Cherise Cheung Using nostalgic illustration (懷舊藝術) and poetry to stimulate a sense of cultural connection.

  • Tauira / Student
    Cherise Cheung
  • Kaiako / Lecturers
    Welby Ings, Marcos Mortensen Steagall

For the Chinese diaspora, one’s sense of identity is often shaped by concepts like ‘家鄉 (the homeland) and such notions are often more fluid than fixed so this project will be designed as bilingual (it uses English and Chinese to poetically reflect on the same experiences). By utilising bilingual poetry and the possibilities of the travelogue, nostalgia reaches into embodied experience and outward into communication.
The design project involved a six-week field study in Guangzhou and Macau, during which I recorded in poetry and illustrations, the nature of a constrained and intimate world. This was shaped by my experience of being geographically confined inside a newly implemented government COVID 19 influenza lockdowns. During this time, I created a travelogue of a small world that eventually increased in size as travel sanctions were gradually lifted.
Drawing inspiration from the work of 熬路 Ao Liu, the project presents a distinctive, poetic travelogue titled 忘歸 (The Melancholic Traveller). '忘歸', (wàng guī) contains two words that can be separated. 忘 means to forget and 歸 means to return. This title suggests both nostalgia and diaspora. It contains a gentle melancholy and alludes to a journey back to something that has become frail or forgotten.
By reflecting on‘日常生活’ (engagement with the everyday), the project demonstrates how a design voice that combines image, text and binding can express‘家’(home) by creating a new connection between 懷舊藝術 (nostalgic Chinese art), 龙鳞装(dragon scale binding) and European cyanotype printing documenting 'everyday' using lost traditional crafts as a contemporary vehicle to evoke nostalgic desire and enhance the sense of cultural connection for diasporic Chinese readers concept.