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CANDACE CHONG

income tax rate, its land tax is colossal. With extremely high rents, young people see the possibility of buying their own apartment to be increasingly remote. This has led to an atmosphere of simmering desperation. Wild Boar, set in an unnamed city, opens with the news that a local historian has disappeared. “Our city and its culture are entering a period of regression,” says Ryan Yuen Man-san as he announces his resignation. The veteran news editor is launching an independent press in a bid to protect the public’s “right to know.” When Wild Boar was rerun two years later in the summer of 2014, its themes of property developers and media censorship turned out to be shockingly prescient. For more than a century, Hong Kong has enjoyed a free press and permitted newspapers of all persuasions—communist, nationalist and religious. Yet since the Handover in 1997, these freedoms have become murkier; journalists in 2014 experienced a wave of media intimidation. The most horrific of these was a violent ambush on Kevin Lau Chunto, the former editor-in-chief of Ming Pao, one of Hong Kong’s most respected, liberal Chinese newspapers. Lau was viciously attacked on the street, and severely injured, by men wielding cleavers. A week later, thousands of journalists and members of the public marched for press freedoms, holding placards that read: “They Can’t Kill Us All.”

Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me light glinting on broken glass. — Henrik Ibsen (1828–1906)

The Future of Hong Kong Theater Candace Chong represents a coming of age for Hong Kong theater. Yet in recent years, there has been a sense that Hong Kong’s unique cultural traditions may be at risk. In Chong’s 2013 play, The Professor, commissioned by the Chinese University of Hong Kong to celebrate its fiftieth anniversary, she debates this issue through the medium of students at the university. Picking up on the major protests of 2012—against the mainland government’s attempts to launch a moral and national education in Hong Kong schools—Chong created a character named Jeremy, a university student who becomes involved in a student protest and is arrested by the authorities. In September of 2014, student unions set off ten weeks of demonstrations on the major streets of Hong Kong in what became known as the “Occupy Movement” (or “Umbrella Movement” in the foreign press). The protesters were reacting

Poon Chan-leung in a scene from The Professor, directed by Octavian Chan, Hong Kong City Hall, 2013.

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Creating Across Cultures - Candace Chong  

These articles first appeared in the 2017 publication "Creating Across Cultures: Women in the Arts from China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan",...

Creating Across Cultures - Candace Chong  

These articles first appeared in the 2017 publication "Creating Across Cultures: Women in the Arts from China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan",...

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