Chinese Familial Scroll

Relationship: Im/migrant

My stepfather, who is very interested in Chinese antiques, bought this scroll out of his personal interest one day on eBay a few years ago. At first, it was just another artwork but after looking at it for so many years and thinking about my family in China, I started to realize its importance in helping me understand my culture and people. The people on the scroll are not my own ancestors but we still view it as a way to commemorate our ancestors as we can see it everyday hanging on the wall. My family and I come from northern China, a relatively cold part of the country. As I was growing up, I was involved with many family gatherings and celebrations, unlike the experiences I have in the U.S. with my stepfather’s family that is accustomed to Western philosophies and practices. My Chinese family would meet up for every occasion whether it be the Lunar New Year or someone’s birthday. This experience I had helped me develop my strong ties with family members and the idea of filial piety, which is deeply rooted in the Chinese philosophy. In the scroll painting, the people lined up in rows to pose and this lineup has its own meaning as well; the younger people would stand behind the important figures sitting in the front, possibly the grandparents. Although this painting was from a long time ago, I can still relate to the familial ties between the people in the scroll as my family also taught me how to treat people with respect and appreciate the things we have. 

Place(s): China

– Janice Liu

Relationship:  Im/migrant Im/migrant