ASIA324 (22W): “Beneath the Surface”


ASIA324 Literature of Hong Kong – Creative Project

Beneath the Surface: Revealing the Multifaceted Dimensions of Identity

A Creative Response to Ronald Mar’s Street in the Sun

By Janice Li, Priscilla Ng, Joanne Siu, Sam Tong, Gordon Wong, and Chen Zhang



“This project utilizes the idea of Matryoshka dolls to represent the multifaceted identity of the protagonist in Ronald Mar’s text, ‘Streets in the Sun’. The Matryoshka is a set of wooden dolls of decreasing size that are stacked accordingly. With the protagonist’s subconscious represented as a ‘doll’ nested within one another, the doll illustrates complex layers of his identity, to bring the figurative idea of a multifaceted identity from the metaphysical to the physical dimension in three ways. Firstly, through the progression of the text, we gradually understand the protagonist’s identity and the factors that shape it. Secondly, Matryoshka dolls traditionally represent the matriarchy, where each doll embodies a different family member, with the outermost layer symbolizing the mother, and the innermost layer symbolizing the ‘soul’. This portrayal depicts how identity or “soul” can be revealed through shedding old layers of experiences and sentiments. Thirdly, the focalizer in the novel changes intermittently, providing alternative points of view. Since each doll represents a family member respectively, our project utilizes this alternative perspective by creating some of the dolls through the lens of various characters in the novel.” — Project Rationale