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?
Hard Cash is a payment app that connects to your bank account and helps you budget your money for personalized categories by visualizing your money as bills on your screen. Ideally, it would be used for every card purchase. Another useful part of this app is that each category that you create has a bar that shows how much money you've spent and how much money you've got left to use. The app’s goal is to give you a feel of how much money you possess besides showing a numerical value and help you keep track of your spending.
Being Chinese American is a photographic book examining the ways in which monetary value is applied to objects and spaces in Chinese American communities. It shows images of stores and merchandise with their fluorescent price labels. In addition, I separate the labels from the image so that they are viewed out of context. The book also contains a short anecdote about a second generation Chinese American with immigrant parents. With this book, I hope to express that the way a culture habitually portrays itself can be a reflection of its collective value.