Being adopted from China as a baby and being relocated to an all-white town with white parents wasn’t something I gave second thought to when I was younger. There were no opportunities for me to connect with my own heritage other than eating Americanized “Chinese” food to celebrate Lunar New Year, so I forced myself to assimilate to white culture. Despite assimilating, I felt too Asian to fit in.
Entering college, I found Asian friends (and became part of a Chinese-American club to connect further), where I didn’t have to hide and could explore my Chinese side. However, that’s when I felt my identity split in half. All my Asian friends were either American born or were international and generally knew the customs of their cultures such as language, foods, and being Chinese. I often feel too white at times not knowing how my culture works, unlike my other friends.
Together is a black and white work-in-progress 2D animation highlighting my identity crisis as an adopted Chinese-American. I’ve spent the past four years in a healthier environment, and I’d like to think of this animation as a self-reflection and exploration. Despite having two differing identities, they still work together to make me, me. Adoption and identity are two subjects that I never unpacked and explained to others comfortably, so I’m hoping my feelings and emotions can be conveyed through Together.