What does it take to feel you belong? Kevin Chin, a Chinese-Malaysian migrant, recounts his experience moving from his adopted hometown of Melbourne to Tokyo, and his attempts to fit in. Half diaristic and half photographic, ‘Original Yellow’ provides a humorous insight into cultural belonging, and ultimately questions how we find our place in the world.
Chin’s frustrations adjusting to the new culture are both hilarious and cringeworthy. The photos, selected from over 10,000 taken in Japan, act as parallel nuanced observations exploring Chin’s disassociation with his own ‘Asian’ appearance, what objects and scenes reveal about accepted customs, and a sense of displacement.
Ultimately, his experiences in Japan are used to reflect on his parents’ move to Australia when he was an infant, and the prejudices faced by new Australian arrivals in the present day. It is an examination into social exclusion arising from personal appearance, language and red tape.