Tuesday, 10 September 2013


All Designs and Photographs Courtesy of Meagan Bach

Some moments you realize just how small the world is. A couple of weeks ago a kind lady came into Tiny Space (the boutique where I work part-time as a sales and design assistant), and we got talking about graphic design. She told me her daughter Meagan Bach was a graphic designer and wondered if we knew each other through our studies. She finished a couple of years before me and was studying at a different facility, so it couldn't be possible. However my Sister was in that same Graphic Design degree in the same year and it turns out they know each other! Crazy huh?

After typing in a google search I found a record of her winning an AUT Design Award which her mother had mentioned. Her name and the name of her project "Chiwi Exhibition" was sounding very familiar and I was wondering if I'd seen it at my sister's end of year exhibtion. After looking through one of my inspirational image files, I came across a couple of Meagan's Chiwi postcard designs. These were a giveaway as part of her exhibition and contained her email so I contacted her and asked if I could feature her here on my blog. Her design work is not only amazing aesthetically but it also has some really insightful ideas on the New Zealand and Chinese cultural history.

Here's some more on her exhibition in her own words:
"My interest and research into the retro culture revival and nostalgia in design created an awareness of the common positive responses that these design techniques and aesthetics evoke. 

My question was whether these could be applied to a more complex, unexplored and even controversial issue; one that perhaps does not already project a positive nostalgic reaction.

The general design brief I gave myself after this research was, "A visual exploration and representation of Chinese New Zealand history". The objective being to challenge the perceived stereotypes apparent in society; to provide a visual history that celebrates the Chinese in NZ history that is relatable to all New Zealanders.

Visual pastiche of generalized Chinese culture combined with classic kiwiana allowed a visual exploration of the similarities and celebration of differences between the two cultures. 

Chiwi reveals the irony of New Zealand's limited view of its multicultural history, using recognized cultural icons to familiarize 'the other'. The use of collage techniques emphasize the complexity of the cultural identity of the Chinese New Zealander and its patchwork creation. 

The retro aesthetic not only represents the historical value of the content, but was used to create a positive response towards this unique history that is relatable to all New Zealanders"

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