Liu Yichang and modernism
Renowned novelist Prof. Liu Yichang came to the University on 19 November 2009 to accept his appointment as Honorary Professor of the Bachelor of Arts (Hons) programme in Creative Writing and Film Arts (BAHCWFA) and share his writing experience at a seminar. School of Arts and Social Sciences Dean Prof. Tam Kwok-kan officiated at the appointment ceremony and notable writer Prof. Leung Ping-kwan hosted the seminar attended by 270 participants.
Prof. Liu moved from Shanghai to Hong Kong in 1948 and earned his living by writing commercial novels for newspapers. Not until 1962 did he publish his first serious piece of work The Drinker which is known as the first Chinese stream-of-consciousness novel. ‘Although a creative novel is not necessarily a good novel, a good novel must be creative,’ he said.
The 91-year-old novelist and editor has helped nurture many local writers in the past few decades, with a profound impact on the literary development and film industry in Hong Kong. Eminent film director Wong Kar-wai drew inspiration from Prof. Liu’s works Intersection and The Drinker for his award-winning films In the Mood for Love and 2046 respectively.
In addition, an international conference on ‘Liu Yichang and Modernism’ was held at the OUHK on 18 November. Jointly organized by the OUHK and the Centre for Humanity Research of Lingnan University, it was attended by dozens of scholars from Hong Kong, mainland China and Japan. At the close of the two-day event, the School presented Prof. Liu a sketch drawing by a Year 2 student of the BAHCWFA programme of Nathan Road in the 60s as depicted in Intersection.