A Practice-Based Research on the construction of Sense of Place in Below the Lion-Rock and the rewriting of the Sense of place of Hong Kong in 1970-1980s using different narrative approaches

Project: Research project

Project Details


Over the past two decades, Lion Rock has been used as a symbol of “the Hong Kong spirit” in government promotion campaigns, as much as it was quoted in anti- government rallies. The symbolic meaning of Lion Rock originated from the TV docudrama series Below the Lion Rock. First aired in 1972, the TV series legitimated the “Sense of Place” of Hong Kong during those 20 years through its Grand Narrative and constructed the identity of a Hong Konger (Wong and Ip, 2017). However, the relationship between Below the Lion Rock and Hong Kong identity is not yet studied from the creative writing perspective.

The objects of study in this project are Below the Lion Rock and its legacy for stories about Hong Kong and Hong Kong identity. The research questions are about 1. How was sense of place generated in Below the Lion Rock through its Grand Narrative? 2. How could the narrative produce a sense of belonging for Hong Kongers? and 3. How could the sense of belonging be reshaped if we narrate stories about Hong Kong during 1970-1980s with different narrative approaches?

According to French historian Pierre Nora, memory is more effectively triggered when certain objects and specific places are combined with visits and narrative. To delve into these hypotheses, the PI will apply research-by-practice as the methodology for this project. The PI will first investigate how Below the Lion Rock was created, especially how social development inspired the stories. Second, the PI will explore “the Hong Kong spirit” manifested in the series through interviews and textual analysis. Also, the PI will examine the relationship between the Grand Narrative and the Place Meaning of Hong Kong depicted by the TV series through Sense of Place theory (Montgomery, 1998). Finally, the PI will supplement the public’s cognition of old-time Hong Kong by applying Personal Narrative and Object-based Narrative.

The outputs of the research are 1. Two critical essays on the relationship between Sense of Place and the application of different narratives, and; 2. Four creative writings adopting the approaches of Personal Narrative and Object-based Narrative. The PI will conduct Cultural tours, Webpages, Creative Writing Workshops, and Public Seminars to generate more impact for the research.

This study will help Hong Kongers revisit the contents conveyed in the original “Lion Rock spirit”, and create a breakthrough in the training of creative writing by exploring more possibilities for crafting Sense of Place

Effective start/end date1/01/2231/12/23


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