photography by Hung Quach
Communion | 2015
“Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmas-time.”
― Laura Ingalls Wilder
Hung Quach is a photographer and stylist based in London with a penchant for visual story tell, cooking and travel.
1/ How do you carry through your practices of ‘slowness’ from your work and transfer them to life at large?
The slowness I practice in my work comes easily and naturally. Transferring them to life at large is a challenge and one that I attempt wholeheartedly by reminding myself to slow down in every day activities like walking and cooking. I remind myself to be mindful, be in the present and not be worrying too much about the past and future.
2/ What kind of preparations do you participate within for the holiday season?
I like to start the festive season by visiting the Flower Market and buying loads of florals to decorate the home. My favourites are pussy willow, eucalyptus and raw cotton buds that you find a plenty at this time of the year. I start pulling out the decorations I already have and combining them with new ones I have bought. I also make a list of all the festive foods I want to make for the weeks leading up to Christmas.
3/ What does the holiday season remind you to do more of?
The holiday season is a reminder to spend more time with family and friends. It is easy to let time pass you during the year, especially with the busy lives we lead.
3/ Do you have any rituals or traditions for this time of year? If so, what are they?
I'm not one for following all the traditions every year and I like to break a few rules if I can. It makes for a more interesting and fun holiday period. Instead of getting a real Christmas tree this year, I'm opting for a minimal upside down Christmas tree using branches and adding decorations to it. But one tradition I like to adhere to is making my own Christmas wreath. I really enjoy the therapeutic process and being creative with it every year. Another tradition that I follow is to make gingerbread cookies to give as gifts or have handy in the house.
4/ What makes them important to you?
They are important because they make me nostalgic for the holidays. I'm reminded of lovely memories of previous Christmases that were had.
5/ Has your perspective on the holidays changed over your life? How?
Definitely. The holidays used to be very much focused on giving material items and although they still are, the focus has shifted somewhat as I've grown older. The holidays are now much more about spending time with the important people in your life and creating memories.
6/ Do you have any particular standout or fond memories of the holiday season?
The holiday season that stands out for me the most are the ones I spend in Galway, Ireland where my husband is from. There is one Christmas in particular where it started snowing on Christmas Day, which was a novelty for me and any Australian who isn't used to this type of weather for Christmas.
7/ Throughout the year we find ourselves losing track of important practices we emplace at the beginning of every year, what are you keen to get back on track with the rest/holiday season coming up?
One practice that I try to stay focused on every year is giving more time to myself each day to slow down and take a breather even if just for 5-10 mins each day. Life gets so busy during the year that I easily forget this practice.
My approach to gifting is… practicality and often less is more.
I would like to close this year… through reflection and acknowledging all my achievements no matter how small they were.
My ideal morning over the holidays looks like… a sleep in followed by a long brunch in my robe.
Materials and fabrics perfect for the holiday season are… wool because it's so cold in the UK and there is no better fabric to cosy into than wool.
The holidays mean… spending time with your friends and family and overindulging without guilt.
My Christmas menu must haves are… bubbly to start with, roasted potatoes cooked to perfection and bread sauce. You can't have a Christmas lunch without bread sauce!