Constructing Images of Hong Kong

Conference: AAS-in-Asia2020 (AAS-in-Asia2020)
Title: Constructing Images of Hong Kong
Stream: Translation
Presentation Type: Panel Presentation
Audrey Heijns, Shenzhen University, China (organizer, presenter, chair)
Marija Todorova, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong (presenter, discussant)
Zoran Poposki, Education University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong (presenter)
Kristof Van den Troost, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong (presenter)


Hong Kong is known as an international and financial hub, it is a city where East and West meet, a city in transition. There are different ways through which Hong Kong is depicted, through writing, through translation, through film, through art and multi-media. In the past, the city has often been represented in cultural products as little more than an exoticized backdrop, a "fragrant harbor, city of sin and death", catering to the tastes of adventure story readers "from the sea and distant ports" (Turnbull, 1990). However, this situation is changing with artists’ understanding of the need to represent Hong Kong in full with all its diversity. Engagement in cultural representation whether locally or abroad is important to understand the image of Hong Kong and the implications it has.

Papers in this panel explore writings, translations, films and art works that have contributed to the image of Hong Kong and shaped local and outsiders’ perceptions of the city. It will connect translation studies with imagology, travel writing and cultural studies. Different approaches, strategies and reception will shed light on the projection or impact of the messages that writers, translators, film directors or artists have on the target audience. Ultimately, the findings will contribute to the discourse of the city in transition as part of the dynamics of Asia and its different crossroads narrated through different media in the past, present and for the future.