‘Art and Politics in Postcolonial Hong Kong, c. 1997-2020’

(Chinese Department, Investigator: Chun Chun Ting)

The book project seeks to understand the political activism in post-handover Hong Kong by bringing social discourse and activist practices into dialogue with the imaginings and interpretations of the city in Hong Kong literature, cinema, and other artistic engagements. The project documents a series of social movements and artistic interventions, starting in 2006 and accumulating to the protest movement in 2019, to examine how the political controversies concerning urban redevelopment, heritage conservation, infrastructural integration with the mainland, and the city’s increasingly authoritarian polity inspire the society to reconsider the city’s history and future, as well as to redefine Hong Kong as a unit for identification and action. The project engages diverse cultural forms such as art performance, literature, film, and photography to elucidate the role of art in prefiguring the city as home. I argue that it is through such political and artistic prefiguring that the discourse of Hong Kong identity shifts away from the deconstructive questioning of identity to an assertive self-definition, from a paradigm of disappearance to one of becoming.

Photo source: Mary Hui @twitter

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