The Dichotomy of Immigrants

︎ Retelling the story of Chinese immigrants in the UK


‘You can judge the age of a British curry restaurant from its name,’ (Wilson, 2017) The idea of being able to track the experiences of immigrants through their food was intriguing. While looking into the way cultures interacted, I found the dichotomy of the immigrant experience as striking. On one hand, immigrants were often forced to assimilate in fear that being too foreign made them easier to criticise. On the other hand, to completely assimmilate meant that they lost their edge and their ‘exoticism,’ and they’d be criticised for not being authentic enough. Using the format of a willow plate–something both quintessentially English, yet inspired by Chinese art–a vintage set describes the experience of three generations of Chinese immigrants, through their struggles and their triumphs, in a story of what home means to them.

A set of three bone china plates, following a family of chinese immigrants and their struggles.