The golden rule in my house growing up was: “speak only Chinese in the house”. Thanks to this teaching, I’ve been blessed with the ability to speak, read, and write in Chinese (almost) fluently, and I see myself and my work as a bridge between Chinese and Canadian cultures.
My family’s story in Canada began in the 1980’s, when my parents arrived as refugees. I was born a couple of years later. We have deep connections to the Chinatown area, and despite living in the suburbs, we made weekly visits like clockwork. Over the years I’ve watched this neighbourhood change a lot, but I’m happy to see and feel a new energy here now, and I love being able to contribute to it.
The plaques I made started simply as a personal passion project; to bring a traditional artform to a modern audience; merging a very human aesthetic with high-tech craftsmanship; combining my father’s Chinese calligraphy with my skills as a maker, to create a new way for others to experience and appreciate Chinese Canadian culture.
I hope to honour not only my family’s history – their hopes and struggles to create a new life in Canada, but also all the Chinese Canadians that came before us, whose shoulders we now stand on.