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Showing posts from October, 2018

A Madman's Magnificent Construction (Dollhouse - Tai Kwun review)

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15 Oct 2018 | Ashley

For say a person is in despair, does his desperation separate him from reality, thus constructs instead a detrimental world where hope is utterly absent? Dollhouse (身不由己), brought to us by Canadian choreographer and dance master, Bill Coleman, and sound artist Gordan Monahan, constructed a madman's world before us on 12 Oct, 2018 at Tai Kwun's JC Cube.

What stood out the most would be the ridiculousness and illogical progression of the show, from dangerous props such as glass and mouse traps, to unsettling sounds made from metal wires, boiling water, to flapping plant things. There was not a part in the performance where the audience knew exactly what was happening or what would happen next. I like to interpret this as the hallucination of a madman, because this performance was indeed a piece of madness, yet sadly not mad enough to be shocking, which explains why the piece was not as exciting as it might sound. If this was a piece intended to create discom…

These Shoes are NOT for Humans (Shoes: Pleasure and Pain exhibition review)

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15 Oct 2018 | Ashley

Shoes, shoes, shoes! Everybody loves shoes! Shoes are no longer commodities, but collectibles for some. They also preserve an important role throughout history in relations to power, status and seduction. Do not forget the fairytales with which we are all familiar where shoes play an essential role as well. For example, Cinderella and her glass slippers!

Situated at Pacific Place, Shoes: Pleasure and Pain is an ongoing exhibition from 28 Sept to 28 Oct, 2018. It is curated by Helen Persson and organized by the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, brought to us in Hong Kong for an inspirational journey where viewers are invited to ponder the meanings behind this collection of shoes from around the world.

Entering the dim exhibition area, I was immediately enticed by this breathtaking crystal shoe. It reflected in all directions colourful rays of light. It did not only stand out as a piece of artwork, but as a common reminder of childhood when the tale of Cinderella

What a Wonderful Hong Kong (One Fine Day - HKIBBF review)

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15 Oct 2018 | Ashley

I have spent most of my conscious time trying to accept my humanity, and I think I have achieved that. Being vulnerable is important. Being vulnerable in front of people is a therapeutic experience. It is indeed a pleasure to have an ear. Having someone feel safe before you and be completely naked is also a pleasure. I enjoy that kind of interaction the most, where we feel safe, vulnerable and simply, human.

Recently, Hong Kong Repertory Theatre (香港話劇團) and West Kowloon (西九文化區) co-operated on a festival named Hong Kong International Black Box Festival. Their aim is to bring daring productions from around the world to Hong Kong. On 11 Oct, 2018, I watched a show called One Fine Day (美好的一天), directed by Beijing-based director, Li Jianjun, at the HKRep Black Box. It was indeed a very avant-garde experiment which surprisingly grew emotionally intimate as the show progressed.

What was unusual when the audience first settled into the room was the request to follow a man…

Watching and Being Watched (Mr. Blank by CCDC - Performance Review)

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15 Oct 2018 | Ashley

The question of surveillance is prominent today under the climate of big data, smart technology, and secretive political dynamics. While we enjoy advanced technology and go about our lives, are we aware of the intrusive gaze imposed upon us?

A recent production by CCDC (City Contemporary Dance Company 城市當代舞蹈團) called Mr. Blank (茫然先生) put this question under the limelight. It is an innovative and out-of-the-box production collaborated by multiple artists, with Sang Jijia, acclaimed as "the most perfect dancer", as director and choreographer, Janice Poon for dramaturgy, Dickson Dee for original live music, Oliver Shing for video direction, and so on. As you can already tell, this production is a cross-disciplinary one where dance, drama, music and multimedia elements meticulously intertwined. From their sharing session, we know that this team, despite their differences in specialisation, worked at ease with one another, which I believe, is one of the great…

No, Humans. You're not Free. (Fine Art Asia & Ink Asia 2018 Review)

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05 Oct 2018 | Ashley

As Asia's leading international fine art fair, FINE ART ASIA 2018 took place at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre from 29 Sept to 2 Oct 2018. INK ASIA 2018 was also held at the same place alongside the fair. This year, I was lucky enough to be a visitor of this wondrous art convention.

I have to say, I am not used to expensive art, or art as a luxurious product so to speak. Being in these fairs, I can brutally conclude that art is indeed a luxurious business. Art is no less a business than any other industry in the world. Walking through FINE ART ASIA, I was intimidated by the absolutely beautiful ceramic vases, gold plates, bronze buddhas, crystal decorations etc. It is undeniable that my being intimidated was because of how meticulously done each of those works was and how I, as someone who is not rich, was amazed by the kind of "art" that I am not used to seeing.
What hit more close to home, however, was the a dark room at INK ASIA. I…

Seeing Art in Luxurious Bedrooms and Bathrooms (Asia Contemporary Art Show 2018 Review)

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05 Oct 2018 | Ashley

Have you ever lived in a luxurious hotel? If not, have you ever imagined living in a luxurious hotel? If not, have you ever walked through a luxurious hotel looking at expensive art that you cannot afford but still feeling privileged because well, at least you could afford the ticket to do so? In fact, it does not matter if you have not done any of those things. You could at least imagine being able to do the last bit by reading my post.

From 28 Sept to 1 Oct, almost the same time as Fine Art Asia and Ink Asia 2018 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, the Asia Contemporary Art Show was held at one of our most luxurious hotels, Conrad Hong Kong. I never thought that I would be able to step foot on one of their rooms, but as I am an art lover, and because I accidentally had a ticket, I could freely roam about on the four floors which they assigned for the show.
I find the idea of this experience an immersive one, but it did not turn out to be very so. …

Fly Me to the Moons

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05 Oct 2018 | Ashley

To the Moon (月台)  is an installation situated at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Piazza, right beside the beautiful Victoria Harbour where Hong Kong's magnificent buildings and lights are in plain view. It was only there for display from 15 Sept to 1 Oct 2018, which was not a very long time considering how intriguing and aesthetically pleasing it was.

So it was night time. I was walking on a sightseeing platform along the Victoria Harbour when I saw something luminous and yellowish moving about down there at the piazza. It was an extremely strange thing to see, because in front of the clock tower, there is a pool, and my question was: why was there a fun fair right above it? There were also seemingly many moons (well, in more practical terms, many round-shaped yellow luminous objects lining the pool). I decided that I needed to find out what peculiar thing had invaded this space.

What a surprise! The moving object was a luminous train. It was a train moving on hi…

"Pa Pa" (Mask Theatre) Review

25 Sep 2018 | Ashley

I loved it. I loved it so much. There is a certain beauty in this piece of physical theatre—a melancholy and sadness that made it absolutely precious to the heart.

Everyone has a papa. If you grew up in a context where your father was present, you might have an image of him which was faintly important, as if he was an inevitable take-for-granted figure no more important than a routine. Imagine your father getting old, so old that he could no longer take care of himself. And suddenly, that image you had of him completely turned upside down. He became someone that needed care-taking more than you do. What would your thoughts be? How would you treat someone ingrained upon the everyday who has now become a "burden" for you? This physical theatre piece would make you think twice. On 23 September 2018, I saw a mask theatre piece called "Pa Pa" (Chinese: 爸爸)at the Black Box Theatre in Kwai Tsing Theatre. It was produced by Théâtre de la Feuille, with …