Lucy Lu is a Chinese Canadian artist and photographer based in Toronto, Canada. She graduated with a Bachelors of Fine Arts from Ryerson University. She is interested in using the storytelling powers of photography to explore themes of cultural identity, personal histories, and the line between fiction and reality.
She has been apart of multiple exhibitions in Toronto, including a solo show at The Ryerson Image Center. Her work is also featured in publications such as the Globe and Mail, Maclean’s Magazine, THIS Magazine, and Report on Business Magazine.
Da Pi Yuan
In the uncharted corners of my mind live the memories of the first five years of my life in Xi’an, China. Although Toronto has been home for most of my twenty-five years, Xi’an was where everything started. The memories of that time are as clear as they are nebulous, distinctly my own, but of a different lifetime. Having grown up very much embracing my Canadian identity, I’ve found my connection to my Chinese culture growing thin. My level of Mandarin is on par with that of a middle-school student, and my relationships with many extended family members in China have been worn down by distance and time. My limited knowledge of the realities of life in China, and my ancestral history, lead me to question what my responsibilities are to knowing and embracing my heritage.
In an attempt to answer these questions for myself, I returned to my childhood home in Xi’an to rediscover my past in China. I photographed the places and people so vivid in my memories, and explored my nostalgia and cultural unease with a home that I no longer belong to. Through a series of images I try to paint a picture of my connection to Da Pi Yuan, the gated apartment community where my grandparents still live. I lean into the dream-like, fragmented nature of memory, and show my discovery of my ancestral past through archival images and conversations with my grandparents. I meditate on the notions of home and familial relationships as a member of a multicultural family, separated by an ocean.
Da Pi Yuan is an exploration, an homage, and a love letter to my first home. It is a document of my journey into deepening and embracing what it means to be Chinese Canadian.
To view more of Lucy Lu’s work please visit their website.