Journey to the past

Every Chinese New Year my sisters and I would wear qipao (旗袍). I think the form-fitting dress accentuates a woman’s femininity and grace, creating a beautiful silhouette that you don’t see when she wears T-shirts and jeans.

The Mandarin collar and high slits on the thighs somehow bring out the elegance that we usually don’t have.

In the past few years, I’ve been taking portraits of us in the outfit. Not only it is a good way to embrace our Chinese roots, I like to look back at photos and see how we have changed.

(Above) 2013. One of my earliest portraits taken with the timer on a DSLR.

That time I was learning about facial features and how to look better in photos. I learned that I should NEVER look straight into the camera if I want to look good. I should always tilt my chin higher, turn my face to 45 degree or show my side profile.

I was talking to a friend who’s going to have her wedding photos taken. She’s busy practicing different poses and facial expression. Do you know what’s your best angle?

(Above) 2014. Back when I just got my DSLR, I’d invite my friends and ask them if they want their portraits taken.

This epic photo was from a photoshoot we did at my house. Thanks Grace, Pui Wan, Shi Ying and Yiing Yee for entertaining my crazy idea.

(Above) 2017. My own portrait during the CNY. I haven’t changed much, right…? RIGHT???? I could still barely fit into this qipao.

(Above) 2019. Cheongsam has the magical power to transform my sister Ivy the nerdy workaholic into a graceful lady.

In case you’re wondering, I don’t touch up our skin or facial features. I simply add a filter or grainy texture to give the photos a vintage vibe.

My favourite apps have always been VSCO and Instagram filters.

(Above) 2019. When I was 16, my sister and I would try so hard to change our facial features to look like teen idols. We would put on double eyelid tape, fake lashes and thick liners like the Japanese girls in magazines. Now I love my monolids (单眼皮) and red lipstick. Not going to change anything.

(Above) 2019. My sister Shan. Again, qipao has the magical power to transform a comedian into a real lady. Anyone needs a 175cm model please contact me.

(Above) 2019. This year’s portraits are my favourites. We took these photos in The Gardens Mall, Kuala Lumpur.

(Above) 2019. Happy Chinese New Year from the Yong’s sisters and cousins.

May your year be blessed with prosperity, joy and good fortune.

祝福你, 吉祥如意,出入平安。

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