Commendable Awards

Junior Secondary

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

YU Shuk Yi
YCH Wong Wha San Secondary School

My artwork is inspired by the poem, ‘Lamma Island Tofu-fa’. The medium, colour pencils, was chosen to present the warm feeling the poem portrays. Brighter colours are used to delineate the main theme while the darker ones off set it. The focus of the poem is set on the simplicity and tranquility of Lamma Island, away from the hurly-burly of city life. The bowl in the middle, filled with the sentiment of the island, is the focal point. The crinkly and wrinkly hand of the old lady on the right stretches to give 'we' on the left a bowl of not just tofu-fa, but also a taste of the island. At the bottom of the piece is one of the characters, who, as a city dweller, witnesses the changes brought by the wheel of time in urban development. In contrast, in the meanwhile, Lamma Island remains unaffected – rustic, minimal and protected. All the goodness, quiet and calm melt in the dream of the old lady under the milky moon, embracing the tranquility of Lamma Island. 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.