Raeann Kit-Yee Cheung, Artist – Southern Alberta
Born in Hong Kong and raised in Canada, Raeann Kit-Yee Cheung is a photographer who leans on a dual heritage to create work that is both personal and universal. Having immigrated almost five decades ago, Raeann has come to accept she is neither Chinese nor Canadian, but rather someone who embodies a rich ambiguity that helps her confront melded identities to resolve inner complexities. Raeann holds a MA in contemporary photography (2021) and resides in the traditional territories of the Treaty 7 region in Southern Alberta, which includes the Blackfoot Confederacy as well as the Tsuut’ina First Nation, and the Stoney Nakoda. She is one of three artists included in Interior/Periphery, a group exhibition currently on display at The New Gallery.
- Making reading a priority
Reading is a form of relaxation, so I make it a priority. I read many genres from fiction to biography, self-help to technology. If, by a third of the way through, the book does not keep me interested, I go to the next one on my list.
- Hot cereal and fruit breakfast
I have been fixated with having hot cereal and fruit for breakfast for over a decade. Large flakes are the best as they fill me up for at least two hours after breakfast, yet they are not too heavy. Anything else for breakfast just doesn’t seem right.
- Self-compassion meditation
Recently, while my cereal is cooking on the stove, I have been doing fifteen-minute self-compassion meditations led by Kristin Neff. Meditation is not new to me, but I find Neff’s style in leading meditations very comforting, which helps me start the day with elevated self-awareness.
- History of immigration
Immigration has been the main theme of my photographic practice for several years. It will continue to be for a little longer, so I spend much of my time reading about the history and experiences of immigration.
- Gratitude journal
As important as starting the day on a positive note, so is the importance of ending the day with gratitude. Jotting down what I was grateful for during the day is easy. I especially like to include things I have in the past taken for granted – my health, my home, my practice. Doing this every night readily puts things into perspective and helps me unwind into restful slumber.