Alec Michael John Wright was born in Hong Kong in 1912, and was Director of Public Works between 1963 and 1969. He fought in the Battle of Hong Kong and was kept in the prisoner-of-war camps in Kowloon. As a senior government architect, he was instrumental to the post-war public architecture which shaped Hong Kong’s unique cityscape and spatial experience.
In 2015, Urban Diary's curator and storyteller Dr Chloe Lai visited Wright in his London residence. A 59- minute documentary, The Wright Chronicle, was made after extensive rounds of interview. In the film, Wright shares his recollections on Hong Kong: the old days, the difficult times and its rise to prosperity...
The film debuted in September 2016, on the eve of Wright’s 104 birthday, and has been well received. A dozen community screenings have since been organised to full-house audience on numerous occasions.
A journalist by training, Dr Chloe Lai has long been covering issues pertaining to urban planning and development in English newspapers in Hong Kong. Dr Lai obtained her PhD from the Department of Comparative Literature, The University of Hong Kong. Her thesis, ‘Journalism as part of the neoliberal urban redevelopment regime: the case of Hong Kong’, investigates the role of the press in Hong Kong’s urban redevelopment regime, and analyses the impact of neoliberal governmentality on journalism.
Dr Lai currently runs a non-profit digital story museum named the Urban Diary. The platform promotes sustainable living. Dr Lai’s work was turned into the bilingual publication titled URBAN DIARY: Sustainable Future Hong Kong Tales, which was named by academic groups such as the Hong Kong Urban Laboratory, and media outlets such as Stand News, as one of the top 10 books in Urban Studies for 2015. The Urban Diary, which Dr Lai curates, documents the mundane tales of everyday Hong Kong people with words, photos, sound and moving images, and records how different people in Hong Kong contribute in building a more sustainable city in various aspects. She also explores the significance of story-telling and tales of everyday life in understanding and improving contemporary urban living, and how the everyday life is a form of cultural right in postcolonial Hong Kong. Among the stories that Dr Lai has collected, a number of them are related to the tangible and intangible cultural heritage in Hong Kong.
Reception opens 6:15 pm, introduction and film-show starts at 6.45 pm
Admission: RAS Members $100; Non-Members / Guests $150
Booking: Please email firstname.lastname@example.org in advance to reserve your place and pay at the door