Comprador culture: A study of Hong Kong’s material culture in Leung Ping-kwan’s works

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Abstract

Chinese merchants in Hong Kong colonial times, the so-called compradors, were always associated with negative traits such as treacherous, unreliable, selfish and cunning. Recent research, however, shows that there were also compradors who were patriotic, reliable and generous. In addition, according to those researches, comprador is more than a profession, which, in fact, has already developed into a particular kind of colonial/postcolonial or hybrid culture. This kind of comprador culture is manifested in the “things” we create and use on a daily basis, namely, architecture, food and print culture (such as literature and magazine). Leung Pingkwan (P. K. Leung) is one of the few writers who depicts colonial/comprador architecture and food in his literary works. In addition, he also contributes to the publication of Zhongguo Xuesheng Zhoubao, in terms of submitting his modernist literary works as well as being the editor of the literary magazine in the 1970s. One major aim of this research is, through studying the literary works of Leung, to examine the comprador culture, a mixture of Chinese and western cultures, embodied in foods and architecture in Hong Kong. In terms of bicultural print culture, the literary magazine Zhongguo Xuesheng Zhoubao in which Leung played a significant role will be analyzed. Another aim for this study is to examine the extent to which those “things” can reflect the relationship between the British (the colonizer) and the Hong Kong people (the colonized).
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Citation

Au, C.-t. (2012, September). Comprador culture: A study of Hong Kong’s material culture in Leung Ping-kwan’s works. Paper presented at the XIX Biennial Conference of the European Association of Chinese Studies (EACS): Deconstructing China, new experiences, new vistas, Université Paris Diderot, Paris.

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