanted to combine the old and the new by speaking to the elegant design of Mud products and reimagining Lunar New Year objects as a contemporary still life. Scattered amongst the installation are traditional sweets which make up the 攢盒 or “Tray of Togetherness”, a platter of snacks offered to visitors during Lunar New Year. The candied winter melon, lotus root, melon seeds and mandarins all have lucky sounding names, but I also adore their shapes and textures. Like wheels turning, the paper rosettes represent abundance and moving forward towards new beginnings. The vibrant flowers and green foliage in the centre of the installation symbolise life and growth through adversity, a sentiment I’m sure we share after such challenging times.
Back in Hong Kong, Lunar New Year is a busy time because of the sheer size of my extended family. We eat, watch lion dancing and covertly set off fire crackers in our village. But in Sydney, it’s a little more subdued. It usually begins eating a home cooked feast that my mum has been preparing for days. Think watercress and red date soup, steamed whole fish, stir fried prawns and Chinese greens, tender chicken with minced ginger and garlic, home made New Year rice cake… my mouth is watering just thinking about it! We also exchange “Lai See” (the small red envelopes) as a symbol of well-wishing. After the meal, we often go to the Taoist temple and make our wishes for the new year.
I gravitated towards creative things from a young age. I was obsessed with drawing as a kid and joined all the school bands and choirs. Over time, I refined these skills and fell in love with writing and performing original music. To this day, these practices are tools for me to navigate the complexities of life. So, yes, they are very much intrinsically intertwined for me and often reflect the themes of love, longing and diasporic confusion.
I’m loving Nala Sinephro’s “Space 1”, Teresa Teng’s “我只在乎你 I only care about you” and Yaeji’s “What we drew”.
I’ve got quite a few live performances and exciting commissions in the works so keep yours eyes peeled. I’m also a finalist in the NSW Visual Art Emerging Fellowship with Artspace and Create NSW and will be part of a beautiful exhibition at the National Art School later this year. Outside of creative projects, I’ll be honing my meditation skills, cooking, and remembering to do my vocal warm ups every day.