Rachel
Chow

Stories / Me

Why Do I Care About Telling Stories?

I find life stories interesting to tell because they are real. I initially started this project because I felt like there aren’t many storytellers who care about mundaneness and real people in general. I also find mediocre people who aren’t necessarily special or leave an impact on the world special. Their life stories can be simple but fruitful. Hence, I started collecting stories from people in my community, especially women from Hong Kong. 


“This book is all about the in-between identities, cultures, and womanhood.

What is my background and what are the stories of the ladies in this book? 

I was born and raised in Hong Kong for 15 years. It was a special place for me because all of my important friends and family are still there. I came to Toronto at a young age for better art education. I used to be a dancer before I became a photographer, and a visual storyteller. In this book, even though we all share the same background as Hong Kongers, we share different life stories. Therefore, I want to highlight each woman’s life with details to make this book comprehensive. 

What is this book focusing on? 

Women of Hong Kong, their life stage journeys and identity changes. These are the 3 focuses around my conversations and interactions with my subjects. For each woman in her different ages, she could have gone through the same things but in different timelines, the same feelings but in different scenarios, and the same changes but in different ways. Little things like that are what make this book interesting. On top of that, they are not fictional nor fantasy, they’re real. 

What’s my take on identity? 

Whenever people ask me what nationality I am, I pause for a moment. Perhaps because I have dual citizenship, Hong Kong and Canada. I am still trying to figure out what means more to me. Is it the place that I was born and raised or the place that I am settling in?  Interesting enough, different women of the same background have their own answer to that question. 

What kind of person am I and who do I want to become?  

I would say that I am an open minded person. I can see myself as an artist but I wouldn’t necessarily say that I am creative. I am flexible but I also know that I have a lot of things that I do not like to do. When it comes to dealing with technical issues, I am the wrong person. I like to think of ideas, to help people solve problems and to put pieces together. I would say a visual storyteller is a good sum up of what I am and who I could possibly be in the future. I don’t know, who knows!? 

What do I value more?  Photography or content?

I would say I value both. In each woman's story, I featured a chronological timeline of their past to their present selves using images and texts. For the images, I only wanted to focus on their current self appearance and where they are now.  The reason is to present their current self and nothing more. However, a photograph can’t explain one’s whole life. Hence, content writing comes into play to help fill up gaps and piece the timeline together. 

What’s my ultimate goal for this project? 

This book features 6 stories that have never been told before. Although each woman isn't born to be a super star, their life journey is special. Their life is filled with purpose and meaning. Hence, I hope each woman can be proud of herself and embrace her feelings of being a Hong Kong- Can


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