“Intersection Collaborative Learning Project” — A Showcase of the Best Works (with an introduction by Heidi Huang and Holden Liang Qichao)

This month, students from the English Department’s Master’s programme in Literary and Comparative Studies (MALCS) joined the students from the undergraduate course Hong Kong Stories (taught by Heidi Huang) in an “Intersection Collaborative Learning Project”. The collaborative field trip which they undertook throughout Hong Kong was inspired by local modernist writer Liu Yichang’s short story “Intersection”, which describes the reminiscences and fantasies of a middle-aged Shanghai expatriate and a young Hong Kong girl whose respective courses of flânerie intersect along Nathan Road and a cinema, among other city sites. (You can read “Intersection” here.)

Before the field trip, each local student was paired with a non-local student a la Liu Yichang’s short story. The paired students then went on to explore different parts of Hong Kong and take snapshots of the city. Their snapshots and creative writings were showcased in a sharing forum with special guests including translation scholar Marija Todorova, Hong Kong writer and film critic Enoch Tam, and Hong Kong poet Jason Eng Hun Lee. Here are some of their best works.

—Heidi Huang and Holden Liang Qichao

Note: The following poems have been slightly edited by Tammy Ho.

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PARADOX OF THE METROPOLIS

There are paradoxes everywhere in Hong Kong:
The “always open” door of government headquarters remains shut;
people have to air their sentiments on sticky notes.
Those open and righteous officers
turned out beating protesters in the dark.
We work from dawn to dusk to make ends meet,
counting on the $1,800 USD to survive.
Yet we shall have no rights to cast a democratic vote.
“It is entirely a numbers game,
and a numeric representation.”

True, I might not dominate the Hong Kong vote.
At least I still have my villa—a portable camping room
named in accordance with the paradoxical city,
amid the ever skyrocketing property prices.
It’s where you can find this very letter.
Act now, it’s now or never.

First1

Lennon Wall Hong Kong, Admiralty Protest Zone

First2

“Gwong1 Ming4 Leoi5 Lok6”, Admiralty Protest Zone

First3

“萬肆豪庭Villa 14000”

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.
.
A CONFESSION

I am a tiny old street, called Wing Lee.
Twelve blocks of four-storey buildings pack me,
form a corner of residence.
No vehicles can enter, people only through a long staircase.
I am old enough to be torn down for rebuilding,
just as many of my friends have already faced.
Yet, due to the influence of a famous film,
I become a survivor, exempt from ruin.

My fame brings people.
Curious, they come and go.
They capture me through their lenses,
not through bare eyes.
They photograph me
from different angles, up and down, left and right.
Sometimes, I am the center;
others, I serve as background.
My oldness, backwardness, tranquility all become
the static aesthetic.

Yet, how many people ever glance the buildings
through the locked doors to ponder my once dynamic life?
Children playing hide-and-seek blissfully,
adults dealing business downstairs,
or doing household chores upstairs,
seniors reading newspapers or chatting on the benches outside…
The buildings, in and out, bottom and up, front and back
were filled with laughter, greetings, warmth.

How time glorifies me,
gives me a sense of sacredness and nostalgia.
People come and go to say goodbye.
I can see they are worried of the end of the past,
I can see they are afraid of uprooting themselves,
I can see they are confused about the future…

Second1

Second2


Second3

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.
.
THE PEOPLE OF THIS CITY ALL LOVE GOLDFISH

The people of this city all love goldfish
From Eddie Kwan in Interpol to Alex Law in Echoes Of The Rainbow
They all keep goldfish
It is said that a goldfish’s memory lasts only three seconds
So the world is forever new for them
Which is their source of happiness
Although in our eyes, this is a tragedy

Goldfish also love the people of this city
They are noble and elegant
They are well-dressed
They are inhabiting a small glass room
They are swimming around all day long
They are living without long memories and history
They are good at forgetting
They are their own kind
Their fate is like this
Although in our eyes, this is a tragedy

On the street called Goldfish
They meet each other
They know each other
They accompany each other
Although they are all feeling-less
They are all known as the Golden Generation
They all love Gold

这个城市的人喜欢金鱼

这个城市的人喜欢金鱼
从《国际刑警》的关礼杰
到《岁月神偷》的罗启锐
他们都养金鱼
据说,鱼的记忆力只有三秒
所以世界对它们来说,永远是崭新的
虽然,在我们看来是这是一种悲哀
但这是它们无比的快乐

金鱼也喜欢这个城市的人
他们出身高贵
他们衣着光鲜
他们居于狭小的空间
他们整日不停地泅游
他们都没有历史
他们都善于遗忘
仿佛它们的同类
虽然,在我们看来这是一种挣扎
但这是就是他们的命运

在这条名为金鱼的街上
他们和它们终于相遇,相识,相守
虽然是没有感情的动物
但他们都信奉“金”字

Third1

It is said that a goldfish’s memory lasts only three seconds
So the world is forever new for them

Third3

They are all known as the Golden Generation
They all love Gold

:::::

HHeidi Huang is Lecturer at the Department of English Language and Literature. She got her MA and PhD in Transcultural Studies in Lyon where she met her husband from Hong Kong. She is trying really hard to live a well-balanced life as a woman of faith, a supportive wife, a dolphin mom, a cheerful giver, an innovative scholar, and an inspiring teacher. [Click here to read all entries by Heidi.]

holdenHolden Liang Qichao is a PhD student at the Department of English Language and Literature. [Click here to read all pieces by Holden.]

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