Presenting Hong Kong: From Amalgamation to Differentiation (68255)

Session Information: Literary Studies
Session Chair: Navdeep Kahol

Monday, 29 May 2023 16:15
Session: Session 3
Room: Room A (Live Stream)
Presentation Type:Live-Stream Presentation

The cession of Hong Kong Island to the British Empire after the defeat of the Qing court (1644-1911) in the Opium War in 1842 began its colonial period until 1997 when its sovereignty was then returned to China. This presentation aims to analyze to what extent are the representations of Hong Kong verification of Edward Said’s observations made in Orientalism in 1978. Said began his masterpiece with two epigraphs, one from Karl Marx and the other from Benjamin Disraeli. Reading the first quote from Marx that “They cannot represent themselves; they must be represented” together with the second quote from Disraeli that “The East is a career” makes clear that the Orient is more than an illusionary referent. Was Hong Kong as the Pearl of the Orient under British colonial rule being portrayed as incompetent of defining itself without the western world? What makes it a promising “career” to people from the west?
The rich and diverse East-West bicultural elements in Hong Kong owing to its unusual historical background and financial role as a business hub make it different from many other cities in China. This presentation first contrasts selected travel writings that feature Hong Kong as the Pearl of the Orient under British colonial rule and proceeds to its presentation in contemporary Hollywood films as a metropolis. The comparison investigates if the features regarding the people and landscapes in Hong Kong could be amalgamated or differentiated from other Chinese elements in these portrayals along the historical timeline.

Chi Sum Garfield Lau, Hong Kong Metropolitan University, Hong Kong

About the Presenter(s)
Dr Chi Sum Garfield Lau is a University Assistant Professor/Lecturer at Hong Kong Metropolitan University in Hong Kong

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Posted by Clive Staples Lewis

Last updated: 2023-02-23 23:45:00