“家” is a multimedia art book that chronicles my experience with intergenerational trauma within my Chinese American family.
Maya Yanjie Wang
My book exposes and chronicles intergenerational trauma within my Chinese American family. Three generations of my family’s history are recounted through interviews, poetry, photos, and paintings. Topics such as parent/child relationships, domestic abuse, mourning, and diaspora are addressed. I created this book not only to document and spark discussion about difficult and painful familial relationships, but also to reconcile my own experiences in an act of catharsis. The narrative progresses and regresses in a nonlinear way to reflect the true process of healing.
I invite viewers to interact with my work and think about their own experiences in tandem. Discussing family trauma is stigmatized, and when left unresolved, trauma manifests in dysfunction that is inherited by the next generation. The conception of this project stemmed from a desire to reconcile my own experiences, but it has developed into the creation of a metaphorical space where people can discuss and reflect on the shared issues and experiences of a minority identity. Art that comes from an honest and personal place has the ability to resonate with people and be a medium for self-reflection – despite the deeply varied human experience – because of universal themes.