Undercurrents: Queer Culture and Postcolonial Hong Kong by Helen Hok-Sze Leung

By Helen Hok-Sze Leung

Undercurrents engages the serious rubric of "queer" to envision Hong Kong's display and media tradition through the transitional and speedy postcolonial interval. Helen Hok-Sze Leung attracts on theoretical insights from quite a number disciplines to bare parallels among the challenge and uncertainty of the territory’s postcolonial transition and the queer points of its cultural productions.

Leung explores Hong Kong cultural productions -- cinema, fiction, renowned tune and subcultural tasks -- and argues that whereas there's no overt consolidation of homosexual and lesbian identities in Hong Kong tradition, undercurrents of numerous and intricate expressions of gender and sexual variance are largely in evidence.

Undercurrents uncovers a queer media tradition that has been principally neglected by means of critics within the West, and demonstrates the cultural energy of Hong Kong amidst political transition. it's going to entice students and basic readers attracted to Asian stories, movie and cultural experiences, and sexuality and gender experiences.

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Extra info for Undercurrents: Queer Culture and Postcolonial Hong Kong

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35 Kong puts Bishonen (Yonfan, 1998) and Hold You Tight (Stanley Kwan, 1998), two films that came out immediately after the handover, in the latter category. The signature melodramatic excess of Yonfan cannot be more different in style from Kwan’s subtle and distancing approach. Even so, their films share one thing in common: each of their intricate plots is instigated by a scene of cruising during the first five minutes of the film. How does this “fact of life” unfold, and what does it reveal about community, conflict, and specific locales in the city?

Yet, paradoxically, what Kwan lovingly evokes in the film is not his “liberation” from denial and the reassurance of coming into identity, be it sexual or national. Rather, Kwan seems to cherish precisely the experience of denial. Why is there such a palpable sense of loss in the film? Is Kwan mourning for the closet and the colonial era? To understand this apparently “treacherous” (at least in the eyes of nationalists and outing activists) response, we must pay attention to the sentiment of place that is also a crucial part of Still Love You.

Marion’s effort has also sparked a rare emotional response from the habitually cold and rational Sharon, whose sudden display of physical affection betrays a hint of the erotic attachment that we later learn she has to Marion. Yet, Sharon does not actually understand the significance of Marion’s recitation. The shifts between mutually unintelligible languages – which occur with pointed frequency in a film that alternates between Cantonese, Mandarin, English, and Japanese – serve here as a reminder that crossing borders is not an easy or immediate matter.

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