Allison Tam – Cultural Heritage

Artist: Allison Tam

Title: Cultural Heritage

Grade: 11th Grade

School: Miramonte

Teacher: Artwork created independently

As a Chinese American, born and raised in the United States, I wanted to express my struggles growing up in the U.S as a Chinese American and how I came to embrace who I am. Growing up, I had a difficult time discovering who I really was. “Am I Chinese? Or am I American? Am I the weird one?” These were the questions that I would always wonder about. I have come to appreciate and understand that this is who I am. I’m well aware that is a universal issue that many people experience. At the end of the day, I can’t change who I am. I can only accept it. There are so many diverse cultures around the world to learn about; we shouldn’t have to narrow our viewpoint to a few cultures. I’m a proud Chinese American because of the sacrifices my family made to be here and my resilience to push our culture forward. I value my heritage and culture. I get to experience both cultures!

Now going in-depth about the art itself, I incorporated symbols that were easily recognizable such as the Chinese characters. These characters were used to depict my Cultural heritage (fun fact: It spells my name!). The bright red, cherry blossoms painted on the textured paper created the impression of an ancient and traditional work. The integration of traditional and contemporary influences compose my art piece. In the end, this artwork represents me and my heritage.