Skip to main navigation menu Skip to main content Skip to site footer


Vol. 3 (2022): Reverting the Gaze: Resisting Humanism & Hegemony in the West

饺子 (dumpling)

January 6, 2022


Offering a glimpse into the Chinese-diasporic experience, I create mundane artworks that elicit the sensation of reliving small joys from my life. In 饺子, or dumpling, in English, a still life drawing of a home-made Chinese pork dumpling is captioned with the word “dumpies!”. The image references a time when my siblings and I were trying to remember what the food is called in Mandarin (none of us are remotely good at the language) and, when that failed, we settled on calling them dumpies instead. The vast negative space of the drawing resonates with the simple design of the subject, gesturing to the sort of echo chamber that can happen when one is comfortable and used to being around folx with similar life experiences and worldviews. The memory of making dumplings in the kitchen with family is rather unremarkable as it was common in my community growing up. But as I embarked on my academic journey, I learned that the experience was alien to many of my peers and mentors – that sitting around a table preparing food with family wasn’t a universal practice. It was a small but disorienting realization. From this, it can be observed that language and food play integral roles as methods of retaining and preserving everyday culture among displaced communities.