Photographer explores cultural identity between East and West

By Cecily Liu ( ) Updated: 2015-02-06 00:30:43

Photographer explores cultural identity between East and West

Photos are on display at the 'Between East and West' Exhibition in London. Provided to China Daily

A popular photography exhibition which explores the identity of individuals within the British-born Chinese community will be shown in London for the second time.

The exhibition, titled "Between East and West", is the work of the British born photographer Mike Tsang, and will be shown at the London School of Economics and Political Science from February 23 to April 1 this year.

As a London-born second-generation Mauritian and third-generation Chinese, Tsang says the mix of cultures in his upbringing has prompted him to search for his roots, and this project is a key part on this journey.

Photographer explores cultural identity between East and West
Mike Tsang

The exhibition documents the stories of 15 British-born Chinese and their families' lives in the UK. Combining photographic portraits, interview excerpts and archived images, the exhibition is a striking portrayal of Britain's Chinese community, which traditionally has had a modest profile in the country.

The exhibition was initially shown in 2012, at the SW1 Gallery in Victoria, London, and has received great audience reception and feedback.

Tsang says British born Chinese viewers visiting the exhibition really identified with the stories shown, and felt a sense of nostalgia when reading through the stories. "And they said, ‘that's my story too.' I think the feeling of being in between cultures is a universal story."

Tsang took 18 months to complete the project after receiving financial support from a Heritage Lottery Fund grant. He found his first interviewees through personal connections, but as word about the project spread, many people volunteered to be participants.

Tsang's interviewees were drawn from a wide range of occupations – an actor, policeman, medical shop owner, music producer and artist, to name a few. Like Tsang, many of them also had families that lived elsewhere before moving to Britain.

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