Hero photograph
Artwork by Victoria Tong
Photo by Otago Polytechnic

Tong's Takeaways

Lesley Brook —

Victoria Tong pays homage to earlier generations of her family.

My name is Victoria Tong, and I am a multidisciplinary artist working primarily with drawings. Through my drawing practice I explore the multifaceted nature of my half-Chinese half-Pākehā identity. I look at NZ Chinese history and culture through the lens of my own lived experience, and I use visual hybridisation to create a space for those in between, such as biracial individuals like myself.

In my work Tong's Takeaways, I have focused on the takeaway shop my family used to own, a common aspect of many NZ Chinese lives. My father often worked in the shop growing up, and he gave my siblings and I a connection to our heritage through the food we cook and eat. I chose to draw dishes that have personal connections to me and present them in the layout of menus you might see in a shopfront. The work also includes an image of the real Tong's Takeaways superimposed over the food drawings, reflecting the layers of history in the NZ Chinese community.