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In Before I Was Born, Tja Ling illustrates the story of her family’s journey from China to the Netherlands, between the 1930s and 1970s, in 14 interconnected pencil drawings. Out of respect and admiration for the way her (grand)-parents built a life for themselves with all the challenges they have had to face, migrating without any formal education or knowledge of the local language. These drawings are a chronicle of pride, strength and respect. A narrative of a child discovering why her parents are the way they are, why they did what they did and how, ultimately, their experiences were destined to also shape her, even before she was born.

Slide through the images to view the project as a scroll. 

Click on each image to see extra info.

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