Art by Amy Wang
Hóngbāo is the representation of modern society and the importance of “saving face” in Chinese culture. In modern Chinese society, many interactions take place online, where people must maintain a respectable identity for others. In the first photograph, we see a woman who appears to be elegant and thoughtful. This is the face she presents to society. In the second, we are met with a different expression, one that shows her true emotional state. However, only one photo will be published online– the one she will use to preserve her dignity in a culture where face value is of the utmost importance.