From dealing with unrequited love, to contemplating the impact of technology on human civilisation and exploring the issues in day-to-day life, Dr Gabriel Tsang, Assistant Professor of Department of Chinese Language and Literature, expresses his feelings and thoughts through literary works. By depicting the realities of the world we live in, his works capture his acute observations of modern life and encourage readers’ introspection.
Reality as the source of inspiration
“Writing, for me, is like a summary of my different stages in life.” When he was in secondary school, Dr Tsang started writing modern poems and keeping a diary to jot down the details of everyday happenings because of a crush on a girl in the classroom next door. This habit led him to venture into different genres of writing, and he developed an interest in literary writing after winning recognition such as the Youth Literary Award and the championship in essay writing competition.
Dr Tsang’s contemporary and Hong Kong-inspired works are weaved with the artistry of language and immense creativity, leaving readers with a lasting impression. When he was a third-year student at university, he published his first novel, Stand, which delves into the kind of romance fantasised by teenagers. He later wrote Low-Level Love and Silent Desire and Nothingness based on his observations on and off campus as a secondary school teacher. “When I first started writing novels, I drew on my personal experience and imagined the possible scenarios in different situations to create fictional characters, who journey through the things I observed in real life,” he says.
He further says that authors can find moments in everyday life that could become stories, and they also can broaden their horizons by developing different perspectives, reading world literature extensively and learning from other disciplines. This in turn helps the authors become immersed in the world of their characters. When he was studying for a doctoral degree in Comparative Literature in the UK, he was shocked by the news of the artificial intelligence programme AlphaGo defeating the world’s leading Go players. This prompted him to write Love in the Era of Post-human, a science fiction that shines a light on the relationship between modern human civilisation and technological advancement. His latest work, Three, is a collection of 25 short stories and essays written over the past decade.