Interruptions is rooted in the tradition of contemporary ekphrastic writing, where an author creates a literary response in order to confront or narrate a work of visual art. Here, the photographer and writer engage in a dialogue between David Clarke’s selections from his photographic archives and Xu Xi’s essays written in response to each photo, which, in turn, triggers the next photographic choice.
David Clarke 祈大衛 is Professor in the Department of Fine Arts, University of Hong Kong, where he has taught since 1986. He has written extensively on both Chinese and Western art and culture, with a primary focus on the twentieth century, and is also active as a photographer and visual artist. He has published two photo books about Hong Kong: Reclaimed Land: Hong Kong in Transition (Hong Kong University Press, 2002) and Hong Kong x 24 x 365: A Year in the Life of a City (Hong Kong University Press, 2007). Amongst his recent publications are Water and Art: A Cross-cultural Study of Water as Subject and Medium in Modern and Contemporary Artistic Practice (Reaktion Books, 2010) and Chinese Art and its Encounter with the World (Hong Kong University Press, 2011). His artwork has been widely exhibited in Hong Kong since the beginning of the 1990s, and has also been shown in China, the United States, Great Britain, Australia, Canada and Brazil.
Xu Xi 許素細 (www.xuxiwriter.com) is the author of ten books, most recently the novels That Man In Our Lives (C&R Press, September 2016) and Habit of a Foreign Sky (Haven Books, 2010)—a finalist for the Man Asian Literary Prize—and the story collection Access Thirteen Tales (Signal 8 Press, 2011). Forthcoming books include a memoir Elegy for HK (Penguin China/Australia, 2017) and Insignificance: Stories of Hong Kong (Signal 8 Press, 2018). She has also edited four anthologies of Hong Kong writing in English. She was on the faculty at the Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA where she served as faculty chair, and was at City University of Hong Kong as Writer-in-Residence where she founded and directed Asia’s first low-residency MFA. She is co-founder, with author Robin Hemley, of Authors At Large, offering international writing retreats and workshops. A Chinese-Indonesian Hong Kong native and U.S. citizen, she currently lives between New York and Hong Kong.