Hard Read

My audio piece for Powerhouse Museum’s Oscillations project is finally out! It’s a chewy little story about sino/trans inscrutability, visibility and representation. Massive thanks to sound and story wizard Jon Tjhia, and everyone whose voices and ideas are part of this work: Atong Atem, Oliver Reeson, Kate Bagnall and Tim Sherratt, and my glorious chorus. So proud of this. Listen here.

What does it cost to be visible? Chinese and trans people shift in and out of focus in Australia’s historical records – appearing and disappearing, code-switching, oscillating. Through the lens of turn-of-the-century portrait photography, Jinghua Qian looks at the privilege and burden of representation and the luminous power of inscrutability.

Against Disappearance: Essays on Memory | The Saturday Paper

‘Nearly every writer here seems wary of the risks of putting something on the record and into the crosshairs of the governable. The space between the lines is heavy with purposeful omissions as well as inherited silences.’

I reviewed the latest Liminal anthology, Against Disappearance (ed. Leah Jing McIntosh and Adolfo Aranjuez), for The Saturday Paper.

Non-binary finery: can genderless fashion move beyond a label? | The Guardian

‘Genderless’ has become a buzzword in fashion, but what does it actually mean, besides brands being able to double their market for every item?

For The Guardian, I talked to trans and nonbinary designers and retailers about genderless branding, pinkwashing and what labels could do instead of whacking a rainbow on it.

‘I don’t think we should take the gender out of fashion’, says Rae Hill, designer at Origami Customs. ‘Instead of “genderless”, there needs to be more of a fluidity of gender. The gender of a piece of clothing is whatever gender you feel when you wear it, and not that you have to fit into the gender of that piece.’

Photo: Origami Customs.

Folding tofu skins while Shanghai stills | Going Down Swinging

‘When I do refer to recipes, I prefer to use the web, and my usual process is to skim half a dozen recipes from different websites so I can triangulate the common denominators, and then proceed with the laziest version possible.’

I’m not much of a cookbook user but I read, reviewed and cooked and ate my way through Fuchsia Dunlop’s celebrated Jiangnan cookbook, Land of Fish and Rice, for Going Down Swinging – which occupies a soft spot in my heart because it was the first lit journal I was ever published in.

You can also check out the social threads I did leading up to the review on Going Down Swinging’s Twitter account: 1, 2, 3, 4

ICYMI: China Tonight, S3

In case you missed it, here are my stories from Season 3 of ABC TV’s China Tonight.

This one on languages other than Mandarin was so much fun to write and shoot with the marvellous Annie Louey.

And this one on mental health and involuntary treatment, featuring Dr George Hu (SIMHA), Peng Yanzi (LGBT Rights Advocacy China) and Qin Xiaojie (CandleX).

Thanks so much to the team as always and especially all my sources. You can watch full episodes on ABC iview, or via YouTube.

Feast of Resistance | Seventh Gallery

I have a little piece titled ‘In praise of laziness (portrait of my grandma in the frozen section)’ in a new limited edition publication called Feast of Resistance. Curated by Priya Pavri, with contributions from artists Moorina Bonini, Aida Azin, Lara Chamas, Sancintya Mohini Simpson, Shamen Suku and Nikki Lam, it’s launching this Saturday at Seventh Gallery.

Line drawing of people around a table, cooking and eating. The food is in colour.

n-SCRIBE 15

Hot off the press! n-SCRIBE 15 is an anthology of 40 works by Darebin writers and artists (including cover artist Tama Sharman) that you can pick up in Darebin libraries, cafes and bookstores for free.

n-SCRIBE 15, published 24 February 2022. Cover art: Tama Sharman.
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