I recently went back home during Chinese New Year to spend time with my family. After being away from home for almost 2 years due to COVID, I felt a stronger emotional connection with this city where I spent all my time growing up and decided to do something related to myself, my family, and my story with it.
My grandpa’s old traditional calendar that I remembered from very little is the inspiration of this project. He would rip a page every day and tell me what it said on that page and rarely missed any. In this calendar, I try to provide multiple dimensions of the city and its connection with me. There are elements of traditional paper cutting in my illustrations, stories I had with my grandpa in my childhood in Chinese, as well as educational information related to the illustrations in English.
The viewers will curate their path of exploring my story based on prior knowledge and different backgrounds. People who know Chinese, grew up in Beijing, went to Beijing and people who come from different cultural backgrounds will see this work in different ways. And the different perspectives are what value my work.
The project aims to urge viewers to think differently considering time and place. This nostalgic graphic artifacts will help to ground us and center ourselves in a certain time and place. With the appreciation of our experiences, culture, and memories, viewers’ perceptions will change while navigating through my narrative.