A tribute to conversations had with first and second-generation Asian women of the diaspora in Aotearoa.
Developing my personal style as a designer has been an exploration of honouring where I come from, the people and communities which have taught and shaped me. I consider graphic design as a platform for sharing stories and uplifting voices, as well as self-expression. A key element of my work is hearing about different perceptions and experiences. My practice is aimed towards sharing these messages through a strong, vibrant graphic style using colour and research to explore this. My work is focused towards editorial and printed media, as I appreciate the physical quality of design. I am interested in how I can use my skills to explore issues which need to be discussed more, to promote conversation around these topics and to preserve this kind of history as physical media.
Goodluck 好运 is a pair of publications created as a tribute to the conversations had with first and second-generation Asian women of the diaspora in Aotearoa. The first-generation experienced the transition of making a life in a new country and passing on their culture. The second-generation experienced growing up in the new country, being alienated from their own culture. While for some families talking about these experiences is a natural occurrence, for others it can be an awkward topic that is difficult to approach. This project would like to highlight the value of this exchange, through sharing both sides of the conversation.
The physical embodiment of this exchange is reflected in the influence of the Lunar New Year red packet through the patterns and illustrations as well as the packet packaging for each book. The red packet was chosen as the inspiration because the process celebrates the giving of luck and well wishes. This reflects the purpose of the conversations between these women as a process of sharing wisdom and wishing luck for the future. The publications were printed with a risograph and coptic bound in order to emulate the nostalgic and genuine feeling of the stories told inside the books.
The interviews were conducted through video call and in person, with a flexible base set of questions for first- and second-gen which changed to fit the flow of the conversation. The project is multilingual, with quotes literally translated from English to Mandarin and Malay to reflect the interaction between identity and language as an important element of this dialogue.
My work is informed by the social and cultural concerns that influence the experience of Kiwi-Asian migrants. This includes looking into the history of Asian migration to Aotearoa and the evolving perceptions of its Asian population. This also includes interacting with the established practitioners who are working in this area including the Migrant Zine Collective, RNZ’s Conversations With My Immigrant Parents, Migrant Journal, and Nansen magazine. These practitioners produce projects which aim to articulate the migrant experience as a resource for other migrants and non-migrants, as Goodluck 好运 aims to do.
This project is being made in order to preserve verbal articulations of history from an Asian female migrant perspective. It aims to give a voice to this minority that is genuine and not overshadowed by external perceptions. It is made as a personal discussion for those who are part of the diaspora as a resource and piece of interest, in order to wish them Goodluck 好运 as they also embark on their own experiences and futures.