Two Halves, One Whole

The topic of my thesis was cultural identity development in Canada. I wanted to understand how ones cultural upbringing may affect their identity. After conducting primary research through the art of blind contour drawing, I observed how specific neighbourhoods in Toronto were influenced by cultural and ethnic backgrounds represented by it’s inhabitants.

Canada prides itself on being a cultural mosaic. However, the question of what it means to be Canadian remains unclear in a country of immigrants. These series of images visualizes the inter-relationship of my ethnic and national identity.

Photography by Rita Wang.

Nigerian Tuxedo

Nigerian Tuxedo

For the 2012 London Summer Olympics, The Hudson Bay designed denim jackets that were embellished with Canadian themed patches. The Olympians dawned their jackets proudly in the closing ceremony. Inspired by the patch work design of the Olympic uniform and the vibrancy of African prints, this piece contains hand embroidered patches on an denim jacket.

The three dominant ethnic groups in Nigeria are the Yoruba, Igbo, and Hausa. The three hat patches symbolize these three groups.

Nigeria is known as the “Giant of Africa”, with 190 million inhabitants and a large economy. The currency sign of Nigeria consists of the letter ‘N’, with two lines laying across horizontally across.

The flag that contains the half yellow sun and red, black, and green stripes, is the flag of Biafra. The Republic of Biafra, which consisted of states of the present day eastern region of Nigeria, was establish on May 30, 1967, and later rejoined the Federal Republic of Nigeria on January 15, 1970 after the countries civil war.

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Milk Pitcher

Milk Pitcher

Canadians have caught heat for the design of our bagged milk. What better way to turn that burn into fire than to add a splash of ankara? This simple sleeve brings a fun twist to a basic item. Demonstrating that identity and self expression know no bounds.

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Ankara Mittens

Ankara Mittens

It doesn’t get more Canadian than cozying up with a double double, and a warm pair of mittens. These Tim Hortons mittens have been stitched with a West African material, called ankara, to playfully intertwine Canadian and West African cultures.

Lekki Lawn Chairs

Lekki Lawn Chairs

Lounging on a muskoka lawn chair, overlooking the lake is a highlight of any Canadian summer. These miniature lawn chairs embrace West African textiles.