A Visit to the Ko Shan Cantonese Opera Theatre / 高山劇場 with Hong Kong Sacred Spaces

A Visit to the Ko Shan Cantonese Opera Theatre / 高山劇場 with Hong Kong Sacred Spaces

I’ve been trying to learn about Cantonese Opera / 粵劇 ever since I moved to Hong Kong. Of all the artistic endeavors that are unique to South China, none evokes such a strong opinion. Cantonese Opera is often overshadowed by its aristocratic Beijing /京剧 cousin or the “Grande Dame” of Chinese Opera Kunqu 崑曲.  Cantonese Opera with its fantastical makeup and acrobatics can seem to some garish and unrefined. Yet what is less controversial about it is its importance to Cantonese Society itself. It is the glue that connects the past to modern life. It does this through festivals, in theatres performances, on late night television and over the crackle of an old speaker during a lonely late-night taxi ride through Wan Chai. The lamentations of the Faa Daan / 花旦 (young female character) and the fierce roar of the Mou Sang / 武生 (warrior) are, I’m told, the heart and soul of Guangdong.

The Ko Shan Theatre and the New Wing Cantonese Opera Education and Information Centre remains one of this City’s premier Cantonese Opera performance spaces.

If you’re in Hong Kong why not come along with Hong Kong Sacred Spaces on Saturday 12 May 2018 at 1:45 PM in the afternoon for a FREE English tour of the Ko Shan Theatre and the Centre. You’ll surely learn more about Cantonese Opera and who knows, you might even (heaven forbid) catch the Opera Bug!

There are several buses that stop along both Chatham and Ko Shan Roads running parallel to the Ko Shan Theatre. Please check specific bus schedules for details: 5, 5A, 5P, 11, 14, 26, 28, 93K, 101, 107, 108, 111, 116, A22 and 28MS. We’ll meet at the park directly in front of the theatre.

-Photo from the Ko Shan Website.

Attend talk “Buddhism and Human Rights: An Alliance of Shared Ethics”

Attend talk “Buddhism and Human Rights: An Alliance of Shared Ethics”

Buddhist Door

 

We’ll attend a talk titled “Buddhism and Human Rights: An Alliance of Shared Ethics” by Raymond Lam, Senior Writer for Buddhist Door, one of the most prestigious English language portals for Buddhism based right here in Hong Kong. This is the SECOND time we’ve heard Raymond talk about Buddhism, a topic that he is eminently qualified to speak about. This event is co-hosted by our friends at UUHK, the Hong Kong branch of the worldwide organization: Unitarian Universalist and International Association for Religious Freedom HK.

Human rights depend on axiomatic statements that take for granted the inherent worth of the human being. A Buddhist purist might call the notion of inherent human rights a dogma – a benevolent dogma, but a dogma nevertheless. After all, as there is no self and no permanence, how real is any kind of inherent right? Nevertheless, across Asia throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, Buddhist nationalists allied the philosophy human rights with Buddhist principles in their ideological attack on European colonialism. In today’s uncertain world, where human rights are still taken for granted yet violated continuously, what does Buddhist philosophy have to say about the idea of natural rights? Raymond Lam is a Buddhist in the Chinese tradition and Senior Writer at Buddhistdoor Global (www.buddhistdoor.net). As a journalist of religion, he regularly reports and opines about religion and society, culture, and politics.

 

The talk will be held at 11 Mong Kok Road, 10/F, Mong Kok

Phoenix Reborn: Chu Jades Excavated from Hubei Exhibit Event Roundup

Phoenix Reborn: Chu Jades Excavated from Hubei Exhibit Event Roundup

Phoenix Reborn: Chu Jades Excavated from Hubei

From those of you who did not get a chance to come with Hong Kong Sacred Spaces on our visit to Chinese University of Hong Kong‘s (CUHK) Art Museum to see the Phoenix Reborn Exhibit I’ve assembled a roundup post that includes some of the public materials published by the Museum as well as photos from Sacred Spaces members through the visit.  The exhibit itself was jointly presented with the Hubei Provincial Museum in Hubei, China and includes dozens of exquisite pieces of jade found at various archeological sites there dated to the Western Zhou Period (1046 to 771 BC/E).  You can also check out the Sacred Spaces Digital Libary with more specific information.  Click here for details.

If are in Hong Kong before the exhibition closes on February 25, 2018, I wholeheartedly recommend traveling to the CUHK campus, visiting the museum and viewing these beautiful pieces up close.

Heidi our superb guide

Sacred Spaces photos courtesy Jean Sicard 

Hong Kong Sacred Spaces visits Eric Fok’s art exhibit titled “Far East Chronicle”

Karin Weber Gallery
Far East Chronicle by Eric Fok

Please read the review of Eric’s Art Book published in 2016 by Wendi Song from the October 2016 edition of the Lifestyle Magazine Macau Closer

The book is available from Join Publishing (HK).

THE CITY AND THE PARADISE

Artist Eric Fok has just launched his first book: Paradise When Antique Maps Meet Modern Cities

Jointly published by Join Publishing (H.K.) Co., Ltd and local magazine NEW GEN. Monthly, with publishing funds partly provided by the Macau Culture Bureau, local Macau artist Eric Fok’s new book, Paradise: When Antique Maps Meet Modern Cities, has just been launched and is now on sale in Macau, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.

Published in Chinese and English, with a first print of 1,400 copies, the new book features 60 selected pieces from over 200 pieces in Eric’s Paradise series, that he been working on since 2012.  Included in the book is a print of  his first-sale Paradise No.15Paradise No.11 and No.16  which were selected for the 50thBologna Illustrators Exhibition; the awarded piece Paradise No.20 of the Portuguese Orient Foundation; and the work Heung San O Lee Ba which he specially created for the 5th Macau Literary Festival based on the Festival’s theme: “Tang Xianzu in Macau”.

Eric has been using ancient western map styles to discuss the problems and issues that come along with the development of modern cities. On specially made brown drawing paper, Eric uses needle lines to depict the past and present of Macau, as well as some other post-colonial cities like Hong Kong and Singapore, and Taipei.

Like many local schools, Eric’s school didn’t really teach Macau history. His own interest in Macau’s history was trigged in 2012 when the gaming industry was booming and Cotai was full of construction sites. On one occasion Eric found an old map of Macau and noticed the coastline had changed a lot. It was quite a shock to him. Therefore, with many questions, he started to read relevant books, watch films, and go to libraries; he even tried reading Portuguese references, in order to search for the past of Macau.

“The city has been decaying and developing in turns; to review its history is also a rethink,” says Eric.

Eric then started to draw his own observations and thoughts about the city. Some of his works show an old map of Macau occupied by crowded casino shuttle buses, big casino buildings standing in the centre of the city two or three hundred years ago, a group of early Portuguese explorers from 1513 chasing after a taxi refusing to take passengers, or trying to get on a crowded bus…

In his Paradise series, Eric not only draws about Macau but also of some European cities from the Age of Discovery and other post-colonial cities. In doing so, the artist hopes to find some answers to his questions about Macau and to understand the development of other cities.

Also featured in his new book is a scroll named Paradise: Hong Kong. In this painting, Eric depicts when British merchant ships landed in Hong Kong over a hundred years ago, together with the present-day modern buildings alongside the Victoria Harbour. And if you look closely, you can see many tents on the bridge with journalists taking photos – a familiar scene of the protest movement that happened to the city two years ago.

“I wanted to draw about Hong Kong’s past and present, to examine the opinions about the Umbrella Revolution; it was a very important historical event,” Eric explains. “I was looking for solutions when I started to draw. I read each city’s developing stories; some teach you about the experiences, some teach you lessons. However, gradually I realized not everything is that simple and easy to change, especially when you do care about the city,” Eric comments emotionally.

“What can we do? What can we change? ” Eric writes in his book’s preface. “I confess that I do not have the courage to step up and protest, but perhaps I can record my thoughts and questions for this society and generation with my technical pen at best.”

Paradise: When Antique Maps Meet Modern Cities by Eric Fok

Text from From Karin Weber website…

Karin Weber Gallery is pleased to present artist Eric Fok’s debut solo exhibition in Hong Kong during the Hong Kong Art Week.

Following the tremendous success of his joint exhibition in our gallery last year, Eric returns to Hong Kong with exquisitely crafted works made on fine paper, wood and leather.  Delving into his own imagination, fantasies, knowledge of world history, antique maps and legends and careful observation of cityscapes, Fok converts the gallery into his personal library.  An eclectic collection of maps, records and objects are presented which chronicle the evolvement of cities following the Age of Exploration, postcolonial phenomenon and impact of migration of population in the Hong Kong context.

Maps existed before written words. Eric’s ‘maps’ have the capability to open worlds of reality and imagination.  They evoke hopes and fears.  They also pose graphic challenges as Eric strenuously draws on a very small scale, which entails formidable difficulty.

‘Wunderkammer’, ‘golden era’, ‘heritage’ and ‘paradise’ are the keywords of his eagerly awaited solo exhibition in Hong Kong.

About the Artist:

Eric Fok (b. 1990) graduated from the Macao Polytechnic Institute and currently lives and works in Macao and Taipei. Eric has taken part in many exhibitions in Macao, Taiwan, China, Portugal and Spain. His works form part of several prestigious public collections including the Macau Government Headquarters (Governor’s Palace), Cultural Affairs Bureau of the Macau S.A.R., Oriental Foundation, Macau Museum of Art, The Orient Museum (Portugal), University Museum and Art Gallery (HKU), and private collections in Hong Kong, Macau, China, Taiwan, Singapore, Italy, USA and United Kingdom.

Karin Weber Gallery

 

 

Two or Three Things I Know About Qipao, and the Women Who Brought It to Life

Qipao patterns
“Two or Three Things I Know About Qipao, and the Women Who Brought It to Life” – Priscilla Chan Exhibit Curator

In order to help Hong Kong Sacred Spaces members learn more about the classic Qipao / Cheongsam ( 長衫) and have some background information before attending our upcoming visit to the Hong Kong Film Archive’s Exhibit “The Stars, the Silver Screen, and the Qipao“, I am creating a series of posts that will act as a resource for further study.  Some of the articles like the one below will be a summary of the exhibit and of the curatorial and preservation work done for it while others will be slightly more in-depth and academic.  My hope is to have some workable resource pages for those who wish to study Qipao in the future. The following article is from the most recent Hong Kong Film Archives monthly newsletter.  I encourage you to read this bilingual newsletter as HKFA has proven itself to be one of the most impressive cultural organizations in Hong Kong covering not only Chinese Cinema but many other ancillary arts like costume design.

Images and text from the Hong Kong Film Archive

Explore Fan Lau Fort 分流炮台!

WHY YOU SHOULD GO: You’ll be exploring a Qing Dynasty Fort, a British Colonial Boundary Marker with some stunning views, and check out two remote temples one dedicated to Hong Hau 侯古 AND the other Tin Hau 天后. It will be A LOT of fun!

Itinerary for Palace Museum Exibit – Pieces from the Hall of Mental Cultivation

Itinerary for Palace Museum Exibit – Pieces from the Hall of Mental Cultivation

Cloisonné hotpot with floral pattern

Itinerary for today’s event:

3:15 PM – 3:30 PM –  Gather at Che Kung MTR Station, Exit A in Shatin and take attendance.

3:30 PM – 3:45 PM – Walk to Hong Kong Heritage Museum, check in, and queue for English Language Public Tour.  Cost without concession $20 paid directly to HKHM.

4:00 PM – 5:00 PM – English Language Public Tour

Gather afterward for coffee and snack to discuss (always optional).


Link for today’s events:

Hong Kong Heritage Museum’s page.

Wiki on ‘Hall of Mental Cultivation‘ in Beijing’s Forbidden City.

Palace Museum, Beijing

National Palace Museum, Taipei