Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Where It All Began Part 1

People often ask me when my fascination with Chinese and East Asian culture began and I am still working on a suitable amusing anecdote to tell. There was no great epiphany and as with so many things in life it just sort of happened. It was gradual and accumulative, starting most likely with food. My parents have been eating out regularly in London’s Chinatown for nearly 40 years. I was taken as a baby in my crib and I must have loved the smell of char siew pork and steamed rice from an early age! Another influence were the books I had as a child that were around the house. In particular there were 3 important ones, the first was given to me by some family friends when I was born (“for baby Baxter” is written inside); Pictures by Chinese Children. It’s a wonderful book full of illustrations of everyday life in China, as drawn by kids. I have scanned in some of my favourite pictures for you below.
There are two other books that were also influential; I shall post about them soon. I hope you enjoy looking at these pictures.


duriandave said...

Those are lovely pictures, Zoë! I especially like "Our Teacher is Still at Work", with the orderly -- but not too neat -- rows of sleeping kids (with personalized quilts), shoes, and chairs with hanging jackets.

I'm looking forward to the other precious books that have journeyed into adulthood with you. :)

Mhairi said...


the title didn't a bell, but the images do, i wonder if i saw that book too as a child.

the earliest intro i can remember to east asian popular culture, is the tv series monkey. so i blame all my obsessions on that!

KIEN LIM said...

Beautiful pics! Thanks!

Madam Miaow said...

It usually starts with a Big Love. You sure there wasn't some Chinese boy you had a crush on?

Great pix.


Lucky Cat said...

Thanks guys. He he Anna, one of my first boyfriends was Chinese/English but that wasn't till I was 14 ;-)