1997 …2024

Research activity per year

Personal profile

Chinese Name



Kenny K.K. Ng is an Associate Professor at the Academy of Film. His published books include The Lost Geopoetic Horizon of Li Jieren: The Crisis of Writing Chengdu in Revolutionary China (Brill, 2015); Indiescape Hong Kong: Interviews and Essays, co-authored (Hong Kong: Typesetter Publishing, 2018); Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow: Hong Kong Cinema with Sino-links in Politics, Art, and Tradition (Hong Kong: Chunghwa Book Co., 2021). He has published widely in the fields of comparative literature, Chinese literary and cultural studies, cinema and visual culture in the U.S., UK, Europe, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and China. His ongoing book projects concern censorship and visual cultural politics in Cold War Hong Kong, China, and Asia, Cantophone cinema history, and leftwing cosmopolitanism.


From studying comparative literature at the University of Washington and earning a doctorate in East Asian languages and civilization at Harvard University, to venturing into cinema and literary studies early in his academic career, my journey in the academe has led me to investigate the cultural politics of Chinese-language cinemas.


My study shifts the focus of investigation from elite politics to popular culture and cinematic expression. How did Cold War popular culture and marketism shape the ethics and aesthetics of filmmaking by individual filmmakers and groups? I examine how creative people moved beyond ideological divides and deployed dynamics of storytelling, image-building, interactive listening and performing to appeal to disparate Chinese audiences and tastes. By unveiling how filmmakers exploited mass culture and media in rapidly commercializing Chinese societies, the study reveals the tension between political rhetoric and cultural representations.


Currently I have been working on a monograph to examine the impact of British film censorship and colonial cultural policy on Hong Kong cinema in the postwar era. Besides political and social factors, the study concerned about issues of aesthetics and the artistic performance of film as an artefact, the intellectual pursuits of filmmakers who produced their works against commercial and political constraints, and the social and educational functions of film.


The book project explores how ideology and political idealism shaped the ethics and aesthetics of postwar Hong Kong cinema. I analyze the migratory and creative experiences of exiled intellectuals, filmmakers, and cultural entrepreneurs, for whom cinematic sights and sounds became the embattled cultural venues of their moral and intellectual visions. In the book, I query the notion of “Chineseness” and argues that the understanding of “Chineseness” should not be reduced to the placing of political allegiances over the organic expressions of local and cultural identities.


These current projects lead me to explore my interest in film censorship, cultural policy, screen adaptation, historical imagination, comparative literature, critical theory and aesthetics. I want to share my interests with scholars in the fields of diaspora, global Sinophone, transnational Chinese cinema, and Hong Kong studies. I hope my work will blur national boundaries and break regional barriers in film and media studies.


Research Interests

Film Censorship and Colonial Cultural History

Transnational Chinese Literary and Visual Culture

Historical Imagination and Cultural Geographyo      

Comparative Literary and Visual Studies

Urban Culture and Globalization 

Cultural Memory and Heritage

Critical Theory and Aesthetics

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


Dive into the research topics where Kenny NG is active. Topic labels come from the works of this scholar.
  • 1 Similar Scholars

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or