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.