Who designed it?
All designed by Owen Evans
Tell me about the images?
A Carp in the Tub: “If you want to take a bath, do it today; I’m bringing the carp tomorrow and it lives in the tub till Easter,” said Natalia helpfully. WAIT. Easter is three months away.
A Carp in the Tub is an artist collaboration by Food Stylist Victoria Granof, Photographer Louise Hagger and Prop Stylist JoJo Li. In words, pictures and recipes, it tells the weird and wonderful story of Granof’s winter-long journey to adopt her infant son in Ukraine.
The work is presented as a set: a folded poster and a booklet. Inside the booklet are a suite of seven photographs with corresponding recipes, and a not funny-but funny essay written by Granof. The poster unfolds into an A3 size to reveal the carp in the tub.
Whole Skinny Chicken from the series was an OpenWalls Finalist and exhibited at Les Rencontres d’Arles last Summer. The work won First Place ‘Professional Personal Work’ at PDN Taste Awards last year and is stocked at The Photographers’ Gallery bookshop, Magma, Mag Culture. Donlon Books, Ti Pi Tin Books and it’s part of Self Publish Be Happy’s library. You can find more info here and hear the song that Victoria Granof chose that compliments the work.
A Year in Food is my food annual which charts my food collaborations, commissions and best eats that year. The majority of my work are personal collaborations with an amazing team of innovative creatives in the food and drink industry from New York to Tokyo, which have been published by brands and editorials around the world. Together we make photographs that are impactful and delicious.
It is stocked in The Photographers’ Gallery bookshop, Magma and Daikanyama Tsutaya Books in Tokyo.
How many did you make?
A Carp in the Tub edition of 200
A Year in Food 2018 500 copies
A Year in Food 2019: 350 copies.
How many times a year do you send out promos?
1-2. My food annual A Year in Food is my main printed promo. I wanted to make A Carp in the Tub into a book to create a more intimate relationship with the viewer. It was the perfect way to share Victoria’s story and create space to share her essay and the recipes she wrote from the photographs we created, which document her memories from that time. I wanted to have an interactive element to the work so that’s why there is a fold-out poster to reveal the carp and also the rotation to see the poster in my food annual.
Do you think printed promos are effective for marketing your work?
Absolutely! The response is really positive to receiving something that is considered and in print. It makes people take the time and really look and to ask questions, to share stories, rather that just swipe or scroll. It’s wonderful to hold something tangible that we’ve created from a conversation.
I post out A Year in Food in January with a handwritten postcards to wish my clients, art buyers, agencies and creatives I’d like to collaborate with a happy New Year and hope the work inspires them for upcoming projects that we can work together on. I have had commercial commissions from my food annual, particularly from my personal projects like my kaleidoscope motion work which provided inspiration for Rekorderlig’s online summer campaign.
This year for Chinese New Year I posted out the recipe cards as a preview to the forthcoming Hakka zine Eat Bitter in lucky red envelopes which Roo Williams designed. He made and hand printed the stamp of the Chinese calligraphy (which was designed by Henry Chung). Lydia’s family stuffed the envelopes over the Christmas break in Portland and I met up with her sister in London who brought mine over.
EAT BITTER 吃苦
“Endure pain to taste sweetness.”
A collaboration between two female, half Chinese creatives; Louise Hagger and Lydia Pang, celebrating their love of food and storytelling. Each based in London and Portland, Oregon, this collaboration spanned timezones.
The creative direction was born out of the Hakka spirit. Punk zine references echo the progressive and independent culture, lucky Chinese red tones hero but with a purposeful nod into the blood-red of meat. Bold and blocky typography mirrors Chinese script and is paired with human hand elements, calligraphy by Lydia’s Pawpaw and sketches taken directly from Lydia’s dad’s recipe books. The imagery is visceral, textural and immediately grounds you in a sense of place and time, a feeling. This work is deeply personal, sensorial and aims to shine a light on a culture long ignored.
At Chinese New Year, we want to share the preview to Lydia Pang’s Hakka Zine. A collection of short stories told through recipes that are not for the faint-hearted.
Because it’s time for everyone to know what Hakka tastes like.
I didn’t know Lydia personally but heard her on Creative Director Gem Fletcher’s The Messy Truth podcast and then read her interview on Ladies, Wine & Design talking about her Hakka zine. I’m interested in telling the stories behind food imagery within domestic scenes and around food memories so reached out to her on instagram saying that I would love to photograph her grandmother’s recipes. My work is very colourful and Lydia is a Goth so I wasn’t sure if she would think I would be the right person for the project, but we immediately connected on the story telling aspect, a passion for food and collaboration and sharing similar food memories from growing up as we’re both half Chinese. We met up when she was in London and after sharing ideas online, moodboards and numerous calls, we refined the art direction so we were all aligned before the shoot. I photographed the recipes in London with my team, food stylist Valerie Berry, assisted by Song Soo Kim, stylist Alexander Breeze and photo assistant and retoucher Sam Reeves. As Lydia is 8 hours behind in Portland, we had already photographed some before she had woken up. She loved what we had done and it was wonderful to taste her grandmother’s recipes on the shoot after we had photographed them. My regular collaborators have become friends and so we work very intuitively together. That’s the perfect kind of shoot when each creative is working in perfect synergy to create the work. You can feel the energy, working harmoniously to elevate one another’s work. I can’t wait to share all the images later this year!