In the Show – 23rd February 2010

The government says it wants to support creative industries. It also likes to support landlords and property developers. History has shown us that when the two clash, it’s not likely that creativity will be the winner. Ten years ago artists began setting up studios by renting unused industrial premises. Today, as the government wants to put those building to more commercial use, they are being kicked out.

Hong Kong is a throwaway society. We don’t recycle much, or even buy secondhand. “Missing Parts”, an exhibition at the Arts Centre until the end of this much points out that many old objects can still have value, even if they are missing a few parts. We also talk to an “Antique Doctor” who mends old and broken objects.

“The Wolfman” first came to cinema screens in 1941, directed by George Waggner and played by Lon Chaney Junior who, as Larry Talbot, found himself with good reason to fear the full moon. Now, many moons later, and after many spin offs, “The Wolfman” is back. This time Joe Johnston directs, and Benicio del Toro plays the lycanthropically-afflicted Larry. As Gary Pollard tells us, the movie’s troubled production history shows in the final cut.

If your taste, even at the movies, runs more to high art than high concept you could be interested in the latest operatic development to hit our screens.It’s the Met in HD.  And it gives you the chance to capture the energy of a live performance at Pok Fu Lam rather than New York, and at a fraction of the New York ticket price, which could be up to US$375.

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In the Show – 16th February 2010

This is the first edition of The Works for the Year of the Tiger, and to help us get in the New Year mood, we begin with music. Three members of the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra, Choo Boon-chong on dizi, Leung Yan-chiu on soprano sheng, and Chan Chi-yuk on qudi, perform for us “Pao Han Chuan”.

At this time of year, putting up Nianhua or New Year prints is a traditional way to chase away bad fortune and bring in good fortune for the coming months. At the OC Gallery in Olympian City, the Sino Group’s ‘Art in Hong Kong’ has joined forces with Hong Kong Open Printshop to welcome in the Year of the Tiger by exhibiting around 40 valuable New Year prints collected from various places in China.

Of course another major component of the new year celebrations is food. And some of that food can even be combined with artistic expression. As sculptors in candy and in chocolate reveal to us.

What’s a festive celebration without a show? Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker” ballet, for example, is – for many – a cherished part of the Christmas season. At the Lunar New Year, people traditionally flocked to see Chinese opera performances. But one local choreographer had an alternative idea for a New Year performance: what if he combined East and West, mixed in a little local Hong Kong culture, and “The Nutcracker” became “The Firecracker”?

Finally, musician John Lee talks to us about his upcoming concert and gives us two performances showing the versatility of the frame drum.

In the Show – 9th February 2009

Escape to Waichou

On Christmas Day 1941, as Hong Kong surrendered to the Japanese, a group of men led by a one-legged Chinese admiral, Chan Chak, made a daring escape into mainland China. A new exhibition at the Museum of Coastal Defence tells their story.

Movie Review: “An Education”

“An Education” is based on a memoir by journalist Lynn Barber. It tells the story of how, at the age of sixteen, and in the Britain of the early 1960s, she became romantically involved with a much older man. In the film she’s called Jenny and played by Carey Mulligan. The older man who woos her is David (Peter Sarsgaard). Gary Pollard is in the studio to tell us more.

“Dialogue in the Dark”

An ongoing exhibition called “Dialogue in the Dark” is currently giving visitors the chance to experience what life would be like without what could be our most valued sense, the sense of sight It is also providing employment for the visually impaired.

“The Merchants of Bollywood”

In our studio, two stars of the currently running “The Merchants of Bollywood” sing and and dance with a sample of the dazzling stage show.

In the Show – 2nd February 2010

Art and Shopping

Despite the popularity of the idea of the starving artist, most artists would prefer not to starve thank you very much. Like the rest of us, they need to earn a little money from time to time. Few people in Hong Kong have more of that money than the property developers who own our shopping malls. And some of them even spend some of it to support the arts. But the relationship isn’t always an entirely comfortable one.

Movie Review – “Broken Embraces”

In his new film, “Broken Embraces”, Pedro Almodovar tells the story of Harry Cain (played by Lluis Homar), a blind screenwriter who was once a sighted film director by the name of Mateo Blanco. At one point, after one of his collaborators suffers an accidental drug overdose, Harry tells the story of how, as Mateo, he had fallen in love with Lena, played by Penelope Cruz, and how that passion altered his life irrevocably. Gary Pollard is in the studio to tell us more.

Hong Kong Salsa Festival

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And to end the show, salsa, as dancers Yanqing Choo and Richard Tholoor, singer Chris Polanco, and festival organiser Joseph Ennin, give us a taste of this week of dance and song at the 2010 Hong Kong Salsa Festival.

In the Show – 26th January 2010

Alternative “Art on Loan”

Launched in 2003 by the Arts Development Council and the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, “Artwork On Loan” enables people to have art in their homes even if they could not otherwise afford it. However, all the pieces on loan are reproductions of framed images of the artwork, even if sculptures. Jasper Lau, the curator of the “Wooferten” art space in Shanghai Street is organising an alternative version of “Artwork on Loan”.

MaD Conference in Hong Kong

This week, Hong Kong’s Kwai Tsing theatre was home to a 3-day conference that featured 25 speakers from 10 countries, as well as workshops and competitions. The aim of the MaD or “Make a Difference” conference was to encourage students to be more creative, in every area of life and career.

Movie Review “The Imaginarium of Dr Parnassus”

In our movie review, Gary Pollard talks to us about Heath Ledger’s final film, Terry Gilliam’s “The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus”. Filled with Gilliam’s trademark surreal visuals, it’s the story of a traveling vaudeville show, a magic mirror, and a pact with the devil.

Angela Fensch Photo Exhibition

This year is the 20th anniversary of Germany’s reunification. The Goethe-Institut Hongkong is highlighting it by focusing on the topic of ‘change of time’. Until the 20th February, in the Goethe Gallery, the institute is presenting a photo exhibition by Angela Fensch called “‘Women Portraits Children 1989 and 2005”. It features images of women and their children in East Germany taken 16 years apart.

Studio Performance -” Stars and the Moon”

And finally, we present another song from the musical “Songs for a New World” which will be performed in the upcoming City Festival, as Emma Thomas sings “Stars and the Moon”.

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