Love Difference Pastries - The sweets

Five Spice Shortbread, by Gayle Chong Kwan



‘Five Spice Shortbread’ by Gayle Chong Kwan creates a new pastry from mixing different aspects of the artist’s own Scottish and Chinese-Mauritian mixed. The pastry brings together two ingredients ubiquitous to the different cultures, but never combined, and references balance and dialogue on a personal, imaginative and inter-cultural sense. Each 'biscuit' is formed into small mountain peaks or landscapes and are distributed as part of ‘Memory Tasting Unit’ activities led by the artist.

September 16th 2008, Cafeteria of Cittadellarte, Biella (Italy)

In order to prepare her sweet Gayle Chong Kwan invites the people present in the Cafeteria to create mountains shapes out of the dough, then to add the different spices and to write below a little story about the mountain.
During the next day, she offered the mountain sweets as dessert at lunch.


2 cups butter
1 cup brown sugar
3 cups white flour
1/2 cup flour for rolling on board
4 pinches of five spice powder (this can be varied in relation to baker’s taste preference)

1 Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C)
2 Cream butter and brown sugar.
3 Add to flour and mix well.
4 Sprinkle board with additional flour.
5 Knead for 5 minutes, adding enough flour to make a soft dough
6 Roll to 1/2 – 3/4 inch thickness
7 Cut into 3 x 3 inch squares
8 Prick with fork
9 Using knife or other implements, create some short ‘mountain’ peaks (not too high or thin as could brown too much) or other landscape shapes of the bakers choosing
10 Place on ungreased baking sheets
11 Bake at 325 degrees F (165 degrees C) for 20 – 25 minutes until lightly golden brown on top.

Gayle Chong Kwan

Curriculum Vitae

Gayle Chong Kwan lives and works in London. She was born in Scotland. Her work explores histories, memory and the senses through the personal and global politics of food, trade and tourism through photography, video, sound and participatory projects.
She has shown extensively in the UK and abroad: Cite des Arts, Paris; Tate Britain, London; National Portrait Gallery, London; COAST Residency, A Foundation, Liverpool; European Forum Emerging Creation, Neumünster Abbey, Luxembourg; Chinese Arts Centre, Manchester; Opera North, Leeds; mac, Birmingham; Tatton Park Biennial, Manchester.