Freedom to live life as individuals in multicultural cities

Ayu Baker - Studs - colour pencils on paper (A3) - April 2014

Ayu Baker – “Studs” – colour pencils on paper (A3) – April 2014


As one of body of work, I have produced a drawing as a response to cultural identity in a multiculture city research I’ve conducted. The research was implemented through informal interviews in March and April 2014 with the locals (five Newporters) and migrants (eight participants from USA, South Africa, South East Asia ) who have been living in the city for more than five years. My main question in the interview was “Is it considered to be important to maintain one’s identity and characteristics?”. As we live in multicultural country, the research participants believed that it is considered to be important to maintain their cultural identity. Culture defines their identity, it contributes to how they see themselves and the groups or community they are in. Every cultural group or ethic or community have their own way of living, beliefs and own values. A shared cultural heritage (food, language, values or beliefs) bonds people together and creates sense of belonging through tolerance and acceptance.

So based on the research I decided to produce an illustration that depict about celebration of culture and tolerance. The above drawing is inspired from Norman Rockwell’s painting “Moving in” which was inspired by the early integration movement in America. The figures in the drawing is from this photography by anonymous.


I’ve changed few colour and objects in the photograph so that I won’t breach copyright law and also changed the background into a festive – carnival atmosphere in order to get the feel that I wanted. I’m happy with how the design and drawing turned out. I think by altering the background I have achieved what I wanted which is to include cultural tolerance and acceptance message within my drawing. What I’d like to do in the future is to do more life and reportage drawings. Norman Rockwell’s works has inspired me to learn more about the art of history and editorial illustration.



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