Calligraphy Brush

Relationship: Im/migrant
brush encased in a box
brush encased in a box

A common Chinese tradition is making a personalized brush for a newborn baby in order to wish them luck on their academics. This tradition started in the 6th century of the Tang Dynasty when a student used a brush (made from his baby hairs) on a imperial examination and received the highest score out of everyone else. Since then, the brushes are made in the same way to resemble the one that the student used on his exam. It starts by taking hairs from the first haircut of the baby and using it for the brush. After that, it is taken to a store where people who specialize in this task will make it for you.  As shown in the picture, there are several Chinese characters engraved onto it and it is translated as my name as well as my birthday. There is also a phrase that roughly translates to good luck on your studies.  When my father decided to immigrate to America with me and my mom, he strongly believed in the fortune that the brush would bring and so he wanted to bring that hope to America with us. This was also the last thing that I had from my childhood.

Year: 2004

– Abner Leung

Relationship:  Im/migrant Im/migrant