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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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    24/05/2017

    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.

    重溫

    CATCHUP
    03 - 05
    2017
    RTHK 31
    • 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
    • Louvre in HK, artist Luc Tuymans & 480.0 Gender Art Space

      Louvre in HK, artist Luc Tuymans & 480.0 Gender Art Space

      The choice in the French presidential elections was not an easy one for many: Emmanuel Macron, widely seen as a friend to big banking and globalisation, or the anti-immigrant and isolationist rhetoric of Marine Le Pen. Despite a low turnout, Macron, the candidate seen by many as the lesser of two evils, won. France now has – at 39 - its youngest president. The large margin of Macron’s win suggests many will be celebrating. Here in Hong Kong we’re currently seeing a celebration of another kind with our annual fix of French art and culture, Le French May. This year there are more than 100 programmes, from an opera about the birth of the Sun King, classical music, jazz, ballet, modern dance, and exhibitions, to French movies and food. This week, we’re looking at one of the festival highlights: an exhibition showcasing the more than eight century history of the world’s largest museum, the Louvre … from fortress, to palace, to its present day role.

      If Andy Warhol creates a silkscreen print showing a can of soup, who is the creator? Andy Warhol or the designer of the soup can? When hip hop artists and EDM, or electronic dance music, performers sample original tracks, where does artistic appropriation end and plagiarism begin? It’s an on-going debate in art and entertainment, particularly as art increasingly draws on earlier images and creations. Belgian artist Luc Tuymans discovered this to his cost in a 2015 court case when he was accused of plagiarism. Widely considered one of the most influential painters currently working, he says that for him, living and working in Antwerp, the Flemish tradition is something from which he cannot escape, and that after the 15th century painter Jan van Eyck, all is dilettantism. He was recently in Hong Kong for Art Basel. We spoke to him while he was here.

      In Cantonese,“480.0” is a homonym for “where does sexual violence come from?” It’s also the name of a newly setup art space in Yau Ma Tei that focuses on gender and sexual violence. Set up by the Association Concerning Sexual Violence Against Women and working with non-profit organisation, Women Helping Women Hong Kong, the inauguration exhibition “Bystander” features works by local artists and survivors of sexual violence.

      10/05/2017
    • Performance artist Hsieh Teching, King of Kowloon & in the studio: pianist Gabriela Montero

      Performance artist Hsieh Teching, King of Kowloon & in the studio: pianist Gabriela Montero

      For Taiwanese artist Hsieh Teching, who has been called a “master” of performance art by fellow artist, Marina Abramovic, there is little, if any, separation, between art and life. His extended performance pieces have seen him live in a cage for a year, punch a time clock for months on end, live without shelter, tie himself to another artist for a year, and even make art out of avoiding art entirely. After a 13-year plan, under which he vowed to make art but not show it to anyone, Hsieh now says he has given up creating art completely. He still exhibits worldwide, and is even representing Taiwan in this year’s Venice Biennale. Hsieh was in Hong Kong last month.

      Street art and graffiti tend to be ephemeral. Given the varying quality of some examples, that’s not entirely a bad thing, but even highly collected and respected street artists like Banksy have had many well-known works removed, painted over, or defaced. Things are certainly no better in Hong Kong, as fans of the work of the late Tsang Tsou-choi, the "King of Kowloon, know only too well. His work has even been shown in the Venice Biennale. In 2009 the Home Affairs Bureau insisted the government was committed to protecting Tsang's works "depending on the actual situation and feasibility". Well, there are now fewer than ten examples left in place. One more was thoughtlessly destroyed in the past week.

      Venezuela is a country in ecoonomic and political turmoil. Around 30 people have died during a month-long series of protests against the unpopular government of President Nicolás Maduro. Venezuelan pianist Gabriela Montero is known for blending the classical repertoire with improvisation. She played at Barack Obama’s inauguration. She is also passionate about her country and vocal about its problems: the high murder rate, the violence and corruption. She was in Hong Kong last week for a one-night only concert of Schubert, Schumann and improvisations. She came to talk to us the morning before her show.

      03/05/2017
    • Theaster Gates, WYNG's

      Theaster Gates, WYNG's "Mobility" & in our studio: the Storioni Trio

      The work of American artist Theaster Gates focuses on urban planning and environments, community, and urban regeneration. He’s sometimes described as a “social practice installation artist”. Some of his best known projects are based in the south side of Chicago where he grew up. He sees his own works as “practising life”, and says he hopes to revitalise poor neighbourhoods and tell the stories of African Americans through art. Sometimes referencing the communal and spiritual values of religion, his art also incorporates materials he has harvested from the Chicago spaces in which he’s worked, as you can see in his current exhibition at White Cube: “Tarry Skies and Psalms for Now”.

      Other than the occasional, or maybe not so occasional, irritable taxi driver if you’re able bodied you probably don’t have too many problems getting around Hong Kong, For people with disabilities it can be considerably harder, as a current project by the WYNG Foundation points out. And that’s not the only mobility issue it examines. Each year the foundation arranges the WMA Awards for photographic works focusing on social issues in Hong Kong. Themes from previous years include, poverty, waste, air and identity. In response to this year’s theme, “Mobility”, the submissions explore ideas of freedom of movement, migration, social mobility, barrier free urban design, and more.

      Of you love classical music you’ll likely have many favourites among the concertos for single instruments and orchestra. Concertos for multiple instruments and orchestra are somewhat less common. Beethoven ventured into the triple concerto just once, with his Concerto for Violin, Cello and Piano, in 1803. It can be a particular challenge for performance as you need not one, but three accomplished soloists who have to achieve a balance between shining individually and working together. It can become something of a battlefield of egos. With Ben now in the studio are the members of the Storioni Trio from the Netherlands, who are in Hong Kong this week to perform the Triple Concerto with the Hong Kong Philharmonic.

      26/04/2017
    • Artist Christo, Tomokazu Matsuyama & Andrew Hevia on

      Artist Christo, Tomokazu Matsuyama & Andrew Hevia on "Moonlight"

      March, otherwise known as Art month brought several international artists to Hong Kong. Few are as monumental or as spectacular in their work as Christo, known not only for, with his late wife and long-time creative collaborator Jeanne-Claude, wrapping the Reichstag and the Pont Neuf, but also for covering the Japanese and Californian landscapes with hundreds of blue and yellow umbrellas.

      Japanese-American artist Tomokazu Matsuyama, perhaps more commonly known as Matsu, lives and works in New York. Growing up between, and influenced by, both Eastern and Western cultures, he described his artistic style as the “struggle of reckoning the familiar local with the familiar global”. That mixed identity is reflected in the influences on his work, which include Japanese art from the Edo and Meiji eras, classic Greek and Roman art, French Renaissance painting and contemporary art.

      Missing out on explosions, 3D, comic book heroes, or extensive computer graphics, the movie “Moonlight” would have almost certainly slipped under the radar of most Hongkongers if it hadn’t, in the same week it was released here, taken the Best Picture Oscar at the Academy Awards. It was certainly a memorable ceremony, including one of the most embarrassing gaffes in Oscar history, when the wrong envelope was given to co-presenters Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway, and Dunaway announced “La La Land” as Best Picture. Directed by Barry Jenkins, “Moonlight” is the coming-of-age story of an African-American male coming to terms with his own homosexuality against the backdrop of a socially deprived and drug-ridden Miami neighbourhood. The film was nominated for eight Academy Awards this year. It won three, including Best Picture, Best Actor in a Supporting Role and Best Writing of an Adapted Screenplay. The film’s co-producer, Andrew Hevia, was in Hong Kong last month for FILMART, and we caught up with him while he was here.

      19/04/2017
    • VR in Art, Art Market Report & West Side Story in our studio

      VR in Art, Art Market Report & West Side Story in our studio

      3D movies, 360 degree cameras, virtual reality games … artists and scientists have been interested in immersing us in convincing recreations of reality for quite some time.
      Way back in the 19th century there were already attempts to surround people with 360 degree murals. The theatre too, as in the work of Antonin Artaud or the Futurists, tried to blur the line between the performance and the real. Later came such developments as 3D films, flight simulators, Sensorama, and more. More recently virtual reality headsets have made virtual reality even more real. And where scientists and entertainers go, artists may follow. This year’s Art Basel featured several attempts to transport visitors into a world other than their own.

      Art is communication. It’s also a commodity. And the two don’t always sit well together. Thinkers as different as Karl Marx, Immanuel Kant, Thorstein Veblen, Walter Benjamin, and more have discussed this dual nature of creativity. Art fairs and art auctions themselves are clear examples of the interaction of the two worlds of commodity and art. Two recent reports on the art market, one new one presented at this year’s Art Basel suggest that the economics of the art world may have taken a slight turn for the worse over the past couple of years, but researchers like Clare McAndrew, known for her research on the art market, still see a positive future.

      It’s not so rare for writers and composers to turn to the works of Shakespeare for inspiration, and that’s exactly what happened with one of the world’s most loved musicals, when “Romeo and Juliet” became Maria and Tony, and the Montagues and Capulets became the Jets and the Sharks in “West Side Story”.
      With a book by Arthur Laurents, music by Leonard Bernstein and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, it debuted in Washington in August 1957, and a month later on Broadway. Now it’s coming to Hong Kong. And “Maria” and “Tony” are here with Ben.

      12/04/2017
    • Art Basel & Art Central

      Art Basel & Art Central

      For art lovers, artists, and art dealers, March can be the most hectic time of the year as one of the world’s largest art fairs, Art Basel, comes to town. Art Basel’s success here, as well as the fact that Hong Kong is now apparently the world’s third largest art market, has turned what was once an art week into something approaching an art month. Apart from the big fairs – there’s also Art Central – local galleries and other art organisations pull out all the stops to attract attention while visitors are in town. There was a lot to take in, and if you didn’t have the stamina to get to it all, over the coming weeks The Works will be bringing you some of the interviews, events and exhibitions that we managed to cover. We’re beginning today with the two most prominent art fairs, Art Basel and Art Central. This year, we invited art writer Diana d’Arenberg to take us on a tour of Art Basel Hong Kong.

      Within easy walking distance of the Cultural and Exhibition Centre and Art Basel, Art Central was once again ensconced on the Central Harbourfront. This year’s fair attracted more than 100 contemporary art galleries, most of which focused on promoting emerging Asia-based artists. Like Art Basel, Art Central has an educational component that includes talks, interactive installations, panel discussions and films. This year, the organisers also placed particular emphasis on performance art.

      05/04/2017
    • Pina Bausch Cafe Muller & Rite of Spring, Trisha Brown Tribute & German Hornsound

      Pina Bausch Cafe Muller & Rite of Spring, Trisha Brown Tribute & German Hornsound

      The Works has been featuring Pina Bausch’s Tanztheater Wuppertal for over a decade, particularly during their visits to Hong Kong to perform at the annual Arts Festival. Dance lovers in Hong Kong have been lucky enough to see “Iphigenia In Tauris”, “1980”, “Full Moon” and “Carnations”. This year, the company was here again, this time with two of Pina Bausch’s very significant early works, “Café Muller” and “Rite of Spring”.

      Pina changed people’s view of what dance could be by introducing theatrical elements and collaborating with her dancers to bring the human psyche and human emotions to the fore. American choreographer Trisha Brown, who died on 18th March at the age of 80, took dance in another direction, towards the more conceptual ideas of postmodernism. She was one of the pioneers of the New York postmodern dance tradition. In 2014, a year after she’d had to leave the company due to illness, the Trisha Brown Dance Company came to the Hong Kong Arts Festival with some of her most iconic works. We spoke to them.

      Think of the German horn, and you may think of brass bands and beer, or – if you’re of a more sophisticated frame of mind – Richard Strauss’s Till Eulenspiegel’s horn theme, or Wagner’s Siegfried playing the horn that awakens the dragon Fafner. It’s a favourite instrument in German music, and that may be part of the reason that, in 2009, four friends at the Stuttgart University of Music and Performing Arts set up German Hornsound. The ensemble performs a repertoire that includes not only classical music but also original works and arrangements. They’re here in our studio with Ben Pelletier.

      29/03/2017
    • Singer Arianna Savall, artist Yang Jiechang & recorder player Piers Adams

      Singer Arianna Savall, artist Yang Jiechang & recorder player Piers Adams

      Swiss-born Spanish singer, harpist, and composer, Arianna Savall’s parents, viol player, composer and conductor, Jordi Savall, and the late singer Montserrat Figueras, have long specialised in Early Music, particularly from Catalonia and the Middle East. Arianna has taken up the same legacy. She's here at this year's Hong Kong Arts Festival.

      Guangzhou-born Yang Jiechang mixes traditional practices with Western concepts to critique contemporary society. His own personal history reflects his own country’s late 20th-century upheavals: as a teenager he was a member of the Red Guards before rebelling and deciding to be an artist. He studied Chinese ink painting and calligraphy in the Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts, where his graduation project “Massacre” on the devastation of the Cultural Revolution was censored. He began to study Taoism, leaving behind, the red of patriotism and communism for, “a black and grey world.”

      Well, this may be the first time we’ve had anyone trained as an astrophysicist on The Works, but Piers Adams is here because he discovered a calling to be a recorder player at the age of 21. A chance encounter with a group of Hungarian gypsy musicians at a music festival in Belgium gave him the inspiration to develop greater freedom, emotion and virtuosity in his style of playing. He’s here with Ben now.

      22/03/2017
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