Unfolding Dim Sum

by HsinYi Michelle Huang

The ethos of dim sum is beyond merely as a style of Cantonese cuisine, it embodies significant cultural and social practices of sharing food; laughter and spending time with loved ones. Dim sum is often served in steamed bamboo baskets. Its history can be traced back to Song Dynasty and over the centuries has become an indispensable part in Chinese tea drinking culture – yum cha. The book unfolds the long forgotten history and untold stories of the exquisite culinary art.

The concept of ‘unfold’ continues throughout the format of the publication. While dim sum is meticulously folded by chefs, the audience unfold the book from the centre and disclose the essence within. The publication consists of four sections – the terminology and the evolution of its meaning; the forgotten history; the first dim sum restaurant introduced to the West and the distinctive dining etiquette. A square containing names of dishes is revealed when all sections have been unfolded – a square as a symbol of completeness in Chinese philosophy.

The book is designed to be read in the order it is unfolded – a clockwise rotation. This resembles the Lazy Susan (the turntable) that can been seen in dim sum restaurants. Rotate the publication as if you are turning the table to get to the next dish or the next chapter of the dim sum story. Four Chinese characters 點點心意 form the original phrase where ‘dim sum’ derived from and are central to the book. They are positioned across four cover pages to build connection and aid in navigation to the next chapter.


Gold in Book Design 2020, Non-Pro

Created by:

Design Director

HsinYi Michelle Huang

Company/University or Design School

Massey University College of Creative Arts


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