RTHK' s The Works focuses on Hong Kong's arts and cultural scene. The Works features news and reviews of visual and performing arts, design, literary and other “ works ” .
Water has often been an issue for Hong Kong. We’ve had water rationing. We have to buy much of it from the mainland. We’ve built desalination plants that proved largely uneconomical to ensure we have enough to drink. And yet, at other times, thanks to rainstorms and typhoons, we have just too much of the stuff. After severe floods in Mong Kok in 1997 and 1998, the government constructed a massive underground stormwater storage tank at Tai Hang Tung to drain some of that excess water away. Until the end of this month, the 100,000 cubic metre underground storage tank, Hong Kong’s first, has become a venue for an art installation.
Street artist Hebru Brantley creates characters that tell stories around themes such as nostalgia, the psyche, power and hope. He’s influenced by the AfriCOBRA movement, a collective of African American visual artists that came together in Chicago in 1968 to explore and define the black visual aesthetic. Brantley uses murals and graffiti to explore his own experiences, and paints with an array of media ranging from oils, acrylic paints, watercolours and spray paints to coffee and tea. His character, “Fly Boy” is currently featured in a pop-up exhibition “Lord of the Flys” in La Galerie.
麟角樂團, the Chinese name of the seven-piece band, the Majestic G, refers to the horn of the qilin, a mythical Chinese beast that is believed to appear to herald the arrival of a particularly benevolent leader or wise scholar. Band leader CM Groovy says his aim with the band was to bring together a group of individuals to create something larger than the sum of its parts. Not only does its name refer to a mythical beast, the band, which plays funk music, is unusual in incorporating a traditional Chinese woodwind instrument, the suona, often used in Taoist funeral processions. Other somewhat less unusual elements include trombone, bass guitar, electric guitar, drums, keyboard and vocals. Majestic G is here with Billy from our sister programme藝坊星期天.
Hong Kong painter Chu Hing-wah focuses on people, their everyday lives, and the environment around them. For most of his working life he was a psychiatric nurse, a profession which he credits with allowing him to approach people with a sense of humility, humanity and familiarity. The exhibition “Living in Compassion: The Art of Chu Hing-wah”, which ended on January 20th at Hanart TZ Gallery, was a major retrospective of his work.
Avant-garde artist Huang Yongping has been considered one of the most controversial and provocative Chinese artists since the 1980s. In 1986, he and a group of friends formed the radical art group, “Xiamen Dada”. Since one 1989 exhibition in Paris, Huang has been based in France. Four new works by Huang and artist Shen Yuan are currently on show at Tang Contemporary Art, in the exhibition “Hong Kong Foot”. According to Huang “what we most associate with Hong Kong is the infection ‘Hong Kong foot’. Hong Kong’s greatest weapon is giving the events or things it infects Hong Kong’s characteristics.” Both artists created the pieces specifically for this exhibition.
Hahn Rowe is a violinist, a guitarist, a composer, a recording engineer, and a producer. Based in New York, he has been involved in a wide range of projects and performed with musicians such as R.E.M., David Byrne, Moby, Glenn Branca and Swans. He has also engineered and produced recordings with Antony and the Johnsons, Yoko Ono, and Bill Laswell, among others. More recently, he’s been focused on creating scores for theatre and dance works. Last week, he came to Hong Kong to work with three local musicians. While he was here he came to our studio with two of them, Jonathan Yang and Narbi.