Annabelle Choi

Cravings: Food for Thought

August 2019 - August 2020



Annabelle Choi is a chef, teacher, and facilitator, interested in food's ability to cross boundaries and connect people from all walks of life. Throughout her career, Annabelle has collaborated with creatives, including design firms Firebelly Design and Here There Studio, publications such as Kinfolk Magazine, and the charity ArtStarts. She also teaches workshops on sourdough and fermenting through her eponymous studio.

For her residency at hcma, Annabelle is exploring how space can change our experiences of food, as well as how our cultural narratives can dictate our understanding of one another. The goal is to better understand how we engage and connect with our neighbours - as well as nature - through our senses and shared stories around food.

The project involves workshops on the techniques and science behind fermentation, spices, cravings and nostalgia, and the impact of our gut on our mental health. With food and community as a means for exploration, Annabelle will be creating challenging, sensory-specific experiences that question our understanding of society and space.

Artist Statement

My residency started with the intention of creating deliciously challenging, sensory-specific, and curiosity-invoking experiences that would question our attachments to food.

Through workshops with hcma staff, we explored how food forms part of our identity, and how it relates to creative practice. But, what emerged was something far more accessible and fundamental.

Tapping into childhood memories — and moments of discovery or hardship — we explored how specific foods and environments triggered different emotions. Through this, I discovered an ever-evolving dictionary of food memories that we all carry, like nostalgia, family, loss, and connection — a collection of experiences formed over a lifetime of using our senses to determine our perception of the world.

Through our own distinct ways of eating, whether by habit or ritual, we either add to our food memory dictionary, evolving and challenging it, or become rooted in our ways. By reflecting on these experiences together, we can better understand issues like addiction, cultural expression, and food security.

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