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    Executive Producer:Diana Wan


    In our Christmas Special last week, we mentioned that some Eastern Orthodox churches and communities celebrate Christmas Day according to the Julian Calendar. Their December 25th is our January 7th. Russia is home to 39% of the world’s Orthodox Christians. Their Christmas holiday begins on New Year’s Day and runs through to the Orthodox Christmas Day, on which many attend Church and then sit down for a 12-course dinner representing the 12 apostles. The traditions of Russia were highlighted in Hong Kong last October, during the first “Russian Culture Week”. The event included film screenings, art exhibitions, performances, readings, cooking, handicraft workshops, a look at Russian traditions such as religious icons, and a tour of a cemetery or two.

    Five Hong Kong artists and five artists from Switzerland and Austria came together for a cultural exchange in which the Hong Kong artists travelled to the village of Scuol in Switzerland to explore the idea of objects in space, and questions of place and personal memory, alongside the European artists. Now, in Hong Kong, mirroring their trip, the five artists from Switzerland and Austria have joined forces with the Hong Kong artists for “Interval in Space”, an exhibition at the Osage gallery in Kwun Tong that highlights their own perspective on volume, space and sculpture.

    For “Hong Kong Episodes” Jazz guitarist and composer Teriver Cheung and composer and conductor Fung Lam explored Hong Kong through film and music. While on tour with that work, Teriver began to come up with new ideas. Those ideas have coalesced as “Departure”, a 11-piece ensemble that combines jazz and classical music. Teriver’s here right now with Singaporean composer Chok Kerong.

    Contact: wanyt@rthk.hk


    • Modigliani's

      Modigliani's "Nu couche (sur le côté gauche)”, School of Nice, Huang Xiaoliang & in the studio: Bomsori Kim & Pallavi Mahidhara

      The past two weeks have seen more records broken in international art auctions. First, auction house Christie’s sold 1,500 objects from “The Collection of Peggy and David Rockefeller” for US$832.6 million, the highest price paid for a single private collection. 22 records were broken in all, including prices for porcelain items, a swan decoy, and works by Picasso and Monet. A few days later, also in New York, Sotheby’s put Amedeo Modigliani’s painting “Nu couché (sur le côté gauche)” under the hammer.
      Even though it did fetch a record auction price for a Modigliani, it didn’t do quite as well as some had expected. Before the sale though, Hongkongers had the chance to see the painting for themselves.

      Born in Italy, Modigliani was one of the thousands of artists from all over the world, to have moved to Paris to work. The then-inexpensive districts of Montmartre and Montparnasse were particularly popular with the creative crowd. Those neighbourhoods aren’t so inexpensive now, but artists – and tourists - still flock to Paris. And to other areas of France much loved by artists. Many painters moved to more Mediterranean regions for the light and the climate. Cézanne and Van Gogh, for example, moved to Provence. Some also settled in the Riviera town of Nice.

      Huang Xiaoliang uses photography to examine the dualities of past and present, reality and fantasy. To leave room for the viewer’s imagination he also likes to emphasise shadows and nightfall. Until the middle of June, the Over the Influence gallery is presenting “Nightfall”, a series of Huang’s photographs that depict a dreamlike narrative state.

      At just 28, Korean violinist Bomsori Kim has won prizes in many international music competitions, first gaining attention in 2010, when she was the youngest prize winner at the 4th Sendai International Music Competition. Also a recipient of many awards is Indian-American pianist Pallavi Mahidhara. The pair have taken a combined 28 top prizes in over 14 international competitions. Last week they were in Hong Kong for a one-night concert featuring the music of Ravel, Debussy, Sibelius, Kreisler and Ysaye.

    • Interview with Mark Bradford, founders of Hauser & Wirth & in the studio: Evita, the musical

      Interview with Mark Bradford, founders of Hauser & Wirth & in the studio: Evita, the musical

      You may remember that last week we visited David Zwirner’s new Hong Kong gallery. Well, during Art Basel Hong Kong, the Swiss art gallery Hauser & Wirth also inaugurated their first Asia outpost, and in the same building. Like David Zwirner, Iwan and Manuela Wirth are currently ranked in the top ten of the ArtReview Power 100. With spaces in Zurich, London, New York, Los Angeles and Somerset, the couple is well aware that Asia is a growing market, and Hong Kong is an ideal location for a first foray into that market.

      There’s so much going on in Le French May, and it’s expanding so much chronologically, that it might soon need to be called :”Le French April, May, June and July”. With more than 100 programmes, including exhibitions and performances, over its length, this year’s festival is focusing largely on “Tributes” to masters. On show on at the Kwai Fung Hin Art Gallery until 6th June, “Rue du Moulin Vert” includes 13 artworks by masters of the post-1945 Abstraction art movement in Paris. Among them are Zao Wou-ki and his wife Lalan, Pierre Soulages, Nicolas de Stael, Sam Francis and Georges Mathieu.

      To her fans and supporters, Eva Peron, born one of five illegitimate children, who rose from poverty to first lady of her nation, was a champion of the poor and attained almost goddess-like status. To her critics, she was a woman of dubious morality who lent an aura of celebrity and glamour to a husband, Juan Peron, and a political movement, Peronism, with Fascist or even Nazi sympathies. She’s also the subject of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s highly popular musical “Evita”, which is being staged in Hong Kong right now.

    • Interview with David Zwirner, Jeff Koons & Wolfgang Tillmans, in the studio: guitarist Paolo Angeli

      Interview with David Zwirner, Jeff Koons & Wolfgang Tillmans, in the studio: guitarist Paolo Angeli

      Art runs in David Zwirner’s family. His father Rudolf is an art dealer and David and his sister were raised surrounded by art. Today, David’s own galleries represent over forty artists and estates. He opened the first of those galleries in New York in 1993. He now has five: three in New York, one in London, and – as of January this year – one in Hong Kong.

      Paolo Angeli grew up on the Italian island of Sardinia, Italy, a region with musical traditions that include throat singing, sacred chants, and the launeddas, an ancient three-pipe woodwind instrument. But it is the guitar that attracts Angeli. After studying with another Sardinian guitarist, Giovanni Scanu, Paolo started to develop a unique instrument. It’s unconventional and it’s hardly traditional, but the music he makes with it echoes a long Sardinian musical legacy. Paolo was in Hong Kong last month, and spoke to us while he was here.

    • Artist Miwa Komatsu, ceramic artist Suzy Cheung & in the studio: Baritone Benjamin Appl and pianist James Bailieu

      Artist Miwa Komatsu, ceramic artist Suzy Cheung & in the studio: Baritone Benjamin Appl and pianist James Bailieu

      The Shinto and Buddhist religions are Japan’s two oldest popular religious traditions. They’re accompanied by a rich mythology and folklore that includes a long list of gods, goddesses, spirits, divine creatures and other supernatural beings. Miwa Komatsu makes these beings the subject of her art.

      Suzy Cheung is an art director for feature films, stage productions and television commercials. She is also an established ceramic artist. She’s been working with clay since 1990. Now on show at Hong Kong’s the Giant Year Gallery, a space dedicated to exhibiting and promoting ceramic art, is Cheung’s solo exhibition “Taxiing”.

      The tradition of the German “Lied”, or song, dates back to the late 14th or early 15th century. The earliest lieder included settings of poetry to music, folk songs, and hymns but for many the form reached an exquisite peak during the Romantic period of the 19th century. Generally, lieder are written for piano and voice. Orchestral accompaniment came later. Baritone Benjamin Appl has been described by Gramophone Magazine as “the current front-runner in the new generation of Lieder singers”. He and pianist James Bailieu recently visited Hong Kong for a programme that included not only German lieder but also music by British, French and Norwegian composers.

    • Interview with Taiwanese filmmaker Tsai Ming-liang, Isaac Chong's time and history & in the studio: Patrick Lui & Band

      Interview with Taiwanese filmmaker Tsai Ming-liang, Isaac Chong's time and history & in the studio: Patrick Lui & Band

      Two weeks ago we spoke to German film director Werner Herzog about his work, including his recent documentary on volcanoes, the distinctions, if any, between fiction and documentary, and the impact of technology on filmmaking. He was here for the Hong Kong International Film Festival, as was Taiwanese film director Tsai Ming-liang.
      Tsai’s latest film is a virtual reality movie, “The Deserted”. We spoke to him about it.

      Berlin-based Hong Kong artist Isaac Chong Wai uses performance art to deal with history and memory and how they relate to public spaces and monuments. The starting point for his research on his newest project is the Nazi period in Germany. In “Future of the Past – Past of the Future: Creating Time in Public Space Through Performance” at the Goethe Institute, Chong asks what those public spaces could mean for our past and our future.

      Pianist, composer, arranger and producer Patrick Lui composes for feature films, television programmes and theatrical works. He is also known for his collaboration with Cantopop band, RubberBand, and as a keyboardist accompanying singer Eason Chan. But he’s also into jazz. He’s here to tell us more.

    • The Art Market Report 2018, Art Basel & Art Central

      The Art Market Report 2018, Art Basel & Art Central

      Statisticians tell us global inequality is growing, with half of the world’s wealth now in the hands of just 1% of the population. That’s not good news for most of us, but it can be good news for the art market. Millionaires and billionaires with money burning a hole in their pockets like to buy, or invest in, art. The art market generated an estimated US$63.7 billion last year. Art fairs and auctions are among the main drivers of such deals. In the last decade, the number of international art fairs has quadrupled. There are now more than 260 every year, and Art Basel is the brand that galleries and collectors don’t dare overlook. The sixth edition of Art Basel Hong Kong ended two weeks ago. The three-day fair attracted 80,000 people. 248 galleries from 32 countries took part, 28 of them for the first time.

      Art Central was launched in 2015, by a team of art fair veterans who had founded the original ART HK that was later sold to Art Basel. Although the works of some of the same artists appear in both shows, Art Central’s founders say they don’t want it to be a mini Art Basel. They want instead to focus on artists who might not be quite as well established or quite as expensive. This year’s week-long fair ended on 1st April. Like the previous ones, it was held on the Central Harbourfront. Organisers say the fourth edition attracted a record 39,000 visitors. But as we saw earlier in the latest art market report, while things are going well for high end galleries, many smaller and medium-sized ones are having a tougher time.

    • Interview with filmmaker Werner Herzog & in the studio: singer-songwriter Kevin Kaho Tsui

      Interview with filmmaker Werner Herzog & in the studio: singer-songwriter Kevin Kaho Tsui

      The just ended Art Month had a lot more to offer than visual art. There was something for lovers of performing arts and of cinema too, in the shape of the Hong Kong Arts Festival and the Hong Kong International Film Festival. This year’s film festival, which ended last Thursday, was the 42nd. Apart from many recent international movies, the festival featured themed retrospectives such as one that included 14 films starring Taiwan’s Lin Ching-hsia, otherwise known as Brigitte Lin. Another retrospective featured one of cinema’s most celebrated filmmakers, in both fiction and documentary, Werner Herzog, and included 20 of his classic films, a masterclass, and sessions with the public.

      As a teenager, Kevin Ka Ho Tsui studied in England, ultimately graduating from the University of Manchester with a degree in art history. Soon after that he set out on a busking tour. Kevin’s a self-taught musician who learned to play guitar by watching YouTube videos. Since then he’s been writing songs, mainly in English, about daily life in Hong Kong, songs such as “Tai Po”, “Kowloon City”, “Sham Shui Po” and “Let’s Head to Lan Kwai Fong”. He’s here to talk about his upcoming projects.

    • Christopher Wool,

      Christopher Wool, "Intimate Encounters" from MK Lau collection, Dale Chihuly & in the studio: Jabin Law

      With Art Basel and Art Central just over, there are still many exhibitions worth catching up on, but at least now you might have a little more time to relax, take a deep breath, and listen to some interesting local music. “But Tonight, the Boulevard is Mine” is a new album from locally-based singer-songwriter Jabin Law. Jabin will be in the studio later to tell us more.

      But first, visual art, and hedge fund billionaire J. Tomilson “Tom” Hill is no stranger to Hong Kong. His business often brings him here. He’s also an avid art collector who, during Art Basel, opened an exhibition: “Christopher Wool: Highlights from the Hill Art Collection” at H Queen’s Atrium. Hill says the exhibition, which showcases 15 paintings and works from his collection, is a taster for the opening of the Hill Art Foundation’s first permanent exhibition and education space in New York this September.

      Long before cinema, or even comic strips, Chinese paiuinters found a way to impart a sense of passing time in the art of the handscroll, traditionally unrolled and viewed from right to left, inviting the viewer on an interactive journey. Until April 5th, you can see examples of this, as well as a selection of albums and paintings from the MK Lau Collection, at PMQ. The exhibition includes 50 paintings, handscrolls and albums by such masters as Ding Yanyong, Zhang Daqian, Pu Ru, Lu Yanshao, and more.

      Now in his seventies, American artist Dale Chihuly is known for his techniques with blown glass and has been credited with "moving it into the realm of large-scale sculpture." Throughout his 50-year career, he and a dedicated team have taken glass as a medium from the realms of craft to fine art. Now in his seventies, American artist Dale Chihuly is known for his techniques with blown glass and has been credited with "moving it into the realm of large-scale sculpture." Throughout his 50-year career, he and a dedicated team have taken glass as a medium from the realms of craft to fine art.

      Jabin Law began giving live public performances in 2012. He released his double disc demo album “Day and Night” two years later. This month he’s releasing a new album: “But Tonight, The Boulevard is Mine”. There’s no CD version though. Instead, he’s released a booklet that contains a scratch card and a redemption code allowing you to download the entire album as from April 6th. He’s here now to tell us more.

    • NGO artspace Spring Workshop takes a break, Face-off: Picasso/Condo & jazz singer Kylie Estrela

      NGO artspace Spring Workshop takes a break, Face-off: Picasso/Condo & jazz singer Kylie Estrela

      There’s no need for us to remind lovers of the arts, the visual arts in particular, that this is the month we’re spoiled for choice. With Art Basel starting next week, galleries, auction houses and other art organisations are putting their best feet forward. Many exhibitions are open only for a short time, and we’ll be reporting on the major exhibitions and more over the coming few weeks, bringing you some you might otherwise have missed. That includes one that we’re featuring in part two, an exhibition of portrait paintings by Pablo Picasso and George Condo side by side.

      But first, the non-profit art space Spring Workshop opened in 2012 in Wong Chuk Hang. Its founder Mimi Brown devised it as a platform and laboratory for exchange, particularly between music and the other arts.

      In terms of his artistic style, Pablo Picasso was a restless soul, moving from one approach to another on a regular basis. Apart from his Cubist works there were others in a variety of styles and techniques, including pen drawings, collages, prints, and sculpture. Many works were portraits of people he knew. Contemporary American artist George Condo also frequently focuses on portraits, in pieces that are part of an ongoing dialogue with art-historical traditions, including the work of Picasso. You can see an exhibition of their works side by side until the end of this month at Sotheby’s Hong Kong Gallery: “Face-Off: Picasso / Condo”.

      Local musician, Kylie Estrela is not only passionate about music but also a lover of theatre and musicals. That passion took her to Paris to study voice performance and choreographic theatre, including the techniques and approach of vocalist Roy Hart. Since 2010, Kylie’s been focusing on jazz and touring China with big bands. She’s with us now.

    • "Hi Hill" project in Chuen Lung Village & in our studio: guitarist Julia Lange

      Last year we featured the “Hi! Houses” project, a public art project organised by the Art Promotion Office. It involved local artists creating site-specific works in four historical Hong Kong buildings. This year, the project, under a slightly different name, is centred on a Hakka village in Tsuen Wan. “Hi! Hill” has invited 13 artists to Chuen Lung Village in Tsuen Wan to create art in relationship to our land.

      The 19-year-old German guitarist Julia Lange plays acoustic fingerstyle guitar, and sometimes combines both classical and contemporary music. She gave her first solo public concert at 15, has toured Chile with the Youth-Guitar-Orchestra of Baden-Württemberg, has been invited to perform in music festivals, and has also acquired an enthusiastic considerable following on social media. She plays renowned guitar classics, transcriptions of more contemporary songs, and her own compositions. Julia’s with us right now.