All posts filed under: Book reviews

Library

By Chihoi /Published by nos:books, 2019 /Ysabelle Cheung / The day I visited Chihoi’s exhibition at ACO Art Space in Wanchai, it was strangely quiet. Both the security guard and docent were absent; I stood alone with the drawings and comic panels, which were pinned to soft fabric boards in pastel hues. After a while, a woman arrived and asked if I wanted to visit “the reading room” for a fee of HK$10. I agreed and was handed a key, which unlocked a small closet near the entrance. Inside I found a small school desk, a vintage lamp and a chair. There was a womb-like, conspirational feeling to the cabinet, augmented by the room’s central object: an unpublished, hidden chapter from Chihoi’s latest book, Library. Chihoi, a Hong Kong-born artist, has been publishing fictional comics since 1996. Rendering his figures and landscapes in soft graphite tones – blacks rubbed silver from shading, the pages suffused with a sooty pallor – he has often referenced literature in his work, from his debut book, The Writer (1997), about a female …

Aftershock: Essays from Hong Kong

ed. Holmes Chan / Published by Small Tune Press, 2020 / Jacqueline Leung /   The cover is a photograph of an ordinary pavement in Hong Kong: to fill in the holes where old bricks had been dug up by protesters, concrete was poured to ensure it couldn’t happen again, creating uneven surfaces that look like hastily patched-up scars. In the year-long discord that has rocked the city to its core, Hong Kong has not been given space to heal. Newspapers and commentators have covered the protests extensively, but their words are analytical, aiming to explain and speculate about the city’s future, while readers at home, particularly those whose realities are built on the English language, struggle to find representations of months of disenfranchised grief. Not enough has been written about Hong Kong’s trauma in the past year, and Aftershock: Essays from Hong Kong is one of the publications starting to fill that gap. Edited by Holmes Chan, the collection features essays by 11 young journalists reporting for multiple news outlets – one contributor was doxxed by mainland Chinese …