In the Show – February 22nd 2011

Korean artist Lee Lee-nam, who is currently having his first exhibition in Hong Kong, likes to bring classical paintings to life using new technology.

Shin Wong and Chet Lam are in the studio with us to talk about their collaboration for the Hong Kong Arts Festival “Requiem for Flowers”

Movie Review: “Blue Valentine”. Incredible performances from Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams in a movie that looks at the end, and the beginning, of a relationship.

Power Plant. A walk of wonders in a garden of colours, lights, sound and fire. For the Arts Festival, Kowloon Walled City Park has been transformed.

In the Show – February 15th 2011

To inaugurate the opening of its first outlet in Asia, the Gagosian Gallery is featuring an exhibition of the works of one of the most controversial living artists: Damien Hirst.  For some his work is profound, for others it’s an example of the worst kind of commercial hype. Tonight you have a chance to make up your own mind as we look at the gallery, and the work.

In our regular movie review, Gary Pollard talks about Danny Boyle’s “127 Hours”, a film about Aron Ralston (James Franco) who had to make a decision few of us would contemplate: to cut off his arm, trapped beneath a rock in the deseert, if he wanted to live.

Bamboo has been part of Chinese culture for thousands of years, long used for scaffolding and construction. It’s even used on building sites today. A new exhibition and book focus on its roles in religious festivals, market places, and Chinese opera and stage performances, roles that make it a central part of the social experience.

And in our studio the “voices” of Golden Voices Entertainment talk to us and treat us to a preview of their new show based on Stephen Sondheim’s “Putting It Together” as they perform “Not Getting Married”.

In The Show – February 8th 2011

For those of you who get confused by having two Bens presenting the show, Ben Pelletier’s off on his travels. Instead we have Billy Lee, the regular presenter of our Chinese version of The Works  藝坊星期天.

We begin by heading to the steppes of Inner Mongolia. That’s where Tenggeer and his band Blue Wolf come from. They recently visited Hong Kong to give local music lovers a chance to hear their brand of folk music with a modern twist.

In “Rapunzel”, a poor man with an ailing pregnant wife steals a vegetable called rampion from the garden of an enchantress to restore his wife’s health. When the enchantress catches him, he agrees to give her the child, a daughter called “Rapunzel” (the German word for “rampion”), whom she then locks up in a high tower with no door. It’s taken Disney a long time to get the story of Rapunzel to the screen, which they now have in the form of “Tangled”. They first considered adapting it in the 1940s shortly after releasing “Snow White”. To fit in with more modern sensibilities, the new Disney version doesn’t want Rapunzel’s original parents to be poor people who steal other people’s vegetables. Nor does it want its male character to be a ready-made prince. Gary Pollard reviews it.

As most Chinese school children know, “Journey to the West” is one of the Four Great Classical Novels of Chinese literature. When it was published in the 1590s during the Ming Dynasty, its author kept his name secret.. He’s now believed to be Wu Cheng’en. There aren’t many Chinese people who don’t know the story of Monkey, Pig, the Monk, and the journey to the West. It’s so popular it’s been turned into films, plays, traditional opera, ballets, comics, cartoons, and now … a rock musical “Monkey King”, on show in Hong Kong just two weeks ago.

We still have new legends in the modern world, although they are more likely to be pop stars, actors, and other celebrities.What makes a legend a legend in the modern age? And what’s its connection to mortality or death? That’s the subject of “This Mortal Coil”, the new exhibition by Hong Kong painter Wilson Shieh. It’s showing at the Osage Gallery in Soho until the 27th February.

If you can hit it, slap it, scratch it, or rub things against it, you can make music with it. Percussionist Arai Soichiro is in our studio with his “Singing Hands” to show us how .

In the Show – February 1st 2011

Artists in the Neighbourhood Scheme
The “Artists in the Neighbourhood Scheme” began in 2000 to introduce art into our everyday lives, by taking it away from big museums and art galleries in the city centre and out to various districts of Hong Kong Island, Kowloon, the New Territories and outlying islands.. Five artists and one art group were picked from 92 applicants for the fifth artists in the Neighbourhood Scheme. Last Friday, a group exhibition featuring 44 sets of work by the selected artists was launched at the City Hall.

Movie Review – “Somewhere”

Sofia Coppola is a director that many people love or loathe, but even though her movies are hardly mainstream, they do attract considerable critical and commercial success. Her film “Lost in Translation” cost $4 million to make, and took in a hefty $120 million at worldwide. Her latest movie “Somewhere” premiered at last year’s Venice Film Festival, where it was awarded the Golden Lion as best movie. In “Somewhere”, Steven Dorff plays movie star Johnnie de Marco, who is hanging out aimlessly, mostly at the Chateau Marmont in Hollywood, in the company of his eleven year old daughter Cleo, Elle Fanning. Gary Pollard’s with us to review it.

Sculptor Danny Lee

We begin part two with a chance to catch up on exhibition you may have missed. It’s called “Landscape Reinterpreted” and it’s by one of Hong Kong’s best-known sculptors Danny Lee Chin-fai. The exhibition ended last Sunday, but you can still see plenty of Danny’s work from the past few decades in a new book about his art, “Sculpture of Reflections: The Art of Danny Lee Chin-fai.”

Pianist Shen Wenyu

Shen Wenyu is a young pianist who some say is on the way to becoming one of the greatest. Eight years ago, he was the youngest ever winner of the Queen Elizabeth International Piano Competition. At 24, he’s already performed with over 30 orchestras worldwide. He’s in our studio to play for us.