top of page

Threads of Fate: Fragments of the Jamaican Chinese


Acrylic paint and thread on cotton, 27 x 10 in.

There is a Chinese belief that an invisible red thread connects lovers or those who are destined to meet. No matter how far apart or how knotted the thread becomes, it will never break. In many ways, I see Jamaica and China as two lovers. Given my own positionality, one is not without the other; they exist simultaneously.

This art piece was created in Rachel Mordecai’s spring 2021 “Caribbean Family Sagas” seminar at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and has been featured in the small axe salon 36th issue on textiles. View the full artist statement here.


Students were assigned the reading of Jan Lowe Shinebourne’s The Last Ship, which follows three generations of a Chinese family living in Guyana. Much of the novel centres on the Chung family’s matriarch: Clarice Chung. During my reading, one aspect of the novel that struck me was Clarice Chung’s insistence on Chinese blood purity, which is a stark contrast from my own experiences growing up Jamaican Chinese. Thus this scroll attempts to articulate the limits of this type of racial categorization for those living in societies that are increasingly creole and those who are themselves mixed race.

Scroll Making Process Video, April 2021

bottom of page