Once Upon a Time 香港定格 by Donmak

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When this book began to slowly but surely materialise back in 2018, The Moment of Hong Kong felt like a fitting title for it, based on all the artwork Don had completed to that point. However, as time went on along with the circumstances that unfolded in its wake––both to the creative production process and the city at large––a ‘moment’ suddenly seemed too small. With the addition of new artwork, the version of the book that you see today has taken on new meaning as a documentation of sorts for all the dramatic changes that has occurred ‘Once Upon a Hong Kong’ – frame by frame.

In creating this book, Don was drawn to the works of Czech author and artist M. Sasek, who told the story of a prosperous city in the 1960s through This is Hong Kong. Sasek’s brush strokes captured a vivid energy that photographs could not, and Don was inspired to do the same for his dear daughter by depicting everyday life as we know it today so that no matter what happens tomorrow, she will always have a sense of the home she knows to see and feel. Although Once Upon a Hong Kong started off as a personal endeavour, Don hope that its pages will touch and resonate with anyone who calls this city home.

The narrative in this book echoes the voice of tomorrow that was kindly provided by Miss Black Cat, whose fledgling writing talent is one to watch. Don is also deeply grateful to his dear friend Adonian Chan from Trilingua Design for his beautiful calligraphy on its cover; to VICTION-VICTION/viction:ary who overcame many challenges to publish its pages for the world to see; as well as to multi-functional art hub Parallel Space for co-presenting the book launch exhibition.

《香港定格》大部份畫稿完成於2018年,原名《香港此刻》。因着種種原因,畫作從籌備到推出,花了一年半之久,而這一待便令此刻不再,遂改以「定格」為名,並且增補了兩幅插畫。這段時間正值香港大變,現在回看畫稿,已恍如隔世,確是「Once Upon a Hong Kong」無誤。

本系列畫作是為我的女兒所創作,旨在記錄香港當下的尋常景致,題材圍繞衣食住行等生活日常。創作動機緣於看到捷克插畫家M. Sasek的繪本《This is Hong Kong》。該書以畫筆記錄了60年代香港的繁榮面貌,比起相片,更加保留了一股和暖的溫度,和都市的活潑氣息。今天香港正面臨巨大變化,故希望將眼前的香港放進時間囊,好讓女兒將來也能感受一下這個都市的神采。雖然是以非常個人的動機去創作,但所記錄的風景,對香港人來說,應該也會有所共鳴。

除了記載當下之外,我邀請了年輕的黑貓小姐創作文字,希望賦予本書一股開拓未來的力量。並特別鳴謝摯友陳濬人先生,為《香港定格》書寫書名。畫作交由香港設計書藉公司 Viction:ary 旗下的 VICTION VICTION 結集出版。