He called himself the King of Kowloon and, for almost half a century, he used his misshapen Chinese characters to wage a calligraphic campaign claiming his dominion over Hong Kong. Journalist Louisa Lim grew up in Hong Kong, surrounded by traces of the king, who was first known as a crank, then an artist and finally a most unlikely icon. As she followed his trail, she uncovered a legacy of resistance, she found her city anew. Then she lost it forever.
01 | The King of Kowloon — Disappearance
The King's calligraphy once covered Hong Kong, but now it has all but disappeared. Louisa searches for traces of the King, and for any truth to his claims of dominion over Kowloon. In this quest, she goes to the heart of his kingdom — Kwun Tong is an area full of high-rise factories, churning out t-shirts and souvenirs. There she discovers the first of the King's courtiers; and begins to understand that the search for the king is the search for Hong Kong itself.
INTRODUCING — The King of Kowloon: A Most Unlikely Icon
He called himself the King of Kowloon and, for almost half a century, he used his misshapen Chinese characters to wage a calligraphic campaign claiming his dominion over Hong Kong. Journalist Louisa Lim follows the trail of a man who was first known as a crank, then an artist, then a most unlikely icon.
04 | Face Value Empowerment or exploitation?
The decision to get cosmetic enhancement is complicated. It could be triggered by childhood bullying, influenced by social media, or stem from a belief that you’re not good enough.
The beauty industry encourages you to tie your self-identity to your appearance. It promises to empower you.
In the final episode of Face Value, we delve further into why so many people are driven to change the way they look. Who are they doing it for? And do cosmetic procedures make people happier or more confident?
03 | Face Value — Killer curves and harsh realities
Cosmetic enhancement comes with plenty of risks. Botched surgeries, safety breaches, and in the worst-case scenario, fatal results. They've been reported for decades. Horror stories aside, chasing your aesthetic ideal is no easy task. Beneath every Insta-perfect photograph is a tonne of time, energy and money that's often glossed over. And that's not to mention the pain and prolonged recovery that can come with invasive procedures.
Why are so many people willingly submitting themselves to putting this much effort into how they look?
02 | Face Value — Ethnic ambiguity and the Kardashian effect
For the longest time, Western beauty has been celebrated. The desire and pressure to look more 'Western' has led to skin whitening products, nose jobs and double eyelid surgery. But the tide is turning. Celebrities like the Kardashians are leaning into an ethnically ambiguous aesthetic.
Is this cultural appropriation or cultural appreciation? What do people of colour, who've often been racially vilified for their appearance, have to say about others cherry-picking their features?
01 | Face Value — Beauty boom in the age of Zoom
COVID-19 has changed the way we do things. We're relying on video platforms to work and to connect. And it turns out that seeing our faces on-screen everyday has triggered more people to seek cosmetic enhancement than ever before. Couple that with the constant stream of impossibly beautiful — and heavily edited — people on social media, and you have the perfect storm to create appearance insecurity. Where is all this leading us to?
So We’ll Done!!!
I love all the perspectives the hosts explore! Such great info! Thank u
Excellent research, wonderful writing, great narration & production. Well, mostly. 5/5
Beware background music
This would be a good podcast if the background music was not so prominent.