Be transported to Hong Kong, one poem at a time

The highly-anticipated HK-SG Travel Bubble may have failed to materialise last year-end, but poets from both countries are not forsaking what would have been an exciting travel experience.

Launched on Feb 15 to present a feature on poetry.sg, the new HK-SG Digital Travel Bubble unites 16 poets from Hong Kong and Singapore who offer a digital poetry journey aimed at transporting readers to these twinned cities.

This ekphrastic series, co-presented by Sing Lit Station and The Substation, sees poets playing both tourist and tour guide from behind their screens. They offer details about their cities while experiencing their favourite places through the eyes of a first-time visitor.

For instance, local poet Daryl Lim Wei Jie and Hong Kong writer Jennifer Wong were paired to exchange photographs of their home countries and provide poems reflecting on the images. The poems map out each destination, from vivid insights to the hope for a time to walk those streets again.

The pair, along with three other couples—Zulfadli Rashid and Maheen Haider, Naive Gascon and Sophie Ip, and Yeow Kai Chai and Kit Fan—will also share their poems at a launch event via Facebook Live on The Substation’s Facebook page (Feb 20, 3-4pm).

Says Woon Tien Wei, Co-Artistic Director of The Substation: “HK-SG Digital Travel Bubble is a creative response to the failed attempt to establish a physical HK-SG Travel Bubble.”

While he notes that digital travels cannot replace physical experiences, he emphasises that the project provides a link for sociality between the poets and readers from both countries.

“It is important to stay social while remaining physically distanced. The pandemic has revealed a broken world where art should seek to mend the void by bringing people together and strengthen connections,” Woon concludes.

We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.


Visit the virtual exhibition at poetry.sg/travelbubble.