CONCEPT & INSPIRATION
I have always been a food enthusiast. Growing up near the ocean where the smell, taste and feel of all ingredients and the land and water they grow in are so easily available, I am so used to the freshness and rawness of the food, both in the materials used and the way they are prepared.
Because Chinese cuisine is so sophisticated with a lot of variety in different regions of the country, I chose to focus specifically on the seafood of my hometown — Fuzhou (representative of the Min [闽] cuisine) for my book for the communication design class.
Fuzhou is famous for its hot weather and good seafood, and we usually see the freshness of the material as the main criteria for the quality of the dish.
I researched and consulted my family members about the characteristic seafood ingredients, as well as the most common recipes that people use to preserve and accentuate ingredients' original flavors.
I envisioned the final product to be a little booklet is placed on the tea table of living room or hung by the counter, that can be flipped through easily, and can provide a succinct but intriguing overview of how each kind of seafood is prepared in the most primitive way to showcase its flavor.
I started by drawing illustrations of the selected seafood, and explored the way that the delicacy and details of the illustrations resonate with the characteristics of Min cuisine.
The book starts with a quick introduction to the geographic location of Fuzhou in the context of China with coastal scenery. It features five kinds of seafood, each with hand-drawn illustration, a label at the left page that describes the name of the seafood and the other ingredients that go with it, the name of seafood in traditional Chinese at top of the right page, and a simple recipe on the right page oriented vertically to resemble the way traditional Chinese poems are usually written and displayed.