Two young artists' works that reflect the current political crisis, Kogei at HKU museum & in the studio: guitarist Sharon Isbin
It’s now heading for five months since the anti-extradition bill protests began. In the first episode of this season, we talked about the creative methods some protesters are adopting to deliver their political messages. Today, we’re looking at the works of two young artists that reflect their perspectives of current events.
The term “Kogei” in Japanese means “traditional arts and crafts” and has a long history. The crafts are divided into eight categories that incorporate pottery, textiles, lacquerware, metalworking, doll-making, bamboo, woodworking, and papermaking. Five requirements are necessary for an object to be officially recognised as being an example of a traditional Japanese craft. It must be for regular use, mainly handmade, using traditional techniques and materials and made in a specific region identified with that craft. On show at the University of Hong Kong, until 3rd November, the exhibition “Living Kogei” contains 70 works from the Ise Collection by prominent and contemporary Japanese artists.
American guitarist Sharon Isbin is a multiple Grammy Award winner. She is also founding director of the Guitar Department at the Juilliard music school. Two weeks ago, she was named the 2020 Instrumentalist of the Year by Musical America Worldwide, the first guitarist to receive the award in its 59 year history. Her repertoire includes folk and country music, classical pieces, and music for films. Among the wide range of people with whom she has worked are Martin Scorsese, Joan Baez and Mark O’Connor. Sharon Isbin has reinvented, expanded and updated the guitar’s repertoire, and she’s with us right now.