Writing at the start of 2016

There has been a sea-change in my life since August, when I quit Gotland School of Music Composition to accept a place at the HKU Master in Urban Planning programme (I have been on the reserve list for that programme).

In the months that followed I kept on questioning the wisdom of this choice. My loved one is certainly a factor in the decision; finance is another. By choosing so, however, I gave up not just the country which I had long wanted to study in, but also the artistic field that I treasured and in which I always felt to be at home.

The main consequence of this is a major re-prioritization of activities. Urbanism, hitherto an auxiliary interest, thrust to the top of the list, while music sunk to the bottom. Orienteering still formed an integral part of my life with numerous commitments.

To be honest the thought that I am the “poorest performing” 25 students on admission (being admitted just two weeks before semester start) framed my mentality to put urban planning at the first of all priorities, at the expense of orienteering and music. Relations are often strained as conflicts arise, and I thank all of you for your understanding and patience.

Des Voeux Road Central rose to prominent attention thanks to the ongoing advocacy for pedestrianization. This major road in my district (and of the whole of Hong Kong) thus became the studio project topic and will continue be so for a semester or two. As intriguing to me as it gets, I have had (and will continue to have) a valuable opportunity to dig deeper into the district I lived in since babyhood.

Numerous terrible things happen around us and in the world. 2016 is a year of pessimism but yet also of hope. As different paradigms contest for prominence and power without regard to tolerance and compassion, let us humbly listen to others’ stories and join hands to build a better world of the future.

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