Amy Chen

Loss in Translations (Tiger Mom)

Loss in Translation (Tiger Mom)

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Ink on rice paper with hand marbled cover and linocut

8.5 x 9 inches

2018

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For this project, I translated select passages from Amy Chua's Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother that I felt spoke to the generalized Asian-American experience; because I am not completely literate in Chinese, I translated these passages into the hybrid English-Chinese language that many second generation immigrants speak in, substituting words I did not know in Chinese with English. I chose to use Battle Hymn as my source material because 1. it has become a seminal text for second-generation Asian-American immigrants, and 2. because it speaks to the growing intergenerational gaps that form as a result of cultural differences. 

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As the reader moves through the book, less and less Chinese appears on the page, and near the back of the book, there are torn out characters, which are displayed around the book, emphasizing this loss in language and culture. Due to movement of the pages and viewer, the torn out characters around the book scatter further away from the book as well.