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    監製:Diana Wan

    27/06/2018

    There’s a strong emphasis on local flavour in the second part of our show today. First, we’ll be looking at Hong Kong’s iconic neon signage as reflected in the work of the Ethiopia-born artist, Awol Erizku. And we’ll have local music, as the indie band, “The Benefactor” will be with us in the studio to tell us more about their newly released mini-album. But first, a trip back in time, to the empires of the Assyrians, the Babylonians, and the Achaemenids. For thousands of years, they dominated the region that’s now often generically described as the Middle East. The History Museum is currently exhibiting 210 objects from these periods found at historic sites such as Nimrud and Nineveh. Most are luxury items that reveal just how the richer and more powerful individuals of the time lived.

    There’s a lot less luxury, and much more down-to-earth everyday life, in the works of artist Wang Yuping, as shown in the solo exhibition “Tedious Paradise” at Tang Contemporary Art. The exhibition showcases work that Wang created on a series of trips to Thailand over more than a decade, as well as sketches from his Beijing-based Beihai Park series.

    For decades, Hong Kong’s brightly coloured neon signs were an indelible part of its streets and culture. The neon boom started in the 1970s, and only began to fade at the turn of this century as the government increased restrictions on signage and LED lighting provided a cheaper alternative. There are still quite a few neon signs left, although their number diminishes by the day. Their iconographic combination of colours, text, graphics and craftsmanship underpins the works of artist Awol Erizku in a current exhibition at Ben Brown Fine Arts.

    The members of the Hong Kong indie quintet “The Benefactor” say they love Brit-pop, and especially the Brit-pop of the 1960s. They got together as a band in 2013, and, collectively are fans of the music of such groups as Blur, Belle and Sebastian and the Beatles. Early this month, “The Benefactor” released their mini-album “Belle Epoque”.
    They’re here to tell us more.


    聯絡: wanyt@rthk.hk


    集數

    EPISODES
    • The Works in Taiwan: Taipei Dangdai & in our studio: pianist Scott MacIsaac

      The Works in Taiwan: Taipei Dangdai & in our studio: pianist Scott MacIsaac

      We take a trip to Taiwan. Many people familiar with modern and contemporary art from Taiwan have come to know it from the Taipei Biennial, the precursors of which were two Taipei Fine Arts Museum exhibition projects held in alternating years from 1984 which were later consolidated. Now Taiwan’s contemporary art has a new major art showcase, Taipei Dangdai, which was held in Taipei last month. Our producer, Yuki Wong went there to find out more.

      Canadian pianist Scott MacIsaac studied music at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and went on to study to become a Master of Music at Yale University. A winner of numerous awards in many competitions, he has performed as a soloist in North America, Asia and Western Europe. The New York Times calls him a pianist with “brio and imagination” and La Presse lauds his playing for its “speed, clarity, breath and musicality.” He was in Hong Kong during the Lunar New Year holidays to visit his grandfather. We took the chance to speak to him.

      13/02/2019
    • CNY Special: Ben Pelletier tours Xiqu Centre, Ben Tse doing Cantonese porcelain, Billy Lee making flower plaque & Zenwester plays 《喜氣洋洋》

      CNY Special: Ben Pelletier tours Xiqu Centre, Ben Tse doing Cantonese porcelain, Billy Lee making flower plaque & Zenwester plays 《喜氣洋洋》

      Kung Hey Fat Choy! Hello and welcome to our Chinese New Year special.

      For today’s show, we’ve been out and about to bring you traditions, handcrafts and programmes that are full of festive flavour. In part two, I’ll be talking to master Wong Nai-chung who teaches me how to make a much scaled down version of the flower plaque. Later in part one though, I visit master Cheung Kam-ping in Tai Kwun to learn a little about the tradition of painting Cantonese porcelain, an art that has fewer and fewer practitioners. And we’re beginning with my trip to the newly-opened Xiqu Centre in the West Kowloon Cultural District, where the district’s Executive Director of Performing Arts Louis Yu took me on a walk around its first performing arts venue to be completed.

      In part one, the Bens were out seeing and celebrating examples of traditional Chinese culture, and now it’s my turn. Chinese flower plaques have long been built to celebrate festivals, weddings and inaugurations. They’re symbols of luck, happiness and prosperity. Master Wong Nai-chung was kind enough to explain a little of the craft to me. Regular viewers of the show will know that most weeks we have music for you. Today is no exception. Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra’s suona principal and guan player Ma Wai-him and his band, “Zenwester” are here to play us a tune that most of you will easily recognise.

      Well that’s it from us for our Lunar New Year special. From all of us on The Works, best wishes for a happy, healthy, rewarding and creative, Year of the Pig.

      06/02/2019
    • Photojournalist Steve Raymer, Gallery Exit: Shek O & studio performance: percussionist Anna Fan

      Photojournalist Steve Raymer, Gallery Exit: Shek O & studio performance: percussionist Anna Fan

      Photojournalist, author and educator Steve Raymer is known for his work with the National Geographic Magazine. His subjects have ranged from the global hunger crisis to the construction of the trans-Alaska oil pipeline and the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan’s capital, Kabul. Raymer has also taught media ethics, newsgathering, and how to report and shoot war and terrorism for over two decades at Indiana University, where he still teaches as an emeritus professor. He recently visited Hong Kong to open an exhibition of his work at the Hong Kong Foreign Correspondents’ Club.

      Gallery Exit is celebrating its tenth anniversary this year. To mark the occasion, the gallery has organised a series of special programmes for the opening of its latest exhibition, “Shek-O Sublime”. 24 artists were commissioned to create new works, spending time in the village of Shek O, to reflect on and connect with the location.
      The exhibition also includes paintings made by the late master Luis Chan in this idyllic place.

      Whether in classical music, pop, world music, or jazz, female drummers have traditionally been a rarity. Even in pop, as recently as the 1960s, women percussionists such as Honey Lantree of the Honeycombs or Karen Carpenter of The Carpenters stood out for their gender. Since then though, female percussionists from Evelyn Glennie to Sheila E have provided new inspiration for young women who’d like to enter the field. Anna Fan studied music at Hong Kong Baptist University. She then went on to spend another six years at Berklee College of Music. Although she focuses on jazz, she’s played with bands whose music ranges from jazz to hard rock, African, and other world music. She’s here right now to tell us more.

      30/01/2019
    • SPARK: Art, Science & Creativity, in the studio: indie band, Chonotenki

      SPARK: Art, Science & Creativity, in the studio: indie band, Chonotenki

      Technology hasn’t just reshaped many aspects of our daily lives, it has also redefined and changed how art is made. Today’s artists may use an array of technological and scientific tools, including lasers, augmented reality, 3D printing, computer programming, robotics and data, to create their works. Last weekend, to celebrate its 70 years in Hong Kong, the British Council organised a three-day festival, “SPARK: The Science and Art of Creativity”. It included more than 30 events, involving roughly 50 creative and education partners from the UK and Hong Kong and bringing together art and science.

      Chonotenki or 超能天氣 is a local alternative band. The four members described it as a “super happy-go-lucky” band that strives to be part of the Hong Kong music scene come rain or shine. Formed in 2016, the band writes its own songs and has put a demo together. They’ll perform at February’s Freespace Happening. They’re here now to tell us more.

      23/01/2019
    • Art Director Tim Yip’s first exhibition in HK, “Blue – Art, Costumes and Memory” & in the studio: Dover Quartet

      Art Director Tim Yip’s first exhibition in HK, “Blue – Art, Costumes and Memory” & in the studio: Dover Quartet

      Stage and film art director and costume designer Tim Yip is known to most people for his work for the film “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”. On show at the Hong Kong Design Institute until the end of March is a large-scale solo exhibition of Yip’s work that showcases 30 years of his artistic endeavours.

      Premiere Performances’ annual chamber music festival, its tenth, starts today. Rechristened Beare's Premiere Music Festival 2019, the nine-day festival includes five concerts and over 15 educational events. Among the highlights are mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato performing her album “In War and Peace”, and a collaboration between Grammy nominated mandolinist, Avi Avital and the Dover Quartet, which has been described by The Chicago Tribune as the next Guarneri String Quartet. The quartet’s four members are with us right now in the studio.

      16/01/2019
    • Literature & art exhibition on food culture, artist Chinyee & Norwegian music: Trondheim Soloists & nyckelharpa player, Emilia Amper

      Literature & art exhibition on food culture, artist Chinyee & Norwegian music: Trondheim Soloists & nyckelharpa player, Emilia Amper

      For many of us the past holiday season was a time to meet friends and families and sit down for a feast, but no matter how much we like eating I wonder how many of us reflected on how closely integrated food and individual cultures are. Given its long history and it’s many different regions and climates, Chinese has a particularly diverse food culture. However, there are underlying foundations such as the “Four States” and the “Five Flavours”. At the Hong Kong Arts Centre until 17th of this month you can visit an exhibition centred on food culture, literature and the visual arts.

      Chinese American artist Chinyee is known for fusing influences from East and West in her abstract paintings. Her brushstrokes are full of colour, spontaneity and fluidity. At 90, Chinyee recently visited Hong Kong to open her exhibition, “Dances of the Inner Being” at Alisan Fine Arts.

      Cellist Trey Lee is constantly on the road, travelling to different parts of the world to play music. But every year for the past six years, he’s dedicated some of his time to returning to Hong Kong to organise his annual music festival, Musicus Fest. In November, he visited The Works studio with guitarist Eugene Pao and treated us to their arrangement of a Piazzolla tango piece. But the four-day festival also featured Scandinavian music, including Norwegian music performed by the Grammy nominated Trondheim Soloists and nyckelharpa player, Emilia Amper.

      09/01/2019
    • Mills:CHAT, Japanese Gutai & in the studio: pianist KJ, Wong Ka-jeng

      Mills:CHAT, Japanese Gutai & in the studio: pianist KJ, Wong Ka-jeng

      Happy New Year! And welcome to the first edition of The Works for 2019! I’m Ben Pelletier. And I’m Ben Tse. Later in the show, helping us to ring in the new year, is pianist Wong Ka-jeng. He’ll be in our studio later to tell us about an upcoming recital. But first, as you may have seen in earlier editions of The Works, in Tsuen Wan a cluster of disused cotton mills owned by the Nan Fung group has been undergoing something of a transformation. The HK$700 million revitalisation project is now complete. And the once desolate factory space has a new lease of life.

      The Gutai group is a radical and avant-garde collective started by a group of young artists in post-war Japan. Founded in Osaka in 1954 by the painter, Jiro Yoshihara, the group is known for its experimental approach in pursuit of individualism and creativity. On show at Whitestone Gallery in Hong Kong until next Saturday, “GUTAI-JIN” showcases paintings and installation works by key members of the Gutai Art Association.

      Pianist Wong Ka-jeng and his brother cellist Wong Ka-lap have visited The Works a few times over the years. One of the brothers studied in England, the other studied in the United States. They haven’t previously performed together in any public concert, but they have, for 2019, decided to put together a one-night-only piano and cello recital.

      02/01/2019
    • Christmas Special: Swedish Winter, The Choir of Merton College of Oxford , saxophonist Calvin Wong & The Fiesta Brass Quintet

      Christmas Special: Swedish Winter, The Choir of Merton College of Oxford , saxophonist Calvin Wong & The Fiesta Brass Quintet

      Merry Christmas! Hello and welcome to our Christmas special! As usual at this time of year, we’re hoping to impart a little Christmas spirit with some live music.
      Bringing us those seasonal tunes later are saxophonist Calvin Wong and the five-member Fiesta Brass Quintet. Although many in the Christian tradition celebrate the birth of Christ on 25th December, historians doubt that this is really the date on which he was born. In Europe it seems likely that the celebration of Christ’s birth was grafted on to pre-Christian midwinter celebrations of merrymaking and feasting. Many Western Christmas customs owe their origins to winter solstice festivals in Scandinavian countries. Father Christmas or St. Nicholas definitely lives in the North, maybe even at the North Pole. In Finland, they say he lives in Lapland, the northern part of the country. In Sweden, Christmas celebrations begin early. 13th December, formerly the Winter Solstice, is now St Lucia’s Day, a major Christmas festival. Earlier this month, we went to this year’s Swedish Winter Carnival to find out more about how they celebrate.

      One of the things that makes Christmas so magical is the music. Christmas hymns were first sung in Latin in churches. Gradually composers in Europe started writing specific Christmas carols, one of the oldest forms of English-language choral music. The Choir of Merton College of Oxford University” is a mixed voice choir made up of thirty undergraduates and postgraduates. Earlier this month they were in Hong Kong for a one-night concert of Christmas songs: “O Holy Night”.

      Welcome back to our Christmas special. And this part of the show is all about the music … with a strong emphasis on the big bold tones of brass. First, a saxophone solo from Calvin Wong who’s going to play us “White Christmas” and “Dance of the Mirlitons”, also known as “Dance of the Reed Pipes”, from Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker”. Calvin has a solo recital today, Boxing Day, at City Hall. If you’re quick enough, you might be able to catch him there to hear more. Here though, from the solo sax we’re moving on to a bigger brass ensemble. The Fiesta Brass Quintet is made up of five young musicians who came together through a public audition process just last year. The group has already performed educational concerts in more than 20 local schools. They’re playing us out today with a Christmas medley. But before that, all of us at The Works would like to say we hope you’ve enjoyed your Christmas so far, and wish you all the best for the coming New Year.

      26/12/2018
    • Interivew with Max Richter & in the studio: tango from Cafe 852

      Interivew with Max Richter & in the studio: tango from Cafe 852

      Later in tonight’s show we’re off to Argentina, in our minds at least, as local ensemble Café 852 takes us back to the cafes and ballrooms of Buenos Aires with a tango song from one of its best known proponents Carlos Gardel. Before the passion of the tango though, a composer whose work has often raised a wide range of music listeners, and even film and TV viewers. German born British composer, Max Richter’s music has been heard in TV series from The “Leftovers" to "Taboo", and in movies from "Shutter Island" to "Mary Queen of Scots". He’s also written ballet, opera, and stage works, and even an eight-and-a-half-hour piece designed to help you sleep. Earlier this month, he came to Hong Kong for two concerts with the Hong Kong Philharmonic, in which he played “Recomposed” a new interpretation of Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons” and his 2002 debut album, “Memoryhouse”.

      Formed in 2016, the locally-based ensemble Café 852 performs Argentine tango and milonga, Eastern European gypsy music, and gypsy-inspired jazz. Whichever form of music it’s playing, the group likes to perform with dancers to recreate the full atmosphere. Early in the week, Café 852 came to our studio and Billy Lee, presenter of our sister programme, 藝坊星期天 talked to them about the sights and sounds of tango.

      19/12/2018
    • Traditional Taiwanese narrative song “Liām Kua” singer, Yang Xiu-qing & in the studio: cellist István Várdai

      Traditional Taiwanese narrative song “Liām Kua” singer, Yang Xiu-qing & in the studio: cellist István Várdai

      Later in the show, multiple award- winning cellist István Várdai is here with us, and he’s brought with him a very special instrument: a 1673 Stradivari cello previously owned by the late great British cellist, Jacqueline du Pré. But before listening to that 345-year-old Stradivari, we’re going to hear a form of folk music from Taiwan that also has a long history. There’s a wide variety of music in Taiwan that ranges from the polyphonic vocals of the island’s indigenous tribes to Western style classics and contemporary pop. Over the centuries, many Chinese migrated to the island. Among their own musical forms, they created Taiwanese opera, also known as Hokkien Opera, particularly popular with the Hakka people. And then, on a somewhat more modest scale, there’s the art of the traditional Taiwanese narrative song “Liām Kua”, usually played by a single performer.

      Hungarian cellist István Várdai has been awarded Gold Medals at both the International Cello Competition in Geneva and the ARD Competition in Munich. He studied at the Franz Liszt Academy in Budapest and in Vienna. Since then, at 33, he has appeared internationally with many impressive orchestras and conductors.
      He plays a 1673 Stradivari cello, one of fewer than 65 in existence from the legendary instrument-maker, and one that was once owned by one of the most celebrated 20th century cellists, the late Jacqueline du Pré. Várdai says he feels the instrument was “made for eternity” and that it helped him to find his voice as a musician. He’s here to tell us more.

      12/12/2018