March 11, 2005
Mirana May Szeto
Hong Kong Everyday Culture:
Film & Literature
Lai Man-wai黎民偉
The Lai brothers made China’s first
narrative short film “Zhuangzi
Tests His Wife” (1931) China’s
first feature-length film “Rouge”
(1924), first newsreel, scenery film
and documentary. He made “War
Against the Warlords”
(1921-8), the only
film record of the
campaign. He joined
the Xingzhonghui
and Tongmenghui,
& participated in the
1911 revolution.
China Sun (Minxin) 1923:
 Lai, is a pioneer in Hong Kong/Chinese cinema. He
established the first Chinese Film Studio in Hong Kong
and introduced foreign film technology to Hong Kong.
 Founded Hong Kong’s first Chinese-owned theatre
“New World.”
 Spread filming activities to Guangzhou, Shanghai,
Beijing and all of China.
Modern Man:
 Activist in “people’s theatre” –
started the troupe Ching Ping
Lok (清平樂) to spread the ideas
of revolution.
 Believe in liberated sexuality
and equality between the sexes.
 First man to play a female role in
Chinese film and worked
alongside his wife in his entire
The modern wuxia novel and film:
 During the Republican period (1911-1949), the modern
wuxia novel came into being in popular culture, when
in high culture, the May 4th Movement since 1919
pressed for modernization and the total rejection of
traditional Chinese culture.
 A new May 4th literature evolved, calling for a break
with Confucian values.
 In popular culture, the xia emerged as a parallel symbol
of personal freedom, defiance to Confucian tradition,
and rejection of the Chinese family system. As a literary
form of popular protest, wuxia films and literature were
banned at various times during the Republican era
(1911-1949 in mainland China).
Competition between the Northern
School & the Southern School of wuxia
fiction & film:
The Northern school centered in Beijing followed the
traditional approach of the storyteller &
the classical novel. These works focused
on traditional values & were based in
realism & set in historical contexts.
The Southern school, centered in
Shanghai was influenced by western
literature and the New Literary Movement.
These works were more adventurous in
both form and style, were more
cosmopolitan in character, as well as more
mass media and film friendly.
Even further south, the Guangdong
(including Hong Kong) wuxia novels were
even more ingenious & savor a kind of indigenous quality.
The earliest
wuxia films
The first martial arts
films ever made were
made in Hong Kong:
The Nameless Hero,
starring the first famous
martial arts star Zhang Huichang (張慧冲), directed by
Zhang Shichuan (張石川), 1926;
The Hero of Guangdong, 1928, starring the famous martial arts
film actress Wu Lizhu(鄔麗珠), cross-dressed to play a male
role; and
The Burning of Red Lotus Monastery, directed by Zhang
Shichuan, 1928.
Their popularity started a trend. 250 wuxia films were made
between 1928 to 1930 - nearly 60% of the Chinese film
industry’s output at the time.
The Hong Kong school:
The Communist banned wuxia novels &
films in China. The political censorship
also prevented any literature and film
made in Hong Kong & Taiwan to enter
Communist China since early 1950s.
Thus the second prominent phase of the
wuxia genre was launched in mid-1950s
Hong Kong & Taiwan. Representative writers include Jin
Yong (金庸). His contemporaries include Liang Yusheng
(梁羽生), who introduced the concept of the hero as an
intellectual, and Gu Long (古龍) who viewed the xia as a
solitary ascetic.
Once Upon a Time in China
Tsui Hark, director/producer/
scriptwriter, Once Upon a Time
in China I & II, Hong Kong,
1991, 1992.
 Wong Fei-Hung (Cantonese romanization)
Huang Feihong (Mandarin romanization)
Wong Fei-Hung (1847-1925) was a historical
Cantonese martial arts master and herbalist, the son
of one of the Ten Tigers of Guangdong 黃騏英,
(Wong Kei-Ying in Cantonese romanization), a
title which he inherited. He was a kungfu master of
the Southern Shaolin Temple school, who also
invented his own styles later in life.
Wong Fei-Hung
He was famous for his Tiger Crane Duel Style虎鶴雙
形, Five Form Fists五形拳, Gong Character Tiger
Subduing Fists工字伏虎拳, Five Elements Fists五行
拳, & Five Men Eight Diagrams Club五郎八卦棍. He
also inherited the 嶺南白鶴派 Lingnan White Crane
School of martial arts (Lingnan meaning south of the Nine
Dragon Mountain, which is where today’s Hong Kong is).
Thus, at the center of his Po Chi Lum herbal medicine
institution(寶芝林, Bao Zhilin Precious Herb Forest) was
the ancestral alters of the White Crane Masters and the
Wong Fei-Hung
百載前傳仙武術, 千年後教佛功夫(Hundred Years
of Immortal Martial Arts Inherited, Thousand
Years of Buddha’s Kungfu Taught), and also the
寶劍出匣 (匣sounds the same as 俠 ,xia) &
芝草在林 – together meaning “when the precious
sword emerges, precious medicines are also
present” (i.e. at Po Chi Lum).
Wong Fei-Hung
 In the 1940s, a writer with the pen name Woshi
Shanren started serializing martial arts novels about
the hero, which got adapted into film since 1949 and
has stayed a mythological staple of Cantonese cinema.
 It was first adapted into film by the director Hu
Peng(胡鵬), with the assistance of
 Nianfo Shanren (念佛山人), who was actually the
Guangdong boxing novel master Xu Kairu (許凱如),
 Master Chen Hanzong (陳漢宗), a Hong Style Shifu
(洪拳師傅) and herbalist, as well as
 Wu Yixiao (吳一嘯), a martial arts novelist and
黃飛鴻 Wong Fei-Hung
In the early blossoming of kungfu films in Cantonese cinema in Hong
Kong, this Wong Fei-Hung figure was represented as a highly
respected elderly patriarch and folk hero in a self-contained
traditional Chinese community. The issue of China’s
modernization and relation to the rest of the world is ignored.
Wong Fei-Hung
He represented the Confucian Xia virtues of 仁愛
benevolence, altruism, love, 和平 peace, 義 truthfulness
and loyalty, 忍 tolerance and forbearance in face of insult,
and 恕 forgiveness. He emphasized that kungfu (martial
arts) is ultimately practiced for the benefit of health. He
forbid his students from using it to bully others or get
one’s way and cause trouble and tension in the community.
He taught students to be large-hearted and tolerate insults
whenever possible. To him, a true master should be
magnanimous in using his skills. He did not allow the use
of force unless in the event of urgency in the protection of
the community & of justice for others. Even when he
subdued the criminals or bullies, he never try to kill them.
Rather, he always resort to forgiveness and try to educate
Wong Fei-Hung
This local hero is so beloved that the film series went on
from 1949 to 1970, spanning 80 episodes, 59 directed by
Hu Peng(胡鵬).
 Guan Tak Hing (in Cantonese, Guan Dexing in Mandarin,
關德興), (b.1906 d.1996) – was the actor reincarnating
Wong Fei-Hung and representing his image in the
cultural memory of Hong Kong. Guan was also skilled in
kungfu and was a master in playing warrior roles in
Cantonese opera.
Wong Fei-Hung
Guan (關德興) went on to play
the figure of Wong in 87 films
and 13 TV episodes. He was
noted in the 1994 Guinness
Book of Records for playing
the same role 100 times. He
was a righteous hero also offstage, being revered as a
“patriotic artist” in his
resistance to Japanese
invasion of China between
1931-1945, and was
renowned for his generous
contributions and lifelong
career in philanthropy.
Wong Fei-Hung
Although Guan was a
Chinese patriot, he lived
most of his life in Hong
Kong, the British colony,
where martial arts &
Cantonese opera could
still thrive. Queen
Elizabeth II could not
help knighting him with
the MBE in 1981
(Member of the Order of
the British Empire) for his
remarkable artistic and
charitable contributions.
Tsui hark &
Jet Li’s Wong
 is unlike
 Guan’s
 Interpretation:
 Guan’s Wong Fei-Hung was a patriarch never represented with
wives, concubines and girlfriends. He was sexless & upright, just
like most traditional master xia and righteous authority figures in
martial arts novels, presiding over a brotherhood of disciples and
xia. Guan has this lean-faced serious look that switches only to
stern benevolence, very unlike the baby-faced handsome Jet Li.
Director-writer Tsui Hark gave Jet Li’s Wong a fictional girlfriend
Aunt Yee with a convincing and mutual love affair.
Wong Fei-Hung
In the film, Wong Fei-Hung is faced
with the questions:
1) What is the place of kungfu in the
modern world of technology?
2) What should Chinese nationalism
be like?
3) How should patriotism be exercised?
How should we save China from
the duel evils of Western invasion
and local exploitation? What are to
blame for our suffering?
4) Where should the Chinese hero
stand in face of Western
technology’s challenge to Chinese
traditional knowledge, skills and
Bucktooth Sol 牙擦蘇 (Ah So in
Cantonese romanization):
The original Ah So in the old film series was a local
In Tsui’s film, this figure becomes a British trained
medical student who speaks excellent English but
stammers badly in Cantonese.
His stuttering is a cultural symptom of his discomfort at
being treated as someone foreign in his supposed
“native country,” which was not where he was raised
and educated. He has to deal with the alienation in a
Sino-centric China, where there is no empathy for ethnic
Chinese people of multiple cultural & national
Bucktooth Sol:
This impediment in Chinese speech and reading however,
does not deter him from coming to Wong to learn
traditional Chinese medicine. His mother tongue,
English, also made him very effective in helping Wong
negotiate with the foreigners in China.
His presence as a Westernized person is also not portrayed
as threatening like other Westerners. Wong can maintain
this composure in face of his Western technology and
knowledge because of the clear master/disciple relation
that Ah Sol submits to. Ah Sol even willingly becomes
his foreign language mouthpiece, giving him face and
stature in front of foreigners.
Fu (Ah Foon in Cantonese
 He comes from the countryside to Fo Shan city to
earn fame and fortune by learning superior martial
arts skills from Wong so that he can literally fight
his way to prestige (打出名堂). Compared to
Wong, who has everything, Fu is a nobody.
 His nothingness is a generative force of desire for
power, prestige, money, women. He is the
incarnation of capitalist opportunism and
entrepreneurial spirit, the double-edged sword of
China’s modernization.
Fu (Ah Foon):
 In the course of the film series, he will become
Wong’s disciple, but also falls in love with Aunt
Yee and act as a sort of quasi-competitor that
Wong need to win over. It is a competition
between 2 kinds of Chinese men.
 He empathizes with other’s exploitation. He is
supposed to work as a Cantonese opera apprentice
but was made to patch the roof. He was bossed
over and bullied by the local gangsters ready to
assert dominance over any new comer.
Fu’s (Ah Foon) looks in the film:
1) He looks down from the roof & sees Aunt Yee in
Victorian dress and hat taking photos of other actors.
Without seeing her face, he was surprised that a
foreigner was speaking Chinese. He falls to face Aunt
Yee and her new technology, who stares back with
surprised innocent big eyes.
2) Then he sees the naked back of Master Wu (Iron Robe
Yim), who comes from the north and is now a desperate
street performer. Fu is stunned by his great skills at
breaking several spears with his bare throat, and is also
stunned by the fact that he needs to crouch to pick up
the few coins tossed down by the bystanders.
Fu’s desires:
 His desires cause his fluctuating loyalties.
 His fluctuating loyalties pose the question:
 How should Chinese modernization go? In
terms of heartless capitalist opportunism or
something else?
The film’s implications about the
present Hong Kong:
In the time the film is about (1890s- early1900s),
Britain has taken Hong Kong as a colony. Japan has
taken Taiwan as a colony.
 In the time the film is made (1990s), Hong Kong was
still a British colony, but at the point of returning to
Chinese sovereignty in 1997. Since the time China and
Britain discuss the fate of Hong Kong in 1983 to the
1989 Tiananmen Massacre, it is clear that China
opposes democracy in Hong Kong and proves to be as
oppressive a colonizer as the British has been. An
implied comment on the Deng Xiaoping dynasty
through comments on the Qing dynasty.
The film’s implications about the
present China:
 Inevitably,
China is opening up to the world
again but with a lot of problems. Generalized
anti-corruption movements and democracy
movements emerge due to the corrupt
bureaucracy and the unchecked exploitation of
workers and the peasants in 1989. It ends in
the bloody suppression of the Tiananmen
Massacre of June 4, 1989.
The film’s implications about the
present China:
Think about Fu, the gangsters, Master Yim as the
converts to opportunism and the lure of capital in the big
cosmopolitan cities.
 The present China:
 One biggest horror of the period: the state encouraged
everyone to expose, denounce and persecute each other,
including one’s parents, teachers, family and friends.
This breaks the trust between all human relations. Right
after that, China, still recovering from poverty and ruin,
is thrown into the other heartless jungle logic of all
against all – The Capitalist Revolution after the
breakdown of human relations in the Cultural
Technology in the film:
 We usually think of technology as applied science, as a
tool, like money. Its uses and abuses depend on us, the
user. However, as in science fiction, we know and we
contemplate the horrifying dangers and fascinating
possibilities of science and technology in the hands of
human beings. Not only that, technology, like money
can also take on a life and logic of its own, beyond the
comprehension and control of human beings.
Kungfu as technē-logic:
 In this sense, Kungfu is a technology, a technique with
a logic, a philosophy of its own. It is a technology of
the body and mind guided by a tradition of Chinese
philosophy about the relation of the human body, mind,
emotions, desire & social relations to nature.
 Kungfu is a technē-logic, a philosophical and physical
way of using, framing, doing, understanding, making,
cultivating, revealing the essence and potential of the
human body.
 The films we study can be studied for the beneficial
and dangerous ways of using kungfu as a technology –
as a technē-logic.
Kungfu as technē-logic:
 If used well, informed by beneficial
philosophical guidance in one with the Dao of
nature, kungfu cultivation improves
psychological and physical health and extends
 If used with a bad logic, of revenge, greed, thirst
for power, lust for victory and so forth, it brings
death, ruins health, wrecks lives and
The irony of kungfu as a Chinese
 It is ironic that
 when kungfu as physical combat and martial
technology loses its relevance as an effective form of
Chinese national defense against Western invasion and
technological prowess
 it becomes the showcase of the only recognizable and
admired form of Chinese technology in the West, now
understood as an art and an object of national pride and
 such as in the muscle and sweat skills of Bruce Lee and
Jackie Chan.
The irony of kungfu as representative of
“Chineseness” in the multicultural hybrid
inventions of Bruce Lee’s kungfu:
 Bruce Lee names his style Jeet Kune Doo – literally
“The Tao of the intercepting fist.”
 His style synthesizes any skill functional and effective,
regardless of cultural, national, sectarian boundaries.
 He wrote to a friend in 1969 saying:” I’ve lost faith in
the Chinese classical arts – though I still call mine
Chinese – because, basically, all styles are a product of
‘land swimming,’ even the Wing Chun school. So my
line of training is more toward efficient street-fighting
with everything goes.”
The irony of kungfu as representative of
“Chineseness” in the multicultural hybrid
inventions of Bruce Lee’s kungfu :
 He mastered the southern Cantonese rapid punches
kungfu with Wing Chun master Yip Man & mastered
also northern legwork. He learned boxing & fencing,
judo, Filipino martial arts, wrestling, karate & Thai
boxing. He trained in Western manners, using a
punching bag & devoted hours to rope skipping to
enhance his bantamweight style. He studied Mohammed
Ali’s footages.
 He emphasized the synthesis of skills across cultural
boundaries and resisted the domination of a single
Lee resists national purity in his
 Lee: “If you have only 2 hands
& 2 legs nationalities don’t mean
anything. We must approach it as an
expression of oneself.” That is
American individualism or Hong
Kong pragmatic individualism more
than Confucian fidelity to tradition.
 If his style is to be considered “Chinese,” then
“Chineseness” has to be understood as an open,
constantly changeable and porous idea, making it as
ambiguous as the multicultural background of Bruce
The multicultural background of
Bruce Lee:
 He was born in 1940 in San Francisco to a Chinese father and a
Eurasian mother and was taken to Hong Kong a few months
later. There he started as a child film star in Hong Kong
Cantonese films, learned dancing & became the Hong Kong
cha-cha champion. He got into too much trouble and fighting in
Hong Kong, and was sent back to the US for college. His own
purpose for hi time in the US is to earn fame and fortune. He
opened his own kungfu schools, became a controversial teacher,
and staged tournament demonstrations of his famous skills. He
lost the starring role in the Kungfu TV series and returned to
Hong Kong to launch a colossal kungfu film career with
Golden Harvest that would help him become famous across
cultures and races & re-enter the US scene with a bang.
Yuen Woo Ping, dir, Drunken
Master, Hong Kong, 1978,
starring Jackie Chan.
Bruce Lee & Jackie Chan:
 Combat is serious duel for
 Combat is like a street brawl
survival & defense. Intense.
& comic prank. Tone: light.
 Hero is invincible throughout
 The hero begins as a naïve,
& keeps his almost immortal
precocious, mischievous antistature. Assumed to be the best
hero, an ordinary guy of flesh
fighter right from the start.
& blood. Must learn discipline,
stamina & techniques to win.
 Kungfu is earned by enduring
 Kungfu is already achieved
hard work as an apprentice.
when he shows up as master.
 Bruce Lee films sell him as an  Jackie Chan films sells him
not as a kungfu master, but a
individual kungfu master of
hardworking stuntman with
superhuman skills.
superior kungfu skills &
command of film technology.
Bruce Lee & Jackie Chan:
 Famous for his clean
 Makes his name by his real,
winning fights & invincible,
superhuman body. Never
show any awareness of pain.
 Emphasizes his singular
personal achievement.
excruciating injuries of the
outtakes & flubbed stunts
shown in the closing credits.
 Emphasizes team work,
foregrounds his co-workers’
contributions as a stunt team.
 How to be the next dragon
and not clone Bruce lee?
 “Instead of kicking high like
Bruce Lee, I kick low. He
plays the invincible hero, I’m
the underdog.”
Jackie Chan’s kungfu comedies:
 Unlike the proper display of traditional styles
and clear adherence to tradition in the northern
swordplay martial arts films, Chan’s Cantonese
(sourthern) kungfu films parody traditional
styles, contain entirely fabricated styles, sly
commentaries on the traditional belief systems,
slapstick routines, gross-out jokes and verbal
comedy built around anachronisms, puns and
references that could be crude and vulgar.
Jackie Chan’s kungfu comedies:
 Chan’s genre transformation parallels the transformation
of Hong Kong from a colonial backwater to a rapidly
modernizing fast-paced urban capitalist city by the 1970s.
The Cantonese turn also targeted the growing local born
and Cantonese population, distinct from the previous
refugee generation from different parts of China.
 This new genre embraces a value system different from
the traditional xia culture, foregrounding pragmatism,
cynicism, personal ambition, rebelliousness against
conformity, ruthlessness, acquisitiveness and quick-witted
adaptability irrespective of cultural traditions and norms.
Jackie Chan’s kungfu comedies:
 This new genre embraces a value system not unlike
mainstream capitalist work ethic everywhere, one also
embraced by Hong Kong culture. The HK Tourist
Association have made him practically the poster boy of
Hong Kong. He defines a new kind of heroism that stresses
boundless determination and good-humored willingness to
suffer and work for future victories.
 Jackie Chan is even more market oriented and pragmatic
than Bruce Lee about his kungfu. He never sought to found
his own style. Instead, he calls his approach “chop suey”
and one that is aimed at making entertaining movies. This
does not mean Chan’s feats does not require extremely
impressive skills of kungfu and acrobatics.
The “Nüxia” (女俠)?
History of Female xia:
 In the earliest Chinese mythology, dated from the time of
matriarchal forms of society, it was the female goddess
Nüwa (女媧) who created men from yellow clay and filled
up the imperfections of the sky with precious stones she
 The only one who can read the celestial book of all
knowledge is the goddess of knowledge, strategy and war,
Xuannü of the Nine Heavens (九天玄女). Women were
believed to be the bearer of all knowledge. Huang Di, the
legendary founder of the Chinese won his place because
Xuannü decides to help him with her supreme knowledge.
History of Female xia: cont.
 However, later in history,
male jealousy drove drastic
rewritings of her story,
turning Xuannü more and
more into a decorative
beauty and object of sexual
fantasy. The ultimate male
fantasy of conquering the
mother of all knowledge is
to sexually dominate her.
Thus, the term Xuannü and
also Shennü (celestial female)
ended up becoming the
idioms for prostitutes.
However, the more women are oppressed in
Chinese culture, the more fascinating the
independent female xia becomes:
 Legends, mythology, local county and province
chronicles, personal biographies, the arts and even
official history have abundant numbers of female xia
 Just in xia literature alone, Chinese scholar estimates that
a third of the texts features a female xia protagonist and
more than half of them achieve supreme victory alone
or with the help of female mentors.
 The male helper theme is less frequent the further back
in time we look.
Types of female xia - they all tend
to be especially intelligent
 1) Free-spirits (豪俠, haoxia): rise above
the concerns of traditional taboos & duties,
like chastity & motherhood to pursue their
aspirations & lovers of their dream.
They elope, kill, fight their way through to
freedom. They fall in love with other xia
irrespective of social expectations.
Examples: Piaomu(漂母), wife of Zhang Er
(張耳妻), the Maiden of Qi(齊女), Zhuo
Wenjun(卓文君), Liang Hongyu(粱紅玉)etc.
 2) Wandering Xia (游俠, youxia): they typically help the
weak and eliminate local bullies & corrupt officials,
help others revenge and right the wrongs, safe people
from hunger and other calamities, steals from the rich to
help the poor etc., & we have a legion of them. They
come and go in mystery & of their own free will.
Types of female xia: continued
 3) The swordswoman (劍俠, jianxia)
more famous because of the superior
fighting skills over everyone in the
 4) The avenger (義俠, yixia) who
might start off as a daughter, wife or
mother who is wronged and sets out
to use her brains and other skills to
revenge and eliminate evil people at
the same time.
Types of female xia: continued
 5) The trained martial
artists (武俠, wuxia):
they are usually
kidnapped children or
victims of family
trauma rescued by a
female master of
martial arts often in the
form of a Taoist or
Buddhist nun or a
prostitute, who took
them in and train them
 The Deaf Mute
 Heroine
 Ainu
Types of female xia: continued
 6) the super-human nun (神尼, shenni): she is often an
otherworldly hermit or wanderer, an invincible martial
arts master, who acts according to her philosophy
unhindered. She often trains other women. Because of
their religious beliefs, men who fear then often imagine
them as icy cold previous victims of sexual violence or
unrequited love. Some fight even this stereotype. As the
brothel and the nunnery are the only 2 legitimate social
spaces for women outside the home, the illegitimate
community of the xia becomes especially attractive to
women. Often, they even turn those legitimate spaces into
the alternative world of xia. Thus the fighting nun and
the vengeful martial artist prostitute Ainu.
Some special features of supreme
martial artists:
1)Youthfulness: if their inner strength is trained early and to a
superior level, they often look immensely younger than
their real age. Can look ageless.
2)Sometimes they are characterized as elderly figures only in
order to suggest wisdom. However, they might be said to
be ancient. In traditional Chinese culture older people are
figures of experience, wisdom and temperance.
3) Sexual abstinence. This is more pervasive among male xia
than female xia because one of the chief rebellion of
women is against the taboos on her body and sexuality.
The more closer to our time, the more love and sex life the
xia have, especially the women.
“Jane” Bond? The Hong Kong hybrid
 Factory girl or dutiful
daughter during the day,
detective plus nüxia at
 Male roles are usually
weaker, or a bit stupid
or slow.
女俠: The Seven Princesses (七公主):
藍紅, 謝賢
The Weak Male &
the Legendary Nüxia:
China possesses a tradition of the superior female. In
history, one comes across a lot of strong women full of
intelligence, competence, talents, martial arts skills,
extraordinary powers and self-confidence. The Yin reigns
over the Yan in a lot of folk legends. The Cantonese Hong
Kong cinema of the 1950s and 60s was the domain of the
female star. It was the time of after war recovery and
general poverty among the immigrant and refugee
dominated Hong Kong population. The weak male in
romantic melodrama is in need of female saviors, and the
male detective is always a little slow of wit or too naïve
compared to the nüxia. However, when Hong Kong’s
economy get more and more powerful, the male hero
becomes more and more dominant and the female roles
more and more decorative and marginal. Why?
Chor Yuen
(Chu Yuan), dir.,
Confessions of a
Chinese Courtesan
(Ai Nu, 愛奴),
Hong Kong: 1972.
Forced into prostitution by a group of thugs and Chun Yi
(Bei Di), a lesbian madam, Ai Nu (He Lili) becomes the
highest-priced courtesan of the brothel, bewitching men
into submission until she decides to exact revenge on men.
Bedroom scenes turn into swordfights, foreplay into
murders. Madam Chun Yi victimizes and exploits Ai Nu
while being in love with her, and conversely, Ai Nu
pretends to be lured into a lesbian relationship with Chun
Yi in order to entrap her. So sex, seduction (and kissing!)
become the ultimate weapons for power. The two heroines
never lose either their regal poise or their mysterious,
slightly ironical smiles.
The atypical film Ainu:
 The term Ainu: Women in traditional China were taught
to refer to themselves as nunu (slave slave), even if she
was a lady of class.
 The film takes this idea literally to the context where
this sexist oppression of women as slaves of men and
of the patriarchal family becomes most crude & blatant.
 Ainu is literally named “slave of love” by her parent,
even before her kidnap. She is them abducted to
become literally, a sex slave, both of the lesbian madam
and the rich male clients. The irony is on the word love.
What does love mean in a situation of total lack of
The atypical film Ainu:
1) Ainu is not a typical Confucian female xia avenging her
parents or saving her brother. She is doing it for herself
& single-handedly liberates other trapped women &
eliminates threats to other women. She cynically
lectures the constable that he is after the wrong people.
He should be arresting the kidnappers & operators of
the sex slave trade rather than a righteous xia like her.
2) At every rape scene, we end up laughing at the
camera’s ridicule of the men, rather seeing the exposure
and torture of the female bodies.
3) The film borders towards undoing the expected malecentered visual pleasure of a soft porn. Rather, it
compensates with the sensual pleasure of gore emerging
out of pent-up female rage & hatred over thousands of
years of physical and emotional oppression.
The atypical film Ainu:
 4) The visual pleasure centering on women’s eroticism also sets
the male viewer as an outsider, a voyeur, a peeping tom in the
lives of lesbians, just as ridiculous and as impotently angry as the
unrequited worshipper of Chun Yi.
 5) The torture scenes actually showcased are those when Ainu
tortures and kills the men – her prey. When women are tortured,
the perpetrators are women themselves. Think about the
implication of a history of oppression on women’s power
 6) Where are the social spaces where women can call the shots?
The nunnery and the brothel and the family when all the men
your generation and men and women above your generation are
all dead and you have at least a son.
 7) Both Madam Chun Yi & Ainu are not totally inhuman and
icy – the stereotype of non-Confucian female xia. They are still
capable of love & compassion, which is hugely compromised by
hatred and previous trauma from the hands of men.
Director: Ching Siu Tung
Producer: Tsui Hark,
Hong Kong, 1992.
Original Story: Louis Cha
Screenplay: Tsui Hark, Hanson Chan, Tang Pik Yin
Martial Arts Directors: Ching Siu Tung, Yuen Bun, Ma Yuk Sing, Cheung Yiu
Costume Designers: William Chang, Yu Ka On
Cinematographer: Lau Moon Tong
Biography of director Tsui Hark & links to articles on him:
Brigitte Ching-Hsia Lin as Asia the
 An ethnic Miao anti-Chinese rebel leader wanting to
defeat the oppressive Chinese Empire and take over
 Asia learned the most powerful martial arts from a
Sacred Scroll and took over the Miao people’s Sun
Moon Sect as a base for the anti-Chinese coup.
 The Japanese ninjas and swordsmen [the Hattori’s] in
exile in China are also serving under Asia the
 The Miao and Japanese people together robbed a
shipment of Western firearms the Chinese bought
from Holland.
Rosamund Kwan as Ying:
 She is from the Miao ethnicity.
 She is the Acting Chief of the Sun Moon Sect after
her father is imprisoned by Asia the Invincible.
 Asia in fact drove her and her followers into exile and
usurped her role as the chief of the sect.
 They are now hiding out in the inn she is running as a
 The inn follows the martial arts tradition of
iconography as the black inn trope.
Michelle Reis as Kiddo:
 She is the cross-dressed youngest “brother” of the Wah Mountain
brotherhood of xia [with Ling and the other boys].
She is the daughter of the chief of the Wah Mountain School of
martial arts.
In Swordsman I, before Asia finally won the competition for the
Sacred Scroll, her father was also obsessed with the acquisition of
the scroll and has turned evil and ready to betray and kill his
students [Ling and the brothers] for that purpose.
Disappointed and betrayed, the brotherhood, including Kiddo,
decided to retreat into seclusion and leave the martial arts world for
They went out to look for a good site of hermitage and agreed to
meet again at Ying’s Inn in a year to go into hermitage together.
This is the point in the story when the film Swordsman II begins.
Fannie Yuen as Blue Phoenix:
Confidant and best follower of Ying.
Also a Miao woman.
She can control snakes with her reed
She represents the sexually
uninhibited woman.
 Asia thinks that the Miao people, having always
been a small ethnic minority and the underdog in
China, should rebel against China’s semi-colonial
oppression of the Miao and the other ethnic peoples
(苗 , 金, 遼, 藏, 蒙, 回).
 Asia is determined to reverse the situation and make
the Sun Moon Sect more powerful.
 Asia makes an agreement with the exiled Japanese
military leaders, headed by Hattori (Lee Tse-hung),
who are hiding-out in China to gather their forces
for an attack on the new Japanese leader, Hideyoshi.
 In return for allowing the Japanese a safe haven in
China, the Japanese have agreed to help Asia to
challenge the Chinese rule.
Synopsis:「風刀霜劍寒相逼, 只嘆江湖幾人回」
 Asia, on the other hand, is perfecting his fighting
ability by studying the Sacred Scroll.
 He castrated himself in order to reach the highest
level of martial arts as suggested by the Sacred
Scroll. In the process of his training, his physique
gradually becomes more and more feminine.
 He is also ruthless in realizing his ambitions and is
viciously imprisoning the ex-chief Master Wu and
taking over the Sun Moon Sect under an iron fist.
 Ling, the Wah Mountain’s best fighter, is the only
person with the ability to stop him. But at the same
time, Ling and his fellows have made the decision
to retreat to seclusion, and are thrown into a
 Ling is a xia who has a weak spot for smart powerful
women. He is totally infatuated by the gallant, classy
accomplished martial artist and Miao Chief, Ying.
 At Ying's request, Ling, in keeping with the altruistic
air of the true xia, agrees to rescue her father, Wu.
 However, after being freed from capture, we discover
that Master Wu doesn’t seem to be any less
tyrannical than Asia.
 Wu turns out to be a twisted, vengeance-obssessed
phychotic, bellowing through the rest of the film in a
ritual of executions.
 It seems this “victim” is even more heartless and
blindly ruthless than Asia and does not seem to be
doing anything purposeful for the Miao people.
To complicate matters, Asia and Ling meet when Asia was
rising out of a bath in the sea. S/he dries himself/herself
simply by the whirlwinds s/he creates. The drops of water
from one shake of his/her wet gown can kill a flock of birds
and perforate a thousand trees.
What we see is the unmistakable allure of the stunningly
beautiful Brigitte Lin. It is ridiculous, certainly, to expect
anyone to look at Lin and believe her to be a man, but her
sheer authority, presence and power so dominate any scene
she’s we simply have to go along with the assumption.
 Ling is totally stunned by the emerging goddess of the
ocean. The attraction is mutual. Asia, being more
feminine now, finds himself deeply attracted to Ling.
Ling dashes into the scene as a burst of pure joy
spinning sideways in the sea in total delight over the
finest gulp of wine.
 Asia is at first, a bit annoyed and surprised by being
taken as a woman. However, s/he is won over by Ling’s
naïve honesty and ends up being quite seduced by the
handsome carefree knave.
 At this point, the only masculine feature left in Asia is
his voice. Wanting to keep Ling interested in him, he
chooses to speak in a powerful ventriloquism and play
along with Ling’s assumption that s/he is a silent, nonChinese woman.
 天下風雲出我輩, 一入江湖歲月催, 皇圖覇業談笑
中, 不勝人生一場醉.
 Time and again, Ling turns to him/her for solace,
company & indulgence in wine.
 Ling invites “her” to leave in the middle of the fight for
a sip of wine under the moon. The two soar through
the forest with utmost grace. S/he plays the flute
(vertical bamboo flute), Ling sings his carefree poetry.
Asia is deeply touched by his guileless freedom and won
over by his nonchalance & talents.
Synopsis:江山如此多嬌, 引無數英雄競折腰
 Meanwhile, Cici, the concubine of Asia, discovers that
not just “his” looks, but also “his” voice, has turned
feminine. He is not having sex with her because he has
turned into a woman! At the same time, Asia is thinking
lovingly of Ling.
 In despair, Cici tries to burn the Secret Scroll she is
wearing, which is the cause of Asia’s transformation.
 Just when Asia is outraged and despairing over
everyone’s “betrayal,” Ling appears again in search of
“her” company.
 Asia arranges the concubine Cici to give Ling an
unforgettable night on his/her behalf. Cici masquerades
as Asia before she commits suicide.
 While Ling is having his greatest time, Asia launches a
surprise attack on the Inn, killing all Ling's fellow
brothers. True to their xia spirit, the brotherhood
sacrifice themselves for Ying and Blue Phoenix. Kiddo
is the only one surviving.
 Ling is furious when he gets to the war zone. He sees his
only possible duty in revenge against Asia.
 This conflict sets the scene for the mystical and deadly
duel between Asia and Ling. Ling arrives at Asia’s
fortress only to discover that his mysterious muse (女神)
is also his nemesis (仇人).
 Both Ling and Asia are in shock at the sudden turn of
events and both are inconsolably sad at the realization of
the deepest sense of betrayal.
 At this point, Asia can destroy a fortress with a nod of her
head or a wave of “her” hand, yet s/he is undone by “her”
hesitation in killing Ling.
 Rather, Asia resorts to emotional torture. S/he forces Ling
to choose between saving Ying, Kiddo or “herself ” by
throwing everyone down the cliff.
 Ling actually manages to save Ying and Kiddo, and then
jump unto death with Asia. S/he cannot bear to drag him
down and pushed him back to safety by one powerful shot
of palm power. The film ends without showing whether
Asia is dead down in the gorge.
Questions to bear in mind and discuss:
 Is Asia lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual, transgendered?
 Is the visual pleasure of the film catering to the male or
female viewer? The queer or straight viewer?
Is the queer viewer included in the film’s language?
How is the internal logic of the film responding to the issue
of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transsexual, transgendered love?
In the film’s own logic, what kinds of queerness are
recognized, what then is/are not recognized?
What kind of gender power relation do the other women in
the film represent? Kiddo, Ying, Blue Phoenix.
What kind of gender assumptions do the men from different
races, Chinese, Japanese, Miao have in the film?
Other interesting features of the film:
 A) Hybrid genres:
 Like the hybrid sexualities in the film, the genre of the
film is also very hybrid. It is no doubt an action film, but
works equally well as a horror film. It is also a romance.
 Traditionally, martial arts and xia stories pay very little
effort on romance, like Outlaws of the Marsh. This is
true of the Western and the Chinese detective genres, too.
Think of Sherlock Holmes and Watson, Batman and
Robin. They never seriously date & marry anyone. Same
is true of Chinese detective stories like Tales of
Magistrate Bao and his Valiant Lieutenants. Why?
 If you have families and lovers, you can be held hostage,
you can be pressed to become biased for the sake of
those you are supposed to provide for and fend for. You
have reasons to compromise on your ideals.
Hybrid genres continued:
 To project an image of absolute impartiality and true
justice more upright than the law, the xia, the detective
and the judge in such stories have to be completely disengaged from human social ties. They have only their
own lives to loose and their own ideals to answer to.
They can stand out from all human beings as the symbol
of pure ideals & appear as the most just and virtuous.
This is why martial artists and detectives are often loners.
 The fusion of romance and the martial arts genres
happens in more contemporary mutations of martial arts
literature, especially in Hong Kong since the 1950s and
1960s. This trend and these works are later adapted into
films and TV.
Other interesting features of the film
 B) The film is ambiguous not only in terms of
gender and sexuality, but also in genre.
 It is a moral Tilt-a-Whirl as well:
 - the hero Ling is an unrepentant, likable “alcoholic
womanizer” as one friend calls him
 - the villain Asia actually stands up for the
oppressed, the ethnic minorities the Miao people
Other interesting features of the film
continued: reversals
 - men become women (Asia) and women become like
men (Kiddo, whose own brothers refer to her as a
“strange yin-yang beast”)
 - the victimized master (Wu) is in fact a homicidal
maniac – a victimizer
 - the love of Ling’s life is a woman who carries a whip
and threatens to cut off the tongue of her faithful
 - even the meaning of insects is inverted: the deadly
poisonous scorpion is delightful food for Ling. He
thrusts it into his wine gourd to produce wine that will
keep him drunk for three happy days.
Cross-dressing in Chinese culture:
Since the Ming dynasty, a pair of stock cultural icons have
stayed rather prominent in popular culture, in pulp fiction,
theater, film:
 they are the talented refined, and handsome scholar and
the talented, refined and beautiful woman paired in
 There are 2 main kinds of handsome heroes in Chinese
culture, the wu (fighting) hero and the wen (scholar) hero.
One is muscularly gorgeous, the other is an scholar and
artist and great romancer so delicate and refined in features
that he looks absolutely androgynous and almost like a
pretty young woman.
Cross-dressing in Chinese culture:
 At the same time, the talented and intelligent beautiful young
woman also most of the time, look proud and androgynous, too.
This is why both in Beijing opera and Cantonese opera, there is
a tradition that the troupes can be all women. Both male and
female characters are played by women. This handsome,
androgynous scholar type allows woman to play male roles in
romances very convincingly, because the ideal male lover of an
educated lady looks almost exactly like her.
 Two women playing lovers on stage can convince many to cry
profusely. This cross-dressing and androgynous stock pair of
cultural icons are so pervasive in pop culture, my own idea of a
handsome guy is irretrievably formed by this image. I watched
so many of those films during late morning and early afternoon
Hong Kong TV, the image stuck with me forever.
Stanley Kwan, dir., Rouge
(胭脂扣), Hong Kong,
Quotes are from
Acbar Abbas, Hong Kong:
Culture and the Politics of Disappearance,
- “The end of British rule in Hong Kong and the passing
of sovereignty back into the hands of China is not a
simple return of Chinese territory to the Chinese.”
“Hong Kong’s colonial history,” one “that cannot be
forgotten overnight,…has distanced Hong Kong
culturally and politically from China,” making the
relationship “not simply one of reunification.”
 Hong Kong in the 1980s has become a bird of very
different feathers from the condition it was when it left
China after the Opium War in the mid-19th century.
 For China, “administering the Hong Kong ‘special
administrative region’ ” is “a little like handling a
gadget from the future.”
Hong Kong history introduces a time warp to the usual
linear time line of colonial experience: from colonialism
to independence. Instead of this typical pattern, Hong
Kong turns from the hands of one colonizer to another,
from the rule of the British Lion to the Chinese Dragon.
Also, the usual assumption is that the colony is more
backward and the colonizing culture more advanced, and
thus the colonizing cosmopolitan center is assumed to be
the future for the colony’s development. But to Britain
and China, Hong Kong is a model testing ground for
new policies, the advanced guinea pig of future models
of administration. It is the “special administrative region,”
the test case of future China, as it used to be the test case
of British colonial administration.
Hong Kong Culture: A Culture of
 One arrogant assumption of both the British and the
Chinese colonizing cultures is that Hong Kong is a
cultural dessert. This arrogant assumption bothers Hong
Kong people a lot, especially the creative class, like
film directors and writers.
 To Abbas, this arrogant assumption of the colonizers is
a fantasy in the form of “reverse hallucination.”
“If hallucination means seeing ghosts and apparitions,”
that is, seeing “something that is not there,” then
“reverse hallucination means not seeing what is there.”
 This is the arrogant cultural fantasy that the new Hong
Kong cinema seems to be trying to expose and deal
Hong Kong Culture: A Culture of
 To appear to others cultures merely as an empty cultural
dessert means that all the vibrant cultural activities and
creativities in Hong Kong are subjected are not being
recognized. Others are not seeing what is there.
 The way in which Hong Kong culture is perceived by
others as a cultural dessert or is buried under old
binaries like the East-West difference is a form of being
seen but overlooked at the same time.
 Under the gloss of hollow clichés, the actual place in all
its complexities is made invisible, assumed to be dead
and gone.
Hong Kong Culture: A Culture of
 Thus “disappearance is not” only “a matter of
effacement but of replacement and substitution” by
stereotypes, a form of being misrecognized and buried
under dead metaphors.”
 The culture of disappearance gives us ready-made
identities to take away our subjectivity, and designates
us acceptable voices to take away our genuine speaking
positions and possibilities.
 The wiping out of Hong Kong’s complex culture and
politics “may not be an entirely negative thing, if it can
be taken far enough. Not all identities are worth
preserving. This is to say that disappearance is not only
a threat – it is also an opportunity.”
Hong Kong Culture: A Culture of
 This disappearance of Hong Kong culture is not
necessarily a helpless and pathetic fate.
 Disappearance can also be strategically reused by local
Hong Kong culture as a tactic to resist the imposition of
stereotypical understandings from others.
 To disappear from the list of stereotypes is one step
towards being seen anew. Disappearance therefore, can
be combined with representing one’s culture in novel
and unexpected ways.
 The ghost, the haunting revenant, the spectral elements
are paradigmatic examples of such tactics of
disappearance and reappearance.
Stanley Kwan’s use of the comparison between
the cinema and the haunted house:
 He actually said in one
interview that the cinema is
like a haunted house to him.
 Think of the brothel that
Ruhua worked in. It is a
bygone place, no longer
existing. The cinema shows a reproduction of that place
in all its grandeur. However, those people who inhabited
that place and gave it the feelings of passion and
romance were all dead or gone.
 To see all these intense relationships in the 1930s in the
cinema is like visiting a haunted house.
Stanley Kwan’s use of the comparison
between the cinema and the haunted house:
 After seeing this film about that old and bygone district
of Hong Kong in the 1930s, if you ever go there, that
place would remind you of the passions of Ruhua. Also,
while you are watching this film, the cinema you are in
is also infected by the aura of Ruhua and the nostalgia
for that place the film Rouge impresses on you.
 Therefore, what that place and the cinema theater infect
in you is the feelings (affects) generated by the film and
the characters in the film. However, these feelings
belong not only to those dead and gone but also to you,
you who come into this place through film viewing and
share with them a moment of passion and longing.
Affects: the cinema as a haunted house:
 Thus, the feelings circulating in this place you see in the
film and in this cinema you are in
 no longer belong only to the individual Ruhua, but also
to the film-makers and the audience. We can all identify
with Ruhua’s personal feelings through the film’s
technique of adopting Ruhua’s point of view in the
narration. Thus, her feelings are no longer simply, her
personal feelings, but are also shared feelings – shared
among the community of viewers and the viewed.
 Such shared feelings
- belonging not only to individuals but also to a place
(Ruhua’s brothel and the cinema we are in) and also
- belonging to those who share the place in memory or
in actual presence is called “affects.”
Affects: the cinema as a haunted house:
 Affects are free floating feelings lingering in a place
even when the people are all gone. It is like the feelings
you feel when you enter a haunted house. Those who
enter the haunted house are infected by the lingering
affects left behind by ghosts. Thus, such feelings do not
only belong to the individuals who were there but are
now dead, but also to those who get in touch with such
feelings later on, when they visit the haunted place.
 This is also like the feelings you can share with those
characters and actors in a film who might be dead and
gone when you enter the cinema and watch their films.
 This is why to Stanley Kwan, the cinema is a ghostly
Affects: the cinema as a haunted house:
The ghost, the revenant, is Stanley
Kwan’s metaphor for that
which is assumed to be absent
but is in fact present. Likewise,
Hong Kong culture, which is
disappearing under other’s
over-simplified understandings,
is in fact always present, like a
haunting ghost.
The returning ghost thus reminds
us that something actually there
is still persisting and present,
although our usual perception
does not recognize it anymore.
Affects: the cinema as a haunted house:
The ghost is retuning to insist on a
promise not kept, a passion given due
The ghost is like the lingering cultural
complaint about the loss of cultural
Intensity, self-recognition, selfdetermination and creativity.
Ruhua would rather die if she does not
get what she wants and live the way she
chooses to. Her struggle is one of selfdetermination and self-recognition.
The present modern culture’s
pragmatism and lack of intensity pales
in comparison. Like Shier Shao, the
present is a pathetic movie extra
compared to the glamorous, haunting
star, Ruhua.
The historical uniqueness of the new
Hong Kong cinema:
A Cinema of Love at Last Sight
 not the straight forward nostalgia for the
déjà vu (the already seen)
 but the twisted nostalgia for the present, the
present as the déjà disparu (the already
Features of this cinema of
disappearance of (déjà disparu)
1) Affective rather than emotional - feelings are spatial
and communal (linger as affects in a place) rather than
historical and personally specific
2) This new cinema works at the fringe of the
mainstream, relying on what it criticizes, critiques
without moral superiority and distance. It relies on the
mainstream genre of Chinese ghost film to express its
creative transformation of the Chinese ghost film.
3) The local not as location but as dislocation - the film
shows us not the facts and features of the location
Hong Kong. Rather, it tells a Hong Kong story
through showing us what has been dislocated,
demolished, forgotten.
Against the familiar –
stereotypes, the expected
4. Rather than offering a stable identity for Hong Kong,
this cinema offers a questioning of identity, a politics of
identity. It makes us wonder and question what Hong
Kong identity and history mean if they are compared to
a haunting ghost. This ambiguous film makes Hong
Kong more a question for us than provides answers to
our usual questions about Hong Kong.
5. What is the unusual understanding of nostalgia?
In HK films, nostalgia is not for a lost stable past but
for an illusive present: the tense of the future anterior –
seeing the present from the position of the future. It is a
nostalgia not for definite lost objects in the past, but for
the not yet crystalized present and the not yet
materializing future.
Against the familiar –
stereotypes, the expected
6. The use the uncanny
 the uncanny – that which is supposed to be familiar
suddenly appearing very strange. Like the feeling Ah
Chor had when touching Ruhua and finding no
heartbeat. Ruhua looks exactly like a human but is yet
 The uncanny point of view of the ghost allows the film
to introduce unfamiliar ways of understanding Hong
 Uncanny time and space, by putting people and places
of the 1930s and the 1980s side by side, the film blurs
the familiar opposites between old and new, good and
bad, and blurs the difference between continuation and
7. A New understanding of De-cadence:
 De-cadence - in musical terms means being out of sync,
out of rhythm. The film’s technique of de-cadence
unsettles the rhythm of official rhetoric about Hong
Kong’s unchanging future stability and prosperity.
 Ruhua’s world of persistence, constancy and idealism is
out of sync with the values of modern life. She would
rather lose her life than give in on her ideal love life.
This is not what people would do now.
 The people of the present is like Shier Shao who
survives in a demoralized habit of compromise.
De-cadence but not
demoralized (自暴自棄):
 This is a subtle comment the film makes about the
political conservative people of the present. The
implied question of the film is – how then can Hong
Kong be as constant as this ghost, remaining the same
for 50 years about its ideals?
 Are Hong Kong people able to be like Ruhua, who
insist on her ideals and would not change and falter?
What changes will Hong Kong undergo despite
apparent cosmopolitan prosperity?
 一九六七年生於香港
 香港大學比較文學系碩士
 九二年開始發表文章, 從事寫作及兼職教學
 出版了十多本作品以後 他這樣形容自己:
 Kai,寫《The Catalog》的這個: 或者有人識,或
者冇人識,都無關係。 算是出過十幾本書,但一直
可能是因為卡夫卡的 K,發音很好。
 《紀念冊》 《小冬校園》 《家課冊》
 《安卓珍尼》
《地圖集》 : playing with colonial
space and history
 理論篇
海市 mirage-city in the sea
對應地 counterplace
蜃樓 mirage-towers in the air
共同地 commonplace
砵甸乍的顛倒視覺 Pottinger's reversed vision
錯置地 misplace
戈登的監獄 Gordon's gaol
取替地 displace
維多利亞之虛構一八八九 plan of Victoria 1889
對反地 antiplace
四環九約 four wans and nine yeuks
非地方 nonplace
外領屬性 extraterritoriality 東方半人馬 the centaur of the East
閒話角與兵房 scandal point and the military
界限 boundary
無何有之地 utopia
史密夫先生的一日遊 Mr. smith's one-day trip
地上地 supertopia
總督府的景觀 a government house with a view
地下地 subtopia
卑路乍夢中的蛤蟆 the toad of Belcher's dream
轉易地 transtopia
裙帶路的回歸 the return to kwan Tai Loo
多元地/複地 multitopia
太平山的詛咒 the curse of Tai Ping Shan
獨立地/統一地 unitopia
攻略遊戲 war game
完全地 omnitopia
 春園街 Spring Garden Lane
 雪廠街 Ice House Street
 糖街 Sugar Street
 七姊妹道 Tsat Tsz Mui Road
 堅拿道東.西 Canal Road
East. West
 愛秩序街 Aldrich Street
 水坑口街 Possession Street
 詩歌舞街 Sycamore Street
 通菜街與西洋菜街 Tung Choi
Street & Sai Yeung Choi Street
 洗衣街 Sai Yee Street
 眾坊街 Public Square Street
 柏樹街 Cedar Street
圖例之墮落 the fall of the legend
暴風之眼 the eye of the typhoon
Chek Lap Kok Air Port
換喻之系譜 the metonymic spectrum
想像之高程 the elevation of imagination
地質種類分歧 geological discrimination
北進偏差 north-bound declination
數目字之旅 the travel of numbers
符號之墓穴 the tomb of signs
時間之軌跡 the orbit of time
 本書乃第十七屆聯合報文學獎.長篇小說特別獎作
 《名字的玫瑰》
 《同代人》中的短文大部分發表於一九九七年三月
 《說書人》 結集了五位書評作者——關麗珊、余非、
 《講話文章 - 訪問、閱讀十位香港作家》
《V城繁勝錄》re-imagining traditional
festivals and colonial urban space
 城牆之城 8
 城中之城 16
 通道之城 24
 橋之城市 32
 街之城市 40
 政府之城 48
 督府之城 56
 酒樓之城 64
 小食之城 72
 傀儡之城 80
 娼妓之城 88
店舖之城 96
時裝之城 104
伎藝之城 112
正月 118
清明 124
復活 130
端午 136
七夕 144
盂蘭 150
中秋 156
《The Catalog》 -first book on
teenage girls
 顧名思義,這本小說本身就像一個Catalog,目錄上
 這些項目都是九八至九九年間流行的物品,環繞著
 《貝貝的文字冒險——植物咒語的奧秘》
 《衣魚簡史》
《體育時期 上, 下》
 Empathic study of young female experience in
Hong Kong.
 Formal innovation.
 The use of colloquial Catonese in literature.
 Multiple forms of expression integrated into
writing. Music, poetry, bodily movements;
different forms of writing used together: the letter,
the diary, the interior monologue, the narrative,
temporal dislocations…
 《揚眉女子》,1987.〈她是女子,我也是女子〉
 《其後》(短篇):〈流落巴黎的一個中國女子〉、
 〈溫柔與暴烈〉(Bangladesh). Bare life (蒼
生) as women’s entry point into history. A
genealogy of women’s 暴烈。
 在『認真卻沒有名目的鬥爭』中,暴烈『體
 《雙城月》:〈雙城月〉、〈失城〉、〈江成子〉
 《七宗罪》
 《突然我記起你的臉》
 《烈女圖》
 《媚行者》
 《十二女色》
 《無愛紀》
 《血卡門》
 《後殖民誌》
 《沉默‧暗啞‧微小》

SOSC 111 - Science Technology and Society