Paul Yeung: Toothpicks and fairytales at the Food Fair

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There was a well-known Chinese romance story about a cowherd (Niulang) and a weaver girl (Zhinu). One day, the young cowherd Niulang met a beautiful girl, Zhinu, the seventh daughter of the Goddess. Zhinü soon fell in love with Niulang. They got married and lived happily.

But the Goddess finally found out that Zhinü, a fairy girl, had married a mere mortal. The Goddess was furious and ordered Zhinü to return to heaven for her former duty of weaving colorful clouds.

On Earth, Niulang was very upset and suddenly, his ox began to talk, telling him that if he killed it and put on its hide, he would be able to go up to Heaven to find his wife. Crying bitterly, he killed the ox, put on the skin, and head off to Heaven to find Zhinü. The Goddess discovered this and was very angry. She scratched a wide river in the sky to separate the two lovers forever, thus forming the Milky Way between them. But once a year magpies would take pity on them and fly up into heaven to form a “bridge of magpies”, so the lovers may be together for a single night. They just met once every year.

Why we met? Why we separated? Why we made a cross accidentally and coincidentally in Food Fair? Is it a destiny? Is it a sign? Is it, love?

Photographs & Text: Paul Yeung Tak Ming | Website:

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