The poem “Victoria City”

Artist Lok Yeung-ming wrote the poem “Victoria City” and created 118 paintings according to the story in the poem, telling the building, development and changes of the environment of the city. It also reflects the people and events that have been forgotten and ignored gradually in the city, for instance, the Giraffe’s park, the boundary stone which has faded into oblivion, the life encounters of the old Nanny and the changes of her mind.

Having travelled in Kenney Town in a wheelchair, the artist depicted the “Victoria City” by a poem and paintings, which were inspired by the feeling and experience of the journey. There were the elderly people who sighed as they were pushed out of the city. There were the roads with fast knots which made the wheelchair users difficult to pass through. There was the “high wall” along the road which blocked the way of Nanny of Flowers to the Park for strolling. The works are like a window that allows the public to snoop on the “Victoria City”. Many people with mobility problems and the elderly find resonance. Through this window, they express their gloom. He hopes that this window will remain open forever for the mutual understanding and acceptance between people inside and outside the city.

Victoria City
Author: LOK Yeung-ming

The Time of Victoria

Here had been a part of the Victoria City, shining among various stars.
Besides, a small boundary stone was left behind, telling about their Queen.
Suddenly came an old nanny called herself Victoria.
Sometimes planting flowers here: she loved flowers; sometimes reciting love poets by Shakespeare.
For the boundary stone, she never lost her way.
She said, “My country is surrounded by oceans with different depths. The waves are just like the flowers in my garden.”
People were earnest to build her world.
She had been living happily.

The Paradise

Long after that, a giraffe was found in the Park at Kennedy Town.
It only loved a certain kind of food, likening to love of eternity and vow of honesty.
This was the love story of the Park.
Once the merry elderly all became monkeys.
Jumped around quickly and hurdled traps of time and erosion.
Making all games of the chasers become younger and younger.
Once the facilities in the Park were incomparable enormous.
People in the Park were like tiny soldiers in the Country of Giants.
The Giraffe might be the missing animal from the Royal Zoo.
It might feel inferior and weak in expressing itself.
It found its neck was not beautiful. So it hurried to chase after its beauty.
But some time before now, it lost its love.
It stood still in the middle of the Park, seemed it was in waiting.
At last, only the footprints were left deep in the mud.

Sky at Night

The Giraffe began its journey.
Someone planted in the area where it usually appeared,
Waiting for its return, insisting for a whole light year.
They all became old.
Thereafter, some nights in that empty garden, some people lying on the grass watching the stars in the mid-summer nights.
Staring at their departing trails.
Maybe, suddenly some stars lost their balance, falling deep into the core of the Park.
Gradually, whenever at nights, the Park sparkled, resembling the lighthouse on the sea.
Some people would search for the rubble left from the tail of the burning stars
Stringing pieces of rubble into a necklace, wearing it and it shimmered.
Just like the missing treasure of the Queen, as a gift of memory for the City.
Later, someone stole away a piece of rubble with memory

The Old Man and the City

That man with (brain) degeneration ate it.
Thinking the destructive power of the illness would be relieving.
Victoria City, its name was reduced into the name of a street, and was sleeping.
On the streets, elderly homes and silky nations were packed together.
Blowing the mist-covered and hazy winds.
The elderly were pushed out to the streets, sighing deeply
The seniors usually dwell in the elderly homes, and these homes are crowed in this town.
All good times were broken up and drifted around lonely.
The seniors could never catch them up.
People sitting in the wheelchair, many fast knots were on the road.
High-rise buildings skewed and became steep
The elderly had little space to move around; the city accelerated its activities.

The Old Nanny

There was a nanny. She was bedridden.
She and her bed were twins, so intimate and close together.
Words at heart were always spat inwardly.
When asleep, she was akin to a corpse still with the remaining body warmth
She wore a hole in the body.
Feeling the pain. Feeling the pain from the world.
Her feelings became complicated, sensitive and delicate.
And talked sparsely.
She had never been in love, nor married.
The old nanny was in love of beauty.
She was a beautiful woman in her youth.
And was always chased after then.
The Giraffe once told her, “You are beautiful.”
This was the only dialogue between them.
In that Park. In that year being one of the keepers.
Keeping and waiting for a hope.
But now, for her, beauty is a kind of dignity.

Dream of the Nanny

Lately, the elderly home moved her to another bed.
Daytime, sunshine gently penetrated through the window. Rays shot into her stiff body.
The dying heart was powered up again.
She hoped to go out, to see the sun, to feel the chilling rain, and then walked around the Park.
Since then, she everyday wore a different dress with floral patterns.
And with the smell of flower fragrance. People called her Nanny of Flowers.
But for her and her companions, the high wall next to the pavement were insurmountable.
Though the Park was only one step away, it was still unattainable.

Wandering the City

In the elderly home, she asked someone to find a carpenter to make her something.
Under the rhythmic directions of a speech therapist,
She uttered some voices. In fact, they were secret utterances behind the red cotton balls, which were filled up her mouth.
People delivered the parcel, it was finally turned out to be a wooden horse.
It was also given the breath of life.
It was originally just a piece of lonely wood.
Now the wood had a meaning.
It was delighted to have someone to travel with.
It carried Nanny to find the starting point of the world.
But Nanny of Flowers just wanted to lie down or bend over the Wooden Horse, to watch the spinning city.
For the Wooden Horse, the weight is awesome.
Just when they went out, they saw a cluster of colorful buildings dyed by a rainbow.
There was a bridge linking the rainbow to the clouds in the sky.
Wandering along the streets, meeting neighbors who had long been not meeting.
Sometimes, would go into the sea to chase after some of the lost memories.
Her most earnest hope: still in the Park.

Rebuilding the Forest City

She was very much in love of beauty.
Hoping to find sufficient gems to string a necklace.
Each and every day, she looked for and waited for.
She also told her companions: the world could have a lot of different ways of observation and thinking.
Some chose to sit on the revolving Ferris wheel.
As like the rotating drum in a washing machine, to observe the world.
Was the world dried up?
Or the tears of the washing machine had not been drained away?
And most of the companions chose to wander along by riding on animals of different sizes.
When the owners left, these animals were crowded in a small park.
People took the initiative to plant many trees.
Gradually it turned into a noisy forest.
Enveloping the entire city, and getting bigger and bigger. Even broader than the city area.
The forest was linked with the ocean.
After that, and after some time, as black as the sesame paste.
And some evaporated milk was put in.
Sweet night.
Muddy black.

Lying Down, Watching the Stars

She was lying in the Park and watching the stars.
Seeing a cluster of stars in the small park in the sky.
Arranging in the shape of a giraffe.
She smiled slightly, until fell asleep.
And the moon was also sleeping soundly.
Emitting loud snores.
That night, many people were sleepless.
Eventually, Mother ate half of the moon.

Poem of Post-exhibition by Lok Yeung-ming:

The joy on the streets are not for us.
We, like a leveller, with a level inside:
Where lying the horizontal line and the skyline;
Where we find the balancing point.
For a professional leveller, my request is too small to be measured and imagined.
I am sensitive to feel the pretended goodwill of the conditions of the roads, even a little bit,
Or the little shake of the magnetic field of the interstellar movement.
On the footpaths of the city, you are in a race.
At the roadside, you plan for a raid and run across it like landing at Normandy.
I am afraid that it will hinder the evolution of people’s lives.
Hope merely that the buildings one day will stop growing tall;
The meandering and undulating roads are no longer so narrow to squeeze our hearts.
We are on the same point of origin, and hope that our life-lines finally join as one,
No gap in between.