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Between crisis and creativity: Esther M. K. Cheung’s study of the everyday

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Hong Kong, a hub of cultural exchanges and transnational funding, resources, ideologies and people, is often seen as an economic miracle. The dominant economic discourse of capitalism has reduced Hong Kong to a mere product of financial systems and structures, and deprived it of the possibility of enchantment. By analysing textual practices such as film aesthetics and metacultural criticism, Esther M. K. Cheung developed a unique approach to Hong Kong and other global cities. Her interest in urban culture was not confined by geographical boundaries. In a unique and remarkable way, Cheung analysed the intricate relationship between everyday life, creativity, and moments of crisis. Her readings of, and intense preoccupation with, understanding cities have inspired scholars to seek the abandoned and hidden small events and narratives of our everyday life.
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Keywords: Hong Kong cinema; Hong Kong culture; Hong Kong literature; city; creativity; crisis; everyday Life

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Hong Kong

Publication date: 01 September 2016

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  • Cities have been increasingly at the forefront of debate in both humanities and social-science disciplines, but there has been relatively little dialogue across these disciplinary boundaries. Journals in social-science fields that use urban-studies methods to look at life in cities rarely explore the cultural aspects of urban life in any depth or delve into close readings of the representation of cities in individual cultural products. As a platform for interdisciplinary scholarship from any and all linguistic, cultural and geographical traditions, the Journal of Urban Cultural Studies prioritizes the urban phenomenon in order to better understand the culture(s) of cities.
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