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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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    监制: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 RTHK 31 & 31A every Wednesday at 17:30, and a repeat every Thursday at 06:30 & Saturday at 18:30.

    Archive available later after broadcast. ** Please note that the programme air-time on TV is different with webcast time.



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    25/07/2018

    The theme of the 29th annual Hong Kong Book Fair, which started last Wednesday, is “Romance Literature”, but you’d better not write about sex too explicitly, maybe even more so if you’re a Japanese author on record as having sided with Hong Kong’s protesters for democratic reform. Hong Kong’s Obscene Articles Tribunal has given Haruki Murakami’s “Killing Commendatore” a Class two “indecent rating” and the fair’s organisers have asked exhibitors to remove it from display. Hong Kong’s public libraries are also limiting its loan to readers over 18. In recent days the OAT has also defined adult periodical Lung Fu Pao and a photo book by model Ealies Chau as class two publications. One person whose work has not been restricted is writer Quannan Shum, even though romance, love and eroticism are recurring themes in his writing. One of his novels, “Season with Lusts”, first published in 1984, has now been reprinted with illustrations by Montagut Chuen.

    There’s been another controversy involving the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority, this time over the fact that it had directly paid subcontractors working on building the M+ museum on behalf of its financially-troubled main contractor Hsin Chong Construction without first consulting the legislature. Lawmakers are calling for a special meeting in the Legislative Council to look into the matter. M+ is scheduled to open next year, two years behind its original schedule. A smaller venue, M+ Pavilion, used for exhibitions, opened two years ago. On show there until the end of September is a selection from its Southeast Asian art collections.

    Chinese landscape painting of the Song, Ming and Qing periods presented idealised landscapes incorporating elements such as water, lofty mountains, stones, gardens, animals, and literary gatherings. The paintings embody their creators’ longing to escape from worldly pressures and retreat into nature.
    But what role does Chinese landscape painting play in the modern world? On show at Hanart TZ Gallery until the end of August, “Luo Ying: Layered Hills” showcases over 50 works by the contemporary Chinese landscape painter.

    Hong Kong has one of the world’s longest urban life expectancies, at 81.3 years for men and 87.3 years for women, although there’s some controversy about comparing the population of a developed city with that of entire countries. And the percentage of older people in the community is growing fast. But Hong Kong’s senior citizens are also a creative resource and a reservoir of memory.

    Well, that’s it from us for this week and in fact for this series. We’ll take a short summer break and will be back at the end of September. See you then.

    重温

    CATCHUP
    05 - 07
    2018
    RTHK 31
    • Quanan Shum's

      Quanan Shum's "Season With Lusts", M+ Southeast Asia, Luo Ying's ink painting & elderly theatre

      The theme of the 29th annual Hong Kong Book Fair, which started last Wednesday, is “Romance Literature”, but you’d better not write about sex too explicitly, maybe even more so if you’re a Japanese author on record as having sided with Hong Kong’s protesters for democratic reform. Hong Kong’s Obscene Articles Tribunal has given Haruki Murakami’s “Killing Commendatore” a Class two “indecent rating” and the fair’s organisers have asked exhibitors to remove it from display. Hong Kong’s public libraries are also limiting its loan to readers over 18. In recent days the OAT has also defined adult periodical Lung Fu Pao and a photo book by model Ealies Chau as class two publications. One person whose work has not been restricted is writer Quannan Shum, even though romance, love and eroticism are recurring themes in his writing. One of his novels, “Season with Lusts”, first published in 1984, has now been reprinted with illustrations by Montagut Chuen.

      There’s been another controversy involving the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority, this time over the fact that it had directly paid subcontractors working on building the M+ museum on behalf of its financially-troubled main contractor Hsin Chong Construction without first consulting the legislature. Lawmakers are calling for a special meeting in the Legislative Council to look into the matter. M+ is scheduled to open next year, two years behind its original schedule. A smaller venue, M+ Pavilion, used for exhibitions, opened two years ago. On show there until the end of September is a selection from its Southeast Asian art collections.

      Chinese landscape painting of the Song, Ming and Qing periods presented idealised landscapes incorporating elements such as water, lofty mountains, stones, gardens, animals, and literary gatherings. The paintings embody their creators’ longing to escape from worldly pressures and retreat into nature.
      But what role does Chinese landscape painting play in the modern world? On show at Hanart TZ Gallery until the end of August, “Luo Ying: Layered Hills” showcases over 50 works by the contemporary Chinese landscape painter.

      Hong Kong has one of the world’s longest urban life expectancies, at 81.3 years for men and 87.3 years for women, although there’s some controversy about comparing the population of a developed city with that of entire countries. And the percentage of older people in the community is growing fast. But Hong Kong’s senior citizens are also a creative resource and a reservoir of memory.

      Well, that’s it from us for this week and in fact for this series. We’ll take a short summer break and will be back at the end of September. See you then.

      25/07/2018
    • Mills 6 : CHAT Go! Let's build a textile village, Iznik ceramics, sound art: installation

      Mills 6 : CHAT Go! Let's build a textile village, Iznik ceramics, sound art: installation "Unless" & Gaybird Leung

      Hello and welcome to The Works. I’m Ben Tse, on my own today as Ben Pelletier is on his travels.

      On earlier episodes of The Works we’ve already featured the revitalisation of the former Nam Fung Textiles mills in Tsuen Wan as an arts and culture space. Construction work is still in progress, but the space is taking shape, and art programmes that engage the community have been under way for the past two years.

      The town of Iznik in Turkey is known for its decorated pottery, highly coloured and emphasising, in particular, cobalt blue patterns under a colourless glaze. The tradition started in the last quarter of the 15th century but had diminished and practically disappeared by the end of the 17th century. But Iznik pottery is still a source of inspiration, and until the middle of August, the University of Hong Kong’s University Museum and Art Gallery is presenting 40 ceramic works by Turkish artists Mehmet Gursoy and Nida Olcar that fuse the tradition with contemporary design.

      Swiss artist, musician and director, Dimitri de Perrot explores the perception of speed and time in sound through different forms, including theatre, music and art works.
      His installation, “Unless”, currently in a busy shopping mall in Causeway Bay, invites people to interact with it.

      Leung Kei-cheuk, also known as Gaybird is known for his work in pop music, theatre productions, films, concerts and TV commercials. He has said he doesn’t believe in firm divisions between sound, music, art and technology. His music explores different forms and crosses artistic disciplines and boundaries.

      18/07/2018
    • Theatre production

      Theatre production "Song of Grief", "100 Faces of Tai Kwun" & in the studio: Italian guitar duo "SoloDuo"

      Modern day China is the backdrop for the political thriller, “Song of Grief”, by local theatre company, Cinematic Theatre. It’s the story of what happens when a man with a knife storms into an elite primary school and attacks children. It explores the conflicting motivations of those deciding just how the government should respond to, or cover up, the event and its motivating factors.

      Last week, we looked at contemporary art in Tai Kwun, but of course the police station, court, and prison complex has also been part of its neighbourhood for more than a century and has been a major part of that neighbourhood’s history. The exhibition “100 Faces of Tai Kwun” tells 100 stories of the people who lived, or still live, in the nearby streets.

      The town of Iznik in Turkey is known for its decorated pottery, highly coloured and emphasising, in particular, cobalt blue patterns under a colourless glaze. The tradition started in the last quarter of the 15th century but had diminished and practically disappeared by the end of the 17th century. But Iznik pottery is still a source of inspiration, and until the middle of August, the University of Hong Kong’s University Museum and Art Gallery is presenting 40 ceramic works by Turkish artists Mehmet Gursoy and Nida Olcar that fuse the tradition with contemporary design.

      Now in its third year, the Altamira Hong Kong International Guitar Symposium is a chance for classical guitarists to meet, perform, chat, and explore the heritage and musical range of the instrument. The five-day event includes concerts, forums, and masterclasses, and features over 20 speakers from all over the world.
      Joining us now in the studio are “SoloDuo” from Italy and the symposium’s organiser, Au Man-bun.

      11/07/2018
    • Tai Kwun JC Contemporary, Underground Children Festival, Saxophone Quintet led by Au Yin-tak

      Tai Kwun JC Contemporary, Underground Children Festival, Saxophone Quintet led by Au Yin-tak

      Two weeks ago we took an early look at the newly-opened Tai Kwun, the former police station, court and prison compound that’s now taken on a new life as an art and heritage centre. The space now offers exhibitions, theatre, dance, film, music and lunchtime events for the public to enjoy, as well as several restaurants. Sandwiched in the compound are two new buildings, JC Contemporary and JC Cube. While JC Cube focuses on performance, JC Contemporary is designed to highlight contemporary art, with six to eight exhibitions a year and public programmes.

      Every year, many countries around the world celebrate Children’s Day on one date or another. To add to the confusion, there are about 50 Children’s Days in different places.
      In mainland China it’s on June 1st, here in Hong Kong and in Taiwan it falls on April 4th. It’s fair to say Children’s Day is not given a particularly high profile here, and also that events to celebrate it will inevitably be arranged and dominated by adults. In the exhibition “Underground-children-festival”, jointly presented by Para Site and Goethe-Institut Hong Kong, seven local artists are reflecting on what that implies for children’s rights and autonomy.

      In French, the concept of the term “flânerie” or wandering about aimlessly dates back to the 16th or 17th century. Charles Baudelaire used the word, “flaneur” to refer to an artist who loses himself or herself in the modern metropolis. Five Hong Kong saxophonists are bringing the concept of the flaneur to a recital on Friday. They’re here to tell Billy Lee the presenter of our sister programme 艺坊星期天more about it.

      04/07/2018
    • "An Age of Luxury: the Assyrians to Alexander" from the British Museum, Wang Yuping, Awol Erizku & indie band "The Benefactor"

      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.

      27/06/2018
    • Tai Kwun, Studio performance: jazz quartet, Jazvolution   , Tribute to novelist, Liu Yichang

      Tai Kwun, Studio performance: jazz quartet, Jazvolution , Tribute to novelist, Liu Yichang

      We’re heading to one of the largest heritage revitalisation projects that’s ever been undertaken in Hong Kong. The long-awaited and much-anticipated former police headquarters compound has now been turned into the Tai Kwun Centre for Heritage and Arts. Three groups of buildings in the compound - the Former Central Police Station, Central Magistracy and Victoria Prison - have been declared as monuments since 1995 under the Antiquities and Monuments Ordinance. The Hong Kong Jockey Club took up this massive project in 2007. Lasting over a decade, it involved the conservation and revitalisation of sixteen historic buildings, alongside the construction of two new buildings for art exhibitions and performances, designed by internationally-renowned Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron.
      Led by Hong Kong bassist Justin Siu with Ted Lo on piano, Laurent Robin on drums and and Janaia Farrell on vocals, the four-piece band Jazvolution has performed around town including the Hong Kong International Jazz Festival 2017 and Freespace Happening in January. Earlier this year, the band released their debut album, “SPIN”, featuring unique reinterpretations of jazz classics by the likes of Ella Fitzgerald, Nat King Cole and Rosemary Clooney. The members of Jazvolution are here in the studio to tell us more.
      Writer Liu Yi-chang, a giant of Hong Kong literature, died on 8 June at the age of 99. Born and raised in Shanghai, Liu eventually settled in Hong Kong in 1957. In a celebrated writing career spanning more than six decades, Liu published over 30 books including novels, literary reviews, essays, poems and translated works. Among Liu’s best-known works are “Intersection” and “The Drunkard”, the latter of which is considered the first stream of consciousness novel in China. These two works also inspired the award-winning films “In the Mood for Love” and “2046” by director Wong Kar-wai.

      20/06/2018
    • "Cabinets of Curiosities", Richard Serra's drawings, Philip Guston & in the studio: CUHK Chrous's "Bernstein in the Theatre"

      "Cabinets of Curiosities”, also known as “Cabinets of Wonder” or “wonder-rooms” are encyclopaedic collections of objects, mostly from the natural world. They represent early attempts to collect and categorise objects as natural history, geology, ethnography, archaeology, religious, historical relics or artistic works. At the City U Exhibition Gallery until August as part of Le French May, “Cabinets of Curiosities - From the Natural Sciences to the Art of Nature”, showcases more than 200 such objects.

      Metalwork is an integral part of the life of American artist Richard Serra. His father worked as a pipe fitter in the shipbuilding industry. During his own college years, Serra worked in steel mills. His monumental steel sculptures impose a sense of space, time, process, weight and gravity. His drawings incorporate the same sense of materiality, process and notions of time, as you can see until the end of the month at the David Zwirner gallery, which is presenting a set of new Serra works for the first time in Hong Kong.

      Richard Serra, some of whose works we saw in part one, tends to take a minimalist approach to art rather than focusing on metaphors or symbolism. In contrast the works of his fellow American artist Philip Guston featured elements from Abstract Expressionism, figuration, forms and pictorial symbols. Until the end of July, Hauser & Wirth is exhibiting 50 of his paintings and drawings, created from 1950 to 1979 and curated by his daughter, Musa Mayer.

      Leonard Bernstein was a composer, conductor, educator, ambassador and pianist. He wrote symphonies, music for ballet, film, and theatre, choral works, operas, chamber music and pieces for the piano. His compositions vary from the classically oriented to such works as West Side Story, Peter Pan, On the Town, and On the Waterfront. This year is the 100th anniversary of his birth. Worldwide events to acknowledge the centennial began last year with more than 2,000 events on six continents. The Chinese University of Hong Kong Chorus has an upcoming all-Bernstein programme and they are here to tell us more.

      13/06/2018
    • Women in art: Guerrilla Girls & Nilima Sheikh, HKBUAVA & CUHK Fine Arts Grad shows & HK Ballet

      Women in art: Guerrilla Girls & Nilima Sheikh, HKBUAVA & CUHK Fine Arts Grad shows & HK Ballet

      In today’s show: two graduation exhibitions, one from the Chinese University of Hong Kong and the other from Hong Kong Baptist University. Every year, a new crop of young artists graduates. It’s never easy to make a living and a reputation as an artist, but the signs are that for women it’s even harder. It’s no secret that while more men than women study the STEM subjects of science, technology, engineering, and math, women predominate in social studies and liberal arts courses. In Hong Kong, four out of every five visual art students are female. Yet only around one in every five will go on to have a solo show in local galleries or museums.

      Many local university students are either in the middle of, or have just completed, examinations and final projects and theses. For those who study visual art, it’s time to show their work in the annual graduation shows. Among those shows is the graduation exhibition of Hong Kong Baptist University’s Academy of Visual Arts. It includes works by 110 graduates, the academy’s 11th cohort of students, displayed in a variety of locations across the Kai Tak campus. A moment ago we looked at works by graduates from the Baptist University’s Academy of Visual Arts. The Chinese University of Hong Kong was the first tertiary institute to offer visual arts education in Hong Kong. It focuses on creativity, studio practice, and the history of visual arts. Titled “Forever young forever weeping” this year’s graduation exhibition includes works from 29 graduates, many of whom confront tough issues and explore the values of art.

      The Hong Kong Ballet has a new artistic director this season. Septime Webre has joined the company after 17 years at the Washington Ballet. Blending classics with contemporary pieces, the company opened its new season with “Alice in the Wonderland”, following up with a new take on “Giselle” and “The Great Gatsby”. Just last week, it put on a triple bill of works by three of today’s most influential choreographers, one of them an original rock ballet that uses 12 songs by The Beatles.

      06/06/2018
    • American Ballet Theatre's

      American Ballet Theatre's "Whipped Cream", tribute to Robert Indiana & in the studio "Sarabande"

      Exploring both the imagination of the child and the darkness and nightmares that may accompany it, the American Ballet Theatre’s “Whipped Cream” begins with a young boy gorging on whipped cream to the point of hospitalisation. The two-act ballet takes audiences into his sugar-induced delirium. Its Asian Premiere was here in Hong Kong in March at the Hong Kong Arts Festival.

      Over the past two weeks, there’s been news of the deaths of two great American artists. One was the towering literary figure Philip Roth, who died in New York at 85. To the disappointment of many, the Nobel Prize passed him by, but not many other major literary awards did. In the eyes of many cultural commentators, his death marks the end of a literary era. Roth’s work encompassed humour, pathos, American society, politics, history, sexuality, and identity, particularly Jewish identity. He was also known for his unflinching honesty about the male psyche, often blurring the line between his own and that of his creations.

      There was also much exploration of America in the work of Robert Indiana, who died on May 19th. A pioneer of assemblage, hard-edged abstraction and pop art, Indiana’s best known to the general public for his iconic “Love” sculptures and prints. In February this year, the Asia Society organised the first Hong Kong solo exhibition of his works.

      During the Baroque era, many composers created suites of music that incorporated music for several different dance forms, one of which was the Sarabande.
      Taking their inspiration from the Sarabande, cellist Noemi Boutin and juggler Jorg Muller have created a performance that marries three of Bach’s famous cello suites with theatre, dance and contemporary art. Recently they were in our studio to give us a taster.

      30/05/2018
    • 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.

      23/05/2018
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