Outstanding Awards

Junior Secondary

A visual representation of "His t-shirt" by Tammy Ho

TANG Miu Ching
YCH Wong Wha San Secondary School

My work shows the relationship between a father and his two daughters. The father’s sweat and toil bring the chance for his two daughters to travel around the globe. The father tries his best to provide the best for his daughters. This is further emphasised by the contrast of the phones they use. The one the father is using is dated while the one the daughters are using is modern. The t-shirts symbolise the bridge of the daughters’ love to their father. Their love is without boundaries of time and place. This is represented by the t-shirts the daughters bought from different countries and the daytime and nighttime of the two continents they are in.

Nowadays, often, teenagers take their parents’ love and hard work for granted. I would like to take this opportunity and use this portrait to remind them that a bond or even a connection is built on something small. As everyone grows older every day, we should learn to cherish before it is too late.

His t-shirts

Medium-sized t-shirts on his dark body.
He’s totally Chinese - more so than me.
But in periods when he’s building bridges,
fixing window panes or drilling roads,
I think he’s from Africa.
Yellow skin is black in the sun.
Who said colours are God-given?

Medium-sized t-shirts he has aplenty.
Elated, in countries foreign, we do not forget
at home he’s suppressing his worried lips.
He wants nothing from us, but
we like the idea of giving. And so he’s
wearing t-shirts from London, Thailand,
Auckland, Japan, Finland, India,
Malaysia, Poland, Korea...
‘Where are you from, father?’ We are
teasers. Names of places bold
in English on his chest. He doesn’t know.
‘China,’ he answers. We laugh.
We laugh. Bad daughters.

Medium-sized t-shirts on top of Large
-sized ones in his drawers.
He once stood huge
in front of a snack bar,
buying us coca-colas,
and we cheered.

Tammy Ho

“His t-shirts” was published in hula hooping by Tammy Ho Lai-ming, p.5. Copyrights © 2015 by Chameleon Press. Reprinted by permission of Chameleon Press.