Sipping Vita is a visual diary and celebration of childhood in two worlds united by common objects and tastes. Part of my childhood takes place in backyard pool parties followed by Eegee’s frozen piña coladas and piñatas amongst the backdrop of sweltering Tucson and Austin. These memories are juxtaposed by cozy meals nestled in busy alleyways “dai pai dong” style in the dizzying urban expanse of Hong Kong.
Vita juice boxes can be found in any HK corner snack bar and is a staple in any immigrant owned grocery store in the Southwest of United States. These piñatas tie my memories together by the potential for a celebration, a nostalgic explosion of familiar flavor on my tongue, and the instant transformation towards reminiscing and longing for a time when life was more simple. Vita is a Hong Kong-based brand, recognized worldwide, and a constant symbol of what little I carry of my parents’ culture as a first generation American, especially amidst the turmoil of the 2021 international uprisings following the sedition act and Umbrella Movement.
The physical act of creating each piñatas by hand and the folk-art labor intensiveness is an act of ancestral memory, of my family’s legacy as immigrant grocery store owners in the 60’s an 70’s. Their journey brought me here and I taste their memory with appreciation and respect.