Backreading Hong Kong: Translating Hong Kong–cfp

Call for Abstracts
What: Backreading Hong Kong: Translating Hong Kong (2)
When: Monday 6 November 2023 – Tuesday 7 November 2023
Where: The Richard Charles Lee Canada-Hong Kong Library, The University of Toronto

The theme of the 2023 edition of Backreading Hong Kong Symposium will be “Translating Hong Kong,” continuing the discussion on the same topic in 2021, aiming to complement a volume proposal. Co-organised by the Department of Language Studies at the University of Toronto Scarborough, the Richard Charles Lee Canada-Hong Kong Library of the University of Toronto, and Cha: An Asian Literary Journal, the symposium will be held in person in Toronto on 6-7 November 2023.

We are interested in the research that considers translation as a metaphor that attempts to freshen the studies of Hong Kong literature and culture. We invite presentations that ask inspiring and contentious questions about translation in and among various forms of cultural expression about Hong Kong. We also welcome discussions of discoveries and new developments in any facets of translation and Hong Kong, both literary and non-literary.

  • How does translation, broadly defined, better or limit a transnational understanding of Hong Kong culture?
  • Does translating Hong Kong imply an open or closed circulation of her culture?
  • Does translating Hong Kong serve to reiterate or decolonise the dominance of English?
  • What can we say about the heteroglossic phenomena in Hong Kong literature and culture?
  • What is the role that Cantonese plays in the translation of Hong Kong literature and culture?
  • How does the Hong Kong diaspora redefine the movement of her people, literature, and culture?

Continue reading

Animation, the Obsolescence of the Image, and the Disappearance of HK architecture

Source: Association for Chinese Animation Studies (5/23/23)
Animation, the Obsolescence of the Image, and the Disappearance of Hong Kong Architecture
By Yomi Braester

In this essay I hope to provoke scholars of animation into considering the role of time, both cinematic time and historical time. Like other genres of the moving image, animation often has at its core the disappearance of the image — an anticipated, even planned obsolescence. I examine here works exhibited as lightshows on the Hong Kong’s International Commerce Centre (ICC) façade between 2014–2016; these animations point explicitly toward the moment when the medium degrades and even vanishes.

Film relies on the ephemerality of perception, as images succeed each other, 24 times per second or even faster. The transition from one frame to the next is what allows for animation — designing one frame at a time, and animating the image by showing the frames in sequence. In this sense, animation is bound to the scale of the frame. However, we may also think at other magnitudes. At the size of an entire work, what matters is the speed with which the film hurtles toward its inevitable end — and possibly toward an afterlife in remediated and redistributed forms. In blown-up displays, in which the single pixel is visible to the viewer, the image expires also at the resolution of the pixel, many times within each frame. More than we have acknowledged, animation works pay attention to the possibilities opened up by calibrating these proportions up and down. Continue reading

New RCT website

Dear readers and colleagues,

We are delighted to announce that a new Research Center for Translation (RCT) website has been launched. You may now visit our new digital home at

We have simplified our navigation and created a more responsive interface. You can conveniently access different sections on our homepage, where information of upcoming translation studies—related events and the latest publications of RCT can be found. With all these modern features, useful resources for translation studies and Renditions publications are just a click away.

We have also launched our new e-bookstore: With better navigation and detailed product information, it’s now even easier to find past issues of the leading international journal Renditions, your favourite paperbacks and hardcovers of Chinese literature in English translation, as well as the outstanding scholarly works in translation studies.

While we have tried our best to improve the browsing experience of our website, we would love to hear your feedback; please feel free to contact us if you have any comment. We are grateful for your continued support to our Centre, and we hope the new website will become a platform where users find inspirations and new ideas.

Best regards,

Lawrence Wang-chi Wong
Director, Research Centre for Translation, CUHK

HK’s memory is being erased

Source: NYT (4/25/23)
Opinion: Hong Kong’s Memory Is Being Erased
阅读简体中文版 | 閱讀繁體中文版
By Louisa Lim (Ms. Lim, who was a journalist in China and Hong Kong for 13 years, is a senior lecturer at the University of Melbourne.)

A man, his back to the camera, looking at a foggy Victoria Harbour in Hong Kong. A small Hong Kong flag flies on a short pole nearby.

Credit…Jerome Favre/EPA, via Shutterstock

The group of about 80 protesters wore numbered lanyards around their necks and cordoned themselves off with tape as they marched, like a crime scene in motion.

This odd spectacle last month was Hong Kong’s first authorized protest in three years — highly choreographed, surveilled and regulated, even though it was not an explicitly antigovernment demonstration, and a world away from the crowds that thronged streets in 2019 to protest China’s tightening grip on the city. One participant said the protesters, who were opposed to a land reclamation project, were “herded like sheep.”

It was just one example of how Hong Kong, a global, tech-savvy city whose protests were once livestreamed around the world, is being transformed. But authorities aren’t merely choking off future protest; they are attempting to rewrite Hong Kong’s history.

Revisionism — with its ancillary altering or obliteration of memory — is an act of repression. It’s the same playbook China used after violently crushing the 1989 pro-democracy demonstrations in Beijing. Then, state-induced amnesia was imposed gradually. At first the government churned out propaganda that labeled those protests as a counterrevolutionary rebellion that had to be suppressed. But over the years, the state slowly excised all public memory of its killings. Continue reading

Writing Hong Kong–cfp

The open access journal Writing Chinese: A Journal of Contemporary Sinophone Literature is seeking submissions for a special issue focusing on contemporary Hong Kong literature. CfP below. Deadline 31st July 2023.

Special Issue: Writing Chinese / Writing Hong Kong
Guest Editor: Dr Jennifer Wong
Keynote: Prof Gregory Lee

Call for Papers

Hong Kong – with its unique historical past and colonial legacy, its rich languages and dialects, its cosmopolitanism – has seen many changes over the last decade. With the changing pattern of migration for the Chinese population across continents, particularly the emerging Hong Kong culture and literature, there is a need to recalibrate or reconceptualise what we mean by ‘new Chinese writing’ and, within it, contemporary Hong Kong literature, whether Anglophone, Sinophone or translated works. In this widening and emergent field, what role(s) do language and translation play in helping us appreciate the contexts and writing voice behind the range of literature?

In preparing for this special issue, we are calling for research papers (up to 8,000 words) focussing on all aspects of contemporary Hong Kong literature. We are especially interested in research articles that critically explore literary works relating to any or all of the following broad themes:-

  • the complexities / dualities of identities (racial, gender, or other identities);
  • sense of place (conceptualising the city or the diaspora);
  • language(s), translation or multiculturalism;
  • inter-generational narratives;
  • representations of trauma and conflict.

but topics are not limited to the above.

Professor Gregory Lee will be providing the keynote article for this issue.

Please follow the Author Guidelines ( on our website before submission and submit through the. All articles will be subject to the usual (double-blind) peer review process. The deadline for submissions for this Special Issue is 31st July 2023. For preliminary enquiries relating to submissions for this Special Issue, please contact the Guest Editor at

Alongside this special issue, we are also accepting research submissions for the Journal on an on-going basis. For enquiries relating to general submissions to the Journal, please contact the

Posted by: Frances Weightman <>

Xi Xi Memorial Roundtable

Made In Hong Kong: Xi Xi Memorial Roundtable Discussion
Date: Friday, March 3 2023
Time: 11:30 am-1:00 pm (EST)  (March 4 12:30 am-2:00 am HKT)

Zoom link:

Dear Colleagues,

You are cordially invited to participate via Zoom in our roundtable discussion to commemorate the Hong Kong writer 西西 Xi Xi who passed away in December 2022. Besides celebrating her enormous legacy in Hong Kong literature and culture and connecting the local literary community with the Anglophone academic community across the globe, the event brings together speakers from Hong Kong and the United States who will discuss topics such as pedagogy in the Anglophone classroom, researches in Hong Kong literary studies, Xi Xi’s translations and literary language, and local efforts to preserve and propagate Xi Xi’s influence via archive and community engagement.

(The roundtable is sponsored by the Department of Asian Studies of Pennsylvania State University.)


Shuang Shen (associate professor of comparative literature and Asian studies, Penn State)
Bangce Cheng (PhD student of comparative literature and Asian studies, Penn State)
Jennifer Feeley (translator, Yale PhD)
Louise Law Lok-man (project director of 字花 Fleurs des Lettres, Hong Kong’s acclaimed literary magazine, poet)
Maoshan Connie (illustrator, community map artist, Xi Xi’s visual arts collaborator)

Contact & Organizer: Wayne CF Yeung (Penn State) (

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 <>

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:;!!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