by Holden Liang
The first picture in the series is also the cover image of issue 33 of Cha.
Do Mong Kok Dream of Neon Sheep? AKA Blade Running in Mong Kok
When people think of Hong Kong, perhaps the image elicited most often would be the skyline of Victoria Harbour. For me, however, the Hong Kong that I fell in love with wears the face of narrow streets and old buildings with decrepit exteriors, rendered at once ancient and futuristic by the neon lights, the overhead signs and the ambience of life’s unrelenting force.
One of the allures of a cosmopolis like Hong Kong is the anonymity it affords those who seek to disappear and melt away. The moment you step outside your tiny enclosure, you become an ahistorical apparition among throngs of other spectres. You delight in this elaborate evasive manoeuvre within dangerous proximity like a lovingly choreographed dance. Sometimes, however, that bustling world will fade away, out of the blue, and recede into acquiescent murmurs.
Transient Moonlight of the Dappled Heart
These are handwritten rental ads next to the entrance of my building, with concise descriptions of each apartment's location, size, price and amenities. I am always reluctant to call my rented rooms "home," as if to remind myself: keep moving, gather no moss.
Stardust after Nocturnal Storm
During the hottest months in Hong Kong, these plumeria blossoms greet me every day as I walk from the metro station to my university. A friend told me that in Chinese they are called, very fittingly, "Egg Flowers." Just like the name suggests, these flowers radiate simple elegance and consistent joy for the weary traveller under the sweltering summer sky.