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    监制:Diana Wan

    29/12/2021

    With just two days to go until 2022, many of us will be including on our new year wish list a fervent wish that Covid-19 and its many variants will please go away … or at least take on a milder form. Over the past two years, the virus has brought devastating losses, personal and economic, to many. It has also caused much disruption to the arts scene, especially for performing arts. Despite that, The Works has managed to keep bringing you a staple of the programme: our weekly studio performances. We’ve even managed to save a few extra year-end treats. In September, a year after his planned visit to Hong Kong, pianist David Greilsammer performed his much-lauded Scarlatti and Cage project for local audiences. On his visit to our studio, he gifted us a little musical extra: a Scarlatti sonata.

    Preparing for a concert focused on jazz, classical, and cabaret music, saxophonist Joshua Jones came to the show in October. While with us, he played an extra treat, a commissioned work by Andy Scott, “And Everything is Still …”. It’s based on a poem from Lemn Sissay’s children’s book “The Emperor Watchmaker”.

    In October, clarinettist Gilad Harel came to Hong Kong for the first time. Known for his dedication to both classical and Klezmer music, Harel recorded for us an extra, and not previously broadcast additional piece “Zefki, ikh bin dayner sher” by one of Klezmer’s most celebrated musicians, Dave Tarras. In February 2020, the indie band Esimorp came to talk about their debut album, “Roar Like the Ocean”. Since then, due to Covid, they’ve been taking a break. The good news is, as they recently told us, that they’re now getting back together, writing songs, and planning their next project. Something to look forward to in the new year. Until then, we give you “The Minutes”, the song they sang for us last time they were here.


    联络: wanyt@rthk.hk


    集数

    EPISODES
    • Miniature art, Amir H. Fallah@Denny Dimin Gallery & in the studio: Anna Lo & VSing

      Miniature art, Amir H. Fallah@Denny Dimin Gallery & in the studio: Anna Lo & VSing

      Humans have been creating miniature representations of reality since prehistoric times. Many of the earliest were funerary objects, but throughout the history of art miniatures have come in the form of paintings, drawings, engravings, book illustrations and sculptures. Miniature paintings came to the fore in the Renaissance, and portrait miniatures were particularly popular in Europe in the 16th and 17th centuries. Miniatures are a way of preserving memories, and here in Hong Kong, as elsewhere, some create them to capture things that may disappear, or that have already gone.

      And still on miniatures, miniature paintings have been a significant form of Persian art since the 13th century. Iranian native, Amir H. Fallah moved to the United States when he was a boy. His paintings explore portraiture. He says he’s interested in “turning the history of portraiture on its head”, and he draws on Persian miniatures as well as Western painting and imagery to deconstruct portraits and examine such issues as migration, celebration, and trauma. On show at Denny Dimin Gallery is the artist’s first solo exhibition in Hong Kong. “Joy as an Act of Resistance”. It’s a new body of work about the psychological fatigue, the challenges, and feelings of bleakness, created by the Covid pandemic. For Fallah, creativity is a way of finding joy even in the face of pressure.

      Since its inception more than 70 years ago, the International Society for the Performing Arts has organised semi-annual ISPA Congresses at which performing art leaders and other participants get together to discuss ideas and issues related to their work. Twice a year, they organises congresses to bring together creative minds, practitioners, and leaders of the performing arts from different countries. Each year, one takes place in New York, the other in a city elsewhere in the world. Hong Kong is hosting one of this year’s congresses from 24 to 27 May. For the first time, the four-day congress will be livestreamed this year. It will include events such as panel discussions, the pitching of new works, and performance showcases. Composer, songwriter, pianist, singer and conductor, Anna Lo is one of the featured artists. She’s with us now.

      21/05/2022
    • Glass artist Wong Kwok-chung, Ibrahim Mahama@White Cube & in the studio: harmonicist Cy Leo's

      Glass artist Wong Kwok-chung, Ibrahim Mahama@White Cube & in the studio: harmonicist Cy Leo's "Harmonica Heroes"

      There are few materials more useful or aesthetic than glass, whether we want to look through it, drink from it, or make beautiful or decorative objects with it. People have been making and using the material for at least 3,600 years. New creative possibilities were opened up with technological advances from the glassmakers of the island of Murano in Italy, sometimes said to be the birthplace of modern glass art. Here in Hong Kong, despite the limitations of space, there are those still working creatively with glass.

      Ibrahim Mahama’s first exhibition in White Cube Hong Kong, “Half of a Yellow Sun”, features fabric paintings in which he explores the history of materials, cultural identity and commerce. The title of the exhibition is inspired by Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s novel about the Biafran War in the 1960s. Over the years, Mahama has collected materials, exchanging new cloth for old, mostly from female traders in markets across Ghana. Some of the most colourful fabrics he uses are “Dutch wax” prints, originally made and traded by Dutch companies operating along the coastline of West Africa in the 19th century. For him, the fabrics act as cultural metaphors, representing the diversity of national and pan-African identity and history.

      Although many Covid-19 social-distancing rules have eased and arts and performance venues re-opened, it’s now too late for some previously cancelled or postponed performing arts events and activities to take place according to their original plan. One such event is “Harmonica Heroes”, a Hong Kong Arts Festival programme in Tai Kwun. Curated by harmonicist Cy Leo, the concert was originally going to have over a hundred harmonicists perform classical, folk, blues, and jazz pieces in the open air. It’s still happening, but the format has changed. Cy Leo is here to tell us more.

      14/05/2022
    • CHAT’s “The Spinning East Asia Series II” exhibition & in the studio:  CCDC's Astor Piazzolla’s Tango Operita

      CHAT’s “The Spinning East Asia Series II” exhibition & in the studio: CCDC's Astor Piazzolla’s Tango Operita "Maria de Buenos Aires"

      The Mills’ non-profit cultural arm, the Centre for Heritage, Arts and Textile, or CHAT, focuses on exhibitions and co-learning programmes related to woven textiles. Last year, they organised “Spinning East Asia”, inviting more than 40 artists, designers, and researchers from the region to examine the socio-cultural complexity of textile culture. The first part of the project was exhibited last year, and the second part is currently on show until early August.

      Astor Piazzolla created his only tango opera, “Maria de Buenos Aries” in 1967 with a libretto by poet and lyricist Horacio Ferrer. A pioneering work in the new style of tango, Nuevo Tango, the two-part opera brings together scholarly writing, popular melodies, jazz, tango, and classical music. It should be performed by at least three vocalists, narrators, orchestration, and - often - dancers. This month the City Contemporary Dance Company is presenting the opera: the story of the birth and death of Maria, a prostitute born on a day “when God was drunk”, under Helen Lai’s direction and choreography. Some of those involved in the production are here to tell us more.

      07/05/2022
    • New art spaces: Sunsmith and Odds & Ends, HK old photos@ASHK & in the studio: True Colors Symphony

      New art spaces: Sunsmith and Odds & Ends, HK old photos@ASHK & in the studio: True Colors Symphony

      Many welcomed the government’s announcement last week of a relaxation of pandemic-related restrictions. Restaurants can welcome customers at night. Cinemas, museums, and performance venues can open again. So can art galleries. And as Art Basel Hong Kong and Art Central prepare for their upcoming events, many are hoping to get back to business as usual. There are even some new kids on the block.

      Hong Kong changes fast. That can be a good thing, but one side effect is that we can quickly lose connections with our past and forget the way Hong Kong and its people used to look. Photographers, both those based here and those passing through, help to preserve that past. On show at the Asia Society’s Hong Kong Center until early June are 87 photographs of Hong Kong from the 1940s to the 1970s through the eyes of three such photographers. German photographer Hedda Morrison arrived in 1946 and stayed for six months. She photographed Hong Kong’s people and its streets. New Zealand-born Brian Brake came in 1957 and lived here, on and off, up to the mid-1970s. Singaporean sailor Lee Fook Chee arrived in 1947, worked as a photographer for many years, and remained here until his death in 2012.

      The PMA Music Foundation (PMF) was set up in 2003 to promote inclusivity and to enable musicians and other inspirational figures to work with those often side-lined by society. In 2019 the organisation founded True Colors Symphony, an inclusive orchestra, to develop and highlight the musical talents of the differently-abled, and those from different demographic groups and ethnicities. The Symphony also has 66 choir members. In 2020, they gave their inaugural performance at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre. Project manager Mandy Li and erhu player Yang Enhua are here to tell us more.

      30/04/2022
    • Artist Kurt Chan, William Kentridge@Hauser & Wirth & in the studio: Justin Siu & Joyce Cheung,

      Artist Kurt Chan, William Kentridge@Hauser & Wirth & in the studio: Justin Siu & Joyce Cheung, "Jazz from the Ground Up"

      Kurt Chan is known not only for his calligraphic and mixed-media work, but also for his career as a well-respected professor of art. An alumnus of the Department of Fine Arts of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, he later returned to teach there for almost three decades. During his tenure, he nurtured many members of Hong Kong’s new generation of artists. In 2016, he retired and says that now he finally has time to focus entirely on his art.

      William Kentridge was born in South Africa, to lawyer parents who frequently represented people victimised by apartheid. He has said that coming from a Jewish community, he had a unique position as a third-party observer of the country’s social and political changes. Such concerns remain a major part of his oeuvre. His works include prints, drawings, sculptures, tapestries, theatre and opera direction, and animated films based on his own charcoal drawings. On show at Hauser & Wirth, “Weigh All Tears” is Kentridge’s first solo exhibition in Hong Kong. The exhibition includes a new six-metre-wide triptych, tapestry, installation, a series of large and small bronzes and an animated film derived from his libretto for the 2019 opera, “Waiting for the Sibyl”. The works can be viewed by appointment.

      Last year, after Hong Kong had already faced months of strict anti-Covid-19 restrictions, bassist and cellist Justin Siu came up with the idea of bringing jazz to the community via a series of streaming concerts. Supported by a Hong Kong Arts Development Council grant, “Jazz, from the Ground Up” live streamed jazz from a Sheung Wan noodle restaurant. This year, the project is back with another edition, and Justin’s with us right now, in the company of pianist Joyce Cheung.

      23/04/2022
    • Sculptor Anton Poon, Peter Orsag@Art Projects Gallery & in the studio: jazz vocalist Talie Monin & band

      Sculptor Anton Poon, Peter Orsag@Art Projects Gallery & in the studio: jazz vocalist Talie Monin & band

      There’s a close relationship between architecture and sculpture, not only because both are constructed of solid materials in three dimensions, but also because sculptures have been used for thousands of years to augment or decorate architecture. For locally based sculptor Anton Poon, architecture, and particularly tunnels and bridges, also provide inspiration for his abstract works.

      The popular animated American comedy series “The Simpsons” might seem an unusual inspiration for a painter, but it is for Amsterdam-based Peter Orsag. A self-taught artist, Orsag uses the characters of “The Simpsons” to convey different emotions in unexpected contexts. On show at the Art Projects Gallery, “Pink and Yellow” is his debut international solo exhibition. Orsag says each painting begins from specific feelings and emotions, often his own. He wants his viewers to experience these emotions whether or not they know much about the background of the TV cartoon family.

      Inspired by the jazz music that her parents and relatives surrounded her with as she grew up in Johannesburg, vocalist Talie Monin moved to Paris in her twenties to study jazz vocals. Now an award-winning singer, Monin blends African-inspired music with contemporary tunes and original compositions. Her debut album, “24 Strathay”, released in 2018, brings together her African roots and her love for the American Songbook and contemporary jazz. She’s here to tell us about her new album.

      16/04/2022
    • Photographer Derry Ainsworth, Chao Chung-hsiang@Alisan Fine Arts & in the studio: guitarist & singer Ram Cheung

      Photographer Derry Ainsworth, Chao Chung-hsiang@Alisan Fine Arts & in the studio: guitarist & singer Ram Cheung

      Hong Kong’s skyline, dominated by high rises and skyscrapers, is one of the most iconic in the world, particularly when night falls and vivid neon colours the streets.
      For Derry Ainsworth, who arrived here in 2014, the city’s visual appeal was a major factor in persuading him to move out of his planned career in architecture and to take up photography.

      In the 20th century, many pioneering Chinese artists spent at least part of their career studying abroad, from Lin Fengmian, Xu Beihong, and Sanyu in the 1920s to Zao Wou-ki, Wu Guanzhong and Chu The-chun in the 1940s and 1950s. The influence of the insights and experiences gained there on Chinese painting and sculpture was significant.
      Among those artists was Chao Chung-hsiang. Chao went to study in Spain in 1956, settling in New York two years later, and living there for most of the rest of his life. He merged influences from Western styles such as Abstract Expressionism, Cubism and Action Painting, with those of classical Chinese painting. His subjects range from flowers, fish, birds, to the cosmos and the purely abstract. On show at Alisan Fine Arts until June, “Rediscovering Chao Chung-hsiang” is the gallery’s ninth solo exhibition of the artist.

      Last year, the Leisure and Cultural Services Department launched an online jazz programme, “Jazz Composers’ Lab” featuring jazz guitarist, composer and producer Alan Kwan. In the programme, Kwan invited musicians to talk about different jazz styles, approaches, and music appreciation. The programme is now back for a second series with 12 online episodes. This time, Kwan spoke to five musicians and a band. One of those musicians is blues guitarist and singer Ram Cheung.

      09/04/2022
    • Dominique Chan in Kat O, Jules de Balincourt @Pace Gallery & in the studio:

      Dominique Chan in Kat O, Jules de Balincourt @Pace Gallery & in the studio: "Lauzone" by Anna Lo & Rick Lau

      For more than 300 years, Kat O was home to several thousand Hakka and Tanka villagers, a thriving fishing and farming island. Today though, due to its remoteness and because many have moved to urban areas, the island is home to just around fifty residents. Among them is artist Dominique Chan.

      Jules de Balincourt uses strong colours to blur the lines between abstraction and figurative imagery. Although people often suggest his paintings are either utopian or dystopian, de Balincourt says he is more interested in the “power of painting to act as a crossroads of ideological perspectives to allow the mind to go in different directions.” On show at Pace Gallery, “Birds on a Boat” showcases twelve recent paintings that incorporate natural elements such as wind, plants, and rain, and that reflect on the relationship between humanity and the natural world.

      Other than Cantonese, Putonghua and English, many residents of Hong Kong, particularly the older generation or villagers, still express themselves in a range of Chinese dialects. These include the Hakka, Hokkien, Taishanese, Shanghainese, and Chiu Chow dialects. This diversity of dialects and their connections with the geographical origins of families are what inspired singers Anna Lo and Rick Lau to create a cabaret called “Lauzone”.

      02/04/2022
    • Guitarist Jacky Lau & in the studio: Hong Kong Arts Festival &

      Guitarist Jacky Lau & in the studio: Hong Kong Arts Festival & "No Limits"

      With his passion for classical and fingerstyle guitar, local guitarist Jacky Lau has appeared on the show several times. In 2013, he brought guitar masters Tommy Emmanuel and Martin Taylor to our studio. But he has recently been facing somewhat tough times. We paid him a visit to see how music and his faith keeps him going.

      As it has for more than two years, Covid-19 is still circulating worldwide, with different places adopting a wide range of strategies to control or attempt to live with it. It continues to make life difficult, not only – of course - for those who catch it, but also for organisations, including arts and music organisations, setting up events with international participation. For the annual Hong Kong Arts Festival, it has meant many adjustments to planned programming. Now, as Hong Kong is facing its fifth wave of the pandemic, many of this year’s planned in-venue programmes, such as a collaboration with Tai Kwun, have had to be cancelled. Still the festival has continued, with many overseas programmes accessible through online viewing. Its programme director Grace Lang is here to tell us more about that, and about the fourth edition of “No Limits”, a programme that showcases artists of different abilities.

      26/03/2022
    • Handpan maker Ting Ho-fung & in the studio: Hong Kong Youth Choir

      Handpan maker Ting Ho-fung & in the studio: Hong Kong Youth Choir

      In 2001, Felix Rohner and Sabina Schärer created the “Hang” instrument in Berne in Switzerland. It was derived from the steel pan or steel drums of the Caribbean. They called it “Hang”, which can mean either “hand” or “hill” in Bernese German because the instrument is played by hand and has a hill-like shape. Later, other instrument makers devised a group of related instruments known as the handpan, also played by hand, and known for their mellow sound. There are still only a few hundred handpan makers worldwide. One of them is Hong Kong’s Ting Ho-fung.

      In 1996, Argentinian composer and conductor, Martin Palmeri wrote “Misatango”, a choral mass that incorporates tango music. He says that he had previously enjoyed both arranging tango music and directing choirs, and that it had long been his intention to arrange tango music for choral groups. Set up in 1998, the Hong Kong Youth Choir includes in its repertoire classical choral works, Baroque oratorios and Broadway musicals. They’re here to tell us more about their activities and to perform one of Martin Palmeri’s works.

      19/03/2022