M+ no longer supports this web browser.

M+ 不再支持此網頁瀏覽器。

M+ 不再支持此网页浏览器。

STEP C., ‘Snails in a Telephone Booth’
STEP C., ‘Snails in a Telephone Booth’

I’m inspired by the poem A Snail in a Phone Box (2006) by Dr Eric Lui. The work synthesises new insights into visuals and poetry. What begins as a promise evolves into an exploration of the emotional links between poetry and the art of loving, eventually transforming into a hegemony of power. To recreate this message, I developed a new surreal style that combines live action with animation, building a realm that blurs the boundaries between reality and dreams.


A Snail in a Phone Box

Tonight, I remembered the waiting in a phone box:

The glimmering light

no one repaired

like a match in the rain

deprived of the warmth

from a collar, food box, or spark

I walked here, seeking refuge from the rain

Inside, an emptied beer can

A person drunk here

twenty years, waited

for the payphone to ring, didn’t know

who would tell him a story

Phone box at the dead-end

of the street. I couldn’t pass over

this aged wall

in front. There was once a door

opening to seashores. Now,

blocked by ivies

like many hands trying to grasp air. Here

I stayed. To tell them a secret

A tram faraway heading this side, ringings

at night rusted,

unlike knives’ cuts

anymore. The tram’s doors

must’ve seen so many farewells,

promises unredeemed like See you soon

Tram stopped

at its station. Its shadow pressed against

trash on the road. The lit cigarette

someone picked it up, smoked it,

dropped it

I couldn’t see his face clearly

but I imagined he had a break-up, lost

the ability to cry

Tram stared

at me in its silence. Left

In the rain, leaflets of lurid colours

slid down

gluily, like a diligent snail

As if someone left a letter here

years ago, once opened

would melt. We had seen

each other,

somewhere together

felt hope’s & hopeless’s rotation

in that moment—there’s light, I knew—

­To grasp contingencies

& To wear them as our skin

—Dr Eric Lui

Translated by Xavier Leung





Hedwig Tam


Olivier Cong


Samuel Mok, Ivy Sin, STEP C.

Art Director


Assistant Director

Kong Ka Yiu Rony

Director of Photography

Ma Hon Po


Ma Hon Po

Camera Assistant

Chung Tak Keung


Samuel Mok

Storyboard Artist

Kaitlen Haeun Yoo

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.


STEP C. is an award-winning animation director, university lecturer, and illustrator. She completed a bachelor’s degree in visual arts, animation, and photography at the University of Windsor in Canada. In her work, she attempts to bridge the gap between fantasy and reality to explore interpersonal relationships. Her work has been exhibited at numerous art fairs and locations worldwide, including Art Basel, Tai Kwun, and Fine Art Asia. In addition to participating in more than 100 international exhibitions, she has received over 30 awards. In 2021, her short film Depths of Night was shortlisted for Best Animated Short Film at the 58th Golden Horse Awards in Taipei.

Stay in the know!

  • Be up to date on what’s happening at M+ and the wider West Kowloon Cultural District
  • Discover new videos and articles from the M+ Magazine
  • Choose what content you’d like to receive
  • Opt out at any time