Happy Lunar New Year

January 22, 2023

Haolin Tong put together a photo shoot and video to commemorate the Lunar New Year and his own personal journey as an immigrant to Canada, and being torn between two cultures and identities.
Haolin speaks to this piece of art below:
This film reflects my own mental journey of being a new immigrant in Canada. I was nurtured by traditional Chinese culture and often lacked a sense of belonging here. During the pandemic, I started to think about my identity - I'm 100% Chinese and a Canadian PR, and I want to learn local cultures while not giving up my roots.
The first part of the film is a narrative of how I start my day, which is also a miniature of my life before awakening. Here I use the streetcar as an important medium where I see the street scenes and local cultures. The black-and-white color mode is a reflection of my mood.
The second part is a dream that illustrates how I want to position myself. I use Chinese calligraphy as the background and local models (non-Asian) to suggest that the two cultures are not only in conflict but somehow in harmony. The content of the calligraphy is an article from Han Dynasty that praises Confucius. The clothes are designed by two Chinese students at TMU Fashion School, which reflect their thoughts about living in western society. Also, I use low-saturation colors to incorporate the Chinese implicit and reserved manners into this western modern-style video. Trimming the plant is a use of symbolism to suggest that it is not easy to be an adult immigrant in western society. The title of the film is "合·Conflict". "合" is a Chinese word that means integration, assimilation, and harmony; while "Conflict" is in contrast. As the film reflects, living in a different culture is hard but we can always find a way to see a balance of cultures and make our own inner harmony."
Photographer: @tonggg.hl
Makeup: @chengiki_
Styling: @lan_meteorwyf @xinyu__luan
Models: Hannah, Gabriella & Lukas

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Happy Lunar New Year

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