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    監製:Diana Wan

    12/02/2020

    In last week’s show we talked about the effect the current coronavirus outbreak is having on art and cultural events and looked at the threat it poses to many planned mega events in Hong Kong’s Arts Month of March. Last week, after a long period of uncertainty, Art Basel finally announced it’s cancelling its Hong Kong event. As the virus continues to spread, it has forced many art organisations, including the City Contemporary Dance Company, to cancel or suspend events that they’ve been preparing for at least a year. And that’s not the only problem they face.

    As we saw in part one, both Art Basel Hong Kong and Art Central announced last week that their fairs were being cancelled due to the outbreak and spread of the new coronavirus. On Monday, the Hong Kong Arts Festival also announced the effective cancellation of this year’s festival. That will affect more than 120 performances and other related events. The festival’s Executive Director, Tisa Ho is here to tell us more.


    聯絡: wanyt@rthk.hk


    集數

    EPISODES
    • Difficulties art & culture groups face when trying to register as a society & in the studio: pianist Lance Mok

      Difficulties art & culture groups face when trying to register as a society & in the studio: pianist Lance Mok

      As we’ve previously reported the Covid-19 pandemic has led to tough times for many in the arts and culture sector. Although the government has allocated $150 million from the “Anti-epidemic Fund” to help the sector, a fair number of people aren’t eligible to apply. Although the second phase of the fund does cover freelance workers, they have to have contributed to the Mandatory Provident Fund in 2019 in order to apply for a $7,500 subsidy. Established organisations can apply in the first phase. But some organisations are saying it’s too hard to get official recognition, in the form of registration, in the first place. And that has effects not only on funding but also – they say - on their democratic rights.

      "Here will we sit, and let the sounds of music Creep in our ears: soft stillness and the night Become the touches of sweet harmony.” Shakespeare wrote many lines, like that one from “The Merchant of Venice”, praising music. Many of his plays contain songs and dances, Lance Mok, a London-based pianist-composer who recently returned to Hong Kong is here to talk about a project to combine the words of Shakespeare’s complete sonnets with music. Based in London and Hong Kong pianist-composer Lance Mok has a broad performance repertoire that ranges from Bach to Ligeti. He likes to juxtapose relatively unknown pieces with more popular works. Also an active composer, Lance is now working on a project to create song cycles out of William Shakespeare’s complete sonnets. He’s here to tell us more, along with a former guest of The Works, harmonicist Gordon Lee.

      27/05/2020
    • Ceramics space: Mudheytong Gallery, HK Human Rights Arts Prize & in the studio: guitarist Alan Cheung

      Ceramics space: Mudheytong Gallery, HK Human Rights Arts Prize & in the studio: guitarist Alan Cheung

      The old and working-class district of Sham Shui Po has now become a hip and creative area. As The Works has highlighted in past programmes, many artists, art galleries and spaces, design workshops, boutiques and cafes have all decided to set up shop there due to the relatively affordable rent. One new enterprise in the neighbourhood is Mudheytong Gallery. The three Hong Kong ceramic artists who founded the space say they hope not only to promote the art but also to engage the community.

      Established in 2013 by Justice Centre Hong Kong, the annual Hong Kong Human Rights Arts Prize honours artists who explore human rights issues both locally and internationally. Six prizes were awarded this year. The winning works are on show at the Goethe-Institut Hong Kong until 6th June.

      Guitarist Alan Cheung draws on both rock and metal music for his influences. He played in the local progressive metal band, “Mystic Dream” until it was disbanded in 2012.
      He recently released a new single, “Betray the Truth” that he says took him three months to write and record. He’s here to tell us more, about that piece and about his work in general.

      20/05/2020
    • Hong Kong Open Printshop, Hong Kong International Photo Festival & in the studio: pianist Vanessa Wong

      Hong Kong Open Printshop, Hong Kong International Photo Festival & in the studio: pianist Vanessa Wong

      With the development of technologies such ink-jet printing, laser printing, and even 3D printing, the more traditional and handmade printing arts have become harder to find, and even practice. Founded 20 years ago, the Hong Kong Open Printshop is a non-profit organisation dedicated to promoting artisan printing.

      The annual Hong Kong International Photo Festival was started in 2010 by the Hong Kong Photographic Culture Association. Each edition focuses on a different theme. This year, the theme and the title is “Seen & Unseen”. The festival’s running until June despite the coronavirus outbreak, even though exhibitions focusing on photographer Robert Frank and publisher of photographic books Gerhard Steidl have been delayed until next year. The festivals “Photographer Incubator Project” is a mentorship programme to foster emerging photographers. As part of that programme, two exhibitions at Parallel Space in Sham Shui Po, feature works by Alex Chung and Jimi Tsang that highlight Hong Kong’s changes from the colonial era to the recent social unrest.

      Anti-pandemic measures may have been relaxed a little in Hong Kong but it’s still not business as usual for many in the art and cultural sector. The Leisure and Cultural Services Department may have reopened the Museum of Art, but its performance venues remain closed. Pianist Vanessa Wong was initially scheduled to give a concert with the Hong Kong Children’s Symphony Orchestra at the Hong Kong City Hall last month. It’s now postponed to September. She’s here now to tell us more about the show, in which she’ll be playing Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3.

      13/05/2020
    • Visual art teaching materials for the visually impaired, Andrew Luk's

      Visual art teaching materials for the visually impaired, Andrew Luk's "Shifting Landscapes" & in the studio: indie band, Mr Koo

      Covid-19 has forced schools and universities to close their physical classrooms. Many students continue to learn through online classes. But for visually impaired students, the situation brings extra challenges. The Beyond Vision Projects, a social enterprise that designs tactile teaching materials, is helping to overcome some of those challenges.

      With two of the main events in Hong Kong’s Art March cancelled due to the coronavirus, some galleries are rearranging previously planned showcases. The De Sarthe gallery, which originally intended to show works by Hong Kong-based artist Andrew Luk and post-war master Chu The-chun at Art Basel, is now exhibiting them in their Ap Lei Chau space. “Shifting Landscapes” showcases sculptural installations in which Andrew Luk’s large-scale suspended orb-like objects explore the relationship between humanity and the natural world. On the other side of the gallery, Chu The-chun’s expressive brush strokes integrate traditional Chinese landscape painting techniques with Western abstraction.

      The four-member indie band Mr Koo got together in New York. As their roots were in Hong Kong, the band members eventually came back here. Focusing on a mixture of surf rock and blues, the band released its debut EP, “Tropical Weather” in 2017. They also released a new single at the end of March. They’re here to tell us more.

      06/05/2020
    • Tai Yip Art Bookshop, contemporary ink @Alisan Fine Art & in the studio: singer-songwriter Tomii Chan

      Tai Yip Art Bookshop, contemporary ink @Alisan Fine Art & in the studio: singer-songwriter Tomii Chan

      bookstores in Hong Kong, particularly independent bookstores, have become increasingly rare. Even many international chain stores have either closed in recent years or cut their outlets to just a very few shops. Bookshops focusing on art books are even more of a niche.

      Alisan Fine Arts gallery is one of the few in Hong Kong that focuses on ink art. It particularly specialises in works by some of the masters of Hong Kong’s Ink movement. “Contemporary Forms of Ink Painting”, its current exhibition at its Aberdeen Gallery, juxtaposes works by ink master Walasse Ting with those of American photographer Michael Cherney, mainland Chinese artists Zhang Yu, Nan Qi, Lan Zhenghui, and Zhang Yirong, and Hong Kong sculptor Kum Chi-keung.

      Singer-songwriter Tomii Chan’s musical influences include blues, soul, traditional American country music, rock, and other progressive forms. His 2017 debut album “Arrays” showcases some of these influences. His second album, which is self-produced, focuses more on blues. He’s with us now to introduce a song he created just last month.

      29/04/2020
    • Artist Angel Hui using toilet paper to create art, Elaine Wong's photography & in the studio: jazz duo Zoe Ng & Preston Lau

      Artist Angel Hui using toilet paper to create art, Elaine Wong's photography & in the studio: jazz duo Zoe Ng & Preston Lau

      When the Covid-19 reached Hong Kong at the end of January, rumours of potential shortages of everyday items caused an epidemic of its own, an epidemic of panic buying of daily necessities such as rice, sanitising products, tissue and toilet paper. For a couple of weeks, these goods were in short supply. Artist Angel Hui wasn’t part of the panic buying, but she does have a large stockpile of one of those much coveted everyday necessities. Tissue paper is, for her, a vital part of her work.

      The coronavirus has changed many aspects of our lives. How permanent those changes will be remains to be seen. The impact that disruption of our daily lives and realities has on our feelings and imagination is the theme of Elaine Wong’s solo exhibition at Lumenvisum: “The Ashes of Tomorrow”. In the words of the artist, the experimental photos and videography “are developed through experimental exercises to investigate the relationship of movement and time in images, light and space.”

      Saxophonist Zoe Ng and music producer Preston Lau come from different musical backgrounds, but jazz has brought them together. For the past few years, the two have been making music together, either performing as a duo or in different jazz bands. Last Friday, they were due to give a concert together, but due to Covid-19, they had to adapt and change the format. They’re here to tell us more.

      22/04/2020
    • SCAD HK closing, Nick Brandt's photography & in the studio: Chinese fusion band, Zenwester

      SCAD HK closing, Nick Brandt's photography & in the studio: Chinese fusion band, Zenwester

      It’s been a tough twelve months for Hong Kong’s education sector. Last year’s social unrest, followed by the January outbreak of Covid-19, forced universities and schools to stop physical classes and conduct as many as they can online. There is even uncertainty about whether the Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education exams will go ahead at the end of this month. For Savannah College of Art & Design’s local branch, SCAD Hong Kong, which has long had difficulties meeting student recruitment targets, this may have compounded its problems. After operating in Hong Kong for ten years, the school announced in March that it’s closing its campus here at the end of May.

      British photographer Nick Brandt’s portfolio centres on the damage human beings are doing to the natural world. Since 2001, he’s been working on a trilogy documenting the increasingly endangered wildlife of East Africa. On show at the Blue Lotus, “Inherit the Dust” conceived in 2014, is an offshoot of that trilogy. For this project, Brandt printed a selection of his images of animals life-size and placed them in now-urban locations that had formerly been their homes.

      The members of the Chinese fusion band Zenwester, set up two years ago, are no strangers to The Works. They were last here during the Lunar New Year celebrations to play us a festive tune. Focusing on combining traditional Chinese instruments and compositions with Western music, the band has created its own unique sound and identity. Zenwester are here to talk to our fellow presenter, Billy Lee about their latest single.

      15/04/2020
    • Art going online & in the studio: singer-songwriter William Elvin

      Art going online & in the studio: singer-songwriter William Elvin

      With much of the world’s population currently quarantining itself in an attempt to reduce the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, many are finding the enforced confinement hard to take. But the arts have, in some ways, come to the rescue. Performers have placed performances online for free, you can watch theatrical productions and concerts on your own monitor or TV, and you can even wander around some of the world’s great art collections. Google Arts & Culture, for example, has teamed up with over 2,500 of the world’s museums and galleries to allow you to take virtual tours from the comfort of your own home. Here in Hong Kong too, art is going online.

      Filipino singer-songwriter William Elvin began writing songs in his teens. He says he writes songs to make sense of life and its absurdities and to find ways to survive. He also writes for stage musicals. William is now based in Hong Kong where he performs with his band, William Elvin and the Circus Tour. He’s here with his new song.

      08/04/2020
    • Art & social issues, Mexican artist Bosco Sodi & a tribute to Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki

      Art & social issues, Mexican artist Bosco Sodi & a tribute to Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki

      Much of the world has come to a standstill as the coronavirus pandemic has spread. Many countries have imposed states of emergency and nationwide lockdowns. Most recently, Europe and the United States have been hit particularly hard. Some heads of state have described COVID-19 as the world’s greatest challenge since World War Two. Hong Kong has been facing not only that challenge, but other social challenges in the past year. In a group exhibition at Karin Weber Gallery, five local artists are reflecting on the role of art in troubled times and whether it has the power to encourage positivity and change.

      Mexican artist Bosco Sodi makes sculptures and paintings using raw pigments and sawdust to create geological textures and portray landscapes and nature. Sodi came to Hong Kong last December and stayed for two weeks to create new works. Until the end of March, the Axel Vervoordt Gallery is presenting his first solo exhibition in Hong Kong, and it’s one that showcases the city’s influence on his work.

      Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki, who died on Sunday at the age of 86, was hailed as one of the greatest composers of our time.
      He also had connections with Hong Kong, having been awarded an honorary fellowship by the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts and appointed as the University of Hong Kong’s 2015 Rayson Huang Fellow. He was here in Hong Kong in 2015 for a lecture-recital at the university, and to conduct his Violin Concerto No. 2 with the Hong Kong Sinfonietta. While he was here, The Works spoke to him.

      01/04/2020
    • Artist Chow Chun-fai & in the studio: pianist Joyce Cheung

      Artist Chow Chun-fai & in the studio: pianist Joyce Cheung

      Artist Chow Chun-fai focuses on his own artistic creation, which has recently highlighted the protests in Hong Kong streets, he's also taking an active role in the development of the SAR’s art and cultural scene.

      Joyce Cheung was classically trained as a pianist and cellist. She also studied electronic composition at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, and - at Berklee College of Music - Film Scoring and Contemporary Writing and Production. As an arranger, she has worked on projects ranging from a pop string quartet to a 100-piece orchestra and choir ensemble. For her master’s degree, Joyce produced four contemporary arrangements of classical pieces under the title “Jazzical”. She’s here now to tell us about the preparations for her upcoming debut album.

      25/03/2020