November 25, 2009

再見銅鑼灣 / Wayne Wong

握著新力的 MD Walkman


拍出一部部充滿 enchantment 的 MV

結識了馬克思,尼采和 Derrida
被 disenchanted 的不是銅鑼灣

This is my first attempt to compose a Chinese poetry. It reflects my personal memory of a specific place in Hong Kong, which is Causeway Bay. For me, it used to be an “enchanted” place which promises romance and imagination, signified by the violet platform of Causeway Bay MTR station. In those days of my wandering, I remained unconscious of the implications of the surroundings. I saw Causeway Bay as itself – a place where ordinary people gathered. And its glamour served as a backdrop where ordinary things happened, creating a sharp contrast that made trivial things more appealing. But the most significant part of my wandering was music. It greatly strengthened my imaginative power because it forced me to make connections between music and the city. It was a play of subjectivity in a sense that I became an object of my imagination. Yet such “self-objectification” gave me great pleasure. It was like an instantaneous “split” within me. On the one hand, I saw myself passing through neon lights and streams of people from different angles. On the other hand, I was subjectively reshaping the mise-en-scène. I deployed almost every film language that I knew to increase the jouissance of that interactive process. I was “visioning” rather than “looking”. And I tried hard to keep myself from being conscious. I enjoyed my anonymity and trivialness in such a metropolitan space, giving birth to a feeling of enchantment. Truly, the choice of deep violet in Causeway Bay MTR station platform was no coincidence. It captured the romance of trivialness out of the metropolis, which was not available in other places of Hong Kong. One might say that it was too subjective and irrational. Truly, it was an intense experience of enchantment for inexplicable reasons.

However, critical discourses I learnt from the university ruined my jouissance. Causeway Bay suddenly becomes a secular marketplace exhausted by capitalism, consumerism and other critical terms such as alienation, fragmentation, and the list goes on. Freud enters my logic and brings everything up to the realm of consciousness. I begin to realize that the space around me was not the space for imagination, but signs or symbols interpellated with ideological meanings. I now intend to look for the signified rather than the many signifiers – wandering becomes a luxury. Time is given an exchange value and I can no longer disregard the opportunity cost of imagination. The deep violet color fades away and ironically becomes the color of my student card now. My passion of wandering gradually disappears along with the fading color. Of course, everything remained the same. The heart of the problem was the problem of the heart – it becomes somehow disenchanted. Yet I feel lucky sometimes as I can still hold on to the purplish color of my new identity. It might perhaps be a more refined way of looking at things. Without those critical discourses, I would not be able to articulate my memory with sophistication. After all, form and content have to be synthesized. The “spontaneous overflow of powerful feeling” (content), as Wordsworth maintained, might not be applicable to an ordinary man like me. Sometimes critical theories (forms) could actually broaden my perspectives. Therefore, turning from the deep violet to the lavender might not necessarily signify the disappearance of passion, but rather its purification, distillation and maturity.

Wayne Wong is a student from CLIT2018 Critiques of Modernity 2008-2009 second semester.

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