Tuesday, November 13, 2012

How Blue Was My Valley (Qu'elle Était Bleue Ma Vallée) by Yeung Hok-Tak

錦繡藍田 How Blue Was My Valley (Revised edition)
Author:Yeung Hok-Tak
Publish by Joint Publishing HK
Publish at 2007
144 pages
Binding: paperback

©Yeung Hok-Tak and Joint publish HK

Qu'elle Était Bleue Ma Vallée (French version)

Published 2006 by Actes Sud


There are so many straight building standing on the ground. The place resembles a sickened body undergoing acupuncture treatment. No more horizontal architectures could be seen and no more sounds of the orchestra of the wind. People don’t care to know their neighbor’s name and they lock themselves inside the walls, surrounded by the air-conditioning and the television. People prefer spending time and money on the bet rather than on the football field. People don't trust the fairy tale and the ideal, because the reality is much too cruel.

How blue was my valley P128

This words present why Yeung Hok-Tak made How blue was my valley, maybe it also explain why he made The series of the fairy tale Biu some years after.

In this book, the main character is not the people who live in the residence Blue-filed, but the residence itself. At the time of the “village-residence”, people is one beside another, but not one upside another! Now a day, Hong-kong is world-known of  its dense and vertical style, but when author was a child, he lived in a residence veeeeeery long and not so high, which was like a village, which was full of life.

Yeung Hok-Tak use the stream of consciousness to present these close-connected people and the ambiance of Blue-filed in his memory.  The story skip and back a lot, but it is not randomly, you can see it in the arrangement of some clever repeats, the symbolize pattern. Moreover, the critical jesting give a light and humor style.

This book spend him one year and all his saving without doing anything else. And it is no doubt a very powerful first-author-comic. Just like the other hk comic author Chi-ho said in the preface “ Because of  How blue is my valley, the history of Hong Kong comic is going to change its essence.”

A-Tak's drawing is full of the paper cut silhouette, which make his book full of the strong ambiance of the memory ;

A-Tak's drawing is full of the surreal color, which show the energy of the memory above the present;

A-Tak's drawing is full of the detail, which create so many close-up of the past;
A-Tak's drawing is also full of the smelling, which make you feel be in front of the old-time.

I think the sensible grey tone in the last chapter (about the present) want to show us how the past is gorgeous and sumptuous for him.

I haven't lived in Hong-kong, but this book doesn't make me unfamiliar, but fascinate. It seems a projection of a fantastic stream of consciousness straight in front of me...

*Please apology of my english, i don't use english in my everyday life, so there must be a lot of error, but i still want to show people all kind of documentary work, specially about Asia. If there is any error, and you want to correct them, please feel free to leave a message. 

I also have a publishing house which produce Asia documentary graphic work, if you are interested in it, you can check out the website of SLOWORK PUBLISHING.

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