Ponder and Forget Not
Ponder and forget not is a dual-lingual (English and Mandarin) editorial design that explores the complex formation of Chinese Cultural Identity.
The project investigates the concept of cultural identity through the lens of Han Chinese people. The topic is explored through visual ethnography, performative alternative archives, historic surveys, and in-depth interviews.
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Cultural identity is the self-perception of belonging to group culture. It influences what we consume (food, media, concepts) and what we express (language, behaviors, etc). The construction of one’s cultural identity is through assimilation and differentiation across a time.
Language, cultural artifacts, and behaviors become the metaphor to connote a specific cultural image.
Behaviors are learned at first as arbitrary movements, yet are then practiced over time and transformed into a habit. When a habit is shared through a large number of people, there is a ritual formed.
Our daily routines represent our understanding of our past, surrounding environment, and cultures we belong. Performance is a form of archive. It proposes to discover intangible emotions through textual artifacts.
Preserving and reusing objects and expressing emotion implicitly hold true to most Han Chinese people. A performance re-enacting this shared idiosyncrasy will contextualize such abstract concepts.
The project dives deep with my interview with more than 20 ethnic Chinese who have lived in more than one country. With such a diverse group of interviewees, I conducted an interview questionnaire and led follow-up discussions to curate unique content that represents the common threads yet keeps their respective differences.
The information is communicated through a series of data visualizations and a set of curated interview features.