︎Design Research︎︎Publication Design
Screenplays of a Heterotopic City: Techno-Orientalising Hong Kong’s Cultural Identity

Screenplays of a Heterotopic City dives into the techno-orientalisation (the envisioning of Asia and its cultures) on Hong Kong's cultural identity through the mise-en-scène of science fiction cinema. By looking at the backdrops of the Blade Runner and Ghost In The Shell franchise, Johnny Mnemonic (1995), and 2046 (2004), revealed the hidden layers of the techno-orientalisation of Hong Kong. The revelations range from the misrepresentations of the culture by fragmenting the Chinese inscriptions in the backdrops of the Blade Runner franchise and Ghost In The Shell (2017), to using techno-orientalism as a political commentary in 2046 with dark colour palettes. This project also questions Hollywood's role in aiding the process of cultural erosion with misrepresenting the cultural identity of Hong Kong.

The artifact aims to apply techno-orietanlism’s cultural envisioning in the context of mise-en-scène, to inform filmmakers of both Hollywood and the East not to misrepresent the culture that would aid the process of eroding its identity when techno-orientalising the city. A case study on Hong Kong’s self-orientalisation is also inclusive to ensure the East does not encourage misrepresentations for the lens of Hollywood. Additional voices from Wong Kin Yuen’s essay on Hong Kong’s cityscape informs the audience where research of the city’s historical context, the language it speaks, and the culture it offers are lacking, that the notion would then bring stereotypical elements. Seeing Hong Kong in Hollywood cinema is fascinating and filming the urban landscape of the city is not discouraged, but filmmakers should be aware of unknowingly taking part in the erasure of the identity.

︎Year: 2021︎︎Size: 159×246mm