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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 ” .

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    監製:Diana Wan


    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 ” .

    Added illumination comes from interviews with leading performers and producers, interspersed with updates on events affecting the development of the territory 's artistic and cultural life. There's also in – most weeks – a live studio performance.

    The Works is aired on TVB Pearl every Tuesday at HKT 1900 -1930 and on RTHK 31 & 31A every Wednesday at 00:00-00:30 and a repeat at 17:30-18:00.

    Archive available later after broadcast. ** Please note that the programme air-time on TV is different with webcast time.



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    19/07/2017

    Even if you don’t recognise the name John Rutter, you’ve likely heard some of his modern carols or church music. He was recently in Hong Kong for a series of master classes and a performance. We went to talk to him.

    Last week’s Asia Tuba Euphonium Festival at the Chinese University of Hong Kong featured around 50 players from Norway, the United States, Korea, Japan, Thailand and Taiwan. While they were here, tuba players, Oystein Baadsvik from Norway and Benjamin Pierce from the United States came in to talk to fellow brass musician, Ben Pelletier.

    On July 13th, Nobel Peace Prize winner and dissident, Liu Xiaobo died of liver cancer at 61. News of Liu’s death, and any public or social media displays of grief, were heavily censored in the mainland. Around the world though, people did pay tribute, some by reading his “Final Statement” as part of a marathon reading organised here in Hong Kong by artist Sampson Wong and his "Add Oil Team."

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    CATCHUP
    05 - 07
    2017
    RTHK 31
    • Composer & conductor John Rutter, Asia Tuba Euphonium Festival & tribute to Liu Xiaobo

      Composer & conductor John Rutter, Asia Tuba Euphonium Festival & tribute to Liu Xiaobo

      Even if you don’t recognise the name John Rutter, you’ve likely heard some of his modern carols or church music. He was recently in Hong Kong for a series of master classes and a performance. We went to talk to him.

      Last week’s Asia Tuba Euphonium Festival at the Chinese University of Hong Kong featured around 50 players from Norway, the United States, Korea, Japan, Thailand and Taiwan. While they were here, tuba players, Oystein Baadsvik from Norway and Benjamin Pierce from the United States came in to talk to fellow brass musician, Ben Pelletier.

      On July 13th, Nobel Peace Prize winner and dissident, Liu Xiaobo died of liver cancer at 61. News of Liu’s death, and any public or social media displays of grief, were heavily censored in the mainland. Around the world though, people did pay tribute, some by reading his “Final Statement” as part of a marathon reading organised here in Hong Kong by artist Sampson Wong and his "Add Oil Team."

      19/07/2017
    • Artist Kacey Wong, Photojournalist Wong Kan-tai & World Harp Congress in HK

      Artist Kacey Wong, Photojournalist Wong Kan-tai & World Harp Congress in HK

      Since the handover, the annual July 1st march has become synonymous with the pursuit of greater democracy and the protection of civil rights and living standards in Hong Kong. 2003 had the greatest turnout, when organisers say some 500,000 people took part. Among those taking part on a regular basis are local artists, many of whom use their talents to draw people’s attention to their message. Kacey Wong is a familiar, and regular, participant.

      Last week we saw how Hong Kong has changed over the past twenty years through the eyes of photographer Birdy Chu and artist David Clarke. This week, we’re looking back even further. In the exhibition, “8x10” at Atum Space, photo-journalist Wong Kan-tai presents a selection of eight inch by ten inch black and white photographs, shot on black and white film, of pre-handover Hong Kong, Tiananmen Square in June 1989, and Tibet.

      The World Harp Congress began in the Netherlands in 1981. Since then it has been held once every three years. This time around, Hong Kong is the host city. More than 800 harpists from 50 countries are in town for the week-long event that runs up to this Thursday. It includes concerts, recitals, exhibition, workshops, lectures and seminars.
      Among those attending the congress are Florence Sitruk who is both a harpist and a professor of the instrument and the organiser of the congress, Dan Yu are here with Ben.

      12/07/2017
    • 20A Special II: Photography & Independent Films

      20A Special II: Photography & Independent Films

      Last week, we showed you how different music genres have reflected social and political aspects of Hong Kong over the past two decades. This week, in the second of our specials on the 20th anniversary of the Handover, we look at Hong Kong’s changes over the same period through the lenses of photographers and filmmakers. In a constantly changing Hong Kong where an airport can be built on reclaimed land, century-old buildings can be bulldozed to give way to skyscrapers, or a historical pier can be removed and “saved” in a warehouse, the art of photography becomes an ever more crucial record of our past history.

      In the late 1970s to the early 1980s Hong Kong had a number of young filmmakers who became considered part of a “New Wave” of Hong Kong cinema. A group of around 30 young directors, including Ann Hui, Patrick Tam, Yim Ho, Tsui Hark, mostly educated in the West, started working in the television industry and later moved into the film industry. Their films often addressed social and cultural issues. Even before the Handover British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher had described negotiations with China during the drafting of the Joint Declaration as “not always easy” and as having “moments of tension”. It hasn’t always been easy or lacking in tension since the Handover either, and the increasing anxieties and polarisation of our society in recent years is now motivating another generation of Hong Kong filmmakers.

      05/07/2017
    • HKSAR 20th Anniversary Special I - Music: Blackbird founder Lenny Kwok, HK Voices

      HKSAR 20th Anniversary Special I - Music: Blackbird founder Lenny Kwok, HK Voices "Roots"

      Unless you’ve been living under a rock, and maybe even if you have, you’re probably well aware that this Saturday marks the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the Hong Kong SAR. To mark the occasion, President Xi Jinping is visiting Hong Kong for the first time since taking the reins of the nation four years ago. His three-day itinerary is packed, and includes visits to the People’s Liberation Army garrison and major infrastructural projects. Security measures will be stringent: a third of Hong Kong’s 29,000 police force is deployed for his visit. There’s not much chance that the president will get to see much of the real Hong Kong or even encounter any dissenting opinions. Anxiety and uncertainties both before and since the Handover have provided plenty of inspiration for Hong Kong’s artists, musicians, filmmakers, photographers and other creative minds. This week, we’re bringing you the first of our 20th anniversary features, and we’re focusing on music.

      Much of Hong Kong’s popular music scene is pretty bland and homogenous, usually borrowing heavily from Western pop hits. But there is a group of musicians in the music scene, including the legendary Beyond and Tat Ming Pair, that have been making more personal, and even socially oriented music since at least in the mid-1980s. Led by Lenny Kwok Tat-lin, the band Blackbird is often referred to as one of the godfather bands of Hong Kong indie music. Their music fuses rock, blues, folk, punk, and often has strong political overtones.

      Most of us associate the chamber choir with Western classical music traditions. The repertoire of Hong Kong Voices, a choir established in 2000, usually very much follows that pattern, and includes Renaissance, Baroque and other classical choral works. But as a Hong Kong based chamber choir, the group also wants to bring its music closer to the local audience. Early this month, the ensemble paired local composers with Chinese-language writers to reflect on Hong Kong’s identity through music and literature.

      That’s it for us from this week. Next week, Hong Kong ‘s past 20 years through the lenses of photographers and filmmakers. If you missed part of this week’s show or liked it so much you want to see it again, don’t forget you can do so on RTHK’s website or our Facebook page, RTHK’s The Works.

      28/06/2017
    • Egyptian mummies from British Museum & in the studio: handpan & shakuhachi

      Egyptian mummies from British Museum & in the studio: handpan & shakuhachi

      From Boris Karloff as the ancient Egyptian prince Imhotep, to Hammer’s Christopher Lee, to the more recent CGI blockbuster starring Tom Cruise, Egyptian mummies have certainly long fascinated filmmakers. And it’s not just the movies. The popularity of the British Museum’s Ancient Egypt collection shows that many of us are fascinated by the ancient civilization’s approach to death and the afterlife. Around 150 Egyptian antiquities were among the 71,000 objects collected by Sir Hans Sloane that the museum was set up in 1753 to preserve. From those humble beginnings the antiquities collection has become the largest outside Egypt itself, popular not only for what it tells us about the ancient Egyptian way of death, but also what it tells us about their way of life.

      It’s quite likely that, apart from the voice, man’s earliest experience of music was banging one object against another and seeing what noise it made. Discovering that other objects made interesting noises when you blew into them probably came not much long after. Primitive bone flutes at least 35,000 years old have been found. From those beginnings have evolved a whole range of sophisticated percussion and wind instruments, including the Japanese shakuhachi and the more recently developed handpan, an evolution of Caribbean steelpan instruments. Joining us in the studio with Billy from our sister programme 藝坊星期天 are Seeman Ho and Jasper Ng to talk to us about their attempt to merge the music of those instruments with the music of language.

      21/06/2017
    • Writer and photographer, Marc Progin, CUHK Grad Show & in the studio: Van Kuijk Quartet

      Writer and photographer, Marc Progin, CUHK Grad Show & in the studio: Van Kuijk Quartet

      We travel to the “Land of Blue Skies”, Mongolia. In the 13th century Mongolia was, under Genghis Khan, the centre of the world’s largest land empire. More recently, it was for a while ruled by Qing Dynasty China, became a Russian satellite with a Communist government, but is now an independent state. Much of the country’s 600,000 square miles is covered by grassy steppe, with mountains to the north and west and the Gobi Desert to the south. It’s one of the world’s last relatively unspoilt places, but with many eyes on its untapped mineral resources that could soon change. Currently though, out of its population of 2.8 million, around 40% of its people still lead a traditional nomadic life.
      It’s a lifestyle and a landscape that holds immense appeal to Hong Kong-based writer and photographer Marc Progin.

      "Nothing gonna change my love for you" well, no, we don’t have George Benson, the original singer of that song in the studio with us tonight. It is though the title of the graduation show of works by 38 Bachelor of Arts students from the Chinese University of Hong Kong’s Department of Fine Arts. Both that and the Chinese title《現代說永遠已經很傻》, also based on a pop song, which means roughly “These days, it’s presumptuous to say forever” refer to the difficulty of holding on to certainties in the face of constant change. That’s the central idea of the exhibition at the university’s art museum until 23rd June.

      Beethoven was 56 when he wrote his 16th String Quartet, one of the four, often sombre, Late Quartets that are considered to mark the pinnacle of his artistry. It was the last major work he completed. Mozart’s String Quartet No. 19 in C Major, often called the "Dissonance" quartet, was written when he was in his twenties and is one of six dedicated to friend and colleague Joseph Haydn. It’s one of his most popular quartets. Last week in Hong Kong, those pieces bookended a concert, which also included Four Melodies by Poulenc, by the young Van Kuijk Quartet. Founded just five years ago, the quartet is already much praised, has since won the 2015 Wigmore Hall String Quartet Competition in London, is currently HSBC Laureate of the Académie du Festival d’Aix, and was selected to be one of BBC Radio Three’s New Generation Artists.
      Last week, before their Hong Kong show, they came to our studio.

      14/06/2017
    • Ink artist Choi Hoi-ying, HKBUAVA Grad Show & pianist Maxime Zecchini

      Ink artist Choi Hoi-ying, HKBUAVA Grad Show & pianist Maxime Zecchini

      Ink has a long history in Chinese traditional painting. It is used in calligraphy, and landscape and literati painting. Local ink artist Choi Hoi-ying merges calligraphy and Chinese traditions with paper wrapping, carving, collage and relief to create unique ink art installations. For an exhibition last month at Hong Kong Baptist University’s Communication and Visual Arts Building, Choi worked with a group of students to explore new ways of merging Chinese and Western art forms.

      The Hong Kong Baptist University’s Academy of Visual Arts is one of five publicly funded universities that offers art or creativity-related programmes. As in other such institutions, at the end of every academic year its students get the chance to show the best of their work in their graduation show. This year, the academy is presenting the works of a hundred artists, both current and former graduates, as well as a series of other events on its Kai Tak campus.

      There’s a legend that the American jazz pianist Art Tatum, who learned to play the piano by ear, developed the ability to play as if he were two people because he had accidentally been learning from piano roll pieces by two pianists. It’s a story that Tatum himself later denied, but it does bear witness to his amazing dexterity.
      Similar dexterity is shown by our studio guest today, but in a different way. French pianist Maxime Zecchini is best known for his “left hand reportoire”, using five fingers to make sounds that one would usually expect to hear from ten. The first French pianist to receive a degree from the prestigious “Incontri col Maestro” or International Piano Academy in Imola, he has also orchestrated music for television, and directed musicals. He’s here in Hong Kong for a one-night concert.

      07/06/2017
    • Paris & HK from two different perspectives & piainist Chiyan Wong

      Paris & HK from two different perspectives & piainist Chiyan Wong

      When it comes to daily commute, Ben Pelletier tends to bomb around town on his motorbike to get to work. And If Ben Tse has the chance, walking is his first choice. But many Hongkongers, maybe living further from their workplaces, have to drive or take a bus. However we travel around the city, few of us take the time - or can take the risk - to really look around us. Two exhibitions organised as part of Le French May are encouraging us to use our eyes a bit more and look at two very different cities from different perspectives. One looks, as its title suggests, at “Hong Kong Upside Down”. The other views Paris from above specifically focusing on the city’s rooftops, a cultural heritage that not only inspired writers and poets like Victor Hugo, Emile Zola, and Charles Baudelaire, but also painters such as Monet, Pissarro, and Van Gogh.

      In his less advanced years, Franz Liszt was pretty much the world’s first pop star. Over-excited female fans would grab at him, tear at his clothes, and fight over his broken piano strings and locks of his hair. Such enthusiasm was dubbed by the German Poet Heinrich Heine, "Lisztomania."Today we remember Liszt, a little more sedately, mostly for his piano works. As he liked to show off his own virtuosity on the instrument, Liszt’s works are often technically difficult to perform. He also wrote for orchestra and ensembles. For the piano his pieces are often divided into two categories. One consists of entirely original works. The other of adaptations, known as “transcriptions”, “paraphrases” or “fantasies”, of works by other composers. Hong Kong-born Chiyan Wong has spent years studying Liszt’s transcriptions. His debut CD is all about that process. He’s with us now.

      31/05/2017
    • The art of bookplates, photographer Jacques Henri Lartigue & Trumpet player Stephane Belmondo

      The art of bookplates, photographer Jacques Henri Lartigue & Trumpet player Stephane Belmondo

      With the digital age, reading habits have changed. Some fear that the internet, social media and e-books might have made crafts like book-making and printing redundant. But there is still plenty of art in books that the digital age can’t render passé, from the content itself to typography, to layout, to illustration, and even that artefact much loved of book collectors for centuries: the bookplate or ex libris.

      By any standard, Jacques Henri Lartigue is a giant of photography. Despite beginning his career at a time when cameras were cumbersome and taking a photograph was often a slow and formal business, Lartigue loved “l'instantané”, the snapshot. It may have been Henri Cartier-Bresson who said, “There is nothing in this world that does not have a decisive moment,” but decades before he said it, Lartique was already capturing such moments. Lartigue, who was also a painter, was given his first large plate camera when he was seven. Starting from photographing friends and family, he went on to experiment with stereo or 3D photography, the early colour technique of autochrome, and a variety of formats and media including glass plates. In his hands, snapshots became works of art. On show at the F11 Photographic Museum as part of Le French May, “Return to Beauty – Jacques Henri Lartigue and His World” contains over 130 photographs of France, both during and after the Belle Epoque.

      One day, when trumpet player Stéphane Belmondo was 18 and playing in a Parisian restaurant, the doorman came to him and said: "There is a gentleman who wants to enter, but he looks like a tramp.” That “tramp” was American jazz musician Chet Baker, who, next day, invited him on stage at the club in which he was performing and introduced him as the most promising European trumpet player. Although Baker, by this time heavily addicted to drugs, could be mercurial and unreliable, Stéphane says he acted almost like a father to him, and they became friends until Baker’s death a few years later. Stéphane’s here in our studio right now to talk about the tribute.

      24/05/2017
    • Hidden Agenda raid & pianist Remi Geniet

      Hidden Agenda raid & pianist Remi Geniet

      Performance venues for live music are in somewhat short supply in Hong Kong. Music lovers were hoping for a new one in the West Kowloon Cultural District, but that idea has been scotched. Most of the venues we have are known to be limited, hard to book and old. Most were built three or more decades ago and tend to be booked by big art or event organisations for very mainstream entertainment. In 2010, under Carrie Lam, the Development Bureau implemented the revitalisation of factory buildings scheme to allow owners of factory units more leeway in letting their space. Artists and musicians thought that here might be some solution to the problems of high rents and inadequate space, maybe even a location for performance. It hasn’t quite worked out like that.

      In 2011, the French pianist Rémi Geniet, taking third prize, became the youngest ever prize-winner of the Bonn International Beethoven Competition. Just two years later, at 20, he took second prize in the Queen Elisabeth 2013 International Piano Competition. And the awards and accolades don’t stop there. Still in his early twenties, Rémi has already been invited to perform with many international orchestras, not long ago completed a tour of the United States, including a recital at Carnegie Hall, and – in 2015 – released a much praised debut CD of Bach compositions. This week he’s in Hong Kong to perform, with the Hong Kong Sinfonietta, one of the world’s best loved piano concertos. There are few, if any, Romantic piano concertos better known to the general public or more loved than Rachmaninov’s Second Piano Concerto. Not so well known is the fact that it would likely never have been finished if not for the hypnotist who helped Rachmaninov overcome a crisis of confidence and continue writing it, and to whom the concerto is dedicated: Nikolai Dahl.

      17/05/2017
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