12"x18" edition of 3, sold out
reading, 2017, hong kong
I graduated university and went travelling across Asia with my family that year. I desperately wanted to be filled with new stimuli after being surrounded by the constant sleepy haze of essays, weed, and rain. Hong Kong is so often muted by concrete, yet there are always streaks of colour that dazzle you unaware. Noodle stalls in between skyscraper buildings for the hungry denizens of Central; the ever-present digital ticking of pedestrian walkways; there’s always something interesting going on even if you don’t look around with intention.
I don’t have any family In Hong Kong despite being Cantonese, though my mom spent a good part of her youth there as a seamstress. She had to learn how to abandon her country bumpkin accent from her tiny village in Guangzhou and speak like the locals did. My dad was from that same village when they were kids and he had to send snail mail across the world from Barbados in order to flirt with her. They met up in Hong Kong and, soon enough, immigrated to Canada.
Despite the lack of geographic connection I had, I was still culturally tethered by having been a Chinese kid that grew up in a Western world. I watched plenty of Jackie Chan films in between stints of Looney Tunes on YTV, and I wanted to be a cop because of his Police Story films. Then I found out that cops don’t actually catch bad guys with kung fu. It was only later that I watched Wong Kar-wai films—like every other Asian kid that scrolled on Tumblr endlessly in their youth—and found myself romanticizing the streets of Hong Kong. His films undoubtedly contributed to my love of the image.
Sadly I have not been back since. I don’t intend on being there for a while considering the protests, crackdowns, COVID, and sweeping feelings of oppression I’ve heard from my friends who still live there.