Reflecting on Growing Up Chinese in Australia
Posted on: 03/03/2015
Complementing the dreamlike Yang Fudong: Filmscapes exhibition and broader China Up Close program, our Growing Up Chinese in Australia talk offered key insights into issues surrounding being Australian-Chinese, understanding racial culture, and the development of a hybrid identity through acculturation.
Our panel of prominent Chinese Australians, including Benjamin Law, Annette Shun Wah, Juliana Qian and William Yang, shared personal experiences and delightful anecdotes about straddling the divide between two cultures. Here are some of the program highlights we captured.
Tonight we're tweeting our Growing Up Chinese in Australia talk! The panel first up discussing their writing. pic.twitter.com/XRBQfDad7D— ACMI (@ACMI) February 24, 2015
William Yang shared his experiences of having his sexuality and ethnicity repressed.
Juliana Qian laid down some poetry about immigrating to Australia.
"The thing is sometimes you can't put a date to a massacre" - a segment of a poem from Juliana Qian. pic.twitter.com/Mxx4tcFvK0— ACMI (@ACMI) February 24, 2015
Annette Shun Wah shared an anecdote about how her mother was not a confident speaker of English and her father was a very traditional man, resulting in the following hilarious story:
Annette Shun Wah anecdote: "my mother didn't get to learn English, though we'd been in the country for 10 years, so couldn't buy me a bra".— ACMI (@ACMI) February 24, 2015
"So my father flew me all the way up to NT to visit Aunty who could help. I maintain it's the most expensive training bra in history" Annette— ACMI (@ACMI) February 24, 2015
Benjamin Law discussed his work which chronicles his family life and then the wider implications of being Asian and gay.
.@mrbenjaminlaw said his mum & dad met in Hong Kong & then made a very brave move coming to Oz "it's actually a very Australian story" (1/2)— ACMI (@ACMI) February 24, 2015
"1/4 of Australian immigrants can claim overseas heritage". Many of these immigrants have Asian ancestry. (2/2) pic.twitter.com/bncOopZ6kU— ACMI (@ACMI) February 24, 2015
After the panelists were introduced, they moved onto broader discussions about championing minority voices to represent a community, diversity in Australian storytelling and what the future holds for the next generation of Australian Chinese.
No one person can be responsible for share of voice representing a community. The panel discuss the need for more stories & diverse voices.— ACMI (@ACMI) February 24, 2015
Audience question: how will children of the next generation connect with their culture? "It's now kind of cool to be Asian" - A.S Wah— ACMI (@ACMI) February 24, 2015
Asian culture itself such as SBS Pop Asia and TV show If You a Are The One is garnering more mainstream attention.— ACMI (@ACMI) February 24, 2015
On expectations of being Asian: "We can't help but fall under the tyranny of appearance" - William Yang— ACMI (@ACMI) February 24, 2015
William Yang mentioned having to "come out as Chinese". The panelists are discussing balancing out their identity and a sense of belonging.— ACMI (@ACMI) February 24, 2015
Growing Up Chinese in Australia talk