‘China Dream’ explores the fractured identity of the second generation diaspora as they’re straddled their birth country and their motherland. Teresa Eng, whose parents immigrated to Canada from China via Hong Kong, sought out to explore her ancestral homeland between 2013-2017.
Teresa’s cultural knowledge of a country which she has never lived, contrasts with the reality of a country in flux. Eng witnessed constant cycles of construction, destruction and reconstruction across multiple cities and its surrounding towns. This inspired the stripped back colours of her images which were achieved in the darkroom.
Each visit offered an insight to a country that is in the process of building its future while simultaneously reconstructing and reinterpreting its past, creating a new type of culture. Historical monuments and buildings, destroyed during Cultural Revolution are being rebuilt haphazardly – often as facsimiles of the originals.
‘China Dream’ – the title of a patriotic calendar found at a newsagents –was also a term popularised in 2013 by General Secretary Xi Jinping. It also alludes to the American Dream, where hard work and entrepreneurial spirit will lift up each individual and the nation into prosperity.