Taking Care of Business is a new immersive exhibition at the Migration Museum shining a light on the central role that migrant entrepreneurs have played in shaping our lives.
From the food we eat to the clothes we wear, the apps on our phones to the products in our homes, our lives wouldn’t be the same without migrant entrepreneurs. So many of the brands and businesses that are integral to our lives – from corner shops to tech giants – are the products of migration. Yet we so rarely hear this story.
I guest-curated the Chinese takeaway section of the exhibition. Inspired by my own family's Chinese takeaway, I helped design, build, and source materials for the exhibition. I wrote the introduction to the Chinese takeaway, sourcing photographs of Chinese takeaway shopfronts, and families working in the kitchen and on the counter, and interviewed five British-born Chinese second-generation kids who also grew up in a takeaway whose stories you can listen to on the phone. I also commissioned a videographer to film my mother telling her story of when she first arrived in the UK and her time working in the takeaway while she made and cooked spring rolls, which is shown on the television behind the counter.
I wanted to tell the stories of Chinese takeaway owners and their children living in the same place where they work. Capturing the essence and blurred lives of what growing up in a takeaway was like.
The exhibition has been shortlisted for the Best Temporary Exhibition in the Museum and Heritage Awards.