Mak, Hoi-san Anson

Critical Biography    Filmography    Reviews    Links   Bibliography

 Mak, Hoi-san Anson – Critical Biography  Top

Anson Mak
Anson Mak

Anson Mak graduated from the School of Communications at Baptist University Hong Kong in 1991, and worked briefly in television before quitting the mainstream commercial film industry. She worked at various organizations in the nonprofit arts sector (the IFVA Film and Video Awards, the Hong Kong Arts Centre, the Urban Services Department, and the Hong Kong Arts Development Council) while studying for a Master of Philosophy degree in Comparative Literature at the University of Hong Kong. She later studied abroad in the United States on a fellowship from the Asian Cultural Council, and completed a Doctor of Fine Arts program at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) University in 2011. While pursuing her graduate studies, Mak was also active as a teacher. She has taught at the City University of Hong Kong (School of Creative Media), the Chinese University of Hong Kong (Department of Cultural and Religious Studies), and the Hong Kong Baptist University (Academy of Visual Arts), where she is currently an Assistant Professor.

On The Edge Of A Floating City, We Sing (2009)
On The Edge Of A Floating City, We Sing (2009)

Music and sounds have been an integral component of Mak’s creative work from the very beginning. In the 1990s, Mak was a member of the indie pop band AMK (Adam Met Karl), and her output in various media reflects her personal fascination with music, sounds, and their combination with images. She began making experimental video shorts on Hi8, VHS, and Beta in the 1990s (a detailed filmography is available at Mak’s personal website) before switching over to DV in 2001. In the 2000s, however, Mak became increasingly interested in the textures afforded by the Super 8 format, and would often alternate or intercut between Super 8 and DV footage in her experimental work. In recent years, Mak has turned to field recording and phonography as a source of inspiration for her work. The documentation of sounds is another component to her creative endeavors.

One Way Street On A Turntable (2007)
One Way Street On A Turntable (2007)

To date, Mak has made two feature-length documentaries. One Way Street on a Turntable (2007) is an experimental essay film or assemblage that combines found archival footage, Super 8 mm material, as well as DV footage and field recordings into a multifaceted audiovisual portrait of Hong Kong. It is edited in such a way as to allow viewers to explore different “chapters” of the film in their own preferred order. The film also proposes looking at the territory from the insider/outsider perspectives of two women, respectively from Hong Kong and Mainland China. Mak’s more recent work, On the Edge of a Floating City, We Sing (2012), is likewise an experimental and heterogeneously textured documentary that looks at a number of musicians from Hong Kong’s independent music scene, exploring the roots that bind them to the territory’s society, politics, and cityscape. The film focuses in particular on artists from the groups my little airport, The Pancakes, and mininoise.

Filmography   Top

Feature Films:

Title (English)
Title (Chinese)
Director Who is Afraid of Ghost?! 邊個驚鬼?! 2009
Director One-Way Street On A Turntable 唱盤上的單行道 2007
Co-directed with Joanne Poon, Mirana May Szeto, Maryann King and Ellen Yuen
Din Gei Ham Lan 顛雞喊欄 1996
Director Look! Documentary… 玩玩紀錄片 1993


Title (English)
Title (Chinese)
Director On The Edge Of A Floating City, We Sing 在浮城的角落唱首歌 2012
Director A Wishing Well Under The Not A Big Blue Sky 不是大藍天下的願望井 2005
Director Moving/By Not Moving 佇著良久… … 2004
Director TRA(I)NSIENT 2003
Director Do We Still Need An Incinerator? 我們還需要焚化爐嗎? 2001
Invisible Bodies (And So The Cities) 看不見的身體 (所以及其城市) 2001
Director Differences Do Matter 大不同 1998
Director Celebration in the Time of Bitter Songs (Movement Version) 節慶九七之勁歌甘曲(運動版) 1997
Director Celebration in the Time of Bitter Songs (Music Version) 節慶九七之勁歌甘曲 (音樂版) 1997
Director Music Video IV: women.subjectivity@body.politics 音樂錄像IV: 四眼大傻妹 1996
Director Butterfly Lovers (New Version) 新祝梁傳之流紅會 1995
Director Music Video III: Ding Tong (Aids Virus) 音樂錄像III: 叮噹您之看見病毒看見您 1995
Director Music Video II: Step On It Through the Strom 音樂錄像II: 風雨中驅車奔馳 1993
Director Music Video I: Sexual Politics Of Meat 音樂錄像I: 肉的性別政治 1992
Director Two Or Three Things I Know About Them 我略知道關於她們的二三事 1991

Reviews   Top

On The Edge Of A Floating City, We Sing (2009) Reviews:

Douban – Dorothy (In Chinese):
Headline (In Chinese):
One Band One Day (In Chinese):
Personal blog – Kenny (In Chinese): 
Personal blog – Vapin (In Chinese):

One-Way Street On A Turntable (2007) Reviews:

Cinephilia (In Chinese):


Ming Pao (In Chinese):

Links   Top

Website of Anson Mak:

Bibliography   Top

  1. Cheung, Esther M. K. “Authenticity and Independence: Fruit Chan and Independent Filmmaking.” Cheung, Esther M. K. Fruit Chan’s Made in Hong Kong. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, 2008. 21-38.
  2. Coleman, Edmond J and Wah-shan Chou . “Tongzhi Identity Politics As Queering the Mainstream.” Coleman, Edmond J and Wah-shan Chou. Tongzhi: Politics of Same-sex Eroticism in Chinese Societies. Oxon: Routledge, 2013. 283-300.
  3. Flanagan, Tricia. “Hong: Cultural Transformation of the Public Space.” Reading Hong Kong, Reading Ourselves. Ed. Janel Curry and Paul Hanstedt. Hong Kong: City University of HK Press, 2014. 66-89.
  4. Grace, Helen. “Spectral Monumentality and the Face of Time: Virtuality, Distortions of Scale and Asynchony in Post-colonial Hong Kong.” Grace, Helen. Culture, Aesthetics and Affect in Ubiquitous Media: The Prosaic Image. Oxon: Routledge, 2014. 27-43.
  5. Leung, Helen Hok-sze. “Archiving Queer Feeling in Hong Kong.” The Routledge Queer Studies Reader. Ed. Donald E. Hall and Annamarie Jagose. Oxon: Routledge, n.d. 398-411.
  6. Mak, Anson, MaryAnn King. “Hong Kong Tong Zhi Movement: Through the Eyes of Queer Sisters” in Rose Wu (ed.), Hong Kong Social Movement: Forces From the Margins, Hong Kong: Hong Kong Women Christian Council, 1997.
  7. Mak, Anson, Ken Hui, Joanne Poon and Mary Ann King. “County report on Hong Kong”, in Rachel Rosenbloom (ed.), Unspoken Rules, Sexual Orientation and Women’s Human Rights, San Francisco: International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, 1995.
  8. Reynaud, Berenice . “New Visions/New Chinas: Video – Art, Documentation, and the Chinese Modernity in Question.” Resolutions: Contemporary Video Practices. Ed. Michael Renov and Erika Suderburg. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1996. 229-257.
  9. Tang, Denise Tse-shang. “Political Space.” Tang, Denise Tse-shang. Conditional Spaces: Hong Kong Lesbian Desires and Everyday Life. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, 2011. 98-112.
  10. Wu, Rose. “A Story of Its Own Name: Hong Kong’s Tongzhi Culture.” Other Voices, Other Worlds: The Global Church Speaks Out on Homosexuality. Ed. Terry Brown. New York: Church Publishing, 2006. 40-57.