My life in Hong Kong was hard, we were very poor and in order for my siblings to go to school, I gave up my secondary education because our family couldn’t afford to send all the children to school. From the age of 5, I started to help with the housework and I would do all the housework and my school work, it was so hard to fit it all in. As the eldest daughter, I did everything because in traditional Chinese culture, sons are seen as more precious than daughters, sons are golden treasures!
At school, I used like to do calligraphy and drawing. I would always take first prize in the competitions. The art teacher asked me to be his personal student and teach me all the skills he’d learnt over his lifetime. He said I had natural talent but also I was the poorest. I said no to him because I am the eldest daughter and one day I will go to the UK to earn a living for my mum. Even at 13, I thought about going to the UK. This drawing, I did when I was 14. It was raining that day and I couldn’t work the fields and because I never waste any time, I drew this.
The day I came to the UK when I was 15, I was so happy, I felt so free. I could be in charge and earn a living. This picture was taken when I was 20 and this is my husband, he was 29. This photo was taken on our first date. I said to him, if we continue dating and don't split up then this photograph will be our wedding photo. We got married a year later when I was 21 and this became our wedding photo.
The artwork represents my story…my life before was like a stone, sturdy and barren. My hope is…I’ve struggled so much…I hope in the future that I can turn a rock into diamonds! From the inside the rock is an explosion and from the explosion, there are bright diamonds! The light is beaming out. I can go around the world on this light. That is my manifesto, tomorrow will be better, my stones will become diamonds!