Roots of My Identity

by Po Hsi Huang

← Back to Showcase bachelor of fine arts, visual arts major

Third Year | Graduation year: 2025

This project centres around large-scale portrait photography. This piece delves into identity, the exploration of the position of immigrants and international students, and an attempt to connect and communicate local culture through ingredients.

The featured portrait was captured at the GR. Northern Way & Carolina bus stop. The station name “Great ...” serves as both a geographical identifier and a literal expression of greatness. As international students or migrants, the constant pressures of family, finances, identity, staying, and surviving raise the question: where is the true greatness? Does it lie ahead? As I wait for the bus, I ponder where it might take me — home or an unfamiliar space. Grocery shopping and cooking dominate my life, providing relaxation and exploration. Hence, I use ingredients and daily transit to seek resonance and existence in this city.

Vancouver’s vast terrain, extensive slopes, and the need for transportation make even grocery shopping a journey involving transfers and long walks. Since my arrival, I’ve been wheeling my suitcase to shops, a common sight in this cosmopolitan hub. Interestingly, while the suitcase visually conveys travel, it remains a private space, revealing unexpected contents like my abundant groceries, offering associations of “travel, baggage, and transport.”

Therefore, in this series of photographic works, I reveal the contents of my personal suitcase to showcase my culture and how one’s life intertwines with diverse culinary cultures. This brings the discussion to questioning and exploring one’s existence in a foreign land.

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About the Artist

Po Hsi, also known as CC, is a Taiwanese Canadian artist and photographer based in Vancouver, B.C, Canada.

Her journey in photography and art began in Taiwan, and she continues to create while longing for her homeland while in Vancouver. During her Bachelor of Fine Arts studies at Emily Carr, she keeps exploring her identity and passion for culture through her work.

Her artistic pieces focus on her everyday life, highlighting the ups and downs many immigrants face when coming to Canada; and how to maintain a playful spirit and be sincere while traversing life.

Inspired by her upbringing in Taiwan, she conveys how art intertwines with daily life. CC showcases through her work how culture influences living activities, such as cooking and navigating unfamiliar cities. She explores how we present ourselves and interact with the world around us, transcending language and borders, meanwhile believing that even in meeting basic survival needs, there is room for creative inspiration.

Using familiar mediums such as various drawing media on sketch paper, colour, and various films like Instax 25, Nikon L35AD, and the lens of the 2021 released Samsung A52 (she enjoys this disaster), CC searches for her culture in the increasingly familiar foreign land while further exploring who she is.

Emily Carr Students are eligible to submit their work for consideration in the Showcase.

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