Outstanding Award

Senior Secondary

A visual representation of "City" by Louise Ho

St. Paul's Secondary School

In my work, I try to capture the city at dusk by watercolour. I use a range of colours in a cooler tone to present the depressing and wintery atmosphere in the poem. In the poem “City” by Louise Ho, contrast is used to show the loneliness of the street sleeper in a bustling city. Similarly, I present the powerlessness and isolation of the man by separating him from the “lanes of traffic” and the crowded city. The street sleeper in my painting is all by himself, sitting by the public lavatory in a marginal position as if he is not a part of his city. He is surrounded by all these moving cars and passing people but no one can notice him. The purpose of creating a sense of isolation is to highlight the life of a street sleeper in Hong Kong. His existence is almost invisible and he is marginalised in society.


No fingers claw at the bronze gauze
Of a Hong Kong December dusk,
Only a maze of criss-crossing feet
That enmeshes the city
In a merciless grid.

Between many lanes
Of traffic, the street-sleeper
Carves out his island home.
Or under the thundering fly-over,
Another makes his own peace of mind.

Under the staircase,
By the public lavatory,
A man entirely unto himself
Lifts his hand
And opens his palm.
His digits
Do not rend the air,
They merely touch
As pain does, effortlessly.

Louise Ho

“City” was published in Incense Tree: Collected Poems of Louise Ho by Louise Ho, p.45. Copyrights © 2009 by Hong Kong University Press.