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Chu Hoi Ying, ‘Daily Life’
Chu Hoi Ying, ‘Daily Life’

Yam Gong’s poems are known for their humour and clever use of Cantonese slang. However, I chose one of Yam Gong’s relatively serious poems to adapt into a short film. I chose this work because my mind was flooded with vivid images when I read it. References to things that have been familiar to me since my childhood, such as ‘ham gang’-a ritual of screaming one’s name to cure their illness-and ‘white sugar cake’, unexpectedly exist in this poem in a whimsical yet intriguing manner.

In this project, I aimed to explore the essence of Yam Gong’s poem by delving into both concrete and the abstract realms. My goal was to unearth the narrative’s potential unpredictability. Throughout the filming process, I gradually came to see that the protagonist’s ailment could also symbolise the emotional states that dwell within each individual. Our personal rituals may vary, but what remains crucial is that some inadvertent aspects of life can guide us through transformative and healing journeys.

—Chu Hoi Ying

Daily Life

I was maybe four or five

when I became seriously ill

In my delirium, a woman from Dongguan

wailed for my soul’s return

One foot of cloth, one bowl of water,

clothes burning brightly in a brazier at the foot of my bed

My parents walked amid the smoke

Through flickering silhouettes my worried brothers and sisters spun around my bed like horses on a revolving lantern

I saw my soul

following schoolmates from a former life

playing in the river of forgetfulness

Mother said,

You had us scared

Your body was ice cold

The trembling of your nostrils

the only sound

Not until you heard the voice of the sponge-cake seller did you open your eyes

and smile grimly

And then what, Mother?

Then you came to judge the world

We were watching you from far away, and day by day

you recovered

—Yam Gong

Translated by James Shea and Dorothy Tse



Chu Hoi Ying


Chan Wai Lok, Liu Ho Man, Tang Cherry Zariyah, Lee Dominic Shing Yuen, Siu Fong Yeung


Chu Hoi Ying, Mui Lok Him

Assistant Producer

Lam Ting Hin

Production Manager

Mui Lok Him

Assistant Production Manager

Cho Kobe

Production Assistants

Yuen Wai Ki, Chan Tak Wai, Chu Hoi Hei


Wong Wai Nap

Assistant Camera

Kwok Wing Kin


Huang Li Wei

Still Photography/BTS

Chan Tak Wai


j.him Lee


Lam Ting Hin


Mok Ka Wing

Title Design

Yen-Hui Lee

Art Director


Art Assistant

Thisby Cheng

Costume Designer

Eugene Wong

Sound Design Postproduction

Seismic Sound Lab. Ltd.

Sound Designer

Chou Cheng

Sound Assistant

Huang Tsai-En

Postproduction Sound Intern

Liu Bon-Yu

Original Music

Brian Ting Chung Wai

Voice Performance

Lai Yuk Lan

About the Commission

As a moving image commission project for young and emerging Hong Kong filmmakers, Poetry on Film is motivated by the belief that poetry possesses an inherent cinematic quality. Its rhythmic cadence, vivid imagery, and emotional depth offer a rich tapestry for filmmakers to weave their visual narratives.

Poetry on Film follows in the footsteps of the M+ short-film commission project Hong Kong as Mise­-en-Scène (2023), which explores the city’s vibrant cultural landscape through moving image works. The idea for Poetry on Film was inspired by Ann Hui’s Elegies (2023), a documentary that looks at Hong Kong through the works of some of the city’s most innovative poets.

Chu Hoi Ying
Chu Hoi Ying

Chu Hoi Ying graduated with a bachelor’s degree in music from the Chinese University of Hong Kong and a master’s degree in fine art from the Academy of Film at Hong Kong Baptist University, majoring in film production. For her directorial short film 3 Generations 3 Days (2019), she was awarded Best Director and the Fresh Wave Award at the 2019 Fresh Wave International Short Film Festival in Hong Kong and Best Live Action Short Film at the 56th Golden Horse Awards in Taiwan. She is an alumna of the Asian Film Academy in Busan, South Korea (2016); Busan Asian Film School (AFiS), South Korea (2019); Golden Horse Film Academy, Taiwan (2019); Berlinale Talents, Germany (2020); and Bucheon Fantastic Film School, South Korea (2020). Subsequently, she received the mm2 Emerging Director Project mm2 Award, Hong Kong (2020).

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