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13/12/2018
Hong Kong Heritage
Hong Kong Heritage
Theatrical Performances to Give Thanks to the Deities Every time it approaches 13 February in the Chinese calendar, villagers of Kau Sai Chau at East Sea in Sai Kung return to their home village to help organise and celebrate the Hung Shing Festival, whether or not they are scattered all around Hong Kong or live overseas. One of the highlights is a series of traditional Chinese theatrical performances (shengongxi) that replaces edible offerings with xiqu, with the aims of giving thanks to gods for their blessings, as well as entertaining deities, ghosts and humans. In addition to Cantonese Opera, local shengongxi also includes Chiu Chow Opera and Hoklo Opera, which are also known as “Baizi Opera”. According to an ancient monument in Tai O’s Kwan Tai Temple, shengongxi in Hong Kong can be traced back to the second year of Xianfeng’s reign (1852) of the Qing Dynasty. A major characteristic of shengongxi is the building of bamboo theatres. This unparalleled craftsmanship has recently been inscribed in the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Hong Kong by the government. Among the numerous bamboo theatres for shengongxi in the city, the one built for Tin Hau Festival on Po Toi Island is exceptionally extraordinary. Situated on a cliff, this theatre demonstrates phenomenal craftsmanship that rivals the Creator’s work. In Cantonese Opera’s shengongxi, there are specific requirements in terms of the stage’s location and room arrangement in the backstage. For instance, the stage should face exactly the front of the temple as long as possible, and the live orchestra is to sit on the right of the stage. In the backstage, the space in the middle is divided into six private dressing rooms for actors in the six leading roles, while the area next to them is used by other actors. As for the passageway between the six dressing rooms and the frontstage, the left side is the “costume area” for placing costume trunks, whereas the right side is the “miscellaneous area” for storing props. Apart from the afternoon and evening performances of shengongxi, there were also all-night shows in the past. Rumour has it that these shows are for deities and ghosts, but in those days, they also served as a time-filler for audiences who stayed the night due to inconvenient transportation in rural areas. Kau Sai Chau’s Hung Shing Festival is now one of the few occasions where these all-night shows are staged in Hong Kong; however, it only comprises a solo performance without accompaniment, which can be regarded as merely a symbol of the significance of preserving traditions. Producer: Leslie Ng
12/12/2018
The Works
The Works
Later in the show, multiple award- winning cellist István Várdai is here with us, and he’s brought with him a very special instrument: a 1673 Stradivari cello previously owned by the late great British cellist, Jacqueline du Pré. But before listening to that 345-year-old Stradivari, we’re going to hear a form of folk music from Taiwan that also has a long history. There’s a wide variety of music in Taiwan that ranges from the polyphonic vocals of the island’s indigenous tribes to Western style classics and contemporary pop. Over the centuries, many Chinese migrated to the island. Among their own musical forms, they created Taiwanese opera, also known as Hokkien Opera, particularly popular with the Hakka people. And then, on a somewhat more modest scale, there’s the art of the traditional Taiwanese narrative song “Liām Kua”, usually played by a single performer. Hungarian cellist István Várdai has been awarded Gold Medals at both the International Cello Competition in Geneva and the ARD Competition in Munich. He studied at the Franz Liszt Academy in Budapest and in Vienna. Since then, at 33, he has appeared internationally with many impressive orchestras and conductors. He plays a 1673 Stradivari cello, one of fewer than 65 in existence from the legendary instrument-maker, and one that was once owned by one of the most celebrated 20th century cellists, the late Jacqueline du Pré. Várdai says he feels the instrument was “made for eternity” and that it helped him to find his voice as a musician. He’s here to tell us more.
27/03/2018
Our Scientists (English Version)
Our Scientists (English Version)
Some say the science of chemistry dates back to the Stone Age when mankind first discovered fire. Early humans were fascinated by ways different objects react to burning, and developed the practice of alchemy. However, having failed to properly explain the transformations between states of matter, alchemy eventually gave way to modern chemistry. Over the years, the world of chemical substances and their myriad combinations have proved captivating to many, including Hong Kong chemist Che Chi-ming, who is determined to explore its unique allure. Che Chi-ming, the current Zhou Guangzhao Professor in Natural Sciences and Head of The Department of Chemistry, became the youngest Chair Professor in HKU history at age 35. He was also the youngest Academician and first scientist from Hong Kong at the time to be elected into the Chinese Academy of Sciences, as well as the first Hong Kong scientist to win the First Class prize of the State Natural Science Award – often dubbed “the Chinese Nobel Prize”. While these titles and accolades are testament to Professor Che’s accomplishments in scientific research and brought him fame, he gained the respect of his counterparts not only for his leadership in large research teams, but for his groundbreaking work in different arenas. An authority in both inorganic and organic chemistry, Che published in 1997 the first research report in the world on the conductive and fluorescent properties of metal-organic compounds. It paved the way for global developments in OLED, the technology deployed in mobile phones and TV displays by many world renowned brands. Meanwhile in Chinese medicine, when others are looking at the use of compound formulas to combat cancer, Professor Che would instead probe the use of single ingredients. Yet, a young Professor Che was once discouraged by his teachers from pursuing the study of chemistry because he did not perform well in experiments. Refusing to give up, Professor Che decided to turn his attention to designing chemical compounds and developing their applications. While engaging in postdoctoral research at the California Institute of Technology, Che’s supervisor Harry Gray claimed that he “can make any compound you want”! Chemical experiments require focus, patience and commitment. If success means arriving at a particular conclusion, you might fail even after a thousand attempts. As with detective cases, you must get to the bottom of it all – if an ingredient manages to kill cancer cells, what is the exact cause and manner of death? How would other organs react? A long but rewarding inquisition ensues. While many people in their primes are already plotting their retirements, 60-year-old Professor Che feels that his golden age has just arrived. In chasing his dream, he believes Hong Kong can produce research standards to rival top-notch universities overseas.
12/12/2018
The Works
The Works
Later in the show, multiple award- winning cellist István Várdai is here with us, and he’s brought with him a very special instrument: a 1673 Stradivari cello previously owned by the late great British cellist, Jacqueline du Pré. But before listening to that 345-year-old Stradivari, we’re going to hear a form of folk music from Taiwan that also has a long history. There’s a wide variety of music in Taiwan that ranges from the polyphonic vocals of the island’s indigenous tribes to Western style classics and contemporary pop. Over the centuries, many Chinese migrated to the island. Among their own musical forms, they created Taiwanese opera, also known as Hokkien Opera, particularly popular with the Hakka people. And then, on a somewhat more modest scale, there’s the art of the traditional Taiwanese narrative song “Liām Kua”, usually played by a single performer. Hungarian cellist István Várdai has been awarded Gold Medals at both the International Cello Competition in Geneva and the ARD Competition in Munich. He studied at the Franz Liszt Academy in Budapest and in Vienna. Since then, at 33, he has appeared internationally with many impressive orchestras and conductors. He plays a 1673 Stradivari cello, one of fewer than 65 in existence from the legendary instrument-maker, and one that was once owned by one of the most celebrated 20th century cellists, the late Jacqueline du Pré. Várdai says he feels the instrument was “made for eternity” and that it helped him to find his voice as a musician. He’s here to tell us more.
12/10/2018
Gold Song Talk
Gold Song Talk
This year marks the 40th anniversary of the “Top Ten Chinese Gold Songs Award”, the most long-lasting award ceremony for the Hong Kong pop music industry. We take this opportunity to produce “Gold Song Talk”, and invite various eminent singers to visit different university campuses to have face-to-face interactions with students. They will reminisce about their music journeys and look forward to the future of the local pop music scene, as well as to share their life wisdom as veterans in the music industry. “Band Sound” has never been the mainstream in the Hong Kong pop music industry. Yet, Hong Kong bands can make miracles from time to time by creating touching music pieces. Their work breaks through the ingrained mindsets of the people in town, therefore an essential element in promoting the development of the local music scene. The theme for this episode is “Hong Kong Super Band.Spirit of Beyond” while the prominent and influential band Beyond is invited. Its member WONG Ka-keung pays his visit to Hong Kong Baptist University to share his experiences as a band member with over 300 students. From each and every classic of Beyond, to the thick and thin that the band has gone through, he will talk about them one by one. Another hotshot band Dear Jane is also invited. The band is comprised of vocalist Tim, guitarist Howie, bass guitarist Jackal and drummer Nice. People who play in a band in Hong Kong must have tasted the sweets and bitters of life, as well as the fickleness of human nature. When the ideal did not match the reality, how did they manage to persist and keep on with no regrets with the spirit of rock and roll? The four members will even perform the Beyond x Dear Jane Special Medley in order to bring the spirit of rock music to each and every student on the spot. Apart from “Super Band”, special guest Mr CHEUNG Man-sun, the then-Assistant Director of Broadcasting who is called the “Father of Gold Songs”, will appear in this episode. Mr CHEUNG had worked in the radio station for years, during which he launched the “Top Ten Chinese Gold Songs Award” and has witnessed the ups and downs of the local music scene. He will share with us one by one the hot trend of forming bands in the 80s; how Beyond begin from being anonymous to start having a little fame, then turned from being the “betrayers of rock music” to a band which was well-received by the audience, and finally raised to become a prestigious and legendary rock music group. Host: WONG Tin-yee
13/12/2018
Hong Kong Heritage
Hong Kong Heritage
Theatrical Performances to Give Thanks to the Deities Every time it approaches 13 February in the Chinese calendar, villagers of Kau Sai Chau at East Sea in Sai Kung return to their home village to help organise and celebrate the Hung Shing Festival, whether or not they are scattered all around Hong Kong or live overseas. One of the highlights is a series of traditional Chinese theatrical performances (shengongxi) that replaces edible offerings with xiqu, with the aims of giving thanks to gods for their blessings, as well as entertaining deities, ghosts and humans. In addition to Cantonese Opera, local shengongxi also includes Chiu Chow Opera and Hoklo Opera, which are also known as “Baizi Opera”. According to an ancient monument in Tai O’s Kwan Tai Temple, shengongxi in Hong Kong can be traced back to the second year of Xianfeng’s reign (1852) of the Qing Dynasty. A major characteristic of shengongxi is the building of bamboo theatres. This unparalleled craftsmanship has recently been inscribed in the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Hong Kong by the government. Among the numerous bamboo theatres for shengongxi in the city, the one built for Tin Hau Festival on Po Toi Island is exceptionally extraordinary. Situated on a cliff, this theatre demonstrates phenomenal craftsmanship that rivals the Creator’s work. In Cantonese Opera’s shengongxi, there are specific requirements in terms of the stage’s location and room arrangement in the backstage. For instance, the stage should face exactly the front of the temple as long as possible, and the live orchestra is to sit on the right of the stage. In the backstage, the space in the middle is divided into six private dressing rooms for actors in the six leading roles, while the area next to them is used by other actors. As for the passageway between the six dressing rooms and the frontstage, the left side is the “costume area” for placing costume trunks, whereas the right side is the “miscellaneous area” for storing props. Apart from the afternoon and evening performances of shengongxi, there were also all-night shows in the past. Rumour has it that these shows are for deities and ghosts, but in those days, they also served as a time-filler for audiences who stayed the night due to inconvenient transportation in rural areas. Kau Sai Chau’s Hung Shing Festival is now one of the few occasions where these all-night shows are staged in Hong Kong; however, it only comprises a solo performance without accompaniment, which can be regarded as merely a symbol of the significance of preserving traditions. Producer: Leslie Ng
22/11/2018
Hong Kong Stories - Tango in the Margin
Hong Kong Stories - Tango in the Margin
Kwok Yat-long (Yue Jai) is gifted with high intelligence, but he also has more than one learning disability. Is his path of life destined to be more arduous than others’? Yat-long, who is currently 17 years old, had done two assessments of learning during primary school. The results found that he had dyslexia, attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder. However, he was identified as a “gifted child” as he got an IQ score of 140. Although Yat-long did not perform well on his academic results, he was able to develop his natural talents in one aspect – “I joined a scientific inventions competition for the first time at Primary 6 and won a prize. Since then, I have been passionate about scientific research.” Before he went to secondary school, he was diagnosed with another disease – Asperger Syndrome, which is a type of autism spectrum disorder. Despite the various learning disabilities, Yat-long still persists in his pursuit of scientific research. At secondary school, it came as no surprise that he joined the design and technology (D&T) club. He represented his school to join quite a few of competitions and got a lot of awards. As he was merely fond of learning through scientific research, the D&T room had become the only place where he wanted to go at school – ‘The D&T room was my “home field”. It’s so boring when I went back to the classroom. The difference was like heaven and hell!’ Yat-long believes that self-motivated learning is the most effective learning method for him and thus he had never been able to get used to the traditional, mainstream teaching method. Besides, his problem of autism had been the hindrance between him and other students. At senior secondary school, the pressure from assignments was getting bigger. One year ago, Yat-long finished Secondary 4. Nevertheless, he decided to quit school as he lagged behind other students academically and needed to repeat a year. During the year after he left school, Yat-long had not given up on learning through scientific research. He chooses CHAN Yik-hei, Stark as his role model and his dream is to take part in international innovation and technology competitions. Yet, without the support of school, it is not easy to participate in a competition. In order to continue his path of scientific research, he is considering going back to school. Will he be able to overcome the obstacles to learning and to study while doing scientific research? This is the difficulty which he is now facing. After all, can the ideal and reality coexist? What is the best choice for marginal students in mainstream education settings like Yat-long? Producer: Joan FONG Assistant Producer: Jasper LEUNG

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