Eileen Chang (a.k.a. Zhang Ailing)
Birth name - Zhāng Yīng張煐.
A famous contemporary female writer.

Born in 1920, Shanghai.
Died in 1995, Los Angeles, California, U.S.

In 1939, Eileen Chang was awarded a scholarship to enter the University of London.  But the spread of war had changed her course to study in the University of Hong Kong, where she majored in English Literature.  However, she was unable to graduate with a formal degree as Hong Kong was invaded by Japanese troops afterwards.

In 1942, Chang left Hong Kong for Shanghai and published her acclaimed work afterwards, namely Love in a Fallen City, a famous novel featuring Repulse Bay Hotel as the story background.  Chang created the love story of her hero and heroine (Bai Liusu and Fan Liuyuan) based on the blueprint of her mother’s two friends in Hong Kong.  The hotel was demolished long ago, but the elegant and nostalgic verandah was restored in the restaurant named “The Verandah” at the original site, which successfully captures the atmosphere of a well-known scene in the novel.  After the war, Chang returned to Hong Kong twice where she worked as a translator and screenwriter.

In 1955, Chang left for the United States.  In 1995, she passed away in her Los Angeles residence at the age of 74.

Footsteps in the Southern District:
In her masterpiece Love in a Fallen City, Eileen Chang staged the romance of her hero and heroine Bai Liusu and Fan Liuyuan at Repulse Bay Hotel where they first met each other.  Chang’s sensitivity with colours and light was fully reflected in her work with succinct expression - “The pale white seawater rolled over the yellowish sand.  The winter sky was also tinged with bluish white” had sophisticatedly described the awesome beauty of Repulse Bay.  The hotel was demolished long ago, but the elegant and nostalgic verandah was restored in the restaurant “The Verandah” at the original site which successfully captures the atmosphere of a well-known scene in the novel.  The movie Lust, Caution, adapted from Chang’s novella of the same name, was also filmed in this restaurant.


Literary Landmark:
Eileen Chang’s Hong Kong Journeys
Repulse Bay Gardens (At the locations of the existing 3 benches on the walkway connecting Repulse Bay Road and Beach Road)
Completion Date:
June 2015
KONG Ming, Adam (School of Design of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University)
Design Concept:
Eileen CHANG’s had made three trips to Hong Kong in her lifetime.  During the first journey, her plan to study at the University of London was disrupted by the War against invasion; as such, she pursued study in the Faculty of Arts at the University of Hong Kong.  During her stay in Hong Kong, she often visited her mother who lived in the Repulse Bay Hotel temporarily.  Subsequently, she returned to Shanghai and worked on her most acclaimed work, Love in a Fallen City, based on the blueprint of the story of her mother’s friends.  After the war, CHANG came to Hong Kong twice: First, in the period 1952-1955 which was the prime of her literary creation, a number of her literary pieces and film scripts were accomplished; then she emigrated to the United States in 1955, and afterwards she returned to Hong Kong for the last time to take care of her bed-ridden husband in 1961-1962.

The designer uses three sets of chairs to highlight the life journey of Eileen Chang in Hong Kong for the three periods: (1) in 1939-1942: the bullets on the ground and the photos taken with her friends on the tea table represent the wartime and her pursuit of study as a youth; (2) in 1952-1955: piles of books and pens on the chairs represent the prime of her literary creation; and (3) in 1961-1962: the luggage beside the chair and the jacket on the armrest represent her brief journey and bidding farewell to Hong Kong.