Musician Lucinda Chua sits down for a palm-reading session
The composer, multi-instrumentalist and singer - who has lent her cello skills to collaborator FKA twigs - answers woo's fortune-telling themed quiz
words Team Woo
Practised all over the world, palmistry analyses the major and minor lines on your hand to divine what they say about you: from how you love to how you live and, possibly, what lies ahead in your future. Inspired by this tradition, Palmistry is a series where we sit down with some of our favourite names in the worlds of music, fashion and entertainment for a unique quiz. Turning to their palms, we ask them questions relating to the properties of the five best-known lines in palm-reading.
For Lucinda Chua, music is a language with the same primacy as the written or spoken word. Brought up in Milton Keynes, the artist learned music by ear from the age of three via the Suzuki method - where children are taught music as if it’s a mother tongue.
Twenty-something years later, the results are evident. Not only has she toured as part of FKA twigs's live band but across her two EPs, Antidotes I and its follow-up Antidotes 2, Chua has built a fluid sound that can swoop into the depths of feeling just as easily as it flutters through textured shades and nuances of being. Whether through urgent string rhythms or elastic, emotive vocals, the multi-instrumentalist and singer employs the multiple dialects in her musical lexicon in order to filter her most intimate thoughts into haunting ambient pop.
Now, the artist is embarking on her biggest statement yet: debut album YIAN. The LP documents a period of self-reflection and discovery for Chua, something she describes as: “My search for an ‘unknown’ part of myself, something I inherited but didn’t fully understand.” Exploring themes such as ancestral trauma and the musician’s Chinese heritage, the project has seen her study Chinese fan dance, martial arts and the elements as a way to reconcile the centuries of culture and history which have informed her identity with her present-day self and artistry.
In anticipation of the album’s release, woo invited Chua to answer a series of questions inspired by the ancient tradition of palm-reading and to open up about destiny, a moment that’s changed her perspective on life and the importance of staying curious.
One of the three major lines in palmistry, the Head Line (also known as Wisdom Line) reflects your belief, self-will, intelligence, mentality and creativity. Beginning at the outer edges of the hand, under the index finger, it runs towards the middle of the palm.
Would you say you’re more logical or creative?
Both! I’m naturally creative, but I have learned to be logical in order to get things done.
What were you like at school?
In primary school I was very geeky and hard-working, the first person to put their hand up in class. For secondary school I moved cities and lost a lot of confidence in myself. I became withdrawn and would hide in the art room doing paintings on my lunch break so I didn’t have to talk to people.
What’s the biggest adventure you’ve been on?
Making an album has been a big adventure.
The Heart Line (aka the Love Line), is a representation of your outlook on love, passion, relationships and friendship. It's the horizontal line at the top of your palm.
Are you romantic?
Yes, I see the romance in all aspects of life - not just in a partner.
Do you text first?
I don’t really believe in making rules up, if I want to text someone, I just do it ;)
Your Fate Line (which some call the Money Line) runs vertically, from the wrist to your middle finger. It's said to be an indicator of the path you will take in life and how your future will pan out, across your career, finances and fortune.
Do you believe in destiny?
I think we play a part in creating our own destiny.
Are you a planner or more spontaneous?
I am a planner, but I also enjoy moments of just being silly and letting go.
What’s on your moodboard for the future?
Dancing, laughing, craft projects, sharing food with my friends, taking time for myself, feeling healthy in body and mind, and staying inquisitive and curious to try new things.
The Sun Line is a vertical line which can start anywhere on the palm as long as it is in line with the Mount of Moon (at the base of the palm, opposite the thumb) or the Mount of Apollo (the padded area under the ring finger) It also isn't found in every palm. This line is all about beauty and creativity as well as confidence and power.
What’s the last book you read?
Our Missing Hearts by Celeste Ng.
Play hard or work hard?
Work hard and play fun.
One of the easiest lines to spot on your palm, the Life Line is the arc that curves around your thumb. It's usually considered to be a prediction of your vitality, health, ideology and experiences - as well as if you will befall major changes or accidents.
What’s a major change you’ve had in your life?
Both of my grandparents passed away in the lockdown and I miss them.
How many times have you moved city?
What’s one moment that changed your perspective on life?
I don’t know the exact moment, but at some point I realised that it’s ok to say no to things if they don’t feel right, and since then I’ve felt a lot lighter!
Lucinda Chua's debut album YIAN is out on 24 March via 4AD