100 Colours of Yiyang was a cross-cultural project guided by two visual communication design lecturers from Whitireia New Zealand, Brenda Saris and Alice Moore. One hundred first year students from Hunan City University in China took part in the making of this cookbook. Both students and staff became accustomed to different cultural appreciations through the project which followed a practice-led learning approach.
The students were guided through a series of class exercises based on four main principles of graphic design (balance, emphasis, movement and pattern). These exercises in conjunction with a prompting of ideas and concepts around the food colours of China, created the structure for this bilingual cookbook.
Students elected to work on a traditional dish or a family recipe and drew on memory and personal or cultural associations relating to the recipe. Objects relating to those memories and associations were combined with raw ingredients and used as the media for the various exercises.
The aim was to teach students to envision abstraction; not merely seeing the object, but rather an articulation and translation of shape, colour, texture, tone into form language.