Chinoiserie Bar

Relationship: Child of im/migrant

My mother left Iran because of the political unrest in 1977—two years before the Iranian Revolution broke out in full. My grandparents were unsure of what was to come, so they sent her to boarding school in England even though she couldn’t speak English and would be thousands of miles away. They who would come to London in 1978 and buy the flat in which this 1950’s bar was found. Out of all the furniture left by the flat’s previous owners, this was one of the few pieces they chose to keep. In a household full of Persian carpets and dish sets from Harrods, I’m sure it stood out. Oddly enough, the chinoiserie on the walls of the bar were one of my mom’s first introductions to China.  When my mother moved to America, this was one of the few pieces she brought with her, and it lived in the home of my great aunt and uncle in California for years. In America, she met and eventually married my Chinese father. After they bought our house in New York, my mom called her aunt and uncle, asking for them to ship us the bar. I like it because it represents a fusion of my cultures. It’s a remnant of my mom’s journey from Iran to America, but style of bar is Chinese, like my father. It symbolizes my own multiculturalism, and its story of epitomizes the unpredictability of life. 

Year: 1982

– Donia Tung

Relationship:  Child of im/migrant Child of im/migrant