in her dress in my skin

This photo essay depicts a granddaughter’s embodiment of her grandmother’s traditional Chinese dress, cheongsam. This is a process towards a form of cultural preservation that contributes to understanding the many Chinese Canadian immigrant stories alive in Toronto. The garment is used to symbolize the diaspora community and immigration process of a (female) Chinese immigrant and the narrative as a result. The relationship with the dress also materializes relations between several generations, specifically that of matriarchal lineage. The expression of self through clothes is refracted by family histories of migration and wider patterns of cross-cultural influence.

This is an ongoing photo project. raw + rove is currently looking for other cultures that may share the same narrative and carry garments of similar meaning. Please fill out the form in the contact page if you would like to get involved.