Commendable Awards

Junior Secondary

A visual representation of "Lamma Island Tofu-fa" by Kate Rogers

TONG Cheuk Wing
St. Mary's Canossian College

This piece of artwork is painted with watercolour because the colours are light and smooth, which represent the peaceful and calm mood of the poem. The scenery is also colourful, despite the fact that it is nighttime. As the moonlight is soft and mellow, it brings colours to the field of white ginger lilies and the stone house.

This piece of artwork is drawn from the poet’s perspective. The poet is under the tin shed, enjoying a bowl of tofu-fa and looking at the tranquil scenery. This helps the viewers feel the slow and harmonious atmosphere of Mot Tat. The stone house with a red clay roof and the shed shows that the place is semi-rural, peaceful but vibrant.

Last but not least, watercolour gives the centre of attention – tofu-fa a silky, a smooth and soft texture. Painted with different hues of white, the tofu-fa swims in the ginger syrup. To highlight the tempting sugar, a bright golden colour is used to set a contrast with the warm brown syrup. Whoever sees the bowl of tofu-fa would want a mouthful of it.

Lamma Island Tofu-fa

On the broken trail to Mot tat
a field of white ginger lilies
flags us down.
We shrug off our packs.
Huddled among ruins to our left,
a stone house
red clay roof sloping,
doorway gaping
like an old man sleeping.
A wriggly-tin shed
shades wooden tubs of tofu.
We sit at a plank table.
A tiny woman
with a toothless smile,
trembling, blue-veined hands,
carries a tray. Tofu-fa
is heaped like soft snow
in turquoise plastic bowls.
I love the tofu’s smooth surface
but crave the sight of golden sugar
pocking its face,
tofu puddled in ginger syrup –
its sharp scent,
clearing my nostrils
with the first spoonful.
Dusk creeps under our table
grey as the old woman’s dog.
The old woman dozes
on her low stool beside the shed,
bathed in the milk of the moon.

Kate Rogers

“Lamma Island Tofu-fa” first appeared in the American Literary Journal, World Literature Today, Spring 2019 issue.