My thesis explores the definition of value in different settings that revolve around Chinese culture. As the child of my immigrant Taiwanese parents and having grown up in a heavily Chinese community, I’m interested in how much trust is put into cash and how immigrant Chinese people mostly prefer cash. These specific habits and preferences when dealing with money are inherently connected to cultural values from the homeland. If cultural values relate back to where one comes from, what are the ideologies that China teaches its people?
For my first project, I made a book called Being Chinese American that documented the way monetary value is applied to objects and spaces in Chinese communities. My second project is a payment app called Hard Cash that budgets your money and visualizes how much money you have left to spend in order to control consumption. This was followed by a third project, another book where I annotate a Chinese political document called Document Number Nine to show how a nation distills its values into its people through propaganda. By looking at aspects of Chinese culture in the United States and in China, I hope to start a conversation about the relationship between the value of money, freedom of choice, and political power.