Outstanding Awards

Junior Secondary

A visual representation of "Shanghai Street" by Jennifer Wong

CHAN Hong Yu
Sacred Heart Canossian College

The poem is about Shanghai Street during the Hungry Ghost Festival. There are lots of old buildings in Shanghai Street, so I drew them to represent a part of Shanghai Street. In the poem, the poet describes that there are shops with “Celestial Pleasure” or “Eternal Living” where they sell paper dolls, paper houses and other paper made objects. So I also drew these shops to represent the Shanghai Street the poet describes. The poem is about a summer evening during the Hungry Ghost Festival. It’s believed that the gates of the afterlife are open. So I drew the spirits coming out from the gate and roaming around Shanghai Street as well as paper made things that are burned for the ancestors and ghosts. The most used technique in this painting is colour gradation. It is used for the wall of the buildings, the windows, cars, etc.

Shanghai Street

It is the missing block four of a development,
the way we avoid going outdoors
one summer evening of ghost festival.

We suspect foreigners may be confused
by shop signs that read
‘Celestial Pleasures’ or
‘Eternal Living’ nestled between
tuck-shops and stationers
in the middle of Shanghai Street.
I heard that folks went there
for quality timber and craftsmanship.

When I was a kid I used to think
they were toy shops - all those
paper houses, paper dolls,
paper shirts and even mobile phones.
I didn’t know until the day I saw
Grandmother burned them after purchase.

I didn’t know what to do
with the packet I received:
a coin, a sweet, and tissue paper.
A riddle.
How strange it feels,
things we don’t talk about.

Jennifer Wong

“Shanghai Street” was published in Goldfish by Jennifer Wong, p.9. Copyrights © 2013 byChameleon Press.