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DUAL CITY TA L E When Two Becomes One

Duet City Tale

Chapter 1

“What a lovely city.� Shan lives in a city of order. This is one of the icon of urbanization and development, not only does it provide steady necessity to the citizens but also appealing living standards. Every day, disciplined and civilised citizens go to school and working in schedule and everyone has his or her own role to fit in. Every parts of the city is well-planned and all-you-need functions are housed in the neatly organised towers. Whoever visits this city, undoubtedly, would fall in love with it, just like Shan does. Shan is a facade-cleaning lady of the typical high-rise buildings. No one knows the buildings better than Shan in this city. In fact, despite of the different forms of the buildings, they have the same souls to her. However, there is one different tower among all. Situated on an ordinary street, it stands with highly reflective glasses just like its neighbours yet displays no entrance on the all levels. Still, no one, not even Shan, cares to bother.


Duet City Tale

Chapter 2

Plshckbleh! On a typical Tuesday, when she is cleaning the window of that particular tower, she finds a piece of glass missing from the facade. Never has this happened and it disturbs her regular routine, making her insecure and anxious. “What… Something strange lies inside, really strange.” As Shan is looking for hints to fix the window, she has a glimpse of the space beyond the building skin. She finds that the depth is unusual and space is unrealistically huge. Trembling with uncertainty and curiosity, she steps into the building and starts her journey to search for answer.


Duet City Tale

Chapter 3

“Where the heck am I? I’ve never seen anything like this before…” The mysterious mask gets unveiled. She finds herself in a world of reversal, a world demonstrates the unselected appearance of where she lives. It is a gigantic complex housing all the elements that form a city. This is a city within a city. Shops and dwellings that exist in the outside world appear, but they are no longer aligned straightly along the main street. Here, they are parasitically developed on one another, shaping strange streetscapes. This complex systems may look sophisticated as if it could not work, all are connected closely and perform well in the system. The residual spaces created by the messily arranged structures creates new opportunities for interactions and vibrant activities. This city complex is isolated from the outside, enveloped by pixelated screen structure. Unlike the coldness of the outside world, this inner city warms Shan with a sense of richness. Shan has seen and felt so much in so little. A block is not just a single building, but represents a harmony of collective spirits and individual identity. Hundreds of people are packed in the same residential block displays a great variety of livelihood and one can tell the stories of all from the open and diversified windowscape. Not only does these express the organic beauty, but also an appreciation, a mutual respect and existence of diverse livings. Nothing looks the same here, or even similar. Enchanted by the weirdness, chaos and variety of activities, architecture and city arrangement, Shan decides to explore further. It is hard for Shan to imagine what happens if she works as a window cleaner in a place like this. Each of them is expressing uniqueness and individuality unlike the outside world, where everything is a well-constructed and perfect system. It must be amazing and extremely tiring to do cleaning here. All of a sudden, the floor starts shifting and Shan hears something cracking outside.


Duet City Tale

Chapter 4

“What’s wrong with this place? I have to go.” She rushes to the balcony to find out what is happening but the tangled and complicated pathway makes her clueless. In a great haste, Shan glances at a silhouette, which seemingly draws her attention. Shan pauses and takes a closer look on the lady. She sees a person who is so familiar, yet so strange. At the very moment their sight meet, a strong sense of realization comes to her soul. Through the process she revealed the hidden parts of herself: the parts that she does not even be aware of or understand, the parts of the innocence that leaves in childhood… all her memories are recalled. The hidden self is unleashed and embraced deeply. “Long time no see, my friend.” Shan has never felt so light, as if she could fly towards the other self.


Duet City Tale

Chapter 5

The destruction of the envelope continues. The pixelated screen starts to collapse, letting rays of sunlight to penetrate through to light up the inner city. The barrier between the inside and the outside starts dissolving and walkways extend outwards to connect the two. When inner collapsed into outer, when chaos co-existed with order, when Shan meets Shan, eventually, they complete as a cohesive whole. The city is now filled with vibrant and vivid colours. They are no longer separated. Shan takes the newly constructed railway from the inner city back to her home. A journey of witnessing the rebirth of a city has come to the end. She sits by the window, grabs a coffee, and enjoys this new dynamic cityscape. “What a lovely city!�


"And they lived happily ever after..." Fairy Tale Competition 2018

Narrative and Drawings by Wing Nga Tam, Jefferson Chan and Marcus Ma

Dual City Tale