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Find below an example of reading response from previous year:
The article explores the characteristics of Hong Kong architecture as disappearing colonial space and draws attention to the profit-driven preservation that reflects an ambivalence on Hong Kong’s seeking identity due to colonial historical contexts.
One thing I found it worthy of pondering is the possibility of disappearing identity of one city concerning comparatively superficial building conservation. If zooming out to capture a broader image of the city as a whole, where (sometimes socially) conspicuous landmarks and star architecture vanish and blend into the background as part of the street scene, the sense of identity detached from the recognition of space homogenization to the ‘tourists’ belongs to the real impressions of city. For those who are unfamiliar with iconic local landmarks, even when they encounter Bank of China Tower or HSBC Main Building, it is not surprising to assume they will agree that these skyscrapers are crucial opponents to an international city, just like what they do to New York and Tokyo. Can they recognize the character of Hong Kong from them? On the contrary, owing to limited land resources in addition to the exorbitantly high density of population, space is tightly compressed in an unprecedented level, creating a unique image of clusters of shabby and colourful tenements(唐樓) huddling together. Take the Kowloon Walled City as an example; Hong Kong becomes the cradle of creations about near-future science fiction fantasy, a pilgrimage site for cyberpunk in the field of subculture. The out-of-order beauty is discovered — in a riot of crowded shop signs, tangled wires with trams(叮叮車) and gloomy, narrow corners between two relatively mega structures. It is true that ‘architecture from the point of view of the city can only be associated with film’. Perhaps this is the reason why one can easily identify Hong Kong (not anywhere in Japan as depicted) in Ghost in the Shell(2017) with the aid of impressions mentioned above.
Preservation is selective and exclusive. However, imagine a city in the future, where all these impressions and visual sentiments which constructed periods of history are abbreviated to a milestone-like decoration as the tower to the cultural centre, would will it be like for them to form the sense of identity of a city? People find their dream Hong Kong in mysterious tales of fierce triads and Japan’s bubble years in dreamy vaporwave. In this regard, the impression can be only a momentary feeling. It would be hard to grasp the memory of the history, or in a particular way of visual recordings.
— Monique Chan