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Professor Lo Kwai Cheung, Director of the B.A. Programme in Creative and Professional Writing, HKBU

The BUddy Post reporter has interviewed winner of the HKBU President’s Award for Outstanding Performance 2012 Professor Lo Kwai Cheung. Professor Lo is now teaching in the Department of English Language & Literature in HKBU. Apart from writing academic papers, he has written a number of books including Chinese novels and poems. Professor Lo is going to share with us his career and hobbies.


Reporter: Can you tell us your role in the Department of English Language and Literature?


Prof. Lo:  I am now working in the Department of English Language & Literature at HKBU but I am not teaching the language itself. My job has more to do with Humanities. In other words, I teach Humanities in English. With the implementation of the 4-year curriculum, there will be a new Department called the Department of Humanities and Creative Writing (tentatively named) and I will be teaching this subject area.


I have been teaching in HKBU for over 10 years. Before that, I completed my Master’s degree and my PhD in the United States and taught literature in English there for a while. It is noteworthy that teaching literatures in English is different from teaching English Literature. When Britain colonized different countries of the world, English has become an international language. People of different nationalities were able to write in English, giving rise to literatures in English. .


My return to Hong Kong after my study was due to various reasons. First of all, I did not find my dream job. The career boundary in the U.S. is very clear-cut as compared with Hong Kong. Teaching staff in the U.S. has relatively narrow career development. Unlike in Hong Kong they could seldom work as columnist, critics or commentators while they are teaching in the universities. In addition, I am not a native American and I felt quite detached from the society. My social circle in the U.S. was quite small and mostly within the university campus. I therefore decided to return to Hong Kong to look for a better career development.


Reporter: Apart from teaching, you have a number of writings. Can you share with our alumni? How can we train our writing skill and get inspiration for writing?


Prof. Lo: I have a number of writings in Chinese and English. My Chinese writings include novels, prose and poems. As for English writings, they are mostly for academic purposes. I think ‘writing skills’ are just the basic tools. As long as you write more and read more, you can somehow develop the skills by learning and modeling.  What is more important are the messages that you want to convey to your readers. In other words, the attitude of writing is much more important than writing skills.  That’s why we always say “do it with your heart”.


Except for academic writings, my works are usually inspired by people and happenings around me. Combining my imagination with my experience, I can write something. I started to write poems in the 80’s but not that many. I am going to publish my first poem collection ”Memories Temporarily Stored” in April. I think writing poem is a very emotional thing and we should not write it for the sake of writing it. It should be a reflection of personal experience, views and feelings.


Reporter: You have read many books. Do you have any recommendations to our alumni?


Prof. Lo: I have hosted a radio program “The Joy of Reading開卷樂” on RTHK for 8 years. In the climax period, I recommended a book a week. In fact, it is rather difficult to introduce a particular book to our alumni as the books I like may not suit everyone’s taste. Also, the types of books I like change with my hobbies and experience. If you want to read a book, you should first figure out what your interest is and information/ knowledge you want to have, instead of keeping searching a ‘good’ book without a reason. This will help you understand the book you choose better.


Reporter: What are your hobbies?


Prof. Lo: I love watching movies. Before entering the academic field, I used to be a reporter for the cultural desk of a local newspaper. I got many chances of watching different movies and write critique. However, due to my job nature, the movies I watch will subconsciously become the elements of my research. 


In recent years, I am very interested in learning about Chinese therapy for health care.  I am particularly keen on finding out more about human arteries and veins and have attended relevant courses for 4 years already. According to the theories of Chinese medicine, human body has 12 arteries and veins and the human foot is connected to all organs. I want to learn the way to improve health by recuperating arteries and veins such as massages and qigong without using medicines. In fact, the existence of arteries and veins movements has only been proved ten years ago. It cannot be proved from the perspective of western anatomy as the arteries and veins of a human body will stop once the person is dead. There are still a lot of theories in Chinese medicine yet to be proved. I hope I can have a deeper understanding in these areas.


Reporter: Can you share with us the tips of good health?


Prof. Lo: Only two words: sleep early. Sleeping early and waking up naturally is the best rest pattern. Our body rejuvenates during night time and we will wake up as soon as we have completed our rejuvenation. Why do we need to sleep early? It is because our body structure follows the sun’s momentum. Our arteries and veins contain magnet powder which changes according to the motion of the sun. This explains why we feel energetic during daytime and tired when night falls. People only started to have night life when electrical light was invented in late 19th century and widely used after World War II. This means, people only started to have night life in the last 50 or 60 years. However, the use of electrical light during nighttime has distorted our metabolism process, hindering ourselves from body rejuvenation.


Maybe human beings can fully become nighttime creatures sometime later, but at the moment, we have not yet evolved to this stage. Therefore, late sleep or insufficient sleep will still make us unhealthy. Sleeping early also helps save the Earth’s energy!


Reporter: Do you like travelling?


Prof. Lo: Apart from travelling with my family during long holidays, I got many opportunities to travel overseas to attend conferences. I have once been to Jerusalem, Israel and Palestine. It was the first time I travelled to the Middle East and I learnt more about the historical background, the religious differences as well as racial and religious conflicts.


Reporter: What is your motto in life?


Prof. Lo: Be calm in mind and peace, and be kind to people. If we can do this, we can avoid conflicts with others and have better relationship with people.


Interviewees’ Biography:


Professor Lo Kwai Cheung

Professor Lo received his doctoral degree in Comparative Literature from Stanford University. He has taught at University of California (Santa Cruz), University of Hong Kong and Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and is currently teaching at the Humanities Programme of Hong Kong Baptist University and is the director of the B.A. Programme in Creative and Professional Writing. Professor Lo has been awarded the HKBU President’s Award for Outstanding Performance 2012. His books include:


Memories Temporarily Stored, 2012

Mass Culture and Hong Kong: The Revenge of Electrical Appliances, 2000

Desiring Belly Button, 1997

Gilles Deleuze, 1997


The most recent book introduced by Professor Lo in the RTHK Program “開卷樂”:



Professor Lo’s poems collection - collected poems Memories Temporarily Stored to be published in April 2012.

Professor Lo’s short stories: Desiring Belly Button (1997).

Back to The BUddy Post March 2012
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