Aimee Lam


Bachelor of Design Illustration Publication Interaction Community engagement Storytelling

In the creative field, I situate myself as a graphic designer and digital media illustrator. The direction of my practice is motivated by family and friends and how I can create content inspired by their story-telling — of childhood, culture, feelings, etc.

The fascination with creating nostalgic pieces emerged with the passing of my grandmother. This is a period in my life that really beat into my head — just how precious our memories with people are. My project has been about preserving our precious moments into a tangible format. It was an intimate and rewarding experience to learn about a friend's past through a social exchange, and I wish to recreate more projects dedicated to my loved ones because of it.

Flashback is a publication series based on four of the human body's senses: scent, sound, taste, and touch. This project was developed from a survey that asked participants questions revolving around childhood nostalgia. Each question involved the association of one sense from the body. The content is composed of external contributions that range from friends to classmates.

Creating a tangible object out of the personal responses I received from the survey is a precious experience for me as an artist. To read these stories and develop a better understanding of my friends and classmates — and then being able to give back a physical reminder of how significant their presence was to this publication series — validated my illustrative effort to do their memory justice. The results from their response are my visual translation of their written answer, the fun lies at the end where the owner can compare the illustrations to their own recollections of the memory.

Objects inhabit memories that vary from person to person because of how we once interacted with it. Our perception of the value of an object is shaped by our past and who or what we associate it with. I’ve broken my publication into a series as I wished to distinguish the way we respond and recall certain events when asked to rely on one sense only. By looking at the results altogether, we can work out what smell lingers in the mind of others most and analyse their reasons for picking it i.e. the familiar smell of baked cookies versus the stink of a bus filled with sweaty classmates — do the bad experiences outweigh the good or vice versa. What are the criteria to remembering one memory over the other, why do some seem to stick forever and others immediately forgotten? Regardless, we should choose to remember the good ones over the bad and we can take solace in knowing that no matter how much time passes, a specific smell, sound, taste or touch can bring back those rush of emotions as if we are reliving them, like a flashback in a movie.