Invented by the Japanese in the 19th century, fortune cookies have traveled overseas along the paths of immigrants and were carried forward by Chinese-Americans throughout the turbulent history. It is presented in the Chinese restaurant at the end of the meal as an alternative to dessert. This humble biscuit, not well known in the East Asian Chinese-speaking world, has gradually become the ambassador of Chinese food overseas. In Chinese restaurants in Italy, a large bowl is often placed at the entrance counter, from which customers can take a fortune cookie at the checkout. For those of us who grew up in mainland China and moved to Europe, it is a moment of re-encounter with the East Asian immigrants of a century ago, thousands of miles away from home.

On the map of food wandering, we trace the history of human migration and movement between continents and oceans and the trajectory of their personal lives. At the end of the exhibition, we have embedded some dessert recipes from our cross-cultural life experiences into the fortune cookies as a ‘post-exhibition dessert’. We hope these recipes will also find their way into your kitchens, to achieve their cultural wandering and our taste wandering across borders.

The 7th abC Art Book Fair · Beijing (Special Project)

Commissioned by abC Art Book Fair
Co-work with Xijing Xu
Photo by Xi Chen, Xinyi Tian, Xiaoyu Zhao and abC Art Book Fair

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Installation Details