Written by Raymond Fong (Editor) and Megan Blackwell
Megan came to our attention following her successful photography exhibition, “Chinese Roots, Kiwi Branches” at The Circle Gallery in New Market, Auckland. This was a collection of experiences of NZ Chinese that was made in conjunction with an episode of the TV3 show “Both Worlds”.
We are delighted to bring you Megan’s story, a Zhong Shan descendant following the example of her forebears. Extremely talented and using her flair to develop her place in New Zealand’s creative talent landscape. Megan is an excellent example for the AZSCA and truly an inspiration to others of her generation.
We let Megan tell her own story - Megan Blackwell (nee Wong)
“I’m second generation born New Zealand Chinese and I’m a photographer. My parents are Colin & Virginia Wong, and I’m the second granddaughter of Joe & Fay Gock and Alan Ham & Sui Hing Wong. I grew up attending the Zhong Shan and Guangzhou club dinners. I have always been aware of my cultural heritage and keeping our family values and traditions alive. While I didn’t pick up Cantonese growing up I’ve felt a strong connection to the Chinese culture through celebrating Chinese New Year, Moon Cake Festival, observing the Ching Ming and Chung Yeung festivals; going to yum char and learning to play mah jong. I was born and raised in West Auckland and have always been very proud to be Kiwi. At the same time I appreciated the hard work of those who came before me that paved the way for a culturally diverse New Zealand.
I studied a Bachelor of Communications at AUT and worked in broadcasting for a number of years before working as a designer, image processor and assistant for photographers. Eventually I plucked up enough gumption to start my own photography business, Blackroom Photography, specialising in portraits, weddings and events. In 2015 I had my first photography exhibition, “Chinese Roots, Kiwi Branches” at The Circle Gallery in New Market, Auckland. This was a collections of experiences of NZ Chinese that was made in conjunction with an episode of the TV3 show “Both Worlds”. It was an amazing experience and opportunity to reflect on my cultural identity and my journey as a creative business owner. The most rewarding part of making the episode was hearing how so many others related to my story as a young Chinese New Zealander.
It’s vital to my own sense of identity to know where my grandparents and great grandparents came from. The Auckland Zhong Shan Clan Association ensures that I have a living connection to my cultural heritage and link to others who share my experiences as New Zealand Chinese.“
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