As a former British colony (1842–1997) and then a Special Administrative Region, Hong Kong has witnessed at all times how relations are formed, dissolved and refashioned amidst changing powers, identities and narratives, given the many names it possessed over the course of history, from ‘Barren Rock’, ‘Fragrant Harbour’, ‘Port of Incense’, ‘Pearl of the Orient’, ‘Asia’s World City’, ‘Vertical City’, ‘Floating City’ to ‘City at the End of Time’ among others.In the post-handover, post-hangover years, the circulation, reverberation and reception of cultural symbols, old and new, such as the King of Kowloon, Song Emperor’s Terrace, and Lion Rock have revealed the multifaceted appearances and connotations of Hong Kong’s ‘local’. At the intersections between real-life events, cultural production and consumption and multiple voices, the book extracts and examines the local relations between the inhabitants of the territory and the human and nonhuman agencies that stand or that have once stood for Hong Kong across time and through space.Via the lens of places, things and cultural icons, the book offers lessons to learn from Hong Kong by opening up manifold postcolonial, translocal and planetary perspectives to confront and interrogate the volatile experiences in the new millennia—unprecedented since the Cold War period of the twentieth century—shared by Hong Kong and other regions. After all, what does it mean, or take, to live in the contemporary world when the local, global and national are constantly given new meanings?
“This is a highly original and timely study in a field that is still developing, having been neglected in terms of its global cultural significance until very recently. Now Dr Wu’s book couldn’t be more topical.”
Professor Michael Ingham, Lingnan University, Hong Kong