AH MA'S CHILLI
2014 – 2015
Edition of 100
Ah Ma's Chilli is a personal essay that explores my relationship with my grandmother, through my experience learning how to make her special chilli sauce. It is an experimental narrative recipe, interwoven with meditations on constructed myths and memories, language barriers, generational divides, and familial connections.
This 36-page A5 booklet was sensitively designed by Flora Chan. Each one is bound with a red rubber band and packaged in a re-sealable bag – inspired by the way my mother used to pack my grandma's chilli for me to bring from Singapore to NYC. The first letter of every sentence in the full-bleed red pages is white, simulating the aesthetic of the chilli: “bright red-orange pulpy liquid with small white seeds”.
None of these booklets are for sale. The distribution model is based partly on that of a family recipe: I/Flora will give the booklets at no cost to people that we care about and/or who sincerely want to own a copy.
The digital version of the booklet can be viewed here. A version of the essay was published in Issue 4 of the now-defunct Junoesq Literary Journal.