Words and concept by Jess Seeto of Duval Agency ; photography by Rebecca-Marian Irene; styling by Tory Price of Precision Management; hair and makeup by Elisa Clarke.
I am a living juxtaposition, defined simply as ‘Australian Chinese’.
For the longest time, there was shame in being Asian; in the noodles I would eat at lunch (a far cry from a Vegemite and cheese sandwich), in the overbearing hospitality my grandmother showed, in my ink black hair amidst the sea of blonde on school picture day, almost staining the class photographs.
I found solace in was how un-asian I was. “I am only Australian”, I would proudly proclaim in my perfect English, “born and raised.” when, I am clearly not. In constructing a transparent façade, I chose to abandon an identity that I now struggle to relate too.
Though accepting, and learning to embrace my ethnicity, my experience is one that is still tumultuous and deeply complex.
‘an homage to the motherland’ presents my anxiety, discourse and experience with contemporary Chinese Australian culture through a stark and honest visual story.