In the Show – 29th April 2008

The argument about whether street graffiti is art is likely never to be settled one way or another. Perhaps as with writing or painting, or any other kind of creative endeavour, the final answer should be: “it depends what its aim is.”

British graffiti artist Banksy has become known internationally for his witty and ironic imagery, much of which appears overnight on walls, mostly in various British cities. But although we say he’s known, few even know for sure who he is. His work was recently on show at the Hong Kong Arts Centre.

Hong Kong also has its own locally-based graffiti artists. One of them is British artist Simon Birch who has contributed the occasional stencilled piece to Hong Kong’s walls. Birch is the winner of the Louis Vuitton Asian Art Prize 2007. His first major multi-media exhibition “This Brutal House” incorporates performance, collaborative work with Hong Kong photographer Wing Shya, video, and of course Simon’s own paintings.

Three years ago Michael Moore took the Palme d’Or, the Cannes festival’s biggest prize, for “Fahrenheit 9/11”. It was a mixture of documentary and polemic, looking at some of the causes and consequences of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the USA. Unusually for a non-fiction film, it made money. It’s the highest-grossing documentary of all time. Now Moore is back with “Sicko”, in which he dissects the US health care industry. Reviewer Gary Pollard tells us more.

American mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves has been called “One of the singers most likely to be an operatic superstar of the 21st century.” She’s performing in Hong Kong as part of French May and, later, next month she’ll be back to perform in “Werther” with Opera Hong Kong. Denyce Graves is in the studio with us tonight.


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