Borderscaping Hong Kong : Lo Ting and its Creative Agency

Selina Chui-Fun HO*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review


Lo Ting, a mythical half-human and half-fish figure, has been appropriated by local cultural workers since 1997. Based on the 1998 exhibition ‘Hong Kong Reincarnated: New Lo Ting Archaeological Find’ and the film Three Husbands (Fruit Chan, 2018), this article examines the creative agencies of Lo Ting from the perspective of ‘borderscaping’. The study affirms borderscaping as active signifying, discursive and affective practices that involve dynamic processes of adaptation, contestation or resistance in the subject-making of Hong Kong people. Set in two different contexts, post-1997 and post-2014, both productions have arguably sought a new form of becoming or belonging, and envisaged the Hong Kong/China border as something that can (or cannot) be crossed, interpreted and reinvented rather than passively inhabited. By offering new (geo)political-cultural imaginations, they have sought a new spatiality of politics, shifting from the rigid territorial spatialities of the nation-state to representing, negotiating and contesting the ‘where’ of the border.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)513-531
Number of pages19
JournalThird Text
Issue number5
Early online date12 Oct 2022
Publication statusPublished - 2022
EventUMAG Lecture Series: Re-examining Modernity and Contemporaneity through Chinese art (2022/23)
: 'Nationalist Internationalism: International Exhibition of Chinese Art, 1935
- University Museum and Art Gallery, Hong Kong
Duration: 18 May 202118 May 2022

Bibliographical note

I would like to express my gratuity to the anonymous reviewers for their commentsand suggestions. I thank the Hong Kong Art Centre for offering two photos and thearchival materials of the‘Hong Kong Reincarnated’exhibition for my research andClara Cheung for her photos to be included in this article. This research was supportedby a grant from the Research Grants Council of the Hong Kong Special AdministrativeRegion (Project No. 130358)

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • Hong Kong
  • Hong Kong/China border
  • Lo Ting
  • Selina Ho
  • bordering experience
  • borderscape
  • cultural identity
  • diaspora
  • geo-spatial politics
  • myth
  • representation


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