Philip Chan Yan-kin, legendary Hong Kong movie actor, director, and producer, has said the following about Feng Chi-shun’s Kowloon memoir Diamond Hill:
It was with red, teary eyes and a pain in my stomach that I closed the last page of Feng Chi-shun’s flashback of his youthful days in and around the infamous Diamond Hill. For me, the place itself was the subject of endless speculations of exotic food, treasures and mythical characters. I once had a plan to leave home with 30 cents in my pocket to seek the ‘Sifu’, a master of kung fu who lived as a hermit but would occasionally show his presence toying with two steel balls in one palm. I am glad that plan was abandoned because the only balls you’d find in Diamond Hill were fish balls. It was also where I first discovered ‘hand-made fashion’ when I stole my grandma’s money from the lucky money in her incense pot (plus from my mother’s handbag) to place my first-ever order for a hand-made pair of horseskin shoes from the Shanghainese cobbler ‘Jazz’. The same cobbler could fix a metal plate along the front of the soles to provide stylish complexity and an effective attack weapon.
Reading Diamond Hill was a roller coaster ride in a time machine: adrenalin-driven, fast and furious, and very heart-warming. A book that should be read then passed on to any person whom you think should share the treasures of Feng’s excavation of a culture long lost but not to be forgotten.
Chi will be signing copies of his book from 2.30pm – 4.30pm at the American Women’s Association’s annual bazaar. Venue: the Excelsior Hotel in Causeway Bay, Hong Kong, this Wednesday November 3rd. Other local writers including Liza Chu, Jason Wordie, Sarah Brennan, Joanne O’Callagan and Yvonne Dow will also be in attendance at the Authors’ Mix n’ Mingle, with complimentary coffee and tea. The fair runs from 10am to 6pm — enquiries 2527 2961. Hope to see you there!