Dear 爷爷 (grandpa),
I’m sorry it’s taken and taking me a while…. But I am still searching for your story… after the family has hushed up about it for over 60 years.
Sometimes it’s like I can feel your spirit, but amid the busyness of our lives now it slips away again, like a ghost from the long gone past.
But I know it’s important, and I am inspired by your sense of justice, and courage in choosing a side in those politically turbulent times at the start of the Cold War. Grandma was heartbroken by your death and upset that you “chose politics over family”. Unfolding parts of your story over these past few years I’ve been digging in the archives, doing oral histories in our ancestral village and among your leftist comrades, I can see how it was not a difficult or unusual choice.
I’m pressing on to fill out the blanks in your life story, and that of others whose lives paralleled yours. Please allow me a little more time. I will get there.
绮颖 / Chi Yin
#Work in progress:
One Day We’ll Understand
a book and exhibition project.
I’ll be on a Docking Station residency in Amsterdam through September to work on this long personal project.
With thanks to support over the years it’s taking to make this work, from Asia Society’s ChinaFile, International Women’s Media Foundation, individuals from Ee Hoe Hean Club.