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MW Stories

Celebrating Heritage

September 18, 2018

Heritage should be treasured and tradition can be modern and beautiful when you interpret it in your own way.

When I moved from New York to Asia 1.5 years ago, it saddened me tremendously to see how in the pursuit of modernization, many people within the region have chased after westernization and forsaken the beauty of their own heritage. As I moved across the region from Taipei to Singapore and Hong Kong, I have witnessed traditional crafts being viewed as outdated and often forgotten, historical building being teared down and replaced by skyscrapers, and young women seeking to replace their Asian features with western ideals of beauty.  

 

 
Despite it all, I have found glimpses of beauty of my Chinese heritage preserved in hidden places -- from a Cantonese opera house in the alleyways of Guangzhou to a private tea house in the mountains of Taipei. I wanted to celebrate the beauty I witnessed in a big way. With a group of talented friends, we created this photoshoot in the hopes of inspiring a fresh way of interpreting our heritage. With modern clothing made of luxurious silk and the use of red throughout the shoot, we incorporated ideas from our culture without using the obvious imagery often associated with Chinese culture.

 

 
Silk has always had a rich history in Chinese heritage. The writings of Confucius and Chinese legends recount that, in 3000 century BCE, a silk worm's cocoon fell into the tea cup of Empress Leizu when she was drinking tea under a Mulberry tree. Wishing to extract it from her tea, the wife of the Yellow Emperor began to unroll the thread of the cocoon -- and silk was discovered. 

 

 

Heritage should be treasured and tradition can be modern and beautiful when you interpret it in your own way. Today, in honor of the Mid-Autumn Festival, I celebrate with you my beautiful heritage, in the hopes that you will celebrate and embrace yours in your own way as well. 

 

 
 Photography by Allen Tsai / Flowers by Catnip Flowers / Makeup by Make up by Quis


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