"This is our culture"
Those were the words uttered to me by my Grand Father as we stood by the flickering flames of the burning Joss paper, held in a metal contraption custom built by workers in his factory, as the last embers of sunlight filtered through the back garden. Chinese culture is something I have tried to repress into the deepest recesses of my consciousness for the majority of my life. Growing up as a Chinese Australian, in what was a culturally Australian school with Anglo-Saxon values, I was acutely aware of how different I was. As a result, my reaction to this was an attempt to reject my cultural heritage. As I grow to understand my cultural heritage and family past, I am learning to accept how deeply rich it is. This richness is something I have tried to convey through the colours in these photos. For me, these images evoke my earliest childhood memories when my parents still lived with my Grand Parents (which is the cultural norm). The Westernised adaption of my culture, of tacky red decorations and dirty crowded fishtanks, is something that I have learned to accept as simply that, an adaption. As I live my life, walking the tightrope between cultures and stuck in an identity "no man's land", at least I now understand a little more of both sides.