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© 2019 Linhuei Chen

Only after I gave birth to my son, I was confronted with problems of hybridity.

During the first family visit (kraamvisite) after my son’s birth, I heard the comment about his appearance: he looks Asian. When I brought him back to my Taiwanese family for the first time, they said: he looks Dutch. That is the moment that I realized they will be foreign everywhere.

The Cow says they are Chinese, 2018, oil paint on linen

 

October 15, 2038  Sunny 11°C

 

Bubble museum, that’s how Mom called Tate Modern. During the four months in London in 2017 winter, we went there several times to see the exhibitions and street performances. Sister and I were more interested in the big bubble-blowing performance than walking in the museum. Turned out it was the same for her. She told us that she was more fascinated by those bubbles and the children chasing the bubbles than any art work. She said that it was the first time she saw me throwing myself into something completely, and running to the faraway place. It was almost like I and Sister would get disappeared together with the bubbles at the mysterious point. She always gave me some pennies to give to the performers, though they didn’t look like other street artists. They looked like the people who made more than enough money in their life and went there just to create more happiness to people and themselves.

 

On her 50 year old birthday, she went to the Bubble museum and created lots of large bubbles for the children and didn’t need to see the Sarah in the garden. Apparently she had practiced it for a long time. We were all there and had a great time together just like when I was 4.

 

Chinatown boy

 

November 9, 2052 Grey day, 3°C

 

 

Only after I became a mom, I understood how difficult it was when the time Brother asked mom why only he had to go to the hospital to measure his “spierbal”. Measuring spierbal, a cute story that the nurses told little children when they measured their blood pressure. It took her some time to answer:

 

everybody was born differently…

 

It was almost like an event for me to go to those regular check-ups with him. I wanted to be with him all the time. Seeing them put stickers and cables on his body. Everybody smiled like nothing bad there and the nurses were so lovely that they always gave me a set of stickers too after the procedures.

 

 

Fortune cookie girl

 

December 20, 2063 Rainy, 0°C

 

Mom had a yellow beanie with a puffy pom pom on top of it. It was so soft and warm that I often took it from her and buried my face into it even though she told me that I would damage it. I still remember her warm smell in it and her smile when I took the beanie against her will.

 

Chinatown boy