By: Helen Tam
Although the culture of yum-cha originally came from the Canton area, it has now been developed as a unique culture in Hong Kong.
I used to go yum-cha with my family everyday during my childhood. We spent many happy afternoons there eating dim-sums, drinking Pu’er Tea and chatting around. The dim-sum aunties pushed the dim-sum carts around in order to deliver popular dim-sums to the regular customers they know. I love beancurd pudding, shrimp dumpling and chicken feet, and always hope that the approaching dim-sum carts are ones that carry my favourite dishes......
The body of this dim-sum cart is made of wood, with scenes of tea houses as viewed from different angles painted on the four sides. These scenes of people drinking tea and peculiar landscapes of the old tea houses are from fragments of disjointed childhood memories. In the past, the tea houses were usually located on the first floor of Tong-lau (唐樓), a kind of old style residential building in Hong Kong. This inspired me to create the Tong-lau using bamboo steamers. If dim-sum carts are designed for holding bamboo streamers, then I think the tea houses are built for the residents living in the other floors of the Tong-lau, both are in an inseparable relationship.
You can discover my memories about Tong-lau by looking through the windows from the bamboo streamers.
About 譚詩慧 Helen Tam
Helen Tam is a Hong Kong local illustrator and the Vice Chairman (2019-2021) of The Hong Kong Society of Illustrators. Her illustrations are always with a sweet and happy feeling, hoping to make people smile and give inspiration. She created the brand “Cafe de Bollo” and launched different products and crossover license projects using the brand’s main character – the Pineapple Bun Girl, Pinana. Helen joined many local and oversea exhibitions including the Design Festa (Japan), Creative Expo Taiwan, Thailand Toy Expo, Beijing Toy Expo, Taipei Toy Festival etc., bringing Pinana going all over. Helen also has a self-published book named “Ah-milk Cafe”.