Culture Trip Original Fiction: Arrivals and Departures

Culture Trip Original Fiction: Arrivals and Departures

Culture Trip presents its inaugural series of original fiction on the theme of arrivals and departures. Combining visual and written storytelling, eight different artists – based in London, New York and Hong Kong – have produced an eclectic and panoramic assortment of flash fiction, photo series and graphic stories.


Arrivals and departures signal times of transition. In his 1957 novel, On the Road, Jack Kerouac captured the painful ambivalence of change: “What is that feeling,” he wrote, “when you’re driving away from people and they recede on the plain till you see their specks dispersing? – it’s the too-huge world vaulting us, and it’s good-bye. But we lean forward to the next crazy venture beneath the skies.”


It is this mix of fear and anticipation, unease and familiarity, loneliness and connection, that pulses through these eight stories. Created by distinguished authors, photographers and illustrators, each has taken a different approach: illustrator Kevin Whipple explores New York’s everyday humanity in his graphic story ‘Comings and Goings’; Xu Xi’s blistering short story ‘Lightning’ narrates parallel love affairs, 50 years apart; Sara Nicomedi builds a transient and bewitching picture of London’s nightlife in her eerie photo series ‘Passing’.


Alone, each story illustrates the uniqueness of experience. Together, they make a universal comment on how we move through the world: forever arriving in one place and departing for another.




‘A Flash of Red’ by Greta Samuel

London-based illustrator Greta Samuel explores the complexities of moving to a new city in her touching graphic story ‘A Flash of Red’.



‘Passing’ by Sara Nicomedi

London-based Sara Nicomedi examines transience and belonging in her melancholic photo story ‘Passing’.



‘The Londons’ by David Hayden

Memory and nostalgia fuse with London’s busy transport system in David Hayden’s flash fiction story ‘The Londons’.



‘Comings and Goings’ by Kevin Whipple

In ‘Comings and Goings,’ illustrator Kevin Whipple shines a light on the everyday moments that make up New York City’s kaleidoscopic humanity.



‘Notes from the Sea’ by Caroline Tompkins

Caroline Tompkins captures New York City from its historic ferries in her serene photo series ‘Notes from the Sea.’



‘Taken For Granite’ by Hilary Leichter

In Hilary Leichter’s beguiling story ‘Taken For Granite,’ a woman’s return to New York City isn’t the homecoming she anticipated.



‘Skipping the Grid’ by Andrea Wan

Andrea Wan combines surreal imagery with Hong Kong’s towering urban landscape in her nostalgic graphic story ‘Skipping the Grid’.



‘Lightning’ by Xu Xi

Stirred by her granddaughter’s romantic zeal, a woman reflects on a long-lost lover in Xu Xi’s Hong Kong story ‘Lightning’.