T U C K – C H E E P H U N G
I came originally from Malaysia. I received my tertiary education in Malaysia, the USA and in Scotland. I studied Fine Arts and History of Art; and when I completed my Ph.D I worked as an artist with day patients in a hospital in Aberdeen. I experienced, and still do, a sense of satisfaction when working with people. My experience working in the hospital led me to train as a social worker in the 1980s. In the late 1990s and 2000s, I trained as a person-centred counsellor and counselling supervisor. I currently lecture in social work in Robert Gordon University in Scotland, and continue to counsel and supervise.
I chose Chinese bowl because …
… it reminds me of my identity as a first generation immigrant living in Britain. The sense of being alien is what I will always carry with me; and I value working cross-culturally as it enables me to bridge the cultural divide. In social work this gives me a valued perspective of what it feels to be an “outsider” as often the many service users I work with are also “outsiders” in their own culture, marginalised by social exclusion. For me, understanding and knowing the language of alienation is a gift in social work.
The bowl I have chosen was handed down through my family; it is a green bowl with horses. It has been broken, and mended. Perhaps this breaking and mending has resonance with social work, too.