Photo by Faik Akmd on

Some time after recondite midnight,
naked in the backyard,
I confront the brilliant broad band of the whole Milky Way
with the narrow scope and fibre
of my nerves.
Mosquitoes that feast
on fingers and toes
enjoy nothing of this star-time underneath the Southern Cross
the way I do. For instants
I come keenly to life across a tingling bodybreathscape
in a silken Summer breeze
that works from without
physique’s long-dormant field
and wakes up overcast skin to its intergalactic whorl.
My blood-cells spinning in orbit
from fingerprint to thumbprint,
I am all the laws of physics in one place —

hospitable Vital Bible of the spark.

Simone de Beauvoir Writes

She sits in the Dôme, the Coupole
writing letters to Soldat Sartre:

. . . pourquoi la conscience humaine
. . . why would the human conscience

contruisait un monde
construct a world

avec des données et des distances et des masses
with givens and distances and masses

qui ne soit pas à la mésure de l’homme?
which are not based on the human scale?

Things are big in all the wrong ways, demeaning us.

Riding on her bicycle through a Paris grey as Occupation
she asks herself:

Qu’est-ce que c’est qu’une guerre?
But what is war?

Compassion, fashion: she neglects neither.
She describes the new turban she has bought,
in love with love and the tender language of description.
She professes herself content with

cette chance merveilleuse
this marvellous good luck

d’être dans le même monde
to be in the same world

as this man she loves.

Learning Cantonese: 許寶強 Hui Po-keung on Educating the Bullies

許寶強 Hui Po-keung, a professor at Lingnan University, was arrested earlier this month on the charge of “collusion with foreign forces”, a nebulous accusation the Chinese Communist Party regularly uses to bully anyone with the courage to act as a human being and not a tool. Actually, he was part of group that ran “612 Humanitarian Relief Fund”, a fund that helped arrested protesters pay for their legal and medical bills.

In this video from 2013, he addresses a different kind of bullying, this time associated with 恐同 or homophobia, and talks briefly about “emotional education” as a way of tackling the predicament. Generously, he suggests:

That is, that the fears and anxieties at the root of bullying behaviour can be put down to the fact that society is still not perfect.

There are no great grammatical conundrums in Hui’s presentation, but watch out for the various structures he makes use of, including 或多或少 = to a greater or lesser extent and 唔單止 = not only. At 2:18 he employs 之所以, which means something like “the reason why”. And so 你哋之所以受排斥或者係欺凌 becomes in English “the reason why you are excluded or bullied”.

He also makes use of 到dóu3*2, a verb particle used to indicate “accomplishment or successful completion of an action” (Matthews & Yip: Cantonese, Chapter 11). So, at 0:51, you’ll hear 直接處理到 = “directly tackle” (with the implication of success in the endeavour), followed soon after by 放低到呢一種恐懼同埋焦慮嘅情緒, which means something like “to let go of this mood of fear and anxiety”.

Finally, at 2:46, you’ll hear 使到, an unusual (perhaps more literary) way of expression causation.

You can also add to your vocabulary with the following items: 女性主義者 néuih5 sing3 jyú2 yih6 jé2 = a feminist; 粗魯 chōu1 lóuh5 = rough; rude; boorish; 變體 bian3 taai3 = abnormal; anomalous; 受害者 sauh6 hoih6 jé2 = a victim; 欺凌 hēi1 lìhng4 = to bully & humiliate; and 改善 gói2 sihn6 = to improve; to ameliorate.

Please scroll down for my transcription, English translation and notes. You can view the video here (subtitles in both Standard Written Chinese and English). Since it is a YouTube video, you can slow down the playback speed if you wish: at 0.75 and 0.5, the sound quality is still good. And remember, if you want the standard jyutping romanization or to check any of the Chinese in the text, please consult the Sheik Cantonese on-line dictionary.

Caption: 許寶強 | 大學教授

西蒙波娃等等嘅女性主義者 | 或者係佛洛依德,呃,呢一種嘅重要嘅心理學家嘅研究呢 | 佢哋會覺得同性戀嘅傾向呢,或多或少每個人都有一啲嘅 | 啫,一個男生可能會,呃,當然有時會好粗魯或者係好大意 [呢] | 但係同時亦都冇得排(除)佢有啲時候可能好細心、好溫柔嘅 | 噉因此佢唔係一個變體嘅現象,甚至可能係一個常態

Caption: 同性戀是常態

如果要,啫,有效處理呢個問題呢 | 我哋可能同時要,呃,引入一種,呃,情感嘅教育 [啦] | 有效嘅情感嘅教育 | 呢種情感教育呢,應該會,呃,能夠,呃,直接處理到 | 甚至呢,可以,呃,幫助我哋嘅教師或者學生喺學校裏邊呢,係放低到呢一種恐懼同埋焦慮嘅情緒

● 女性主義者 néuih5 sing3 jyú2 yih6 jé2 = a feminist | ● 傾向 kīng1 heung3 = a tendency; an inclination; a deviation | ● 粗魯 chōu1 lóuh5 = rough; rude; boorish | ● 大意 daaih6 yi3 = careless; negligent; inattentive | ● 細心 sai3 sām1 = careful; attentive | ● 溫柔 wān1 yàuh4 = gentle & soft | ● 變體 bin3 taai3 = abnormal; anomalous | ● 常態 sèuhng4 taai3 = normality; normal behaviour or conditions | ● 引入 yáhn5 yahp6 = ① to lead into; to draw into ② to introduce from elsewhere | ● 教師 gaau3 sī1 = a teacher | ● 恐懼 húng2 geuih6 = ① frightened ② fear; dread

Caption: Hui Po-keung | University Professor

Both feminists such as Simone de Beauvoir and Sigmund Freud — that important psychological researcher — were of the opinion that the inclination towards homosexuality was something that everyone had, to a greater or lesser extent. A man might well be . . . of course, sometimes he would be very rough or very careless, but at the same time you couldn’t rule out [排] that sometimes he could be very attentive, gentle, tender. For this reason, then it is not an abnormal phenomenon. It could even be [our] normal state.

Caption: Homosexuality is Normal

If we want to handle this issue effectively, we will at the same time have to bring in a kind of emotional education. An effective emotional education — this kind of education of the emotions, should be able to handle [this issue] directly. It might even be able to help students and teachers in schools to let go of [放低] their fears and anxieties.

【1:00】其實受害者唔單止係被欺凌嘅同學呢 | 同時係欺凌者或者係,呃,呢一種,呃,排斥者呢,本身其實都係呢一種恐懼文化或者恐懼情緒嘅受害者 [嚟㗎]

Caption: 以情感教育欺凌與被欺凌雙方

譬如一百年前魯迅先生都曾經講過 | 當佢,呃,針對回應呢個,呃,守節呢一種所謂中國傳統嘅習俗嘅時候呢 | 佢有咁嘅願望呢 | 佢就覺得呢一種守節呢,其實只不過會令人哋產生各種冇意義一啲嘅痛苦啦 | 亦都產生一啲各種嘅暴力或者係,呃,昏迷嘅 | 噉,呃,一百年之後呢,我哋喺今日嘅香港狀況裏邊呢 | 係咪都應該反思吓我哋對呢個恐同現象係咪都係一種造成痛苦嘅一啲,呃,情緒呢?| 如果係嘅話,我哋需要點樣去,呃,正面處理或者係解決呢?

● 受害者 sauh6 hoih6 jé2 = a victim | ● 欺凌 hēi1 lìhng4 = to bully & humiliate | ● 守節 sáu2 jit3 = (of a woman under feudalism) to preserve chastity after the death of her husband | ● 習俗 jaahp6 juhk6 = a custom; a convention | ● 昏迷 fān1 màih4 = a stupor; a coma | ● 反思 fáan2 sī1 = ① to recollect; to think back; to rethink profoundly ② self-examination; introspection; profound consideration

Actually, the victims [of homophobia] are not only the students who are bullied. At the same time, bullies and those who exclude others [排斥者] are themselves victims of this culture of terror or this terrified mood.

Caption: Education Both Bullies & the Bullied with Emotion

For instance, a hundred years ago when [the writer] Mr Lu Xun talked about his wish to respond to [feudal ideas about] chastity for widows — a traditional custom in China. He felt that this chastity for widows actually caused nothing but pointless suffering, as well as both violence and stupor. A hundred years on, with Hong Kong in the state that it is today, shouldn’t we be seriously thinking about [反思] whether [the way we view] homophobia is a mood [情緒] that produces suffering? If this indeed is the case, how should we positively go about handling and solving it?


Caption: 反恐同 | 思教育 | 反思

I AM ME 我係許寳強 | 我想同曾受或者係正受校園欺凌或者係排斥嘅同學講 | 你哋之所以受,呃,排斥或者係欺凌其實唔係由於你自身嘅問題,或者你自己唔好 | [更多可能]係反映排斥或者欺凌者佢哋嘅焦慮或者係恐懼 | 而佢哋嘅焦慮同恐懼好多時係同我哋呢個社會係仲未完美有關嘅 | 噉因此無論你係同志或者係非同志嘅朋友 | 我哋應該一齊去改善呢個社會狀況 | 使到欺凌同排斥唔再喺校園存在

● 曾受 chàhng4 sauh6 = roughly, “ever received/undergone” (Note: 曾 indicates “something ever having happened in the indefinite past” cf. 未 meih6 “something NEVER/NOT YET having happened in the indefinite past” | ● 正受 jing3 sauh6 = roughly, “currently in the process of receiving/undergoing” | ● 自身 jih6 sān1 = self; oneself | ● 改善 gói2 sihn6 = to improve; to ameliorate

These are the topics I am currently concerned about.

Caption: Oppose [反] Homophobia | Think [思] about Education | Rethink Profoundly [反思]

I AM ME I am Hui Po-keung. To any student who has been the subject — or is currently the subject — bullying or exclusion at school — I would like to say: the reason why you are being excluded or bullied is actually not because of anything to do with you personally [唔係由於你自身嘅問題] or because you are not any good. It more probably reflects the anxieties and fears of those doing the excluding or bullying. And most of the time, their anxieties and fears are connected to this society of ours still not being perfect. For this reason, regardless of whether you are gay or not, we should all work together to improve conditions in this society, so that bullying and exclusion in schools is stopped [唔再 … 存在].





大約兩年前,我哋兩夫婦搬到鄉下嘅一間小屋,而呢間屋有個細細嘅農場。一出門,行幾分鐘路之後,就會到達附近嘅一笪樹林。 當時,我亦都開始閱讀更多有關天體主義嘅資料,仲成為咗荷蘭天體主義聯合會嘅成員,從而更加深入呢個主題。好可惜,當我老婆喺度嘅時候,佢絕對唔會接受我喺戶外赤身裸體;屋内佢好勉強咁接受得到,不過範圍狹窄,只局限於睡房同埋沖涼房之内。所以,我唯有一個人暗中去摸索,慢慢諗辦法。後尾我會好早起身,赤身裸體咁行過我哋嘅花園,享受冬天冰冷嘅雨水同埋風暴,又或者夏天嘅溫暖微風。今朝早,當個天仲未光嗰陣,我赤身行到附近樹林嘅一個池塘。每逢颳風落雨,我都唔使擔心會撞到其他人。到達池塘之後,我就踏入冰冷嘅水,喺塘入面游咗一陣,游完就上嚟返屋企。嗰種感覺真係好爽呀!我甚至唔記得咗自己係一線不掛。


圖片:Rockwell Kent

Learning Cantonese: Wong Chun-hei and Yeung Hok-tak, Partners-in-Art

It is not necessarily grammar or vocabulary that can make Cantonese difficult: it’s naturalness. Understandably, language tends to be idealized in textbooks and dictionaries: we are given a picture of what it should be, not what it is, just to make it learn-able. In a wonderful book on self-study I picked up in a bookshop in Sheung Shui, the writer (白取春彥Haruhiko Shiratori) memorably pointed out that people who study a language often aspire to being able to chat casually with the locals about everyday topics. This however is the Mount Everest of language learning, the almost unattainable goal. Why? Mainly because real people use language in a natural way, without regard for correct syntax, exact meanings, completeness, logic, or standard pronunciation.

This video about two painters who go out to paint from nature and, by sheer coincidence, wind up depicting the same scene illustrates this point. 黃進曦 Stephen Wong Chun-hei (an individual who often appears on this site) is his usual, lucid self. His partner-in-art 楊學德 Yeung Hok-tak, however, is a very different proposition. This is partly to do with his way of expressing himself, which tends to be choppy. He also uses quite a lot of fillers, including 咁樣, 呃, 其實, 啫係. Finally, apart from a general slurry quality, he also modifies the pronunciation of certain words, such as 嗰個 go2 go3, which becomes an indeterminate *go. In ordinary speech, you will discover other instances of such modification. For instance, 其實 becomes *kei’a; 嗰陣時 becomes *gon si; 就係 becomes *jai; 即係 becomes *je; while 咁樣 turns into *gam’eung. Another example that recently struck me in a different video was *yeje; eventually, after comparing a number of instances, I worked out that the modified phrase had to be 又或者!

One minor but interesting grammar point here involves the formation of questions with the positive and negative forms of the verb. You commonly encounter this in the cases of 有冇 = have/have not and 係咪 is/is not (咪 maih6 is a contraction of 唔係). Modal verbs made up of two characters do something special: when 可以 = “can” is combined with its negative form 唔可以, we get 可唔可以. Similarly, 應該 = “ought” turns into 應唔應該. Compound adjectives can also be handled in this way. When English words are borrowed, they receive the same treatment, often in surprising ways. So, at 1:44, Wong Chun-hei asks 係 O唔OK呢? = “is it OK?”. Similarly in a recent video from 士多貓貓 StoreMeow, the speaker at 1:52 uses 都唔知自己呢,rea- 唔rea-dy呢 in an indirect question to mean “we didn’t know if we were ready or not”.

Probably my favourite item of Cantonese vocabulary in this presentation is the noun 宅叔 jaahk6 sūk1, which means something like “a middle-aged man who stays at home most of the time”. It is derived from 宅男 jaahk6 nàahm4, which also carries connotations of unsociability and, according to Sheik Cantonese, “watching TV and playing video games all the time” as well as not caring about personal hygiene. The female version is naturally 宅女 jaahk6 néui5*2. According to Sheik, there is a related term, 隱蔽青年 yán2 bai3 chīng1 nìhn4 = “introvert; introverted youth”. Yeung Hok-tak also makes use of this, but changes it to suit his age: 隱蔽中年, “an introverted middle-aged man”.

There are also plenty of other very noteworthy vocabulary items, including: 玩味 wuhn6 meih6 = to ponder; to ruminate; 曳 yáih5 = naughty; mischievous; 着重 jeuhk6 juhng6 = to stress; to emphasize; 構圖 kau3 tòuh4 = composition (of a picture); 類似 leuih6 chíh5 = similar; analogous; 直頭 jihk6 tàuh4 = directly, simply, completely, truly; straight head; 偏向 pīn1 heung3 = to be partial to; 刺激 chi3 gīk1 = a stimulus; 溝 kāu1 = to mix; and 驚喜 gīng1 héi2 = to be pleasantly surprised.

Please scroll down for my transcription, English translation and notes. You can view the video here (subtitles in Standard Written Chinese only). Since it is a YouTube video, you can slow down the playback speed if you wish: at 0.75 and 0.5, the sound quality is still good. And remember, if you want the standard jyutping romanization or to check any of the Chinese in the text, please consult the Sheik Cantonese on-line dictionary.

Caption: 黃進曦 x 楊學德聯展 | 寫生樂與思

Caption: 「一景兩畫」雙視野

黃進曦:睇我嘅作品係會有嗰種遊走嘅感覺嘅 | 呃,空間嘅一個 . . . 一種 . . . 一種玩味性嘅 . . . 有興趣嘅 | 呃,阿 . . . 阿德可能佢對於一啲情景 | 或者一啲經歷過一啲人物 | 喺 . . . 喺佢身邊經過佢會產生好多故事性 | 喺裏邊去安放翻喺嗰個空間裏邊 | 噉呢個先至係,呃,有趣嘅位 | 啫,啫,頭先講「畫意」嗰樣嘢我覺得係 . . . 就係基於我哋唔係想純碎描寫嗰個對象 | 而係透過嗰個空間或者嗰個對象去講緊一啲另外嘅嘢

楊學德:我比進曦更「曳」呀,哈哈 | 但係我好寫意地去 . . . 去記錄啲嘢嘅,啊 | 見到樖樹好特別呀, 見到嗰個景有某一點係我覺得係好 . . . 好有趣嘅 | 我 . . . 我會着重嗰啲細位度囉

● 聯展 lyùhn4 jín2 = to jointly hold an exhibition | ● 寫生 sé2 sā[a]ng1 (?) = to paint from life | ● 遊走 yàuh4 jáu2 = roughly, “to wander” | ● 玩味性 wuhn6 meih6 sing3 = cf. 玩味 = to ponder; to ruminate | ● 安放 [ng]ōn1 fong3 = to lay; to place; to put in a certain place | ● 畫意 wáa2 yi3 = (?) “pictorial meaning; painterly meaning” | ● 曳 yáih5 = naughty; mischievous | ● 寫意 sé2 yi3 = ① enjoyable cf. 愜意 hip3 yi3 = be pleased; be satisfied ② freehand brushwork (in traditional Chinese painting) | ● 着重 jeuhk6 juhng6 = to stress; to emphasize

Caption: Wong Chun-hei + Yeung Hok-tak: A Joint Exhibition | Painting from Life: Its Joys and Insights [思]

Caption: A Double Perspective on “One Scene, Two Paintings”

Wong Chun-hei: [If you] look at my paintings, you will get that sense of a wandering and a pondering [玩味性] of space. [As for] Ah Tak (Yeung Hok-tak), a scene or some people he has encountered [經歷過], people around him that he has had some dealings with, may produce many different story-elements [故事性] in them [that is, “the scenes and the people”], [which he then] puts into his spaces. This is where the interest lies [有趣嘅位]. That thing I mentioned a moment ago [頭先], “pictorial meaning”, is I think not something based purely on our depiction [描寫] of the object — it is a way of talking about [certain] other things, by means of the space or the object.

Yeung Hok-tak: I am “naughtier” [曳] than Chun-hei! I take great pleasure in recording things. [If I] see a tree with some peculiarity, or something in the view that I think is very interesting, I will emphasize that particular detail [細位度].

【1:00】當然我都會返去都亦都會 . . . 我做過個過程就係,又係去消化重新組合 | 再去經營幅 . . . 成幅大畫嗰個 . . . 嗰個 . . . 嗰個構圖嘅

黃進曦:我返屋企諗我哋嘅展覽做乜 | 突然間諗起兩幅畫 | 當年,呃,法國印象派 | Monet 同埋 Renoir 佢 . . . 佢哋兩個人一齊出去寫生,畫一個湖景嘅 | 其實個構圖好類似呀 | 但係呢,你會睇得出 Monet 嗰張係個景係重啲嘅 | Renoir 嗰張呢,就係個人物係出啲嘅 | 兩個畫家一齊出去 | 畫出嚟嘅嘢係可以有呢一種趣味性嘅分別 | 如果將呢樣嘢擺喺我同阿德身上面 | 係 O 唔 OK呢?| 就出嚟就傾喇 . . . 就係,傾吓有冇邊啲地方係大家一齊想去嘅

Caption: 宅叔自然初體驗

楊學德:「隱蔽中 . . . 中年」忽然間,啫係,呢個重見天日嗰啲呢

● 消化 sīu1 faa3 = to digest | ● 經營 = usu. “to manage; to run; to engage in | ● 構圖 kau3 tòuh4= composition (of a picture) | ● 印象派 yan3 jeuhng6 paai3 = Impressionism; the Impressionist School (of artists) | ● 類似 leuih6 chíh5 = similar; analogous | ● 趣味性 cheui3 meih6 sing3 = (?) interest; delight | ● 宅叔 jaahk6 sūk1 = (?) an introverted, middle-aged man who stays at home most of the time cf. 宅男、宅女 | ● 隱蔽 yán2 baih3 = usu. concealed; covert; under cover; undercover cf. 隱蔽青年 = introverted youth | ● 重見天日 chùhng4 gin3 tīn1 yaht6 = once more see the light of day

Yeung Hok-tak: Of course, back at home I will always . . . The process that I have followed [做過] is to go and digest [the material], re-organize it, then to re-work [經營] the composition of that entire big painting.

Wong Chun-hei: When I got back home, I thought about what to do for our exhibition. Suddenly, I thought of two paintings. Once [當年], the French Impressionists Monet and Renoir went out together to paint from life, doing a lake scene. Actually, they are similar in terms of composition, but you will see [會睇得出] that in Monet’s picture, there’s more emphasis on the scene, [while] in Renoir’s picture, it’s the people who stand out [出] more. Two painters went out together [to paint], [yet] what they painted could have this interesting difference. Would it be OK to apply this same thing to me and Ah Tak? So [we] went out and had a talk about [就出嚟就傾喇] . . . about which places [邊啲地方] we could both go to together.

【2:00】我唔出街㗎嘛,其實 ,啊 . . . 噉忽然間,嘩,直頭 | hardcore | 到要走去行山喎,咁 | 係好有 . . . 好有新鮮感 | 因為我畫嘢呢,嗰個習慣,或者習性呢,就係匿埋做嘢咁樣嘅 | 我其實比較少去參考啲 . . . 呃,reference 呀 | 啫係,我係偏向幻想嗰邊多啲嘅 | 但係呢種咁嘅形式 | 覺得自己好似有啲乾塘咁嘅感覺 | 諗嘢嗰個思維都係 . . . 都係嗰啲嘢 | 而噉佢 . . . 佢都,啫係,都提議話:「其實,你會唔會,啫係,考慮吓,呃,出去外邊睇吓嘢咁| 啫,有啲外來嘅新嘅刺激呢 | 可能會幫到你咁」 | 噉我 . . . 我就 . . . 啊,都覺得都可能係咁 | 啫係,無論去嗰個地方 | 呃,嗰個行嗰個嘅過程呀,或者見到嘅事物呀 | 或者會遇到嘅問題咁

● 直頭 jihk6 tàuh4 = directly, simply, completely, truly; straight head | ● 新鮮感 sān1 sīn1 gám2 = a (feeling of) freshness | ● 習性 jaahp6 sing3 = habits & characteristics | ● 匿埋 nēi1 màaih4 = to hide | ● 偏向 pīn1 heung3 = to be partial to | ● 幻想 waahn6 séung2 = usu. “an illusion; a fantasy; a reverie” | ● 乾塘 gōn1 tòhng4 = literally “dried-up pond”, perhaps used figuratively to mean “a drying up of the imagination or the source of one’s inspiration” | ● 提議 tàih4 yíh5 = to propose; to suggest | ● 刺激 chi3 gīk1 = a stimulus

I’m not the type that goes out much, actually. Then all of a sudden — wow, things went completely hardcore [嘩,直頭 hardcore] and there I was out there hiking! It was a very fresh sensation [for me], because when I paint something, I do it — out of habit or because it’s my habitual nature [習性] — hidden away at home. I rarely go out to consult references. I more inclined to make things up out of my own imagination [幻想]. But this mode of doing things [呢種咁嘅形式], well I had the feeling that I had dried up. My way of thinking about things [just led to] more of the same. Now he [Wong Chun-hei] made a suggestion [to me]: “Actually, would you consider going out of doors to have a look at things? Some new stimuli from an external source [外來嘅] would possibly help you.” And so I thought . . . I thought that it might well be so. I mean, no matter where [I] went, the process of walking, or the things that [I] saw, or the problems that [I] ran into . . .

【3:00】都 . . . 都對我嚟講係新嘅 | 經過咁樣呢次咁嘅嘗試 | 令我,呃,好徹底地改變咗某啲習性咁樣囉 | 啫係,覺得:「咦,原來用咁嘅色去溝咁嘅色 | 其實真係會有種『污糟』嘅感覺」| 但係之前一度都唔為意 | 覺得咁樣有種刺激感或者有一種力量感㗎嘛

Caption: 沒有重複的風景

黃進曦:所以啱啱「大風坳」嗰張畫擺出嚟嘅時候 | 其實我覺得咪好驚喜囉 | 啫 . . . 啫係,因為行完兩次大潭水塘 | 唔知道對方畫乜嘅 | 啫,我 . . . 我哋去 . . . 去寫生嘅時候其實冇望對方 | 攞咗咩景 | 啱啱 Art Basel 嗰陣時大家做完件出品擺出嚟嘅時候就 | 原來攞嘅景係一樣 | 無論色調唔同啦 | 畫面經營嘅重點又唔同 | 呃,啱啱嗰次就其實都幾做到我想要嘅嗰樣嘢嘅,其實 | 每一次其實阿德佢 . . .

● 徹底 chit3 dái2 = thorough; thoroughgoing; complete | ● 溝 kāu1 = to mix | ● 污糟 wū1 jōu1 = dirty | ● 一度 yāt 1 douh6 = once; for a time; at one point; on one occasion | ● 為意 waih? yi3 = 在意: 留意; 放在心上。 主張: 主意,見解;也指持有某種見解 | ● 重複 chùhng4 fūk1 = to repeat; to duplicate | ● 坳 aau3 = a depression in a mountain range; level land in a mountain; 大風坳 = Quarry Pass | ● 驚喜 gīng1 héi2 = to be pleasantly surprised | ● 大潭水塘 daaih6 tàahm4 séui2 tòhng4 = the Tai Tam Reservoirs | ● 色調 sīk1 diuh6 = a tone; a hue

. . . would all be new to me. Having gone through such a first try [嘗試] this time has made me completely change some of my habitual way of doing things [習性]. Like, [I] thought: “Oh, if you mix such and such a colour with that colour, you really get an impression of “dirtiness” [有種『污糟』嘅感覺]. But before that, for a time, I wasn’t aware of this [一度都唔為意]. It is this kind of thing that has a buzz for me [刺激感], a sense of power.

Caption: The Unrepeated Landscape

Wong Chun-hei: And so, when that picture “Quarry Pass” was put on display [擺出嚟], I was actually pleasantly surprised, because on [our] two walks to the Tai Tam Reservoirs, we didn’t know what the other one was painting. That is, when we went out to paint from life, we didn’t actually look to see [what] the other [was doing], which view we had taken. As it happened, it was at Art Basel, when [our] exhibition paintings were put up for display, that [we realized we had taken] the same scene. [But] our colours were different, and the points of emphasis [重點] in our handling of the scene were different. As it turned out, this is actually the thing I wanted. On each occasion, that reaction Ah Tak had in fact . . .

【4:00】. . . 可能面對好多新鮮嘅嘢嗰種反應呢 | 係某程度提醒翻我一啲嘢嘅 | 我自己會 . . . 會去諗 | 就係點樣可以 | 喺每一次 . . . 假設都係去同一個地方 | 但係其實你搵嘅一啲唔同嘅嘢,或者你都係用一個最新鮮嘅一個眼光嚟到去觀察呢 | 噉呢個我覺得呢一個係作為一個創作嘅,或者畫畫嘅人其實應該具備嘅一種 . . . 一種質素嚟嘅

● 假設 gáa2 chit3 = to suppose; to assume; to presume | ● 眼光 ngáahn5 gwōng1 = sight; foresight; insight; vision | ● 具備 geuih6 beih6 = to possess; to have; to be provided with

. . . faced as he probably was with many novel elements, was to some degree a reminder to me of certain things. Myself, I would think about how I could, on each different occasion . . . Supposing you go to the same place, you will in fact find some differences or you will observe [the place] with the freshest of gazes [最新鮮嘅一個眼光]. This I think is a quality that any person who creates or paints pictures ought to have, in fact.

Interview by Ko Cheung
Video by Desmond Chan
Photos courtesy of Artist

Lungs Full of the Hard Smoke of Hong Kong


A storm-warning here gives weather
sudden celebrity: like the old days
the elements become something to reckon with
once more, briefly. Concrete covers most of the earth,
and half the indoor plants are forged
from plastic. Beneath umbrellas,
beneath artful perspex walkways,
beneath a film that shrink-wraps each thought,
we manage mostly to avoid all touch
of the rain, but can’t quite help breathing it into
deserted cells.

One-minute Wonderful Short Cantonese Videos: Kasen Tsui’s Hong Kong

Sometimes, you have to lose yourself to find yourself. In this one-minute wonder, 徐嘉蒓 Kasen Tsui tells her story of being a child of Hong Kong, profoundly shaped by the city and yet in danger of becoming engulfed by all its darkness, a darkness she experienced at close range in her work as a journalist. And yet, through creativity — an activity that involves a sifting through of all that contradictory influence Hong Kong subjects you to — she has managed to find a way through, finding not only a path for herself but a source of positive energy and cautious optimism, something she shares with us here, in the hope that, through adversity, we can all become “real flesh and blood people”.

For more on Kasen Tsui in Chinese, you can visit her Facebook page here. You can also see her images on Instagram here.

Caption: 徐嘉蒓

我之所以係我 | 係因為呢個城市 . . .

Caption: 城市

. . . 賦予我出生、成長、學習 | 我嘅生命軌跡 | 同呢個城市密不可分 | 感受呢個空間

Caption: 空間

帶俾我嘅一切好與壞 | 可愛之處、可憎之處 | 梳理、沉澱、回饋 | 佢會令你成爲更圓滿嘅人 | 有血有肉嘅人 | 我曾經係一個記者 | 書寫過呢個城市好多故事 | 但亦因此而痛苦 | 因為我失去咗自己

Caption: 痛苦

劇場係一個出口 | 我可以自由自在咁做自己 | 不論對錯 | 真誠咁做自己

Caption: 自由

自由自在咁創造 | 用身體同文字創作 | 立足每一個當下 | 我係徐嘉蒓 | 一個正喺表演創作路上探尋嘅人

Caption: 尋道 | 探尋

● 賦予 fu3 yúh5 = bestow on; endow with; vest with | ● 軌跡 gwái2 jīk1 = ① locus ② orbit ③ course ④ trajectory| ● 密不可分 maht6 bāt1 hó2 fān1 = (?) cannot be separated from; inseparable | ● 感受 gám2 sauh6 = ① to be affected by ② to experience; to feel | ● 可憎 hó2 jāng1 = roughly, “hateful” | ● 梳理 sō1 léih5 = to organize (perhaps here “to sort through”) | ● 回饋 wùih4 gwaih6 = ① to repay ② feedback | ● 圓滿 yùhn4 múhn5 = usu. satisfactory; perhaps here “fulfilled” | ● 有血有肉 yáuh5 hyut3 yáuh5 yuhk6 = usu. lifelike; vivid? | ● 書寫 syū1 sé2 = to write | ● 劇場 kehk6 chèuhng4 = theatre | ● 自由自在 jih6 yàuh4 jih6 joih6 = leisurely & carefree; free & unrestrained | ● 對錯 deui3 cho3 = roughly, “correct or incorrect” | ● 立足 laahp6 jūk1 = ① to have a foothold somewhere ② to base oneself upon | ● 當下 dōng1 haah6 = the present instant | ● 表演創作 bíu2 yín2 chong3 jok3 = lit. “performance creativity” | ● 探尋 taam3 chàhm4 = to search for | ● 尋道 chàhm4 douh6 = (?) to seek (a way/path)

Caption: Kasen Tsui

The reason I am who I am is because this city . . .

Caption: City

. . . bestowed on me [my] birth, growing up and learning [學習]. The [whole] trajectory of my life is inextricably bound up with this city. I have been affected by this space . . .

Caption: Space

. . . all the good and the bad it has brought me, parts that are loveable, and parts that are hateful. Sorting through, taking stock [沉澱], feeding back [回饋]. The city [佢] will make you more fulfilled as a person, a real flesh and blood person. I was once a journalist, and wrote many of the stories about this city. But for this reason I suffered [痛苦], because I lost [all sense of] myself.

Caption: Suffering

The theatre offered me a way out, allowing me to be myself, free and unrestrained, unconcerned [不論] with “correct” and “incorrect”, [and just] sincerely being who I was.

Caption: Freedom

Free and unrestrained, I create, creating with both my body and my words. I take my stand in every present instant. I am Kasen Tsui, a person searching on the path of performance creativity.

Caption: Seeking a Way | Searching