• 2021

  • Communication

Designed By:

Commissioned By:


Designed In:


The Second Life is a book about the living conditions in Sydney of Chinese transnational grandparents. It describes the issues faced by this cultural group of integrating into the new environment, through imagery and the written word. By highlighting these issues, we wish to raise public interest in the hope that this may help alleviate problems.

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  • According to the survey, it has become a common phenomenon for Chinese transnational grandparents to live in some specific communities where Chinese always serves as the majority of race in this area. Due to their poor English level and traditional Chinese living habits, they are very dependent on their adult children and face some mental and physical problems about social isolation. In this way, this book is to make more people reverberate empathetically and understand this cultural group by recording their lives.

  • The Second life is a book of 5cm*5cm*5cm size that intuitively records my observations, surveys and interviews and is utilized by a unique binding book mode to convey my emotion. The book is divided into three parts. The first part is Blend In, which records their lifestyle of different cultural convergence in Sydney. The second part is Grandparental Love, which shows their family-centered life by visual language. The third part is Lost Balance, which records the imbalance of their lives through visual language. Most importantly, this book is applied by a form of interview with Chinese elderly by bilingual language.

  • One of the most direct way to record Chinese transnational grandparents story is used by interview transcript for this book, combining with the deformation and redesign of text in bilingual English words and Chinese characters. This could contribute to the clear understanding of this cultural group for the non-Chinese Australians so that more attention and aid could be placed on this group, which could help this group easily integrate into Australia society and promote social diversity and sustainable development.

  • The first feature is the transformation of text form for the visual effect of the whole book. Since Chinese character is pictographic, the Chinese character is used as an element of the design for visual design, making it a representative element of Chinese grandparents. In this way, the difficulty of reading after deformation is also a way to show the dilemma they face in a society where the language barrier is different. Corresponding to the deformation of Chinese, English words are also used as visual elements to design in this book. Another feature is to redesign elements with the characteristics of Sydney life in my design so as to cooperate with the design of words, such as words on coffee cups, roadside signs and Coles shopping bags. The most important feature is to apply extended design to combine with the visual effect of the whole book. This means some pages of this book are frozen into ice, showing the procedure of slowly melting in order for the metaphor of the process of this group slowly integrating into Sydney. Eventually, appearance of ice is simulated by epoxy as another form of book presentation, which breaks the traditional form of printed book.