I asked my brother, Alan Chong Lau to contribute his art to The Hakka Cookbook. He studied sumi-e with Nirakushi Toriumi (Nanga School) in Kyoto, Japan from 1972 to 1974 and later received a B.A. in Art from the University of California in Santa Cruz in 1976. He wrote and illustrated Blues and Greens, a Produce Worker’s Journal published by University of Hawaii Press, Honolulu, Hawaii, in 2000. This book of poetry and sumi-e and mixed media paintings draws on his experience at his day job, a produce worker at Uwajimaya’s, an Asian market in Seattle.
On our trip to China, Alan constantly was sketching and painting little works of art. After the trip he transformed them into whimsical colorful paintings such as the salt-baked shrimp that appears on the book cover. However, since the publisher didn’t have the budget for a color book, Alan created new art that would work with the book design. Many of his original color paintings appear on this blog.
Alan also contributed the introductory poem, “the upside-down basket,” which was previously published in Songs for Jadina, published in 1980 by Greenfield Review Press in Greenfield Center, New York.