Xi Xi dies at 85

Source: SCMP (12/19/22)
Hong Kong author Xi Xi, often credited with putting city on literary map, dies aged 85
A prolific writer of fiction, poetry, non-fiction and screenplays, Xi Xi led a life that was ‘wonderful, happy and meaningful’, a publisher she co-founded said. Her imaginative writing often gave mundane events a fairy tale twist. She famously called Hong Kong a ‘floating city’ in 1984 when its return to China was sealed

A scene from “Women Like Us”, a chamber opera commissioned by the Hong Kong Arts Festival last year is based on two short stories by Xi Xi. Photo: Hong Kong Arts Festival

A scene from “Women Like Us”, a chamber opera commissioned by the Hong Kong Arts Festival last year is based on two short stories by Xi Xi. Photo: Hong Kong Arts Festival

Hong Kong author Xi Xi, whose whimsical tales became a defining portrait of a city transitioning away from British rule, died on Sunday, according to a publisher she co-founded. She was 85.

One of the most beloved names in Sinophone literature, she published more than 30 books of fiction, poetry, non-fiction and screenplays in a career spanning six decades.

She was often credited with putting Hong Kong on the map in the literary world.

Xi Xi died of heart failure at a Hong Kong hospital on Sunday morning surrounded by family and friends, publisher Plain Leaves Workshop said in a statement on Facebook. Continue reading

CUHK positions

The Department of Chinese Language and Literature of The Chinese University of Hong Kong is inviting applications for the posts of Professor / Associate Professor / Assistant Professor in the area of modern Chinese literature. Applicants with research interests in 1) modern Chinese literature, transnational/global Chinese literature, and 2) Chinese film and media studies are particularly preferred. Areas of specialization are open, but preference will be given to candidates whose research falls in the period of 1970s and beyond for the post in modern Chinese literature. Click here for more information and to apply.

Carole HOYAN <hoyan@cuhk.edu.hk>

Global Sinophonia 2 and 3

Presented by Center for Film and Moving Image Research, Academy of Film, Hong Kong Baptist University

  • Global Sinophonia 2: Five Guys who made a Hong Kong historical drama movie: “Hong Kong 1942”
  • Global Sinophonia 3: Screening & Sharing, “Memories To Choke On Drinks To Wash Them Down”

Global Sinophonia 2: Five Guys who made a Hong Kong historical drama movie: “Hong Kong 1942”

“Hong Kong 1942” is a World War II feature film filmed entirely in Hong Kong with all local actors and film crew. This movie is a small, independent production with a very limited budget and was created with just 5 film crew members during most of the 20-day filming schedule. Filmmaking is like putting together a puzzle, a thousand pieces needed to be assembled to create the final product. Money is not the biggest limitation on a production, it is the ability of the filmmakers to understand how to plot a pathway forward of doing the possible. We will reveal the production process of making Hong Kong 1942, the tips and tricks that every filmmaker should know before rolling into production.

ZOOM ID: https://urldefense.com/v3/__https://hkbu.zoom.us/j/95560798929__;!!KGKeukY!zX1sU6oE8DC4Zj0qbLt16swUx_6VLbxYBRQ7Rez-v3zKmDomL0oK6L_2VVs24IeBvyPiyfF8H3GaU068t19wZJU$
LINK: 955 6079 8929

Grace Yan-yan Mak (Producer), Craig McCourry (Director)
Discussant: Kenny Ng Continue reading

The Cinema of Ann Hui–cfp

CFP: The Cinema of Ann Hui: Aesthetics, Politics, and Philosophy
Editors: Zhaoyu Zhu (University of Nottingham, Ningbo, China); Weiting Fan (Chongqing University Meishi Film Academy)

Ann Hui Oh-Wah has been one of the most important figures in Hong Kong film production since the Hong Kong New Wave. In 2020, she was awarded with the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the 77th Venice Film Festival. Except for Andrey Yue’s Ann Hui’s Song of the Exile (1990), there is rarely any book-length project dedicated to studying Hui’s cinema in the English-language academia. However, her prolific career spanning all over 40 years provides scholars with valuable resources to probe into the relationship between a filmmaker’s creativity and the vicissitudes of the Hong Kong cinema, especially in terms of the cinematic representation of Hong Kong’s diasporic communities’ experience of displacement under Hong Kong’s specific socio-political context. Indeed, as a female director, her works also inspire us to rethink the position of female filmmakers within the Chinese-language film industries and the representation of female subjectivity in Asian cinema. Besides, we also expect to invite scholars to read Hui’s works from innovative aesthetic perspectives, especially by re-appropriating non-western-centric philosophical concepts. We hope this edited collection can be a handbook for exploring Ann Hui’s oeuvre as a multifaceted entity, which further contributes to understanding Hui’s historical importance in Chinese cinemas and women’s filmmaking on the global screen. Continue reading

‘Table for Six’: HK comedy full of local flavor

Source: The China Project (9/23/22)
‘Table for Six’: A Hong Kong comedy full of local flavor
Sunny Chan serves a tale of three half-brothers and their girlfriends with a side dish of originality and wit.
By Amarsanaa Battulga

Table for Six

Set in Hong Kong, Table for Six tells the story of three half-brothers living under the same roof and struggling through relationship and family problems. The wholesome “melan-comedy” by writer-director Sunny Chan (陳詠燊 Chén Yǒngshēn) stands out thanks to its delicate handling of mature romantic relationships and uniquely Hong Kong setting (despite barely showing skyscrapers and busy streets).

Commercially, the production has enjoyed great success. Originally timed for the Lunar New Year holiday in February, the title’s release had to be postponed due to the city’s COVID prevention measures. Nevertheless, when it was released on September 8, right ahead of Mid-Autumn Festival, it set an opening day local record for a comedy in Hong Kong.

Continue reading

HK Lit in Translation

Louise Law, Project Director, Spicy Fish Cultural Production Limited
Thursday, October 6, 2022
5:30-6:45 pm PT, HYBRID (In Person & Online)
Free and open to the public. Registration required.

The University of San Francisco Center for Asia Pacific Studies and the Asian Studies Program welcome writer and editor Louise Law for a discussion of Hong Kong literature in translation—a discussion of a literary landscape that reflects the complicated geographic, linguistic, and political history of the city itself. What exactly are we talking about when we talk about Hong Kong Literature, especially in translation? How many works have been translated into English and how many have yet to be uncovered? This talk will give an overview of Hong Kong Literature in the past 70 years, highlighting key writers who are representative of the spirit of Hong Kong.

After a short lecture, Louise Law will engage in a conversation with award-winning literary translators Jennifer Feeley and Andrea Lingenfelter, followed by Q&A with the audience. Continue reading

Peeling paint reveals work of HK graffiti artist

Source: NYT (7/17/22)
Peeling Paint in Hong Kong Reveals Work of Newly Relevant ‘King’
When he was alive, the graffiti of Tsang Tsou-choi, or the “King of Kowloon,” was considered peculiar and personal. In a radically changed city, his mostly vanished art now has a political charge.
By Austin Ramzy

When work by the graffiti artist Tsang Tsou-choi re-emerged beneath a Hong Kong bridge, the mundane setting became an unlikely attraction in a city where dissent has been stamped out.

When work by the graffiti artist Tsang Tsou-choi re-emerged beneath a Hong Kong bridge, the mundane setting became an unlikely attraction in a city where dissent has been stamped out. Credit…Anthony Kwan for The New York Times

HONG KONG — Often shirtless in summer, smelling of sweat and ink, the aggrieved artist wrote incessantly, and everywhere: on walls, underpasses, lamp posts and traffic light control boxes.

He covered public spaces in Hong Kong with expansive jumbles of Chinese characters that announced his unshakable belief that much of the Kowloon Peninsula rightfully belonged to his family.

During his lifetime, the graffiti artist, Tsang Tsou-choi, was a ubiquitous figure, well-known for his eccentric campaign that struck most as a peculiar personal mission, not a political rallying cry.

But Hong Kong has become a very different place since Mr. Tsang died in 2007, and his work — once commonly spotted, but now largely vanished from the streetscape — has taken on a new resonance in a city where much political expression has been stamped out by a sweeping campaign against dissent since 2020.

“In his lifetime, particularly early on, people thought he was completely crazy,” said Louisa Lim, author of “Indelible City: Dispossession and Defiance in Hong Kong,” a new book that examines Mr. Tsang’s legacy. “Even at the time that he died no one was really interested in the content or the political message of his work. But actually, he was talking about these Hong Kong preoccupations long before other people were — territory, sovereignty, dispossession and loss.” Continue reading

Ni Kuang obit

Source: NYT (7/7/22)
Ni Kuang, Prolific Hong Kong Novelist and Screenwriter, Dies at 87
阅读简体中文版 | 閱讀繁體中文版
Best known for fantastical thrillers that doubled as political allegories, he also wrote hundreds of martial arts films for Bruce Lee and others.
By Tiffany May

Ni Kuang in 2006 in Hong Kong. He was perhaps best known for the “Wisely” series, a collection of adventure stories about encounters with aliens and battles with intelligent monsters that sometimes contained pointed political criticism. Credit…Martin Chan/South China Morning Post via Getty Images

HONG KONG — Ni Kuang, a prolific author of fantasy novels imbued with criticism of the Chinese Communist Party and a screenwriter for more than 200 martial arts films, died here on July 3. He was 87.

His death was announced by his daughter-in-law, the actress Vivian Chow, on social media. She did not state the cause but said he died at a cancer rehabilitation center.

Best known for his fantastical thrillers, Mr. Ni wrote the screenplays for many of the action movies produced by the Shaw Brothers, who dominated the Hong Kong market. He also created the story lines and central characters for Bruce Lee’s first two major films, “The Big Boss” (1971) and “Fist of Fury” (1972), although the screenwriting credit for both films went to the director, Lo Wei.

In the Chinese-speaking world, Mr. Ni was perhaps best known for the “Wisely” series, a collection of about 150 adventure stories first published as newspaper serials. The stories told of the title character’s encounters with aliens and battles with intelligent monsters, but they sometimes also contained pointed political criticism.

Born in 1935 to a working-class family in Shanghai, Mr. Ni was given two names at birth, as was the custom: Ni Yiming and Ni Cong. Information on his parents was not immediately available, but it is known that he had six siblings. Continue reading

Stuggling with the censor within

Source: Noema (6/30/22)
Struggling With The Censor Within
As the 25th anniversary of Hong Kong’s handover to China approaches, two longtime participants in the city’s cultural scene reflect on how it’s changed.

An anti-extradition protester waves a black flag outside Hong Kong’s Legislative Council Complex on July 1, 2019. (Photo by Anthony Kwan/Getty Images)

Anne Henochowicz is a writer and translator living in the Washington, D.C. area. Her work has appeared in Dissent, Mānoa, and The Washington Post. She is the former Translations Editor at China Digital Times.

July 1 has traditionally been a day of protest in Hong Kong — in past years, the anniversary of the former British colony’s handover to China has drawn hundreds of thousands onto the streets. In 2003, half a million people came out to protest proposed anti-subversion legislation. In 2012, protesters succeeded in staving off proposed “national education” in Hong Kong schools. Protesters occupied the Legislative Council floor for several hours on July 1, 2019, in demonstrations against an extradition bill that were cut short by COVID-19. Then, amid the lockdowns, the PRC passed the National Security Law on June 30, 2020, with immediate repercussions for political organizations, the media, activists and protesters. Now for many, simply deciding whether to stay in the city they call home has become a day-by-day proposition. Continue reading

Writer Ni Kuang dies (in Chinese)

Source: BBC News (7/4/22)






他的不少小说内容被视为讽刺共产党,笔下小说不容易在中国大陆购买。虽然如此,他的作品仍然受到两岸三地读者欢迎。他去世的消息传出后,不少中国大陆网民到他的微博帐号留言悼念,但也有网民继续就他的反共立场批评他。 Continue reading

HK Palace Museum’s controversial beginnings

Source: SCMP (7/1/22)
Hong Kong Palace Museum: highlights to see among the national treasures on loan from Beijing, and its controversial beginnings
When the Hong Kong museum opens on July 2, there are some stunning national treasures to see among more than 900 loaned by the Beijing Palace Museum. Its opening is the culmination of a project criticised for the lack of public consultation when Hong Kong’s then No 2 leader Carrie Lam announced it in 2016

A festive robe made for a Chinese emperor on display at the Hong Kong Palace Museum. First announced in 2016, the museum is finally opening on July 2, 2022. Photo: Sam Tsang

A festive robe made for a Chinese emperor on display at the Hong Kong Palace Museum. First announced in 2016, the museum is finally opening on July 2, 2022. Photo: Sam Tsang

The Hong Kong Palace Museum, in the West Kowloon Cultural District, officially opens to the public on July 2 and features a range of Chinese artworks and relics.

The grand opening of the Hong Kong counterpart to Beijing’s Palace Museum coincides with the 25th anniversary of the city’s handover from Britain to China. Nine galleries fill the 13,000-square-metre (140,000 sq ft) space, spread across five floors, exhibiting ink paintings, calligraphy, ceramics and other artefacts dating from as early as the 10th century.

Most of the pieces on loan are appearing in Hong Kong for the first time. Continue reading

HK resistance will live on

Source: SupChina (6/28/22)
Hong Kong resistance will live on
Beijing’s national security law has had a chilling effect on protest and free speech in Hong Kong, but the city — contrary to popular punditry — is far from dead.
By Ho-fung Hung

Illustration for SupChina by Derek Zheng

In June 1995, Fortune magazine ran a cover story titled “Death of Hong Kong,” anticipating the end of freedom in the city upon the sovereignty handover to China in 1997. Twenty-five years later, commentators are still declaring the death of Hong Kong, this time under the national security law, imposed on the city from Beijing in 2020. Are they right this time?

The national security law ushered in a new political order in the city. Beijing revamped the election system by introducing rigorous loyalty vetting of candidates and reducing the proportion of directly elected seats. Political organizations, NGOs, and pro-democracy media disbanded one after the other when their leaders, activists, or employees were arrested or fled Hong Kong to escape prosecution. Student unions in universities were forced to shut down.

As such, Hong Kong lost many of the freedoms that separated it from mainland China. The new political order is much more chilling than most people are accustomed to. But saying it spells the end of Hong Kong’s struggle for freedom and democracy is an exaggeration. In the short run, it is true that we will no longer see vibrant political debates, lively elections, free academic pursuit, and street protests. The political awakening of the Hong Kong people, the strengthening of their local identity, and the quest for self-determination that underlined the 2014 Occupy Movement and the 2019 uprising may go dormant. But it will not go away. Continue reading

HK’s road to reinvention

Source: NYT (6/30/22)
‘Everything in Hong Kong Has Changed’: A Road to Reinvention
阅读简体中文版 | 閱讀繁體中文版 | Leer en español
In the 25 years since the handover to China, life on Queen’s Road, the first thoroughfare built by the British after they seized the territory, has been transformed.
By Hannah Beech. Photographs and Video by Sergey Ponomarev


HONG KONG — On the day that Hong Kong was returned to China a quarter century ago, the noodle maker of Queen’s Road worked as he had done for days and decades before, mixing flour and water into sustenance for a city filled with refugees from the mainland. To satisfy the diverse tastes, he made tender Shanghai noodles and Cantonese egg pasta, slippery wonton wrappers from China’s south and thick dumpling skins beloved in Beijing.

When the five-starred flag of the People’s Republic of China replaced the Union Jack on July 1, 1997, it rained and rained, the water rising fast along Queen’s Road and its tributaries. Some people took the deluge as an omen of Communist control, others as a purifying ritual to cleanse Hong Kong of Western imperialism.

The storm held no greater meaning for To Wo, who ran the noodle shop with his family. Mr. To still had to work every day of every year, feeding dough into clanging machines and emptying so many bags of flour that everything was dusted white, even the shrine to the kitchen god.

“I was busy,” he said. “I didn’t have a lot of time for fear.”

In the 25 years since the handover, the only constant has been change, both defined and defied by the people of Queen’s Road, Hong Kong’s most storied avenue. All around them, a city has been transformed: by the dizzying economic expansion of mainland China threatening to make this international entrepôt unnecessary, but also by the crushing of freedoms by Hong Kong’s current rulers, who have filled jails with young political prisoners. Continue reading

HK in Transition

An open access photographic archive for anyone interested in Hong Kong and its history

Welcome to the Hong Kong in Transition website, a resource for formal or informal study of Hong Kong’s history during the period leading up to decolonization and during the early part of its existence as a Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China. This is a not-for-profit and free to access website which presents an archive of photographs of Hong Kong taken between 1 January 1995 and 1 January 2020. Photos may be in either black and white or colour, and all have been taken by the same photographer, David Clarke. Continue reading

HK Palace Museum set to open

Source: China Daily (6/28/22)
A 360° tour of Hong Kong Palace Museum
By chinadaily.com.cn

Scheduled to open to the public on July 2, the Hong Kong Palace Museum will display on rotation more than 900 treasures from the collections of the Palace Museum in Beijing. Built over four years, the design and construction of the HKPM reflect the charm of traditional Chinese culture.

Check the video to get a 360° tour!

See also: Director of the Beijing’s Palace Museum speaks on cross-culture exchange