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 ” .
The freedom to say or express what you think is important to most of us. Perhaps to few more so than artists. It’s hard to imagine a thriving art scene without it.
A number of events in the past few weeks have left many worrying about how much the space for free speech in Hong Kong is narrowing. In October, the government refused a work visa to Financial Times Asia news editor Victor Mallet. The decision is widely seen as retribution for chairing and defending a talk by Hong Kong National Party convener Andy Chan at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club. The political group had not been banned at the time. Last Thursday, Mr Mallet tried to enter Hong Kong again, this time as a visitor, and was refused entry after several hours of questioning. The day before, Chinese dissident and exiled writer Ma Jian had said on Twitter that the Tai Kwun arts centre was refusing permission for him to give two talks organised by the Hong Kong International Literary Festival on its premises. The arts centre later changed its mind. Mr Mallet’s off to an assignment in Europe, but he did say on social media that one of the things he’ll do in the days ahead is re-read George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four. Or he could even read Ma Jian’s new novel, “China Dream” which is itself set in a somewhat Orwellian world.
Now in its sixth year, the four-day Musicus Festival starts this Thursday. This year, it’s highlighting Nordic music, including folk tunes and pieces on the nyckelharpa, a traditional Swedish folk instrument. There’ll also be children’s concerts, classical music, and jazz. The guest performers come from as far afield as Romania, Germany, Italy, South Korea and Taiwan. The festival’s Artistic Director Trey Lee is here with guitarist Eugene Pao to tell us more.