⟨ Book ⟩

Good Afternoon Hong Kong

The slide viewer book

Words / Phaedrus Lam
Photography / courtesy of nos:books
Translation / Iris Heung

「公仔箱」是老一輩香港人對電視機的暱稱。仔細想想,在一個與五斗櫃大小相若的箱子裡,竟然有看不完的風光和人物;以當年人的眼光來看這項科技,「公仔箱」還真是一個直接又貼切的比喻。

由獨立出版社nos:book出版,香港插畫家智海的《香港午安》不是傳統開本的樣式,而甚至難以定義為一本書。打開《香港午安》那個比肥皂盒略小一號的包裝後,會看見一台微型的傳統CRT電視機,不過只要湊近觀景器定睛一瞥,就會發現它實際上是一台幻燈看畫器。

幻燈片,是曾流行一時的攝影載體,而把幻燈片嵌進特定的硬體後,即成為一台幻燈看畫器,是往時外出旅遊時常見的拌手禮。在《香港午安》這台幻燈看畫器裡,一共收錄了八幀智海的插畫,分別有香港機場、獅子山,天星碼頭和文華酒店等充滿本土記憶的地景;其畫面色彩絢麗斑爛,也是一個名副其實的「公仔箱」。

而除了《香港午安》之外,另一本由台灣插畫師Son Ni製作的《Peep House》,也同樣以幻燈片為媒介,設計成一台平房公寓造型的幻燈看畫器,其收錄了八幀情色拼貼作品。觀看時只要湊近小屋閣樓的窗戶窺視,即映入一幕幕由植物與肢體交疊、意識奇趣大膽的綺麗畫面,是一場令人臉紅心跳的偷窺體驗。

“Picture tube” was a synonym for television that was commonly used among the Hong Kong people of the older generation. Considering how the tiny box keeps feeding the audience with unlimited images and stories, this word is perhaps a rather self-explanatory description of the device.

Good Afternoon Hong Kong is an unconventional book published by nos:book, the independent publisher. This “book” that we are talking about is in fact a miniature slide viewer that disguises itself as the classic CRT television, which has a size slightly smaller than a soap package.

Slide mounts up individual film transparency for projecting with slide projection. It was once a popular presentation medium for photography; back in the days, scenery slides together with a slide viewer made a trendy souvenir for tourists. In the Good Afternoon Hong Kong slide viewer are eight illustrations by Chihai, which includes the airport, Lion Rock, Star Ferry Pier and Mandarin Oriental Hotel. The captivating colorful illustrations in this newly designed “picture tube” prompt nostalgic sentiments and memories of the local Hong Konger.

Apart from Good Afternoon Hong Kong, the publishing house also published Peep House by the Taiwanese illustrator Son Ni. His slide viewer has a shape of a house, inserting the eight erotic collage works into the Peep House, you are invited to look through the penthouse window, and enjoy peeping at the exciting, bizarre and spectacular images of interwoven plants and human body parts.