Between Crisis and Creativity: Esther M. K. Cheung’s Study of the Everyday

Winnie L.M. Yee


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.

(Published in Journal of Urban Cultural Studies, 3(3), 2016, pp.407-412.)