Online exhibit captures pandemic in HK

Source: SCMP (10/15/20)
Online art exhibition captures pandemic scenes in Hong Kong – of loneliness, fear, but also the triumph of the human spirit
Louise Soloway Chan’s virtual exhibition ‘Contactless’ is a showcase of 22 ink paintings on rice paper hosted by the Boundless Artists Collective. She hopes that when the crisis finally passes, the sketches will be a reminder not just of the horrors but of how the human spirit navigates adversity
By Kylie Knott

“Too Cool for School II” by Louise Soloway Chan. The work is one of 22 of Chan’s sketches of Hong Kong during the pandemic that form “Contactless”, a solo online exhibition that runs until December 15.

“Too Cool for School II” by Louise Soloway Chan. The work is one of 22 of Chan’s sketches of Hong Kong during the pandemic that form “Contactless”, a solo online exhibition that runs until December 15.

Today is the opening of Louise Soloway Chan’s virtual exhibition “Contactless”, a showcase of 22 ink paintings on rice paper that capture Hong Kong scenes amid the pandemic.

“I’m an obsessive sketcher and always draw from life, from what’s in front of me,” says Soloway Chan via Zoom from Britain.

The artist was born in the UK and spent time in India before moving to her adopted home of Hong Kong in 1994. She’s back in Britain temporarily to spend time with her family.

Many people in Hong Kong will have seen her work. In 2011, the MTR Corporation commissioned her to paint 12 huge bas-reliefs of Hong Kong street scenes, many depicting traditional dai pai dongs (open-air food stalls) as well as lantern and tea shops that have since fallen victim to gentrification. The works took six years to complete and are permanently installed at the Sai Ying Pun MTR station. Continue reading

Research Chair in HK Studies

The Department of Asian Studies at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, is inviting applications for an appointment to a Canada Research Chair (Tier 2) in Hong Kong Studies with a focus on literary, visual, and/or popular culture. This tenure-track/tenured position will be at the rank of Assistant or Associate Professor and is expected to start on 1 July 2021.

Details for this position can be found on the Asian Studies website (, but please note that Tier-2 Chairs are intended for “exceptional emerging scholars” who are generally within 10 years of having received their PhD. Please note also that, for this search, we will be considering only members of the following designated groups (all to be understood within the Canadian context): women, visible minorities, persons with disabilities, and indigenous people.

Leo K. Shin
Chair, CRC-Hong Kong Studies Search
Associate Professor, History and Asian Studies
The University of British Columbia, Vancouver

China sets sights on ‘the Taiwan problem’

Source: The Guardian (10/2/20)
After Hong Kong: China sets sights on solving ‘the Taiwan problem’
An invasion may not be imminent but experts say armed forces could have capacity to mount one by the end of the decade
by  and 

Taiwanese soldiers raise the flag of Taiwan in Taipei.

Taiwanese soldiers raise the flag of Taiwan in Taipei. Photograph: David Chang/EPA

Soon after China imposed the new national security law that effectively ended Hong Kong’s limited autonomy, a hawkish legal academic in Beijing spelt out a warning to Taiwan.

The law was not just about ending a year of protests in Hong Kong, Tian Feilong said in an interview with DW News, it was also sending a message to Taipei – and to Washington, which has recently approved new arms sales and high-level visits by US officials to self-rule Taiwan.

The provisions being used to crush dissent across Hong Kong could provide a template, he argued, for tackling “the Taiwan problem”.

“I believe that in the future, you could just change the name of the Hong Kong national security law, and substitute instead ‘Taiwan national security law’,” said Tian. Continue reading

HKBU PhD fellowships


The Department of Chinese Language and Literature at Hong Kong Baptist University attaches great importance to diversity of experience in both teaching and research.

Our staff have received their qualifications and previously worked in various academic institutions in, among others, Hong Kong, Mainland China, Taiwan, Singapore, USA, UK and Germany.

Their research expertise covers areas as diverse as poetics and literary theory, canonical studies and commentaries, Sino-Korean cross-cultural studies, pre-classical inscriptions, paleography, excavated manuscripts, as well as modern and contemporary Chinese literature and culture.

The department is associated with a number of noted institutions such as the Jao Tsung-I Academy of Sinology (JAS), the Sino- Humanitas Institute (SHI), and the Centre for Chinese Cultural Heritage (CCH). Among the most recent academic exchange partners of our department are Waseda University, National University of Singapore, Yonsei University, Heidelberg University and others.

Dozens of MPhil and PhD students have benefited from the department’s vibrant and diverse academic environment and community. Having flourished in rigorous programs offered by the department and associated institutions, our graduates have gone on to various paths of their careers. 2 PhD candidates from Ukraine and Germany are currently studying in the department as recipients of the Hong Kong PhD Fellowships Scheme (HKPFS). And they are enjoying the scholarship HK$42,100 per year, HK$25,000 per year for procurement of research materials and books, HK$31,800 per year plus the University’s provision of HK$20,000 for conference and research-related travel allowance. Continue reading

History repeats for HK freedom swimmers

Source: The Guardian (9/27/20)
‘Back where we were’: history repeats for Hong Kong’s freedom swimmers
They risked their lives in search of liberty in the British colony – now the system they were desperate to escape is at the door
By  in Hong Kong

Four ‘freedom swimmers' from China are led away by Hong Kong police for questioning at Tai Po Kau on May 31, 1971.

Four ‘freedom swimmers’ from China are led away by Hong Kong police for questioning at Tai Po Kau on May 31, 1971. Photograph: SCMP

They came one by one, dragging themselves from the sea on to the shores of Hong Kong over oyster beds, their bodies bleeding. Some had swum for miles, braving choppy, treacherous seas, tied together by ropes. Others made the desperate journey in makeshift boats.

They were known as freedom swimmers – hundreds of thousands of young men and women who fled mainland China and risked their lives in search of freedom in the British colony amid the oppressive political movements in China between 1950 and 1980, which targeted “class enemies”.

Those who survived to tell their tales were the lucky ones. Many more never made it. Some were shot dead by border guards, or arrested and sent to labour camps. Others drowned or were attacked by sharks. Some were executed – the act of defection was considered treason. Continue reading

Hong Kong Studies special issue–cfp

HONG KONG STUDIES—Call for Papers—Documentary and Democracy (Special Issue)
Guest Editors: Mike Ingham and Kenny K.K. Ng (with a special preface by Evans Chan)

Much of the engagement in independent documentary cinema by filmmakers of the last thirty years in Hong Kong has been connected with the city’s ongoing, and regularly frustrated, engagement with democratic reform. It has charted, and in many ways reflected, the vicissitudes of attempts to create a valid sociopolitical identity among Hong Kong’s diverse, often divided communities. Earlier Hong Kong documentary film in the 20th century had tended to be China-oriented, (e.g. the films of Shanghai-born Lai Man-wai) or intended to emphasise cooperation as well as mutual dependency, e.g. Water Comes over the Hills from the East, Lo Kwun-hung, 1965). In contrast, Government Information Service short films and promotional propaganda documentaries produced by the colonial-era Film Unit were standard fare, promoting a supposedly apolitical, but clearly paternalistic approach, until the emergence of RTHK as a government-sponsored, if notionally independent, broadcaster in the early 1970s. The broadcaster’s subsequent spate of television documentaries sought, often very successfully, to cover important livelihood issues in the city, as well as gauge and reflect public opinion on a range of sociopolitical topics. Its contribution to public discourses during the momentous, but economically prosperous, years following the Joint Agreement of 1984 between China and the U.K. and the 1997 Handover was highly significant. Continue reading

Reorienting HK’s struggle–cfp

Reorienting Hong Kong’s Struggle: Leftism, Decoloniality, and Internationalism
Edited by: Wen Liu, JN Chien, Christina YZ Chung, Ellie Tse
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
Call for Submission of Book Chapters

Decolonial and leftist perspectives on Hong Kong have been important but largely sidelined or unidentified voices in the city’s recent struggles for democracy and self-determination, which have produced far-ranging international reverberations. Although discourses and practices that have emerged, such as labour union organizing and boycotting, may not explicitly operate under the banners of leftism or decoloniality in Hong Kong, examining them under these frameworks of thought can offer significant historical and transnational sight-lines with which to contextualize and interpret its impact. This book project is an attempt to delineate leftist thought and decolonial practices that have emerged in Hong Kong in the midst of its social movements, so as to identify its presence within Hong Kong and further establish Hong Kong’s contributions within a larger, global discourse on leftism and decoloniality.

By “decolonial,” we mean to situate Hong Kong’s struggles not only in the face of multiple forms of imperial domination and authoritarian repression, but also persistent social inequalities, political injustice, and economic disenfranchisement within Hong Kong society along race, class, gender, and sexual lines. Leftist and decolonial groups such as The Owl (夜貓) and Lausan Collective (流傘) have translated, published, and amplified leftist perspectives from Hong Kong and its diasporas to contribute towards transnational discourses that are attempting to chart alternative futures beyond the dictates of colonialism, the bounds of nation-state sovereignty, as well as the logics of neoliberalism and capitalism. We (the editors) see this book as a continuation and deepening of these efforts. Continue reading

What you can no longer say in HK

Source: NYT (9/4/20)
What You Can No Longer Say in Hong Kong
A new law takes aim at dissent, creating a challenge to free expression. We documented the changing nature of speech.
By Jin Wu and 

A sweeping national security law passed on June 30 instantly altered the lives and liberties of Hong Kong’s residents, criminalizing words and images that just hours earlier had been legally protected free speech.

The next day, thousands of pro-democracy demonstrators tested the limits of the new law. Some carried signs bearing slogans like these, which for months had been lawfully displayed in the streets of the semiautonomous Chinese city.

The police have since arrested more than 20 people under the new law, which lays out political crimes punishable by life imprisonment in serious cases, and allows Beijing to intervene directly if it wants.

Hong Kong was once a bastion of free speech. It served as a base for the international news media and for rights groups, and as a haven for political refugees, including the student leaders of the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests in Beijing. Books on sensitive political topics that are banned in mainland China found a home in the city’s bookstores. Continue reading

Jimmy Lai found not guilty

Source: BBC News (9/3/20)
Jimmy Lai: Hong Kong tycoon found not guilty in intimidation trial

Jimmy Lai arrives at court for verdict

GETTY IMAGES: Jimmy Lai arrives at court for the verdict

A Hong Kong court has found media mogul Jimmy Lai not guilty of intimidating a photojournalist from a rival newspaper three years ago.

Mr Lai had denied the charge of “criminal intimidation” over a 2017 incident at a Tiananmen massacre vigil.

Last month police detained the democracy activist in a separate case under a controversial new security law.

He is also facing several other charges over last year’s anti-government protests.

The 71-year-old’s arrest in August sparked global condemnation of the escalating crackdown on dissent in Hong Kong. Continue reading

HK Security Law reaches into US classrooms

Source: WSJ (8/19/20)
China’s National-Security Law Reaches Into Harvard, Princeton Classrooms
Professors at elite U.S. universities turn to code names, warning labels to protect students
By Lucy Craymer

Part of the challenge is the growing list of subjects Beijing considers off-limits, said Kerry Ratigan, an assistant professor of political science at Amherst College. PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES/ISTOCK

The effect of the new national-security law that China imposed on Hong Kong is extending far beyond the territory to American college campuses.

Classes at some elite universities will carry a warning label this fall: This course may cover material considered politically sensitive by China. And schools are weighing measures to try to shield students and faculty from prosecution by Chinese authorities.

At Princeton University, students in a Chinese politics class will use codes instead of names on their work to protect their identities. At Amherst College a professor is considering anonymous online chats so students can speak freely. And Harvard Business School may excuse students from discussing politically sensitive topics if they are worried about the risks. Continue reading

HK Cinema through a Global Lens

Greetings from Hong Kong!

In just a few weeks, a new run of Hong Kong Cinema through a Global Lens is scheduled to go live. In these challenging times we are keen to offer you material and a little morale boost. We invite you to join our educational journey exploring Hong Kong culture through Hong Kong Cinema through a Global Lens, the first MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) on Hong Kong cinema to be produced anywhere in the world. The course starts on September 8, 2020.

We have talked with teachers from across the globe who have utilized our MOOC in various ways. Some are selecting one MOOC Unit to reinforce particular pedagogical objectives, some are linking our exploration of Hong Kong Cinema to general studies, global studies, cultural history or other film and digital media courses. More frequently, we find that teachers invite us into their online classrooms as “virtual guest lecturers.” (You don’t even have to feed or entertain us when we visit!) Internationally-recognized film studies scholars Professor Gina Marchetti and Dr. Aaron Han Joon Magnan-Park from the HKU Department of Comparative Literature and Dr. Stacilee Ford from the HKU Department of History, the American Studies Program, and the Gender Studies Program, have worked with the creative assistance of HKU TELI (Technology-Enriched Learning Initiative) to provide various ways to enrich your efforts, internationalize your curriculum, and add a little variety to your teaching plans. Continue reading

Hong Kong Culture and Literature series

Forthcoming Series from Brill: Hong Kong Culture and Literature
Series Editor: Howard Yuen Fong Choy, Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong

This new series publishes substantial researches on Hong Kong through cultural and literary studies. It showcases original investigations of the methods and practices across a variety of fields, focusing on the core humanities such as cultural studies, comparative literature, linguistics, historiography, religion, anthropology, art, cinema and theater, but also welcomes contributions adopting culturally informed interdisciplinary approaches in health humanities, political science, sociology, ecology, etc. Possible topics include, but not limited to, East-West cultural interactions in Hong Kong, Hong Kong literature as Chinese and world literature, Cantonese as a linguistic identity, the colonial and postcolonial histories of Hong Kong, minorities in Hong Kong, Hong Kongers as a people, the art market in Hong Kong, the rise and fall of the Hong Kong film industry, Hong Kong theater as an Asian theater, the Umbrella and Water Revolutions, hybridity of the Hong Kong society, as well as environmental issues and medical problems. This English-language book series is directed at scholars, graduate and undergraduate students who study Hong Kong, China, or East Asia and, in particular, comparatists engaged in cultural and literary studies between the East and the West. ISSN: 2666-9897 Continue reading

HK Democracy Movement reading

Worldwide Reading for the Democracy Movement in Hong Kong on 9th September 2020

The international literature festival berlin [ilb] is calling on individuals, schools, universities, cultural institutions and the media for a worldwide reading for freedom of expression and assembly on 9 September 2020. These readings are intended to draw attention to the situation of freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and human rights in Hong Kong, which were adopted by the United Nations in Paris on 10 December 1948.

The international literature festival berlin [ilb] is calling on individuals, schools, universities, cultural institutions and the media for a Worldwide Reading for Freedom of Expression and Assembly on 9 September 2020. These readings are intended to draw attention to the situation of freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and human rights in Hong Kong, which were adopted by the United Nations in Paris on 10 December 1948. Continue reading