I'm a Shenzhen immigrant. When I first arrived I was surprised that people here eat soup before eating rice - in my hometown everyone eats the main course first. But now I always eat soup before meals.
Writer Yang Liguang is Shenzhen's most celebrated literary figure. Last month, he won China's most prestigious literary prize, the Lu Xun award, for the third time for his reportage on Sars. He talks to Simon Bowring and Yvonne Young about life, writing and philosophy.
HK Magazine: What was life like in the village when you were younger?
Wong Chau-fuk: Most of the villagers worked as farmers or fisherman, including myself. There wasn’t a lot of money, but we earned enough to make both ends meet. We never replaced items of clothing or shoes unless they were broken and beyond repair. Climbing trees and fishing along the river with wooden sticks were our childhood games.
On his way back to Mui Wo Rural Committee after shopping for groceries, 82-year-old Wong Chau-fuk pauses to tell HK about the good old days on southern Lantau.
After my parents divorced I went to live with different relatives, moving every couple of years. I have learned to adapt to different environments since I was eight.
My nanny was the closest person to me during my childhood.
My mum arranged for me go to college in San Francisco. But by then I had already joined Wynners. When you have all that fame in your early 20s, how can you give that up?
I used to believe in love 100 percent, which led to my biggest disaster - my marriage.
With his honest charm, singer-actor Kenny Bee Chung is one of Hong Kong's favorite celebrities. He seemed to live a charmed life in the 1970s and 80s, flying high as part of the Wynners rock band and starring in a series of hit romantic comedies such as "Let's Make Laugh" and "Shanghai Blues." Then came his disastrous marriage to socialite Teresa Cheung in 1988, a series of duff investments, a messy divorce and bankruptcy with debts of about $250 million. Now he's making a movie comeback in such local hits as "Initial D."
Hong Kong is a throwaway society. It's hardly surprising given two of our most noted characteristics: our love of shopping and teeny-weeny apartments. For most of us, the only way to make room for new stuff is to throw out old stuff. But today's trash is tomorrow's treasure and people with an eye for good design have been hanging on to memory-provoking packaging and everyday items. We asked artists, photographers, interior designers and academics to identify yesterday's beautiful rubbish.
There's a fine line between retro and rubbish. Yvonne Young sifts the city's cast-off packaging for design treasures.
With his penchant for playing villains and "damaged" characters, actor Anthony Wong Chau-sun, 43, has earned a reputation as the angry man of the local film industry. Or perhaps that's because he likes to vent with his hard rock band. After 160 movies, including "Hard Boiled," "Infernal Affairs," and "The Medallion," and more than 10 acting awards, he stars in the long-awaited local blockbuster, "Initial D." He talks to Yvonne Young at Jia boutique hotel.
On October 30, 1938, Orson Welles famously terrified America with his radio adaptation of H.G. Welles' classic novel, "War of the Worlds." He recast the sci-fi book about a Martian attack on Earth as a news flash, which had thousands of gullible citizens fleeing from the alien invaders. Steven Spielberg's movie is unlikely to have quite the same impact, but it's a close-run thing. In his take, Martians in enormous three-legged machines terrorize small-town America, but true to form Spielberg can't quite resist a sappy Hollywood ending.
HK Magazine: How did you come up with the idea of setting the film in the Window Of The World theme park?
"The World" is showing at Hong Kong Arts Center on Jun 2, at 7:30pm. Yvonne Young speaks with the director, Jia Zhangke.
HK: This film was politically sensitive in 1990. Was it shown locally?
Shu Kei: The documentary was filmed on 16mm film, and the only theater with a suitable projector was Cine-Art House. But it had a leftist background and was subsidized by the Chinese Government, so it wasn't screened there.
Local film critic Shu Kei produced the only Hong Kong documentary made in response to the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown, in which he explores post-massacre China and his personal feelings. With the film to be shown at the Hong Kong Arts Center on the anniversary of the June 4 massacre (in a double bill with US production "The Gate of Heavenly Peace"), he talks to Yvonne Young about how his views have changed in the past 16 years.