Sweden’s Chinese restaurants are a recurring theme in your work. Why are they such a compelling subject? My parents and grandmother owned a restaurant in Stockholm called Bamboo Garden until about three years ago. I’ve always had contradictory feelings towards it. Chinese restaurants are a global phenomenon in the way that they’re packaged, they way they sell products, and their demographic style. Swedish-Chinese food is different from American Chinese food, for example. But my family worked there for 30 years, so my feelings towards the restaurant were a starting point. I began to think of it as material to work with. What was the contradiction? My siblings and I learned that the restaurant is a place to be proud of. We were always taught that it creates opportunities for my generation and economic safety for my family—but we were never supposed to take over the business. That would be a failure. We were expected to become something bigger and better. And how did those feelings translate to works? It made me think a lot about space. I’m interested in how space always has an inside and outside, and what makes a space is who’s inside and who’s outside. With Bamboo Garden, I was both. But the restaurant, itself, is displaced. The Chinese restaurant only occurs outside of China. It’s a fetishized image of Asia. I’m really fascinated by this room of displacement, and issues surrounding resilience, cultural hegemony and identity. Art is a way of creating a framework for my thoughts and resting them in pieces or projects. Color plays a substantial role in establishing a mood in your artwork. What role does color play in Scandinavian style? I don’t know why, but you see a lot of black, white and gray in the city center. Styles outside the city are totally different. How would you define contemporary Scandinavian style? Very clean, functional and minimalistic. That’s the general image of Scandinavian style, but it’s starting to change. I worked as a stylist assistant before art school and was very interested in fashion, but I’ve stopped keeping track of what’s in! Now I follow fashion through streams of music and Instagram. If you look at the punk band Dolores Haze, they have a very playful sense of style. Or designer Nhu Duong, who works more like an artist than a designer in the traditional sense. There’s more than one Scandinavian aesthetic. What do you miss most about Sweden now that you’re in Athens? I miss my parents’ home-cooked food. This story originally appeared on Skandiastyle.com. TwitterFacebookPinterest Related Stories Arts & Culture Issue 19 Going Incognito We all secretly wonder what mischief we’d make if invisible: When our identity is hidden, everything seems possible. Arts & Culture Issue 19 The Best Policy Sometimes we talk to each other without feeling heard. Honesty—a most intimate interaction—can be just as thrilling as its more devious inverse. Arts & Culture Issue 19 A Sense of Suspense With unhinged imaginations and mountains of cliff-hangers, the filmmakers behind the sci-fi podcast Limetown have all the makings of a scary story. Arts & Culture Issue 19 Like Clockwork In this new column about time, we learn how slipping off our watches makes us feel like deadline-damning renegades. Arts & Culture Music Issue 19 On a Grander Scale Malaysian singer-songwriter Yuna now may live on the opposite side of the globe, but she’s determined to evolve while staying true to her roots. Arts & Culture Issue 19 Neighborhood: Fire Stations The firefighting profession has evolved over time from Ancient Rome’s rudimentary bucket brigades to today’s sleek life-saving departments.