Where are you from? by Brisbane artist Shelley Cheng is an interactive art installation to be hosted at Queensland University of Technology (QUT) as part of its Harmony Day program on 21 March. The installation explores the violence of racism, specifically in microaggressions and positive stereotyping experienced by East Asians.

Audiences will sit at yum cha tables to share and partake in fortune cookies which contain much more than a proverb.

The artist says use of the fortune cookie carries a heavier meaning: “despite not being a Chinese invention, they have been imposed on Chinese people as something quintessential Chinese”.

“The racism and microaggressions we experience are what we inherit from inhabiting racialised bodies. That’s our fortune,” she says.

The installation will be located to QUT Gardens Point on the lawn adjoining the Goodwill Bridge and is available for public viewing from Thursday evening through till Saturday.


QUT Gardens Point, Lawn 
(Near entrance to the Goodwill Bridge and Riverstage)


21 March 2019, 4pm – 7pm
22 & 23 March 2019, 10am – 6pm


Artist: Shelley Cheng
Producers: people+artist+place and Metro Arts

Image by Jade Millman


Shelley Cheng

Shelley Cheng (20) is a multi-disciplinary artist who lives on the stolen Aboriginal land of the Jagera and Turrbal peoples. Her work draws from her experience of diaspora. She has exhibited throughout Brisbane in local cafes, shops, pop-up art spaces and artist-run initiatives. Shelley’s art also appears in political campaigns, community events, and fundraisers. She is currently undertaking an artist residency through Visible Ink while completing her undergraduate studies at QUT in Law (Honours)/ Journalism. She is interested in abolition, critical race theory and transformative justice.


people+artist+place is a new arts initiative that aims to stimulate and support the production of socially-engaged, participatory and site-specific art in Brisbane. Facilitating projects that expand community perceptions of art in public space, they embrace the ability contemporary art has, to enhance, critique and celebrate the places we live in. 

Producing innovative and accessible projects in the public realm, they strive to connect diverse audiences with artists and their work. They do this by delivering unique experiences, and providing professional development opportunities to local artists. Through doing this they hope to build a community of artists who feel confident to work alongside communities to develop compelling creative projects. 

They are passionate about Brisbane harnessing art as a tool to better understand its identity, the histories that have brought us to today, and the futures we’re planting now.  They believe this type of experience to be a positive force in fostering healthy minds, communities and urban environments. Research shows that projects of this nature deliver many economic, social, environmental and cultural benefits. 



This project is presented as a part of Brisbane City Council’s Temporary Art Program 2019, produced by Metro Arts and people+artist+place, and made possible through the support of QUT Life and Curiocity.