In the Show – 10th April 2012

Artists and Politics


Art and politics are not always comfortable bedfellows, but many of Hong Kong’s artists are feeling increasingly frustrated that they do not have a political voice. They do not think legislator Timothy Fok represents them at all, and many are not even allowed to vote in their own functional constituency. They say the artists’ lack of a political voice was also shown in the Chief Executive election. Fourteen cultural sector representatives on the election committee, who came into office uncontested, openly supported Leung Chun-ying in the last few days of the Chief Executive Election.The artists say there was no attempt at consultation. And they are worried about suggestions for the setting up of a cultural bureau.

Four Sculptors

At the Gagosian Gallery you can currently see works by four of the most important 20th century sculptors, three from the United States and one from Austria. Robert Rauschenberg liked to pick up trash, or even car parts, from the streets of New York, which he made into bold paintings or freestanding sculptures. Cy Twombly took more simple materials and found objects, which he coated in white gesso. He also cast some into bronze sculptures to give them a greater sense of permanence. John Chamberlain liked to use discarded automobile-body parts and other modern industrial scraps. Some of his sculptures were first shaped in mechanical car crushers, and then worked on by hand. And Austrian artist Franz West encourages viewers to interact with his work, which is designed to turn neutral spaces into an artistic environment. His pieces include unusual furniture designs and collages that blur the borders between art and life.


Movie Review – “Man on a Ledge”

“Man on a Ledge” is about a former New York police detective Nick Cassidy (played by Sam Worthington) who has been framed for stealing from a New York millionaire.He escapes from prison, and – as the movie begins – climbs out of a window in the Roosevelt Hotel, and on to a ledge some 200 feet above 45th Street. The idea is that climbing out on to that ledge will distract everyone from the fact that just across the street his brother and his brother’s girlfriend are carrying out a heist to help prove his innocence. Gary Pollard reviews it.

PictureKorean Art Boom

Even people who don’t know much about Korea or its history may well have watched at least one Korean TV show like”Dae Cheung Kam” or “Jewel in the Palace”, seen a Korean movie like “My Sassy Girl” or “Old Boy”, or listened to so-called K-pop. There’s a lot of creativity in Korea, and it’s not only in popular art and media. South Korea’s artists are now beginning to get more and more popular with auction houses and art buyers, both in their own country and internationally.

Studio Performance – Violinist Euna Kim and pianist Evelyn Chang

On Wednesday 18th April, at the University of Hong Kong’s Loke Yew Hall, violinist Euna Kim and pianist Evelyn Chang will be playing the work of one of the most celebrated classical music composers of the 20th century, Alfred Schnittke. Evelyn and Euna are in the studio to tell us more about the concert.


In the Show – 3rd April 2012

“Titus Andronicus”Picture

Many of us know William Shakespeare. ‘s most famous plays such as “Romeo and Juliet”, “Macbeth”, “Othello”, and “King Lear”. But not so many know “Titus Andronicus”, which some consider his bloodiest and most violent work. Historically, there.s been controversy about its authorship and quality. Now, Hong Kong audiences have a chance to encounter this tragedy of revenge at the Hong Kong Arts Festival as local theatre director Tang Shu-wing directs it for the third time.

PictureFashion Show “五 DUN 5”

Fashion Farm Foundation is a local non-government organisation that hopes to bring together different parties such as designers, landlords, and publications. It’s aim is to improve and promote Hong Kong branding. Last week the group organized a fashion show in Lai Chi Kok. During the show, called “五 DUN 5” local designers transformed trucks into concept stores to show their designs.




Callum Innes Paintings

At the Edouard Malingue Gallery until 21st April you can see the first Asian solo Exhibition by the renowned Scottish artist Callum Innes.Callum’s considered one of the most important abstract painters of his generation. He creates his works through a complex process of applying and then removing paint. It can take days, weeks, or months, and the final result is often very calm and meditative.

In the Studio – Hong Kong Saxophone Ensemble

In our studio, six members of the Hong Kong Saxophone Ensemble talk to us about their debut concert, and play “Schwarzer Tänzer” (Black Dancer) by Nigel Wood

In the Show – 27th March 2012

Five Women Artists


March was the month of International Women’s Day, so in part one of today’s show we’re concentrating on female visual artists beginning with “Beyond the Painting Screen”, an exhibition at the New Gallery on Old Bailey that runs until next Friday.







Ho Sin-tung ““Hong Kong Inter-vivos Film Festival”

This year’s’ Hong Kong International Film Festival, the 36th, has extended its screenings to April 9th. That should be good news for film fans like local artist Ho Sin-tung, who has created her own festival of imagined films at the Hanart Gallery. Her fantasy festival is called “Hong Kong Inter-vivos Film Festival”. It’s an exhibition that’s a homage to movies. In this case though it’s a homage to 28 movies that exist only in her own mind.


Movie Review – “The Hunger Games”

Its makers hope that “The Hunger Games” is going to be as big a phenomenon as “Harry Potter” or the “Twilight” franchise. It too is based on a series of books, in this case three, written by Suzanne Collins. The omens are auspicious: the opening weekend’s box office take did break records. “The Hunger Games” is the story of sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who is one of 24 teenagers, chosen – in a future world – to take part in a televised fight to the death. Gary Pollard reviews it.

Picture“The Blue Planet”

And from “The Hunger Games” to a celebration of the planet we live on. This Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, you can see, at the Kwai Tsing Theatre, the multimedia show “The Blue Planet”. It’s a collaboration between British filmmaker Peter Greenaway, Dutch opera-and-theatre director Saskia Boddeke, and composer Goran Bregovic, who’s best known for his music for many European movies. It’s a show that involves video images, live body movement, song and music, to give a new interpretation of the myth of the Great Flood and of Noah’s Ark.

PictureOcean Film Festival

Still on the theme of our planet Earth and its great blue depths, over the past couple of weeks Hong Kong audiences have had the chance to see movies in the Hong Kong – San Francisco Ocean Film Festival. The event was launched simultaneously on both sides of the Pacific Ocean, to introduce projects and initiatives that may help improve our ocean environment.
PictureNorwegian Trumpet Player Tine Thing Helseth

From the depth of the oceans, to the fjords of Norway and a woman known as one of the leading trumpet soloists of her generation. She’s Tine-Thing Helseth, and she’s in our studio.


In the Show – 20th March 2012


Four Artists from Vietnam and Cambodia

Vietnam and Cambodia have undergone some of the most disturbing political and social events in living memory. With relative peace in recent decades, contemporary art in both countries has begun to flourish. But the memories are still there. Now on show at 10 Chancery Lane Gallery until 14th April, “Four Rising Talents from Southeast Asia” features three artists from Vietnam and one from Cambodia.



Saamlung Gallery “No One To Hear You Scream”

“In space, no one can hear you scream.” That was the chilling tag line used in the ads for the 1979 Hollywood science-fiction film “Alien”. At the Saamlung Gallery “No one to Hear You Scream” has become the title of an exhibition of works by seven artists from different places, working in different media.


Movie Review – ““Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy”

With the 1974 novel “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” John le Carre not only revolutionised the spy novel but introduced to the public terms such as “honey trap” and “mole” that have now become standard parlance in politics and journalism. In 1979, the BBC adapted it into a seven part TV serial with Alec Guinness as spy master George Smiley. Now it’s a movie, with Gary Oldman in the same part. Gary Pollard’s with us to review it.

PictureHK-Shenzhen Biennale of Architecture

“Architecture creates cities” is the theme of this year’s Hong Kong & Shenzhen Bi-city Biennale of Urbanism/Architecture.The exhibition in Shenzhen last December was focused on the time and space of a city, and the sustainability of the culture and architectures. Under the newly-created term “Tri-ciprocal”, the Hong Kong element further discusses the relationship of cities and architecture

PictureMainland Artists of the 80s

Finally this week, at the Schoeni Gallery until April 7th, you can see work by some of the young generation of Chinese artists born in the 1980s. The exhibition’s called “Generation Me: Lost in Transition” and it’s the third of the Niubi or Newbie Projects initiated by gallery owner Nicole Schoeni to explore artistic creation in China among young artists of similar age but with different levels of reputation, different focuses and different media.

In the Show – 13th March 2012

“Transforming Minds: Buddhism in Art”

PictureLocated in the heart of Admiralty, the former British Explosives Magazine Compound was built in the mid-19th century to store explosives. It consists of four military buildings, three of which are Grade 1 historical structures. The site’s been unused since the 1980s. Now it’s been given a new lease of life. After seven years of building and $400 million dollars of investment, the heritage site has been restored and has become the Hong Kong Jockey Club Former Explosives Magazine. It now houses the Asia Society Hong Kong Centre. Last month, the centre opened with an inaugural exhibition, “Transforming Minds: Buddhism in Art”.

PictureMovie Review – “A Separation”

Iranian film “A Separation”, won the Academy Award for best Foreign Language film this year. It’s the story of what happens when a husband and wife separate in the lead up to a divorce. The husband hires another woman to take care of his Alzheimer’s suffering father, and she – being devoutly religious and pregnant – does not want to tell her husband. And that’s where the problems begin. Gary Pollard reviews it.

PictureGu Wenda In Hong Kong

Gu Wenda was born in Shanghai in 1955. He now lives and works mostly in New York City although he also maintains studios in Shanghai and Xi’an in China. He’s known for his works that focus on traditional Chinese calligraphy and poetry, sometimes using symbols with no literal meaning. He’s also known for his tendency to use human body materials in his work. Including human hair.

PictureClarinet and Piano from Johnny Fong and Jacqueline Li.

In our studio we have clarinet music from Johnny Fong and pianist Jacqueline Li. Johnny plays Principal Clarinet for the Hong Kong Sinfonietta. It’s a mission for him to introduce listeners to the instrument that’s sometimes called “the spellbinder in the orchestra”. On Sunday he’s giving a concert at Shatin Town Hall.

In the Show – 6th March 2012

Dr John

PictureWe begin today’s show by sliding down to the city known as the “Big Easy”, New Orleans. And the music of “Dr John, formerly known as “the night tripper”. Dr. John has been called the ambassador of New Orleans. From his music, to his theatrical performances of voodoo ceremonies, and his previous elaborate costumes and headdresses, the Crescent City’s heritage is at the heart of his music-making. We spoke to him during his recent visit to Hong Kong.

PicturePainter and Photographer – A Visual Conversation

Last year, the gallery Lumenvisum launched its first “Conversation between Artist and Photographer” exhibition. The second exhibition in the series, a visual conversation between artist Tang Ying-chi and photographer Lau Ching-ping, is on until 18th March.








Movie Review – “The Artist”

“The Artist” is a black and white quasi-silent movie about a silent movie star who refuses to enter the world of sound movies. Further complicating things, he falls in love with an actress who is swept to success on the wave of sound movies. It won five Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Actor and Best Director. Gary Pollard’s been to see it.

Picture Tinariwen

The nomadic band Tinariwen was founded as a music collective by Ibrahim Ag Alhabib, who at age four witnessed the execution of his father during a 1963 uprising in Mali. They initially began as a loose group of musicians performing protest music. They used to record music for free for anyone who would supply a blank cassette tape.Last week, Tinariwen, or at least some of its members, performed in Hong Kong. And they pointed out that conditions in Mali are still tough.


Marc-Andre Hamelin
Montreal born Marc-Andre Hamelin is a pianist and composer who has earned himself a worldwide reputation for his classical mastery of technique and his interest in performing not only well known favourites but also music that’s off the beaten track. He’s recorded more than 60 CDs, all for the Hyperion label. This week he’s in Hong Kong, performing a solo recital on Wednesday, and with the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra on Friday and Saturday. He also came to RTHK to play for The Works.

In the Show – 28th February 2012

“The Geisha of Gion”

PictureThe geisha are a well-recognised symbol of Japan: traditional, female Japanese entertainers whose skills include performing Japanese music and dance.This year, the Hong Kong Arts Festival gave local audiences a rare chance to meet “The Geisha of Gion”.

PictureMen and a Robot Arm in “Sans Object”

It’s harder to find a bigger contrast to the femininity of geisha than the physical theatre of Aurelien Bory and Compagnie 111.“Sans Objet” is about two men interacting with a giant robotic machine. There’s a science fiction feel about the show, which is full of humour and acrobatics, but which gradually takes on a more and more disturbing atmosphere.

PictureMovie Review – “Hugo”

Martin Scorsese’s 3D movie “Hugo” based on the children’s book “The Invention of Hugo Cabret” is all about a boy and machines. There are the station clocks in the Gare Montparnasse he has to keep winding, there’s the automaton left behind by his dead father he wants to repair, and there’s that most wondrous machine of all. The cinema. Gary Pollard reviews it.

PictureKarl Jenkins in Hong Kong

Welsh composer Karl Jenkins is said to be the most performed living “classical music” composer in the world. He’s best known today for his work with the choral group “Adiemus”, but not everyone knows he began as a jazz musician. Recently he was in Hong Kong to conduct his “Requiem” with the City Chamber Orchestra of Hong Kong. The Works filmed the concert and spoke to Karl Jenkins about his life and career.