Madness always ensued on the week leading up to Chinese New Year in my mother’s household. It’s as if someone accidentally flipped a switch for all hell to break loose. The floors had to be scrubbed spotless, no dust were allowed to form in any corner of the rooms, clutter was banished and the amount of shopping that had to be done could rival a typical Thanksgiving dinner groceries list for 30 guests. I imagine a lot of Asian households are going through this exasperating yet endearing ritual at this moment.
Since Christmas break I’ve had this idea of a CNY (Chinese New Year) photoshoot swirling in my head. Instead of emphasizing the hustle and bustle of the holiday I was more interested in the quiet moments that I imagine to exist during the wee hours of the morning before the world wakes up. In truth that is also my favorite time of day to collect my thoughts and start creative work. I also wanted to highlight some of the foods typically served for an intimate new year gathering.
With a very clear vision in mind on mood, light and subject I looked to Krissy, a prop stylist whom I’ve worked with before, to help with propping and styling the scenes. She understood my vision immediately and together we had an incredibly inspired day of shooting, styling and experimenting for our personal project.
I’ll be sharing the dishes from our shoot later this week along with a few easy recipes for your own chinese new year meal. For now I hope you’ll enjoy part 1 of our CNY photoshoot, an ode to my favorite bird, the Chinatown roast duck.