In the midst of rising tension with China, Hong Kong’s identity remains a construct that is loosely defined and hotly debated.
Some argue that Hong Kong’s effort to decolonize has failed, resulting in resistance in the development of a national identity. These resistances take roots in Hongkongers’ fear of the tightening control from China, their fear of losing the core values developed during the British colonial governance, their fear of losing unique urban landscape, and their fear of losing the local culture that is challenged by an influx of immigrants from the Mainland. It is apparent that there is a relationship between identity formation, everyday experience and the subjective feelings associated with it.
During 2016, I left my home city Hong Kong to pursue my postgraduate studies in London. Despite a sense of insecurity and unfamiliarity, I could feel the existence of Hong Kong in London. Many architectures and objects in London evoked my memories towards British Colonial Hong Kong. As cultural identity reflects the common historical experiences and shared cultural codes that provide individual becomes one people. Even though I was not physically in Hong Kong, my sense of place towards Hong Kong transcended geographical boundaries, which led me to contemplate the relationship between colonial history, cultural codes, and Hong Kong’s identity.