Alexandra Hong

紫蘇 Purple Shiso 

Created as part of the Red Envelope Project, 2021
Embroidery on paper envelope, vellum, purple shiso seeds from my mother's garden
3.5" x 4″
Edition of 5

Within Chinese culture, red envelopes containing money are often given as gifts during celebratory occasions among friends and families. The Red Envelope Project is a fundraising initiative curated by Shellie Zhang and Alvin Luong involving eleven artists who have each designed three custom red envelopes. All proceeds from the project will be donated to the Encampment Support Network

Included in each red envelope are the seeds of 紫蘇 purple shiso from a plant given to my mother by my poh poh over 20 years ago. Without fail, this plant blooms in abundance every summer, bringing with it the opportunity for culinary delights. Potentially viewed as weed due to its carefree ability to spread and thrive in the cracks of pavement and poor soil, constant harvesting keeps it in check. From my family to yours, I hope these plants will thrive in both your garden and your kitchen, and be a reminder of our collective resilience and interconnectedness to the plants and living beings around us. 

For more information and to see the envelopes in the project, visit the project's Instagram.


Using Format