Born in Shanghai, Yi-Chang Liu witnessed the burgeoning and development of modern Chinese literature.
The documentary 1918 revisits Liu’s life, step by step unveiling the charming, persistent and playful personality of the protagonist both as an urban dweller and a distinguished literary master. In the 1930s and 40s, the vigorous and high- spirited young Liu was a university student who attended a prestigious school, frequented greyhound races and found passion in creative writing. During that time, literary activities in Shanghai grew ever more vibrant in the midst of political and social turbulence with all talented and aspiring writers swarming into the international settlement.
In the late 1940s the war broke out. Liu stopped his editing job and publishing business and moved to Hong Kong in 1948 and later Singapore and Malaysia. In the new city, Liu experienced rises and falls in his career as an Editor in Chief of newspaper supplements. In 1957, Yi-Chang Liu returned to Hong Kong and began his most productive era as a writer. It was during this time, in 1963, that the highly acclaimed novel Drinker was published. It was China’s first, and one of its most important, stream of consciousness novels. The book, together with the life of its author, later inspired the making of the movie In the Mood for Love. According to the Hong Kong-based director Wong Kar Wai, it was his homage to the generation of war era writers to which Liu belongs. The ninety-six-year-old Yi-Chang Liu continues to live and write in Hong Kong. To this day, Liu remains one of the most popular avant-garde Chinese writers of all time.