Porcelain Dragon Vase

Relationship: Child of im/migrant

My object is a porcelain dragon vase that was made in the 1900’s in China. My grandpa brought it over to the U.S. after he settled down in New York City. When he came to the United States, he could only bring two suitcases stuffed with his belongings. He could only bring the essentials, so he left all the precious antiques at home in China. Shortly after, he traveled back to Guangzhou, China, bringing with him a vase to hand down to my father.  The vase symbolizes the gamble my family had to take. They did not know if life in America would be better or worse than life in China, but they took that risk. They also risked whether the items in their house would still be there which was another gamble they had to take. In China, a dragon represents power. The dragon on the vase is depicted as in the clouds, and I think this portrays my family because we may look like ordinary Asians, but underneath our flesh/appearance is a power that helped us persevere through our struggles. The vase is also a symbol of endurance because after all these years, it’s still standing. Even though it may appear as just a hollow, porcelain sculpture with drawings on it, to my family, there is a hidden meaning and history behind the clouds. 

Place(s): China, New York

– BK

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