監製:Diana Wan


    After spending most of the term learning from home, Hong Kong’s secondary school students began returning to classes at the end of last month. Primary school children returned to school at the beginning of this month. Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, many students have had to learn online. But some subjects can be understood better by collaborating with other parties, or participating in community projects in different neighbourhoods.

    Parasite Art Space’s exhibition “Garden of Six Seasons” was set to open two months ago, but, like many other events, was delayed by the pandemic. A precursor to the Kathmandu Triennale in December, the show opened last month and spanned two venues, one in Sheung Wan and one in Quarry Bay, showcasing works by 40 international artists. The title of the exhibition comes from a real garden in Kathmandu known as the, “Garden of Dreams”. Created 100 years ago as an Edwardian Neo-Classical Garden, it has gone through changes with the rest of its surroundings. Not only have the original six pavilions been reduced to three, the Kathmandu Valley’s former six seasons have been transformed by climate change to just four.

    When pianist Joyce Cheung last came to our studio three months ago, she talked about an upcoming crowdfunded music project, Ginger Muse that she and fellow musicians were putting together. Focusing on musicians from different disciplines, it aimed to present innovative and experimental music programmes. Now the project is under way, and the founders are here to tell us more.

    One of Hong Kong's most iconic contemporary artists Gaylord Chan passed away at St. Teresa's Hospital on 22nd June at the age of 95.

    聯絡: wanyt@rthk.hk


    • Print-on-demand, artist Mit Jai Inn & in the studio: Cong Quartet performing Beethoven

      Print-on-demand, artist Mit Jai Inn & in the studio: Cong Quartet performing Beethoven

      For new writers, or writers with a niche audience, if can be a problem that the mainstream publishing industry favours those who are already well known or likely to return the highest revenue. J. K. Rowling for example will certainly get more prominent bookstore displays, a larger print-run, and much more intense marketing than you or me. For first time authors, the difficulties of getting published can be daunting. But publishing is changing. And new technologies like print-on-demand and direct-to-consumer sales make it easier for any of us to get into print.

      The largely youth-led protest in Thailand that started last July and lasted for six months not only sparked unprecedented political debate but also defied taboos. Thousands of protesters took to the street and demanded the resignation of Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha’s administration, constitutional changes and reforms of the monarchy. The Rossi Rossi Gallery is currently featuring the exhibition “Royal Marketplace” the title of which is inspired by “The Royalist Marketplace”, a Facebook group set up in April 2020 to discuss the Thai monarchy freely. The works, by Thai artist Mit Jai Inn, are not explicitly political in nature but, says the gallery, they honour resistance against unchecked power through the artist’s use of colour, the hybridity of their form and the untraditional ways they are displayed.

      Last year, the 250th anniversary of the birth of Ludwig van Beethoven, was going to be a big year in Bonn, Germany. The German government had earmarked 27 million euros for some 300 projects planned to celebrate the master. But then came Covid-19, and so the events are now rescheduled for this year. Two weeks ago, when the Cong Quartet came to the studio to tell us about a planned recital at the Museum of Art, they performed some Haydn for us. But in honour of the maestro’s anniversary, they also recorded a piece by Beethoven while they were here. We are bringing you that this week, along with some highlights from their rescheduled recital, which took place online last Sunday.

    • Artist Bouie Choi & Tribute to musician and filmmaker Joshua Wong

      Artist Bouie Choi & Tribute to musician and filmmaker Joshua Wong

      Artist Bouie Choi’s works incorporate painting, video documentation and mixed media. In recent years, her work has examined such issues as the colonial past of Hong Kong, the environment, and social values. The Karin Weber Gallery is currently featuring the group exhibition, “Now Showing”, in which eleven local artists have created pieces centred on a film of their own choice. Choi is one of them.

      Covid-19 made 2020 a challenging year for most of us, and we are all hoping that with the availability of vaccines this year, and inoculations already underway in some places, 2021 will take a turn for the better. But 2020 has brought us much sad news in the cultural sphere, including news of the death in the United Kingdom, on December 28th, of the world-renowned Chinese-born British pianist Fou Ts’ong. He was 86. Fou was highly regarded for his interpretations of Chopin’s music. Here in Hong Kong, we lost another considerable creative talent in the form of musician and film-maker Joshua Wong. The Works first featured Joshua and his band Noughts and Exes in 2010 and has followed his career with interest ever since. He is also the band leader of Whence He Came.

      Not only did Noughts and Exes visit our studio, in 2013, the day after his wedding, Joshua came to perform with the band at our outdoor concert in Kwun Tong. He was also a filmmaker and, for many, as for our very own Ben Tse, a long-time friend. In March 2018, shortly after his 40th birthday, Josh was diagnosed with a vicious and rare form of cancer. Since then, Josh not only fought the illness and even lost an eye because of it, he also continued to create, make music, make a feature film, and live life to the full.

    • Exhibition

      Exhibition "On the Brink of Borrowed Time: To Stay / To Flee" & in the studio: Cong Quartet

      Looking back at 2020 as we are about to enter a hopefully more positive 2021, for Hong Kong this has been a year like no other. One way or another, the Covid-19 pandemic has affected us all. Although there is good news about the Covid-19 vaccines, new variants of the virus are still raising concerns. And then there are the social and political pressures that still worry many. For much of the territory’s history, many of those who have come here have seen Hong Kong as a temporary stop on a road to somewhere else. Others have settled and taken pride in their identity as Hongkongers. But Hong Kong has often been buffeted by storms, both literal and metaphorical, and – as one recently finished exhibition at the Hong Kong Arts Centre highlighted - each storm has led its residents to once again ask the recurring question: should I stay or should I go?

      The Cong Quartet was formed by four friends at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music in 2015. The quartet, with a slightly changed line up, is currently the Ensemble-in-Residence at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. They have also been supported by the Hong Kong Art Development Council’s Emerging Artists’ Scheme and participated as an ensemble at the Netherlands String Quartet Academy in Amsterdam. Recently, they returned to Hong Kong for a recital organised by the Museum of Art. Unfortunately, thanks to Covid-19, the physical concert cannot go ahead, but the recital will be streamed online.

    • HKMoA‘s two new exhibitions, Stephen Thorpe & in the studio: Rachel Cheung & Apollo Wong

      HKMoA‘s two new exhibitions, Stephen Thorpe & in the studio: Rachel Cheung & Apollo Wong

      Merry Christmas! Although museums are closed, we did recently manage to make a visit to the Museum of Art to film two major exhibitions of Chinese paintings and calligraphy. And of course we took our cameras with us.

      Shortly before social-distancing and public gathering rules were tightened up again late last month, organisers were able to go ahead with a physical art fair, Fine Art Asia.
      Some overseas artists managed to attend the fair despite the obstacles posed by the coronavirus. One of those who came was British artist Stephen Thorpe, who was here to open his first exhibition in Hong Kong at the Ora-Ora Gallery. The exhibition, “Semi-conscious”, showcased a new selection of works focusing on the artist’s own mind and the broader “collective unconscious” as affected by social isolation during the Covid-19 pandemic and by the digital technology on which we have come to rely more and more.

      At Christmas most years, performing arts organisations like the Hong Kong Philharmonic and the Hong Kong Ballet put on seasonal concerts and programmes such as “The Nutcracker” ballet. Clearly though, this year is not like most years. Initially planned for the 23rd and 24th December, the HKPhil’s “Christmas Fantasia”, a festive concert including music by Mozart and Handel, Chopin and Tchaikovsky, has had to be cancelled. Nevertheless, pianist Rachel Cheung and conductor Apollo Wong who were set to perform in the programme came to our studio to bring us a taste.

    • "Memories to Choke On, Drinks to Wash Them Down", Blindspot Gallery & Cellist Calvin Wong

      In a few of our earlier programmes, The Works has looked at changes in the old mostly working-class neighbourhood of Sham Shui Po. Today, thanks to its comparatively low rents, artists, culture workers, entrepreneurs and other businesses have moved into the neighbourhood, making it one of Hong Kong’s hippest places to be. With that has inevitably come a degree of gentrification and rising prices. For those who have long lived there, the district is still brings together old and new. One director couple has decided to dedicate a film to a few of the neighbourhood’s vibrant lives and stories.

      In a group exhibition at Blindspot Gallery, “The Palm at the End of the Mind” three artists, Lau Hok-shing, So Wing-Po and Zhang Ruyi explore the idea of the senses and feeling through sculptural objects and installations. Regular viewers of the show will recognise the Chinese medicine inspired works of So Wing-po, as well as Lau Hok-shing’s sculptural pieces the echo the rocks traditionally appreciated by Chinese scholar’s rocks. Meanwhile, mainland artist Zhang Ruyi’s sound installation incorporates a collection of audio recordings made in Shanghai construction sites.

      After studying at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, Hong Kong cellist Calvin Wong went on to take a master’s degree at the Frankfurt University of Music and Performing Arts. He is now based in Germany and often performs both there and in Italy as a soloist. He recently returned to Hong Kong for a cello recital scheduled for this week at the Asia Society Hong Kong Centre. The programme was to include festive music by Bach, Richard Strauss, Schubert and Bright Sheng. Due to Covid-19, that concert is being postponed. But earlier this week, Calvin came to our studio.

    • Fine Art Asia 2020 & in the studio: pianist Melodie Wong

      Fine Art Asia 2020 & in the studio: pianist Melodie Wong

      As the colder weather takes hold, many parts of the world are seeing record numbers of new coronavirus cases. Many places are imposing lockdowns. Hong Kong is braving a fourth wave of Covid-19, with many cases originating in dance studios. Stricter social-distancing rules have been imposed, with heavier fines payable for breaking them. Schools and entertainment venues are closed, and restaurants are having to close earlier. Since January this year, many cultural events such as art fairs and performances have been cancelled or postponed. Despite that, just before the current stringent regulations were introduced, one physical art fair, Fine Art Asia 2020 did manage to take place.

      Pianist Melodie Wong trained in piano and vocal performance at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts. She went on to New York University to pursue a master’s degree and taught in the city for three years. Last year, she decided to come back to Hong Kong and has recently released a new EP. Earlier this month, she came to our studio to tell us more.

    • Artist Leung Chi-wo, Takesada Matsutani & in the studio: Windpipe Chinese Music Ensemble

      Artist Leung Chi-wo, Takesada Matsutani & in the studio: Windpipe Chinese Music Ensemble

      Covid-19 has confined many of us to our homes for much of this year. It can wear you down. City-dwellers as far apart as New York, London and Paris are rethinking whether they really want to live in cramped city spaces or move to the countryside for more space and cleaner air. For those of us living in Hong Kong, one of the world’s most densely populated cities, space is a luxury that many cannot afford. Recent political uncertainties have also led many to reflect on the idea of home and where that home might be. In his latest project, “Home and Nonhome” artist Leung Chi-wo explores the physical and emotional side of our most intimate environment.

      We have introduced the Japanese post-war radical art collective Gutai to you on earlier episodes of The Works. Takesada Matsutani was a key member of the “second generation” of the collective, the Gutai Art Association, from the early 1960s into the 1970s. For 60 years, he has been using unique techniques and materials that include pouring vinyl glue and inflating it by blowing air into it. Matsutani was initially inspired to create his signature circular and blob-like forms by blood samples he had seen through a microscope in the laboratory of a friend in the 1960s. His first Hong Kong exhibition at Hauser and Wirth features a new series of mixed-media paintings, works on paper and a site-specific installation.

      In the 1930s and 1940s, a new form of music flourished in Hong Kong and Guangdong. It was known as “spirit music”, and combined Western and jazz styles, and instruments such as the xylophone, violin, saxophone and drums, with Chinese instruments like the erhu. Musically, as the genre developed in the 1920s, it incorporated both tunes from Cantonese opera and newly written pieces. The lively and upbeat music became popular in teahouses, dance halls and nightclubs. It is not such a well-known style of music today, but there are still scholars and musicians who play it, as Billy Lee, from our sister programme 藝坊星期天 has been finding out.

    • CUHK Fine Arts Grad Show

      CUHK Fine Arts Grad Show "Elaine Elaine", Adia Millett & in the studio: Ponte Orchestra

      Last week, billionaire and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates said that he believes more than 50% of business travel and 30% of office life will disappear in the post-Covid-19 world. There is certainly no doubt that for now our work and travel activities remain severely restricted. Given this new normal, the European Union Office in Hong Kong and Macao and the German Consulate General Hong Kong recently joined forces to organise a music programme hoping to, at least temporarily, take audiences to places they can’t otherwise reach.

      The fallout from this year’s Covid-19 pandemic and last year’s social unrest has been particularly disruptive for students. Classes have been stopped intermittently, and not everyone has equal access to online learning. These interruptions have made life particularly hard for those who need physical access to facilities and equipment to complete their work, such as students of art or other creative subjects. And the students, particularly in places like the Chinese University of Hong Kong and the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, have also had the psychological effects of those factors to face.

      Adia Millett is an American multi-media artist who incorporates quilting, painting, stitching, woodwork and diorama creation. In her first exhibition in Hong Kong, “A Matter of Time” at Galerie du Monde, Millett uses colourful hues, lines, shapes, patterns and textures to encourage viewers to construct their own meaning during committed moments spent experiencing her work.

    • Milk tea culture, Korean artist Han Youngwook & in the studio: pianist Jamie Shum

      Milk tea culture, Korean artist Han Youngwook & in the studio: pianist Jamie Shum

      Cha chaan teng culture is a subject particularly close to the hearts of many Hongkongers. Freshly brewed coffee is certainly making inroads into Hong Kong, but there are still plenty of people who like to drink Hong Kong-style milk tea, also known as “silk-stocking milk tea”, with their breakfast or with egg tarts and other favourites in the afternoon. Of course, there is a long tradition of tea-drinking in China, but Hong Kong-style milk tea grew out of the British tradition of afternoon tea. It has gone through changes though. Here, black tea is usually taken with evaporated or condensed milk and a variety of very Cantonese snacks.

      At the Whitestone Gallery you can see a series of large-scale works by Korean artist Han Youngwook in the exhibition “Face”, his first solo exhibition in Hong Kong. The large portraits, sometimes alternative portraits of the same person in different moods, combine paint with scratches and other indents on aluminium, to reflect on aspects of the human condition. Han draws his inspiration from real life and from the internet, but once he has chosen a person’s image, he explores the person’s qualities, combining his own perception and creativity to reveal what he sees as the true character of the human figures and the human condition.

      Pianist Jamie Shum earned her music degree at Hong Kong Baptist University before going on to obtain a Master of Music degree in Piano Performance and Literature at Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. This Thursday at City Hall she’s giving a recital that spans the 19th and 20th centuries with music from Chopin, Liszt, Rachmaninov, and Prokofiev. She came to our studio to tell us more.

    • "Late Night Series Art X — Tender is the Night", Henry Shum & in the studio: Bobby Cheng

      "Do not go gently into that good night, Old age should burn and rave at close of day; Rage, rage against the dying of the light." Dylan Thomas’s poem is just one of many works in which artists have drawn inspiration from the night or used it as a metaphor. Like every major city, Hong Kong has its fair share of insomniacs and night owls.
      They, in particular, may be happy to know that from Friday to Sunday, the Hong Kong Arts Centre is presenting a series of nocturnally-oriented events in “Late Night Series Art X — Tender is the Night”.

      The vortex is the spiral or even whirlpool-like structure that often appears in nature in the movement of liquids and gases. As, for instance, when you stir milk into your tea or coffee. In the 18th century, artists and thinkers like William Blake and Rene Descartes – inspired by discoveries of spiral shapes of galaxies – also saw vortices as having philosophical, and even religious significance. "Vortices" are the subject, and the title, of the first solo exhibition of Hong Kong-based painter Henry Shum at Empty Gallery. It is on until the 21st November, and includes a mural and a group of interconnected oil paintings.

      Since graduating from the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, oboist Bobby Cheng has been on a musical journey that’s taken him to numerous local and international music competitions, and performances with world renowned orchestras and at music festivals. He’s currently Principal Oboist in the Orchestre national du Capitole de Toulouse in France. He is currently in Hong Kong for a recital at the Hong Kong City Hall.