Thursday, May 19, 2005

yellow paul wong

my parents are heading off to hong kong on monday for a week, which is a week i get left at home. instead i'm left imagining what it was like to walk the streets of tsimshatsui, the last time i visited, and my first time ever.

beyond is as much a part of hong kong as it is the other way around, from the way i saw it, from crossing tsing ma bridge (a soundscape namesake on surprise) as we left the new airport; to passing the abandoned old kai tak airport, which was where the 2000 concert was held. even the phonebooths in tsimshatsui by the sea had been featured in a music video (until you are here).

not far away was a hmv, which i'd been looking forward to raiding. as soon as i walked into the door, i was assailed by the bright blue display of paul wong's solo album - the first solo release by a beyond member, which i'd forgotten all about.

"this is yellow"
high ethical standard
of the mass media

oh yeah, this was one of those things feeding the band breakup rumours (ver. 2000), but if paul could produce something this discordant at times outside of beyond, who cares?

the "yellow" in the title is a direct translation of an expression similar to "yellow running dog pack" aka the nickname for the hong kong media. the artwork inside the hardcover booklet is of a similar ilk, expressing discontent at things others may take for granted:

"if hong kong can do it, you can do anything!" runs the sarcastic line in hong kong can. the censored version is the one that is on the album, but ah yan (aka mc yan), ah fei, ah kit, ah wah and jimmy (members of lmf) let loose on their feelings on the "dirty version" included as a separate cd, in a yellow coloured sleeve.


this is part of the darker side of hong kong i only know through politics and cultural observations. as a tourist i only see the bright and the fast, the opportunity to eat good food anywhere, and the enjoyment in absorbing the gloss of an entertainment centre for a short period of time. observing much further away, i am sometimes appalled by the obsession with appearance, the propensity for self-censorship in fear of reprehension, and the workings of the music industry as a business.

maybe our love/hate relationship with the place is similar. but as someone born and bred in hong kong, paul wong's strong sentiments can only be out of love and concern for his home.


At May 23, 2005 7:32 PM, Blogger nicthegeek said...

Hong Kong, to me, has always been Beyond too. It's not about visuals or landmarks, but just a certain sense of awe in treading the ground they walk on, breathing the air they breathe. Even up till now, 10 years after their Live and Basic concert, I get a shiver down my spine whenever I get a chance to go to HK.

I can't call myself a die-hard fan, but 13 years of Beyond counts for something right? Hey, I love this blog, it's on my Favourites, hope to see a lot more. ^__^


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