In the Show – 24th November 2009

Hong Kong’s not an easy place for an artist to make a living. UK-born Simon Birch says he came here by accident and managed to make enough money to put on his first exhibition through working in construction. Today he can devote himself full time to his art, but he still has to reach deep into his own pockets to finance some projects.

Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” has been a staple part of the festive season for many ever since it was first published on 19th December 1843. There have been countless adaptations for stage, television and radio. There are almost thirty film versions. The latest, “Disney’s Christmas Carol” is at cinemas this week. Reviewer Gary Pollard tells us more.

From being a film student in love with the films of the French New Wave, Hong Kong born Chinese Mary Stephen went on to become a long time collaborator with one of the movement’s signature directors, Eric Rohmer. She talks to us about working with the legendary director.

And, in our studio, singer Tian Haojiang. Since his Metropolitan Opera debut in the 1991/92 season, Tian, a native of Beijing, has earned worldwide recognition as one of today’s most talented basso cantantes, singing over 1300 performances of 40 operatic roles worldwide. He is currently in Hong Kong to perform as “Poet Li Bai”.He tells us about that, about his stage show “From Mao to the Met” and sings “Some Enchanted Evening” from “South Pacific”. 

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In the Show – 17th November 2009

As we mentioned just three weeks ago, on 18th October Hong Kong lost one of its veteran artists, painter, printmaker, and sculptor Ha Bik-chuen. The Hong Kong Museum of Art is planning a major exhibition of his works for next October. Already though the museum is featuring a smaller retrospective until the 24th January next year. And, at the Artist Commune, more than 20 artists are creating new pieces in remembrance of, and salute to Ha Bik-Chuen. That exhibition runs until 2nd December. Some of them share with us their memories of Ha Bik-chuen.

“North Face” is a German movie about mountain climbing. It’s based on the true story of Toni Kurz and Andreas Hinterstoisser who, in July of 1936, as Nazi Germany was preparing to host the Olympic games, set out to climb the 13,000 ft. north face of the Eiger. In our studio, our very own intrepid cinematic adventurer Gary Pollard tells us that it may be the most impressive mountaineering film ever made.

At the Hong Kong Arts Centre until Sunday, Seoul Auction is presenting the first solo Hong Kong exhibition of renowned Korean sculptor Yi Hwan Kwon. Some of the works on show come from the artist’s private collection, giving viewers a rare opportunity to enter Yi’s distinctive world. It’s a world in which figures may be stretched, squashed, or flattened, almost like optical illusions.

And we end tonight’s show with a brief taster of what audicneces canexpect from the newly formed RTHK quartet, which has its debut performance this Friday.

In the Show – 10th November 2009

It has been nine years since choreographer and dancer Mui Cheuk-yin’s previous entry in her dance diary. Much has happened since then.

“Diary VI – Applause” is the sixth in her solo diary series. On stage are 50 boxes, each representing a year of her life. Mui looks through them, revisiting her past, from her first solo dance, “Awakenings in a Dream” 28 years ago. She reflects on her identity as a dancer, her career, and coping with getting older.

Korean director Park Chan-Wook is a director who forces you to pay attention. His 2002 “Sympathy for Mr Vengeance”, 2003’s “Old Boy”, and 2005’s “Sympathy for Lady Vengeance” were all gruesome updatings of the Jacobean revenge tragedy with a distinctly Korean touch. In his new film “Thirst” Park has tried to take a new look at the vampire mythology, and a frequently oddball look it is.

In 1987, an English musician and illustrator Peter Suart got together with Hong Kong-born violinist Kung Chi-Shing to form the theatrical music ensemble “The Box”.

Last weekend they celebrated their 22nd anniversary with a retrospective concert.

To see a streaming video of the show please click here.

In the Show – 3rd November 2009

Raised in Hong Kong, Dominic Nahr started his career at the South China Morning Post, but left the staff position after a year to become a freelance photographer.Since then, he has covered conflict zones that include East Timor, Gaza, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. His work has been published in Newsweek, Time, Vanity Fair, Spiegel, La Monde, and the New York Times among others.

Virgile Simon Bertrand is a French photographer who has been based in Asia since the late 1990s. His new exhibition in Hong Kong is called “Proxemics” and considers the unspoken rules of human relationships, and the relationship between people and the world around them.

Ken Loach’s new movie “Looking for Eric”, is about a forty-something Manchester postman whose life is falling apart. He left his first wife and child years before. His second wife left him, and he’s now looking after two shiftless adolescent stepsons who don’t have much respect for him and are involved in petty crime. He’s a man on the edge of a breakdown, and things are not made any easier when he has the opportunity to reconnect with his first wife, with whom he is still in love. But he does get a little help from his football idol Eric Cantona. Gary Pollard tells us more.

Georgia’s first professional state dance company, Sukhishvili was founded just after the Second World War, in 1945, by Iliko Sukhishvili and Nino Ramishvili. Trained at the Tibilisi Opera and Ballet Theatre, the duo blended traditional Georgian art with contemporary choreography.

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