A visual feast, Blood Links examines how the Chinese diaspora establish roots in foreign soil, and how over the generations, through intermarriage, blood is mixed; yet the intricate bonds of family remain.
Renowned Australian artist William Yang traces the labyrinthine web of his family history in this adaptation of his iconic live performance piece. Both William Yang's paternal and maternal grandfathers came to Australia from the south of China in the 1880s to dig for gold. Both his parents were born here.
William grew up on a tobacco farm in Dimbulah in North Queensland and was brought up as an assimilated Australian with his Chinese side denied and unacknowledged. In his midlife William claimed his Chinese heritage. This led him to research his own family.
He travelled around Australia and the USA piecing together a family history. He has probably met more relatives than anyone else in the family. He has scores of relatives from all walks of life. Some are rich, but the majority are ordinary folk with ordinary jobs. Most cannot speak a word of Chinese.
There, skilled Chinese immigrants have historically established themselves in business - especially tanneries and shoemaking - and created a unique Indo-Chinese cuisine. Exploring the factors that make up Chinese-Indian identity, the film looks at the Indian cultural stereotypes of Chinese immigrants and the effects of government resettling of Chinese-Indians during the 1962 border conflict between the two countries. A portrait emerges of a hardworking and traditionally enclosed immigrant community, but one that is becoming increasingly assimilated with mainstream Indian culture. Melting Wok pays attention to the unique contributions and experiences of Chinese-Indians, while also helping the audience to understand the larger phenomena of immigration and cultural identity.