Fleet Arcade by Collier Nogues

7 Feb 1994-11 Feb 2022


This poem is composed inside an immersive spherical photograph. If you have a VR headset, you can experience the poem in 3D. On a computer or device in 2D, you can navigate the poem using arrow keys, a mouse, and/or device motion sensors. To explore the poem in either mode, click here or use the QR code at left.

A note for readers outside of Hong Kong:
The Servicemen’s Guide Association opened its first building at Fenwick Pier on Hong Kong’s Wan Chai waterfront in 1953. The current location opened on newly reclaimed land in 1970, and the Fleet Arcade, a four-story services mall, was added in 1994. Twenty years later, further reclamation of Victoria Harbor landlocked the pier, and in 2021 it was announced that the Arcade would be demolished and become the new site of Wan Chai’s fire station. In the Arcade’s final months, Hong Kongers visited its tailor and souvenir shops, Shanghai-style barber, and Italian restaurant for the last time. A memorial art exhibition was mounted, and in the Chinese and English press the dominant note was nostalgia. The Arcade and the Servicemen Guide’s Association may be remnants of British colonialism, but the politics of land reclamation and political representation in the postcolonial era mean that any individual transformation of Hong Kong’s present landscape strikes a deep, complicated chord.

Collier Nogues is assistant professor of Creative Writing at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. She writes at the intersection of digital and documentary poetics, with an emphasis on making connections across decolonization and demilitarisation movements in the U.S. and in the Pacific. Her poetry collections include the hybrid print/interactive volume The Ground I Stand On Is Not My Ground (2015) and On the Other Side, Blue (2011). Her creative and scholarly work has been supported by fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, the Ucross Foundation, Vermont Studio Center, and the Hong Kong Research Grants Council, and her writing has appeared in Jacket2, ASAP/J, The Volta, At Length, the Academy of American Poets’ Poem-A-Day Project, and elsewhere. She is a core collaborator in the Yale-NUS project DOCUMENT, which gathers artists, writers, and historians to explore transdisciplinary approaches to archives. She also edits poetry for Juked.