Personal project :: Chinese New Year part 2

Happy Chinese New Year! Or more appropriately, xīn nián kuài lè! On my last post I introduced part 1 of a Chinese New Year photoshoot I worked on with Krissy as a personal project.  It featured a roast duck being prepared for a small new year feast.  The scene was stark and quiet, a mood I’m increasingly drawn to and wanted to capture & embrace.  It’s like the calm before the storm but in this case a storm of good tidings and festive gatherings.

For Part 2, the focus is on the meal itself.  This small feast of steamed sea bass with ginger and scallions, chinese greens, roast duck and tong yuan (sweet dumplings) is comprised of some of the dishes that are often served for the lunar new year.  Not coincidentally, they’re also some of my favorite foods.

Steamed-sea-bass-Chinese-New-Year-Joanna-Yee-Photography

Fish is significant due to its symbolism of abundance, its meaning most commonly captured in the phrase Nian Nian You Yu (年年有余) – translated to every year there’s fish.

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 A whole roast duck (and even pork) is considered a celebratory food and is usually present for wedding ceremonies, Chinese full moon (for births) celebrations and new year.

A whole roast duck (and even pork) is considered a celebratory food and is usually present for wedding ceremonies, Chinese full moon (for births) celebrations and new year.

Ingredients-Chinese-New-Year-Joanna-Yee-PhotographyChinese broccoli-2-Chinese-New-Year-Joanna-Yee-PhotographyChinese-greens-steamed-fish-Chinese-New-Year-Joanna-Yee-Photography

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Like all good meals, there has to be something sweet to end with.  Desserts such as tong yuan (dumplings) and clementines are considered to be auspicious and offers good tidings of luck and prosperity.

With these dishes I wanted my personal project to pay tribute to a traditional meal that many families, including my own, are likely enjoying today.  It was such a pleasure working on it not only because of the significance of the theme but also it’s something I’ve meant to do for the longest time.  I hope it won’t be too long before my next personal project but for now I’ll embrace this one along with what’s looking to be a new year filled with creative projects and opportunities.

p.s. The Huffington Post has featured a piece written by Krissy along with photos and recipes by me in their lifestyle section.  Here is the link to our HuffPost feature.

on-the-table-Chinese-New-Year-Joanna-Yee-Photography

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