A project by Wai Yin Society
The panels on display have been created as part of the Crossing the Borders project led by Wai Yin Society. Members of Wai Yin explored how Chinese culture is represented in the gallery, discussing the provenance, significance and hidden histories with curators. They also looked at the artist Li Yuan-Chia whose work was on display in the Speech Acts exhibition. Inspired by this, they created artworks with artist Julie Mosley depicting their stories of migration and expressing notions of hope, loss and joy. The panels have been created by Julie Mosley using individual artworks made by Wai Yin members.
Crossing the Borders has worked with first generation immigrants of Chinese ethnic origin, who migrated to Greater Manchester after the Second World War. This oral history project captured first hand testimonies of people whose lives are intrinsically linked to the recent history of China and Britain. The project records the stories of people who have lived through seismic change. These stories are part of the jigsaw of understanding the connections between Britain and Chinese people from China, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Macau and Malaysia. The full oral histories are to become part of Manchester Library Archives and extracts from the interviews are being made into a published book, which can be obtained from Wai Yin Society.
WHEN THE COMMUNIST PARTY TOOK OVER MAINLAND CHINA IN 1941, MY FAMILY FLEE FROM SHANGHAI TO HONG KONG, SINCE THEN, I STAYED WITH MY AUNT. I WAS BROUGHT UP IN DIFFICULT CIRCUMSTANCES, I HAD TO LEARN HOW TO BEHAVE AS MY GUARDIANS EXPECTED. I FELT THAT MY POSITION WAS PRECARIOUS, AND THAT IN ORDER TO BE INDEPENDENT I HAD TO BECOME A WOMAN WHO IS KNOWLEDGEABLE AND ABLE TO DO THINGS FOR MYSELF.
Excerpt from Shirley Chang’s interview
Funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund