This is a project full of eclectic components; science, health, upbringing, Chinese culture, and a dual language target market. Homeward explores seasonal eating through family recipes. This is presented through four distinct books based on each season of the year and categorised by its relative foods. The word Homeward refers to the idea of moving towards home or returning to home. In this sense Homeward is more than just the act of going home but also to prepare one’s mentality of returning home. The logo is an ancient Chinese house. This is the simplest form of a traditional Chinese house, with one roof and a single studio room. Living under one roof is a Chinese tradition. The Chinese ideal of living together symbolises harmony, longevity as a united and thriving family. When a family comes together to eat under one roof, the home becomes alive, a source of energy and hope, of urgency and love.
The wooden box itself acts as the house. The box is in a shape of 4 edges and 4 vertices to resemble siheyuan. Siheyuan is a historical Chinese type of residence. In English, siheyuan are sometimes referred to as Chinese quadrangles. The name literally means a courtyard surrounded by buildings on all four sides. In Chinese, 'Si' means 'Four', which here refers to the four sides: east, west, north and south. 'He' refers to the surrounding, meaning the four sides circle into a square. Due to its special layout, it is compared to a box with a garden in the centre.
The interior of the box is divided into 3 sections, for the books and seed packaging. The purpose of seeds is to encourage more people to grow their own vegetables and at the same time grow stronger family relationships; an experience that can be passed down through generations.
The books are bilingual, focusing on individuals from both English and Chinese backgrounds and food enthusiasts. The family recipes are Chinese cookings with western influence. The foods are categorised into each of the 4 season books. The books contain, 3 chapters per book, 4 recipes per chapter, and in total 12 recipes per book. Besides the recipes, the books also include other important information about healthy eating.
Page one with proverbs related to the season
Back cover with the logo
The autumn cover refers to the mid-autumn festival, which is the second biggest festival after the spring festival in China. The day is also known as the moon festival, as at that time of the year moon is at its roundest and brightest. The moon cake is the special food for the festival. Moon cakes are round, symbolising the moon itself, harmony and the reunion of the family.
Fold-out front cover
The summer cover refers to the boat festival; it is a traditional summer holiday. The focus of the celebration involves family gathering; eating zongzi (sticky rice treats wrapped in bamboo leave), drinking wines and racing dragon boats.
The winter cover refers to the plum flowers. Plum flowers are a highly valued plant in Chinese culture. Plum flower bloom in winter. It beautifies its surrounding while other plants shed their leaves and rest in the harsh cold weather. For this special quality, plum flowers are considered as the symbol of endurance, hope, virtue and longevity. It is the national flower of the Republic of China. During winter people enjoy eating Plum flower cakes, which are shaped exactly like plum flowers.
The spring cover refers to the spring festivals aka Chinese New Year. CNY is a time for families to be together. CNY’S Eve dinner is called reunion dinner and is the most important meal of the year. The expression “may every year ends with ample surplus” is an expression people use to wish people to have ample surplus by the end of every year. Thus making fish is a must-have dish on Chinese dining tables every New Year.
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