Boomkat Product Review:
Flora Yin-Wong’s long-in-the-making book finally arrives via Primary Information x PAN, a highly engaging and original collection of magic/realist fantasy that lands somewhere between fiction, travelogue and journal of curiosities. If Yin-Wong's ‘Holy Palm’ album last year documented real travels, ‘Liturgy’ ventures into the uncanny.
Originally intended as a companion of sorts to her Modern Love album ‘Holy Palm’ (concepts and track titles are referenced throughout), ‘Liturgy’ was developed into a book following on from several short stories published over the years. Although essentially framed as a work of fiction, it’s a book that blurs lines between fantasy, diary and cosmographic journal, yielding as much insight into the inner life of its unnamed protagonist as it does into the blurred world of curses, hexagrams, Cantonese traditions, parallel universes and superstitions.
Take, for instance, the ‘Places/Doors to Hell’ chapter, where a small section on the Darvaza gas crater in Turkmenistan (considered by some to be an actual gateway to hell) led this reader to spend hours looking at images and trawling thru articles online - the sort of thing you’ll find keeps on happening as you get deeper into the book.
Liturgy's other chapters—Rituals & Fire; Omens; Hexagrams / Oracles; Curses; Gods & Creatures; Ghost Cities; Paradoxes; Sound Phenomena; Reality - are equally compelling, functioning like "a secret dossier” into the realms of geographic and personal anomalies that often reach into the unreal.
A precious, endlessly fascinating read.