[ BOOK LIVES ] Combing for Ice and Jade by Kurt Tong

Combing for Ice and Jade
by Kurt Tong
Jiazazhi Press
ISBN 978-988-14575-8-5

Half way through Lulu Wang‘s The Farewell a few days ago, I told myself that this film has all the elements of a ‘typical’ immigrant movie.

Well-meaning friends had cautioned earlier that it resembles some of Ang Lee’s early productions.

I certainly hope I don’t feel that way about Kurt Tong‘s Combing for Ice and Jade.

While I knew I was right, I also think I was a little harsh to think that way.

First, there really aren’t enough good immigrant movies to go around. Second, if it reminds me of something I have been familiar with, maybe I ought to accept that they are ‘typical’ for a reason. For example, it can mean they are accurate and well-researched.

There really aren’t many good photography books dedicated to the issue of diaspora too.

At least I don’t (yet) own many, probably because I haven’t found many that resonate with me.

Tong was born in Hong Kong but grew up in UK.

I want to say I understand this longing but I don’t think I can’t say that in a way that will accord this book the right place, one that it truly deserves.

As I grow older, I am easily sentimental.

I like how this book uses old materials in a way that invites me to be part of the author’s journey.

I’m still happily discovering/enjoying Tong’s story.

Combing for Ice and Jade by Kurt Tong
Combing for Ice and Jade by Kurt Tong
Combing for Ice and Jade by Kurt Tong
Combing for Ice and Jade by Kurt Tong
Combing for Ice and Jade by Kurt Tong
Combing for Ice and Jade by Kurt Tong