Eat bitter is a collection of short stories told through childhood recipes that are not for the faint hearted. This zine is an ode to and celebration of the spirit of the Pang family and their Hakka heritage. A year long project, eating bitter and the idea of resilience and patience in dark times, has grown a sharper cultural significance in 2020. A project that began as quiet introspection has grown into a conversation around protecting and celebrating Chinese culture and cuisine. A portion of the profits are being donated to welcome to Chinatown, an initiative that supports Chinese businesses affected due to increased xenophobia in the wake of COVID-19.

This collaboration spanned time zones and generations. The imagery was created by two female, half Chinese creatives; creative director Lydia Pang and photographer Louise Hagger. The stories, recipes and memories were written by Lydia Pang, with help from her father and grandparents.

The creative direction was born out of the Hakka spirit. Punk poster references echo the progressive and independent culture of Hakka ancestors, lucky Chinese red tones hero but with a purposeful nod into the blood red of meat. The imagery is visceral, textural and immediately grounds you in a sense of place and time, a feeling. This work is deeply personal and aims to shine a light on a culture long ignored.

Because it’s time for everyone to know what Hakka tastes like.


First edition printed zine.

5.5 x 8.5 inches, 88 pages, limited run.

Lydia Pang: Eat Bitter