InnerGlow unveils its third spectacle at Tai Kwun, introducing a riveting extension to the Prison Yard while embracing The Year of the Dragon with renewed wonder

24 Jan 2024, Wednesday

InnerGlow 2024 expands its creative horizon in a unique mentorship journey with The Electric Canvas and Tai Kwun - transforming the Prison Yard into a vast night-time workshop for artistic innovation.

Comprising an awe-inspiring 3D architectural-mapped projection cast onto the historic facades of the Parade Ground, InnerGlow instantly established itself as a new Tai Kwun signature event in its first season in September 2022 and public anticipation is mounting for the unveiling of an all-new show on 26 January, then showing nightly until 14 February. As the city gears up to celebrate the Lunar New Year, details about the themes and content remain a closely guarded secret, but as we enter the Year of the Dragon, we might expect the Chinese Zodiac to make its mark on InnerGlow 2024, which this year is subtitled Dragon Tales. And, inspired by the public’s hugely enthusiastic response for the first two InnerGlow seasons, this year’s programme is expanding beyond the Parade Ground to embrace the Prison Yard which will glow nightly with InnerGlow Searchlight a showcase of the evolving creations of the next generation of InnerGlow creatives who have been mentored and coached by The Electric Canvas as Tai Kwun not only continues its mission to develop local talents but also builds Hong Kong’s capability in this exciting field in which constant technological advances open up exciting new possibilities for creative artists and where unfettered artistic creativity challenges the technology.  

Collaboration with The Electric Canvas and nurture local talents

Tai Kwun is immensely proud to continue this deeply rewarding partnership with The Electric Canvas, the Sydney-based showstoppers renowned for their innovative architectural projection mapping, which has been a highlight of Vivid Sydney. This collaboration established the creative tone in the first InnerGlow and has gone on to involve an ever-growing cohort of Hong Kong creative and technical talents, with the long-term goal of home-grown talents leading and producing such large-scale spectacles in their own right.

Through this partnership, Tai Kwun, is committed to cultivating Hong Kong’s talents in the specialised field of building projection, intersecting creativity with technical expertise. This synergy aims to sharpen the final presentations, blurring the lines between artists and technologists and bringing Hong Kong's unique artistic vision into sharper relief.

The programme is made possible with core funding provided by The Hong Kong Jockey Club through its Charities Trust as one of Tai Kwun’s arts and heritage programmes, and CLP Holdings Limited as the Principal Sponsor.

Peter Milne, Managing Director and Projection Designer of The Electric Canvas, remarks, “The Electric Canvas is thrilled to be returning to Tai Kwun in January 2024 for the third edition of the InnerGlow. We are proud to be involved with Tai Kwun’s exciting student mentorship programme, InnerGlow Searchlight, in addition to delivering the projections in the Parade Ground. Our designers are working alongside Tai Kwun’s curatorial team to advise and support groups of individual student artists as they create original works for the unique artform of projection mapping, which will be showcased in the Prison Yard. Sharing our knowledge and experience with local skills and talents is a fantastic opportunity for everyone involved and it’s why InnerGlow is always such a rewarding project for The Electric Canvas.”

CLP Holdings Limited Chief Executive Officer Mr T.K. Chiang said, “CLP is proud to continue its support to InnerGlow as the Principal Sponsor, bringing a glamorous 3D architectural-mapped projection to the community to experience the vibrancy and energy of Hong Kong’s nightlife and to celebrate the Year of the Dragon. This year’s InnerGlow is particularly meaningful as it expands to Prison Yard, which is created by a team of student artists under the guidance of world masters, showcasing creativity and interpretation of Hong Kong’s cultural heritage.”   

Dragon Tales: A mythical journey inside the Parade Ground

Hong Kong’s unique visual identity as expressed through its intangible cultural heritage, like the Tai Hang Fire Dragon – a century-old Mid-Autumn Festival tradition – will find its way into the aesthetic looks of InnerGlow 2024’s Parade Ground performance Dragon Tales. This year, which also marks the Year of the Dragon, adds a layer of cultural significance to the event. Extending an engaging invitation to its audiences, the third chapter of InnerGlow offers a unique opportunity to actively participate in the spectacle. Visitors have the opportunity to engage with interactive elements available at the location, allowing them to display their preferred animated designs, bringing their creativity to life on the compound’s iconic mango tree.

The event promises to be a nightly wonder, with shows on the half-hour from 6:30pm to 9pm.

InnerGlow Searchlight: Highlighting talents inside the Prison Yard

Expanding upon its promise to be a creative haven for student artists.  With the talent search now complete, the inaugural InnerGlow Searchlight will bring together a diverse array of early career professionals and Hong Kong graduate and undergrad students studying either here or abroad as well as a multicultural contingent of students enrolled in university studies here in Hong Kong. Through this mentorship programme, students specialising in art, creative media, film, and design are given the extraordinary opportunity to experiment with their ideas under the seasoned guidance of The Electric Canvas and Tai Kwun. The initiative encourages young creatives to rethink, rework, and broaden their artistic practices as they transform the Prison Yard into a vast workshop space where their imaginative concepts can come to life. This immersive, hands-on experience will not only enrich their skills but also guarantee a highly distinctive and exciting future for InnerGlow.

Editor’s notes:

Please click here to download hi-res images

InnerGlow 2024 Performance Timetable & Programme Notes

Dragon Tales

InnerGlow Searchlights

Date

26.01 – 14.02.2024 (except 10-11.02.2024)

Time

6:30pm, 7pm, 7:30pm,

8pm, 8:30pm, 9pm

6:45pm – 9:15pm

Venue

Parade Ground

Prison Yard

Programme Notes

Barrack Block

Dragon Tales embarks on a journey from the mythical dragon, employing myth-inspired illustrations and three-dimensional animations. It blends traditional Cantonese narrative singing with contemporary music, guiding the audience through landscapes, ancient texts, totems, and urban spaces in search of the form of the dragon.

Pottinger Ramp

Neon

Paying homage to Hong Kong’s iconic signage, Neon is an animated procession of blinking characters and flashing symbols leading the public up the Pottinger Street ramp to the Tai Kwun Parade Ground.

Stream

A mountain stream cascades down the Pottinger Street ramp, as fish swim between rocks and dragonflies skim the water’s surface.

Dragon’s Journey

A dragon meanders along the Pottinger Street ramp, twisting and winding its way through an ocean of traditional Chinese motifs.

Ah Lung’s Journey

Bright and Beautiful Things

Jailbreak

Jailhouse Follies

Metamorphosis of Chaos

InnerGlow 2024 Creative & Production Team

Creative and Technical Partner

The Electric Canvas

Projection Designer

Peter Milne

Music Director

Roy Cheung

InnerGlow Searchlight Mentors

Peter Milne, The Electric Canvas Projection Designer

Ying Kwok, Senior Curator of Tai Kwun

Participating Student Artists

Ah Lung’s Journey
Animation: Yani Kaye Linsangan Castaneda│ Febby Valencia│ Mandy Yau│ Alfs Bryan Pabellan Dotdot
Music and Sound: Alfs Bryan Pabellan Dotdot
Students work from City University of Hong Kong

Bright and Beautiful Things
Animation: Catherine Fu (City University of Hong Kong)
Music and Sound: Stephen Ip (Hong Kong Design Institute)

Jailbreak
Animation: Harry Hung│ Trini Chong
Music and Sound: Leung Hei Na
Sound Engineering: Allen Cheung
Cast: Ma Hiu Ying │ Ng Cheuk Fai
Students work from Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts

Jailhouse Follies
Animation: Jerry Loo (University of Arts London)│ Alison Mak (University of Toronto)
Music and Sound: Bryan Leung│ Kyle Li (Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts)

Metamorphosis of Chaos
Animation: Chenyu Lin
Student work from City University of Hong Kong

Tai Kwun Team

Executive Producer: Linda Yip, Head of Performing Arts
Producer: Mimi Lam
Assistant Producer: Kelvin Li
Production Manager: Juk Cheung, Joel Ma
Technical and Production: Irene Cheung, Giann Leung, Shandy Leung, Dang Hung, Hang Cheung, Terrence Choi, Bobby Lai, Myra Cheung, Neal Lee, Michael Lui

Technical Support

Parade Ground: Serious Staging

Prison Yard: Stage Tech Limited

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Tai Kwun Contemporary presents Green Snake: women-centred ecologies (20 Dec 2023 to 1 Apr 2024)

20 Dec 2023, Wednesday

Tai Kwun Contemporary is proud to present Green Snake: women-centred ecologies, a group exhibition that explores the connections between art and ecology in the context of rising temperatures and extreme weather events. Gathering more than 30 artists and collectives from 20 countries, the exhibition presents over 60 works that draw on mythologies and world views with women at their heart in order to explore possibilities for other ecological relationships and imagine other futures. Curated by Kathryn Weir and Xue Tan, with assistant curators Tiffany Leung and Pietro Scammacca, Green Snake: women-centred ecologies is on view from 20 December 2023 to 1 April 2024.

At its core, Green Snake: women-centred ecologies points to extractive economies at the root of our ecological crises — economies that treat nature as reserves of resources for exploitation. Such economics of extraction have a long history that is intertwined with the history of settler-colonialism and imperialism. The consequences have been devastating: the suppression of Indigenous as well as other non-capitalist cultures and knowledge systems as well as the desolation of nature in the pursuit of limitless growth. Today, the destructive effects of a single-pointed focus on profit and growth are more widely recognised, as the impunity with which this has destroyed worlds and spread toxicity and pollution in its wake is now resulting in the collapse of ecosystems, along with accelerating climate change.

Some artists in Green Snake explore histories of such devastation and extraction, while other artists look particularly at the knowledge systems that have been marginalised or suppressed. Rather than unfolding a bleak, dystopian view, Green Snake asks what alternative narratives are activated through artists’ visions that celebrate nature as an all-encompassing and generative force — many of them grounded in notions of care and interrelationship that are central to ecofeminism. This labour of care is in fact essential to the reproduction of existence, and this has been undervalued in articulated patriarchal and imperial systems across broad geographies. In this way, Green Snake seeks to present works by artists drawing on and revitalising diverse cosmological systems in relation to ecology and women-centred knowledge.

The exhibition title refers both to the celebrated ancient Chinese folktale about two demon sisters, White Snake and Green Snake, and to mythological serpentine figures across cultures that are associated with nature’s capacity to shed skins, transform and re-awaken. In the eighth-century folktale Madame White Snake, the sister figure of Green Snake strongly represents women’s agency, sisterhood and gender fluidity — and has been widely reinterpreted in contemporary literature and cinema. At another level, in the exhibition, the snake’s sinuous curves echo the geomorphology of river systems and the vital energy of the water flowing through them. Indeed, a series of artists in the exhibition have longstanding research interests in specific river ecosystems and in their associated mythologies. Dialogues between works rooted in different geographies testify to parallel struggles and to parallel practices of empathy and care for non-human existence. The figure of an all-encompassing circle of planetary and cosmic renewal emerges in a symphonic call for a radical reorientation of the human within the whole.

Highlights

Visitors to the exhibition are greeted by Yussef Agbo-Ola and Tabita Rezaire’s MIKA: 8 Root Temple and walking meditation in the Prison Yard of Tai Kwun. A temple of healing that reflects microscopic organisms found in soil and the internal cellular structure of plant roots, MIKA is partially inspired by the form of human lungs and plant anatomy. The temple honours the circadian rhythms and biological forms shared between plants and humans, and the energy that resonates from an unconscious plane — and metaphorically invites visitors to embark on the journey of the Earth’s creation, through the deep time of its ages and transformations.

A series of artists in Green Snake offer alternative visions of the human body in relation to broader energetic and cosmic relationships. Ann Leda Shapiro’s watercolours and cut-outs, for instance, are meticulously built up of ink and graphite circles that echo the pin pricking of acupuncture practices as well as celestial constellations. Some of her works feature organs entwined with celestial bodies and nervous systems morphing into rivers, forming a landscape where the human body, the earthly body, and the cosmic body are entwined. Guo Fengyi, too, explores interrelationship, energy, eternity and consciousness in her works. A self-taught artist, Guo’s intricate ink paintings are inspired by qigong, a traditional healing practice that combines breathing, meditation, and gentle movement, and frequently depict otherworldly forms and figures, blending human, plant, water and mountain in ethereal shapes. These mysterious beings feature visible circulatory systems, which the artist described as channels for energy. Resonating with these practices is that of Lhola Amira who draws on spiritual practices from South African cultures to create spaces for healing that are connected to the earth, the ancestral, and surrounding spirits, with an installation that the visitor enters by parting a beaded curtain and standing on a healing bed of salt, while hearing the sounds of singing. The work is part of a series of unique portals through which one enters for the cleansing of wounds, honouring of ancestors, and fostering of connections.

Mythological systems that encode other powerful relationships to the natural work are important to the artistic explorations of many of the artists in Green Snake. Hong Kong artist Jaffa Lam, for example, restages the spiritual presence of Tin Hau, a goddess of the sea and one of the most celebrated deities in southern China. Responding to the ongoing effects of land reclamation upon the shorelines of Hong Kong, which have increasingly distanced Tin Hau temples from the sea, Lam imagines new forms of worship that depart from the traditional pathways of shrines and temples. Natasha Tontey creates edgy visions of the deep time of her ancestral Minahasan culture, an indigenous group whose lands are in North Sulawesi, Indonesia, imagining queer futures in which its spirits have agency and younger generations are empowered to break out of patriarchal structures, juxtaposing elements of mythology, archaeology and urban cultures, and shifting perspectives across multiple timelines. Drawing from the rich tradition of Indian miniatures, Manjot Kaur combines ancient stories and precarious ecologies with speculative visions of alternative relationships between deities, humans and the environment, imagining new hybrid beings taking off from existing mythological narratives. Far from simply appropriating mythological traditions, artists in Green Snake in fact offer eco-critical interpretations of specific myths and myth cycles, frequently also seeking to question the centrality of humanity.

By challenging accepted interpretations of history and the present, some artists reveal the ways in which present forms of knowledge have been constructed through violent processes, that have been made to seem natural. Adriana Bustos, for one, draws on historical images and maps associated with social, political, or religious oppression, and on anthropology, science, popular culture, fiction, biographical writings, and history in her epic drawing Afluentes Sudamericanos: Carta de navegación (South American tributaries: navigation chart), a visual narration of South America through its rivers, from a political and ecological perspective; she juxtaposes history with environmental disasters caused by the extraction of resources. In their works, Seba Calfuqueo makes poetically visible relationships between water politics, gender and land in Chile revealing the ways in which indigenous Mapuche and queer people, as well as the natural world, have been dispossessed under colonial rule. They underline resilience and multigenerational knowledge transmission; water occupy a central place in the artist’s practice—both for their spiritual associations in Mapuche culture as well as for their symbolism of gender fluidity.

Bodies of water and river systems are a key concern for a series of artists in Green Snake. In Lago de Chalco, Maria Thereza Alves documents the changing morphology of the lake over time: dried out in the early twentieth century by a Spanish settler in order to gain thousands of hectares of land for plantations and cattle, resulting in the death of many fish and birds and the complete disruption of a millennial agricultural system. Subsequent removal of the water from an aquifer to supply water to Mexico City caused a depression to form in the lake bed, while rainwater began to accumulate, creating a new lake. Still here: Chalchihuitlicue, Quetzalcoatl, Tlaloc and further complexities invokes three deities to the capacity of Xico’s waters to rebel against the environmental degradation and to return. In the case of Gidree Bawlee, an artist’s initiative founded by Kamruzzaman Shadhin in an area of north-east Bangladesh where many displaced indigenous people and climate refugees have settled on marginal farming lands, aesthetics is merged with social engagement. With members of the local community they create festivals, workshops, and experimental forms of theatre and puppetry, merging forms of longstanding aesthetic heritage with socially-engaged contemporary practice. Their work in Green Snake talks about the drying up of rivers and the toxic pollution caused by fertilisers and pesticides in industrial farming. Created by a theatre troupe of mainly young women who form part of Gidree Bawlee, the film recounts how these rivers once carried fish and other river life. The spirits of these creatures are seen as ghosts returning to watch over the living.

The connections between ecosystems, communities, and geographies, as well as the ways in which embodied knowledge and Indigenous cosmologies can confront colonial legacies and the effects of capitalism and environmental degradation are perhaps best encapsulated in works by the Colombian artist Carolina Caceydo. Her suspended sculptures, known as “Cosmotarrayas”, are made of fishing nets sourced from local communities that she transforms. They serve as symbolic objects that represent the complex relationships between people, rivers, traditions and cultures. A cobra grande, one of Caycedo's largest Cosmotarrayas, consists of seven interconnected fishing nets, a musical instrument called a caxixi, metal rods, and embroidered elements. The sculpture is hand-dyed in vibrant shades of green, yellow, and fuchsia, and it resembles the giant snake of the Amazon, a mythological creature believed to inhabit riverbeds and shape waterways as it moves through the forest. The Amazonian cobra is said to cause mudslides and other disasters when it is angered by human-induced environmental destruction. As an important symbol of Amazonian identity, the snake figure reminds us that our environment is in a constant state of flux, shaped by human actions and by the non-human world. Caycedo’s work foregrounds Indigenous knowledge and invites us to develop a more sustainable approach to our environment—one that fosters connection, care, and reciprocity. 

Kathryn Weir, the co-curator of Green Snake, said: “The exhibition Green Snake brings mythological figures to life and reactivates women-oriented narratives through artists’ visions —which point to other possible futures based on other value systems than those which have drawn the whole planet into a spiral of toxicity and extreme weather events. To think from Hong Kong today about ecological relationships, their destruction under modernisation, and imperialism, and about alternatives that reaffirm values of care and connection, is to cut to the heart of the world’s most pressing questions from a place of historical transformations. Over the last ten years of working in depth on issues of political ecology with artists whose practice reorients value systems to decentre the human — and since undertaking another project in Chengdu on these questions in 2018, Cosmopolis #1.5: enlarged intelligence — it has been clear to me that Chinese artists are engaging at the forefront of ecological concerns.”

Xue Tan, Senior Curator, Tai Kwun, said: "This exhibition is an urgent call for discussion and a reorientation of our perspective in the context of ecological crises. Here in Hong Kong, we have experienced unprecedented extreme weather events, such as recently in September. We must think — how do we envision a shared future? Together with artists from wide geographies, Green Snake seek insights from various cosmologies and ancestral knowledge systems that are deeply rooted in women’s experiences and connections with nature. The exhibition offers crucial ways forward by bringing the notion of care and interrelationship to the forefront of our thinking and everyday life."

Dr Pi Li, Head of Art at Tai Kwun, said: “With our commitment to thought-provoking exhibitions, Tai Kwun Contemporary is delighted to present Green Snake: women-centred ecologies, which offers pluralistic artistic voices and perspectives to the urgent question of climate change. We are grateful for the deeply researched perspectives brought together by co-curators Kathryn Weir, Xue Tan, and the participating artists. In fact, Tai Kwun Contemporary has always been engaged with forward-thinking curatorial and artistic visions, in the form of exhibition-making that seeks out new narratives, coming after Myth Makers, which explored LGBTQ+ perspectives in Asia.”

Over the course of the exhibition, Tai Kwun Contemporary will be hosting a wide range of public programming and educational events that look more deeply at the relation of art and ecology from the perspectives of labour of care and human-nature connection. These include Art After Hours: Green Snake Artists’ Talk in conversation between curator Xue Tan and five groups of exhibition artist; Teacher’s Morning and Teacher’s Workshop, and Family Day at Tai Kwun Contemporary. Of particular note are the Guided Tours: Who’s Next, this tour offers a thoughtfully guided perspective on the artist's creative process, techniques, and sources of inspiration.

About the curators:

Kathryn Weir is a curator, writer and art historian based in Paris. She is the co-artistic director of the Lagos Biennial 2024 and teaches curatorial studies at the Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti in Rome. Previously artistic director of the MADRE contemporary art museum in Naples and before that director of multidisciplinary programs at the Centre Pompidou, she also founded Cosmopolis in 2015, a platform for research-based, socially engaged, and collaborative practices across broad geographies. From 2006 to 14, at the Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA), Brisbane, she was chief curator of international art, directed the Australian Cinémathèque, and was a member of the curatorium of the 5th, 6th and 7th Asia Pacific Triennials, as well as leading the major project “21st Century: art in the first decade” (2010–2011). Publications include Utopia Dystopia: the myth of progress seen from the South (forthcoming), Rethinking Nature (forthcoming), Claire Tabouret: I am spacious, singing flesh (Mousse, 2022), Cosmopolis #1.5: Enlarged Intelligence (Centre Pompidou/ Mao Jihong Arts Fondation, 2018), Gorilla (Reaktion Books, 2013), Sculpture is Everything (QAGOMA, 2012), The view from elsewhere (Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation, 2009) and Modern Ruin (QAGOMA, 2008). Recent curatorial projects include “Jimmie Durham: humanity is not a completed project” (2022-2023), “Clément Cogitore: Ferdinandea” (2022), “Beauty and Terror: sites of colonialism and fascism” (2022), “Rethinking Nature” (2021–2022), “Temitayo Ogunbiyi : you will play in the everyday, running” (2020-2021), “Collective Body” (Dhaka Art Summit 2020, co-curated with Diana Campbell Betancourt), “Cosmopolis #2 : rethinking the human” (2019). Her curatorial and writing practice engages with critical thinking on gender, technology, race, class and political ecology.

Xue Tan is Senior Curator of Tai Kwun, she joined Tai Kwun Contemporary at its inception in 2015. Her recent curatorial projects include Maria Hassabi: I’ll Be Your Mirror (2023), Pan Daijing: Echo, Moss and Spill (2021), Tino Sehgal (2021), trust & confusion (2021), Francis Alÿs, Wet feet_dry feet, borders and games (2020), My Body Holds Its Shape (2020), Phantom Plane, Cyberpunk in the Year of the Future (2019), Performing Society: The Violence of Gender (2019), Cao Fei, A hollow in a world too full (2018) and amongst others. Tan has led acclaimed Tai Kwun Contemporary collaborations with The Museum für Moderne Kunst in Frankfurt and the Center for Curatorial Studies of Bard College in New York. With research focus on ecology, cosmotechnics, transnational narratives, liveness and performativity, Tan’s curatorial work reimagines art spaces and exhibition-making as a proactive and responsive medium for artistic experimentation and production.

— End —

Please click here to download hi-res images.

Green Snake: women-centred ecologies

Curators: Kathryn Weir and Xue Tan, with assistant curators Tiffany Leung and Pietro Scammacca

20 December 2023–1 April 2024
Tue–Sun: 11am–7 pm, Thu until 9 pm
Closed on Mondays
(Except public holidays, in which case the following day would be closed)
1/F JC Contemporary & F Hall, Prison Yard
Lead Sponsor: Indosuez Wealth Management

Visitor information
The entire site of Tai Kwun is open to the public daily from 8am to 11pm, while Tai Kwun Contemporary at JC Contemporary is open from Tuesdays to Sundays from 11am to 7pm. Extended hours on Thursday until 9 pm. Closed on Monday.

Programme details are subject to change; please refer to the Tai Kwun website for news and updates.

www.taikwun.hk

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Acclaimed Animation Director Kongkee Unleashes a Psychedelic Futurist Fantasy at Tai Kwun's Exhibition Kongkee: Warring States Cyberpunk

8 Dec 2023, Friday

Returning to his home city of Hong Kong for his institutional solo exhibition, the award-winning animation director and visual artist Kongkee (a.k.a. KONG Khong-chang) is set to illuminate Tai Kwun with a fantastical psychedelic exhibition, transforming the Duplex Studio from 9 December 2023 to 3 March 2024 with an immersive narrative.

By integrating animation, sound, and neon art, the exhibition Kongkee: Warring States Cyberpunk ponders alternative histories, and tells a new tale about Qu Yuan (屈原; c. 339 BC–278 BC), a legendary Chinese poet and statesman, whom the Dragon Boat festival celebrates every year. In Kongkee’s imagination, Qu Yuan is resurrected and subsequently catapulted from the ancient Kingdom of Chu into a dystopian future inspired by ancient Chinese poetry.

In addition to showcasing selected works from the past, Kongkee will develop new site-specific works at Tai Kwun, which reflect upon the contemporary world we inhabit and challenge our perceptions of the past. With a large-scale LED installation and site-specific neon works, the pieces in the exhibition captivatingly explore the desires inherent in traditional narratives and craftsmanship — as well as the ways in which they are informed and transformed by modern technologies.

The exhibition was first organised by the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco and curated by Abby Chen, Head of Contemporary Art and Senior Associate Curator, and this presentation at Tai Kwun is co-curated by Ying Kwok, Senior Curator at Tai Kwun.

Exhibition Highlights

Casting the arched windows of Tai Kwun’s Duplex Studio with a sense of solemn spirituality, the exhibition’s first newly commissioned site-specific installation  Past / Present / Future / Bleeding / Tearing / Drifting employs a digital triptych which delves into the contrasting outcomes of religious acts. Featuring a religious ceremony in the central panel, either side displays conflicting images that prompt audiences to rethink relationships of cause and effect. Additionally, the second newly commissioned installation Time Pause Became Mountain, Time Move Became Water toys with stillness and movement in the space, using a simple moving image played at different speeds to illustrate the concept.

Kongkee moreover delivers each act of Dragon’s Delusion to Hong Kong, from Preface, Departure to Assassination, presented in sequence for the first time. The animations resurrect the First Emperor, Qin Shi Huang — who unified China and whose empire collapsed almost immediately after his untimely death — and in doing so, Kongkee tests the following hypothesis: what if the emperor succeeded in unlocking the secret to immortality and created an eternal, absolute tyranny? Revising the origins of imperial China against the backdrop of a Hong Kong-inspired cyberpunk cityscape, the piece raises important questions about memory and identity, as well as the true meaning of justice and freedom.

Visitors can also peer behind the scenes and uncover the artistry behind these installations and other selected works in the section Making Of, which reveals the incredible time, effort, and teamwork poured into Kongkee’s seemingly effortless animations. The display includes video interviews with the artist and original manuscripts which offer insight into his creative process.

“While growing up in Hong Kong and embarking on my creative journey there, the city always struck me as cyberpunk in its aesthetic and atmosphere. I hope my artworks, which in some ways illustrate this perception of Hong Kong, resonate with its people — especially while displayed at Tai Kwun, one of the city’s most unique and historic sites,” said Kongkee.

“As a site for arts and culture located right in the heart of Hong Kong’s Central neighbourhood, we recognise our role in supporting and shining a light on artistic perspectives that were incubated and even moulded by the city,” said Pi Li, Head of Art at Tai Kwun, “We are excited to platform works by Kongkee, an artist raised and educated in Hong Kong, with an exhibition vibrantly displaying the city’s talent. His homecoming at Tai Kwun represents a real opportunity for the local art community to interact with pieces crafted in dialogue with the city and its people, who will hopefully feel inspired by the concepts therein.”

“Kongee’s ingenious assemblies of alternative histories and futures interwoven with ancient Chinese poems fit perfectly at home in Tai Kwun, a site which is steeped in Hong Kong’s heritage and which also looks to the future,“ said Ying Kwok, Senior Curator at Tai Kwun, “Coalescing in a potent chemistry, Kongkee’s thought-provoking works are set to electrify the galleries of Tai Kwun’s beautifully constructed Duplex Studio”.

Guests can even take Kongkee: Warring States Cyberpunk home by purchasing an item from the exclusive merchandise collection designed by Kongkee himself in collaboration with Tai Kwun Contemporary. The limited edition collection allows visitors to enjoy, beyond the exhibition, the artist’s creative process, which incorporates Hong Kong's visual identity into a cyberpunk setting. More details will be announced soon.

Public Programmes

During the exhibition, Tai Kwun will organise a series of public programmes, including Tai Kwun Conversations, Curator-led Tours, Guided Tours by Other Artists and Writers, Art After Hours and a Live Music Event. All such events invite audiences to delve deeper into a world of cyberpunk art bursting with radiant sounds and imagery.

Programmes

Schedule

Tai Kwun Conversations: Kongkee: Warring States Cyberpunk — A Dialogue between Kongkee and Ying Kwok

Date: 10 December 2023 (Sunday)
Time: 3pm–4:30pm
Venue: JC Cube, Tai Kwun

Speakers:

  1. Kongkee (a.k.a. KONG Khong-chang)
  2. Ying Kwok, Senior Curator at Tai Kwun (Co-curator of Kongkee: Warring States Cyberpunk)

Curator-led Tour

(to be conducted in English)

Date: 23 December 2023 (Saturday)
Time: 3pm–4pm
Venue: Duplex Studio

Curator-led Tour

(to be conducted in Cantonese)

Date: 6 January 2024 (Saturday)
Time: 3pm–4pm
Venue: Duplex Studio

*The details of Guided Tours by Other Artists and Writers, Art After Hours and Live Music Event will be announced soon.

Editor’s notes

Kongkee: Warring States Cyberpunk

9 December 2023 to 3 March 2024

Tue–Sun: 11am–7 pm

Closed on Mondays (Except public holidays, in which case the following day would be closed)

Block 01 Duplex Studio, Tai Kwun
Co-curated by Ying Kwok and Abby Chen

Lead Sponsor: Oriental Watch Company
Exhibition Partner: Asian Art Museum of San Francisco

Please click here to download high-res images with captions.

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Hong Kong's Cultural Heart Glows with Joy: The Hong Kong Jockey Club Presents 'Simple Gifts of Joy' at Tai Kwun

30 Nov 2023, Thursday

Christmas comes but once a year – together, Tai Kwun and The Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC), as an annual tradition, invite Hong Kong to a jolly jamboree, as Tai Kwun unwraps a spectacular 12-metre tall Christmas tree, along with a merry light shows, up-close and interactive Circus Plays, F&B and shopping experiences to celebrate the season from 1 Dec 2023 to 1 Jan 2024!


A magnificent transformation is underway as Tai Kwun becomes a Christmas playground, where cherished childhood memories are set to be rekindled with the annual festivities of HKJC Presents Simple Gifts of Joy. The enchanting event comes to town on 1 December, evoking nostalgia across generations and featuring thrilling performances of the Tai Kwun Circus Plays. As visitors enter the festive wonderland, they will be greeted by the magic of Christmas and the allure of classic games, like slides, croquet, and other playground facilities. Imagine the delight as you embark on a journey through time, rediscovering the joy of yesteryears. Adding to the festive magic is a grand 12-metre-tall Christmas tree adorned with decorations that are bound to captivate yulephiles’ hearts. A daily Christmas light show and the Gift of Music will fill the air with a splendid atmosphere. Throughout this grand month, the shops and restaurants at Tai Kwun will be offering special treats, and TK Fan-exclusive activities to bring added excitement. It promises to be an unforgettable holiday experience for all our cherished visitors and guests.


Illuminating Skies and Merry Music Performance

Amid the enchanting backdrop of Tai Kwun the essence of Christmas comes to life, reminding us that our most cherished moments are the ones that are shared. A genuine smile, an affectionate hug from a friend, an impromptu sing-along, or an unexpected burst of laughter – these are the treasures of the season, more valuable than any tangible gift. Standing at a glorious height of 12 metres and symbolising togetherness, Tai Kwun’s Christmas Tree serves as a gathering point for friends and families. As dusk falls, the tree emblazens the night with a daily light show, captivating all who visit. The official Tree Lighting Ceremony, marked with The Gift of Music, will have its inaugural showing at 6:30pm on 1 December. The façade of Tai Kwun’s historic buildings have been draped with fairy lights to offer a festive glow, ensuring that Tai Kwun will twinkle into the night.

In the spirit of togetherness, Tai Kwun welcomes visitors of all ages to enjoy a lovely range of playful games and facilities within the vibrant and joyous Playground. The area is adorned with an array of vivid colours evoking beloved childhood memories, perfectly complementing Tai Kwun Circus Plays and promising a holistic experience for all. Adding musical charm to the festivities, The Gift of Music, an opening concert series featuring heartwarming Christmas carols by NOĒMA. These melodies will resound through Tai Kwun, uniting the public in a celebratory atmosphere throughout the festive season.

Christmas Light Show
Date: 1 December 2023 – 1 January 2024
Time: Every half an hour from 6pm – 9:30pm*
Venue: Parade Ground, Tai Kwun
Price: Free of charge
*The light show may be cancelled without prior notice due to the on-site performances

The Gift of Music – Tree Lighting Ceremony
Date: 1 December 2023 
Time: From 6:30pm
Venue: Parade Ground, Tai Kwun

The Gift of Music
Date: 2, 8 & 9 December 2023
Time: From 6:30pm - 7pm
Venue: Parade Ground, Tai Kwun


A Mesmerising Circus Extravaganza: Tai Kwun Circus Plays

Tai Kwun Circus Plays returns with a resounding celebration of Christmas and awe-inspiring performances, attracting a congregation of both local and international circus luminaries. Be bedazzled as the artists bring their exceptional talents to the forefront and set the stage for a spellbinding display of world-class contemporary circus performances that promise to spread immense joy across every corner of Tai Kwun. With wild laughter, and incredible shows, these are not just passive performances – they are an opportunity for audiences to engage, enjoy, and interact with the magic of circus arts. Beyond the showstopping performances, from 15 Dec to 1 Jan, Tai Kwun Circus Plays unfurls as a dynamic arena where those connect with circus artists to forge a vibrant exchange of creativity and knowledge. This dynamic synergy propels contemporary circus from its street origins to a theatrical apex, positioning it as a global spectacle that transcends boundaries and conventions.


A Global Circus Odyssey: International Acts at Tai Kwun

Starting from 15 Dec, Tai Kwun Circus Plays showcases an unforgettable lineup of international artists for the Tai Kwun Circus Plays, making it a truly global extravaganza. Step into the world of The Receptionists, a comedy show produced by an award-winning physical theatre and contemporary circus company where two office ladies transform a small reception area into a 'five-star' hotel, delivering five-star acts including clown performances, dance, mime, and physical theatre in the process. Those who are lucky might also encounter the larger-than-life Giraffes from Spain's Xirriquiteula Teatre, an exquisite non-verbal street puppet performance beloved by audiences around the world. Hailing from Sweden, Catalonia, and Belgium, Gregarious and Screws promise to defy the laws of physics, providing a poetic and anti-heroic take on the contemporary circus that blurs the lines between competition and fraternity. Guaranteeing giggles galore, award-winning British clown Fraser Hooper’s Funny Business promises to be a barrel of laughs.


Unveiling the Stars: Celebrating Local Circus Brilliance

At the heart of the event, Tai Kwun is dedicated to paving the way for local circus performers. In collaboration with Circus Bootcamp, circus artist Jason Lee leads the charge, connecting up-and-coming circus stars with seasoned professionals, nurturing their talents to new heights. Among these emerging talents, the two performing units of New Boom in Circus, Dennis Law and Rare Circus, have ascended the ranks. Having made their mark at last year's Circus Playground, a platform for street performers, they now take centre stage at JC Cube this year, showcasing their growth and evolution as stage performers.

The event's lineup is a testament to the transformation of these artists. Huang Ho Yin and Ho Ho Yeung of Rare Circus kicks the show off with their diabolo and crystal ball skills while Dennis Law impressed the audience with a dazzling array of performing arts. Circus Wulin will have visitors explore uniquely tailored experiences and craft their own circus adventures while the exciting Ting-koo-ki Mad Skills Battle features international circus performers vying for the prestigious title of “Circus King”. These events serve as culminating highlights of the event, guaranteed to captivate spectators both on and off the stage.


Unmissable Ticketed Circus Programmes

Making his way back to the stage, Fraser Hopper will also serve as the tutor for Circus Camp for Professionals sharing his masterful skills in improvisation and clown performance with local artists. Together with The Receptionists and New Circus in Booms, tickets for these programmes are available at art-mate.net. Please refer to the appendix for more Circus Plays information.


A Month of Delights: Exclusive Treats, Delectable Dining, and Festive Gifting

With dedication to rival Santa’s elves, the shops and restaurants at Tai Kwun have been hard at work creating magical experiences that combine artistic presentations with hands-on craft activities, adorned by a delightful array of seasonal flavours.

Offering a Thai twist on the season, Aaharn will delight and spoil diners with its festive dinner-tasting menu that comes with a complimentary glass of Bollinger Champagne. To keep visitors warm, Café Claudel has infused red wine and brandy with seasonal spices, bringing together cinnamon, star anise, cloves, and orange to craft the perfect cup of mulled wine. Proving that one needn’t travel to France for a Bûche de Noël, Madame Fù - Grand Café Chinois has fired up its oven to wow chocolate lovers with a traditional, iconic and festive Chocolate Yule Log Cake. And be sure to celebrate the holidays with a touch of sweetness from Stecco Natura, where adorable reindeer-shaped gelato popsicles adorned with pretzel antlers make for the perfect festive treat.

Throughout December, one can embrace the season at LockCha Tea Shop, with their Christmas Flower Tea Gift Set, a collection of carefully curated teas that capture the essence of the holidays. Creative spirits will find themselves welcome at Touch Ceramics which will host a unique Contemporary Kintsugi workshop, transforming imperfections into beauty. Meanwhile, Yuen's Tailor brings the charm of Scottish Tartan to Tai Kwun, offering a selection of clothing and accessories that exude timeless style, along with a Tartan workshop, where can craft your own Tartan bag, card holder, skirt, and accessories.


Visitors can enhance the festive experience by downloading the Tai Kwun App and becoming a TK Fan. Those who do so will be awarded with a delightful stocking stuffer upon their visit to Tai Kwun in December. Furthermore, TK Fans can take part in the Stamp of Joy campaign and be eligible for an additional festive reward when they join three HKJC Presents Simple Gifts of Joy programmes using their TK App during December. These gifts are limited, so Christmas-goers should act swiftly!


About Tai Kwun

Tai Kwun is Hong Kong’s beating cultural heart, enabled by The Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC) in partnership with the Hong Kong SAR Government. A vibrant, welcoming space that brings people together, Tai Kwun is committed to inspiring the community through arts, culture and heritage. Located in the heart of Central, Hong Kong, Tai Kwun brings creative energy into our city by providing the people of Hong Kong with access to a variety of immersive, world-class experiences. It is open for all members of our community to enjoy, nurturing appreciation for arts, heritage and culture.

Tai Kwun supports youth in our community with the skills and development opportunities needed to thrive in the creative industries. Together with HKJC, Tai Kwun aspires to contribute to a culturally vibrant Hong Kong, amplifying the city’s role as a thriving arts and cultural hub in the region and the global arena.

The relationship between HKJC and Tai Kwun continues HKJC’s longstanding role as a supporter of the city’s iconic arts and cultural institutions, which aligns with HKJC’s purpose of acting continuously for the betterment of our society. HKJC funded the revitalisation and continues to fund the ongoing operation of Tai Kwun, which consist of three Declared Monuments – the former Central Police Station, Central Magistracy and Victoria Prison – transforming the historic site into an accessible world-class centre for arts, culture and heritage. In 2019, Tai Kwun received the Award of Excellence in the 2019 UNESCO Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation.

For more information, please visit

Website: https://www.taikwun.hk

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/taikwunhk

IG: https://www.instagram.com/taikwun.hk/

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Examining the History and Meaning of Victoria Prison through Multivocal Narratives: Tai Kwun Launches New Permanent Heritage Exhibitions In B Hall & D Hall

15 Nov 2023, Wednesday

Examining the History and Meaning of Victoria Prison through Multivocal Narratives: Tai Kwun Launches New Permanent Heritage Exhibitions In B Hall & D Hall

The new galleries kickstart a multiyear project for refreshing and enriching curatorial interpretation across the site to deepen understanding of its heritage values.

The beginning of a multiyear project that aims to inspire continuous discovery of the site, Tai Kwun unveils two brand-new permanent heritage exhibitions Victoria Prison: B Hall & D Hall, open to the public from 16 November 2023.

Based on newly uncovered research that deepens our understanding of the site's complex histories, real people, and their experiences within the prison walls, the two galleries curated by Dr. Anita Chung, Head of Heritage, alongside Curatorial Research Fellow Maggie Chan, reveal the layered legacies of the defunct prison. The new heritage interpretation highlights the multiple dimensions of Victoria Prison as a monument, an experiential reality, a metaphor, and a heritage place. History enthusiasts, culture lovers and the general public alike are invited to deepen their understanding of Victoria Prison’s design, functionality, evolution, and uncover how it embodies histories imbued with meaning for today and for the future.  

Featuring multivocal narratives about the prison — including the voices of retired correctional officers, ex-inmates, and a prison chaplain Rev. Prof. Tobias Brandner, alongside various creative expressions such as graffiti and music created by inmates that reveal touching moments of reconnecting with memories, loved ones, and freedom — the exhibitions showcase the different dimensions of authenticity in heritage. The interpretation highlights the historic prison as a transformed heritage site for reconciliation, for transcending the wall of separation, and for connecting all people, including the vulnerable and the marginalised.

“The planning and creative process of the new heritage exhibitions have involved audience surveys, expert consultation workshops, and transdisciplinary research that directly engages stakeholders, especially those who have personal experiences of the historic prison. It is this process of collaboration—which underlines the value of inclusive participation and the respect for different voices—that has made the realisation of this project meaningful and fulfilling,” said Anita Chung, Head of Heritage at Tai Kwun.

More than a cultural heritage site, Tai Kwun is also a valuable educational resource which holds enormous learning opportunities for all age groups. Since opening, Tai Kwun has welcomed 542 primary and secondary schools, and tertiary institutions to further engage over 54,000 students with participatory learning about history, heritage conservation, and sustainability.

To accompany the new heritage exhibitions, a new series of Tai Kwun Conversations devoted to the prison themes — such as prison chaplaincy, prison ministry, prison literature and restorative justice — as well as another series of Discover Tai Kwun — an online video documentary series about personal experiences of the prison — will be released in parallel with the opening of the B and D Halls.

“In the past 5 years, Tai Kwun has deployed a number of audience engagement strategies to present programmes about its history and heritage values, and has recorded a footfall number of over 4 million visitors to the heritage exhibitions across the site. We would like to invite the public to continue to discover the heritage site and explore how the historic prison continues to create meaning for our present society,” said Chin Chin Teoh, Director of JCCPS.

B Hall: What is Prison Life Like?

Unfolding the site’s complex histories, this gallery answers an essential question: “When a historic prison becomes a heritage place, what is its cultural significance for past, present, and future generations?”.

D Hall: What Hurts? What Heals?

Housed in the last remnant of the radial plan prison, the D Hall exhibition probes into the wounds of incarceration and celebrates the human spirit’s ability to mend. Rare historical photographs tell the story of how Victoria Prison witnessed prison reform and incorporated rehabilitative measures over time. It incorporates creative works that express the inner state of mind and the transformative process of those in custody. 

Public Programmes:

Programmes

Schedule

Tai Kwun Conversations: PRISON Series–Transcending the Walls of Separation

Date: 4 December 2023 (Monday)
Time: 7pm-8:30pm
Venue: JC Cube, Tai Kwun

Speakers:

Rev. Prof. Tobias Brandner and Nancy Loo

Tai Kwun Conversations: PRISON Series–Dai Wangshu and Literary Maps of the Central and Western District

Date: 8 January 2024 (Monday)
Time: 7pm-8:30pm
Venue: JC Cube, Tai Kwun

Speakers: Prof. Chan Chi Tak and
Prof. Wong Nim Yan

Tai Kwun Conversations: PRISON Series–The Healing Walls

Date: 5 February 2024 (Monday)
Time: 7pm-8:30pm
Venue: JC Cube, Tai Kwun

*More details will be announced in December

Discover Tai Kwun III

Online series to be released in Spring 2024
 

— End —

Editor’s notes:

New permanent heritage exhibitions
Victoria Prison: B Hall & D Hall
From 16 November 2023
11 am to 7 pm
B Hall and D Hall, Tai Kwun
www.taikwun.hk

Please click here to download hi-res images.

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PRISON YARD FESTIVAL: MUSIC FROM WITHIN RETURNS TO TAI KWUN, LIBERATING HEARTS AND MINDS THROUGH MUSIC

26 Oct 2023, Thursday

Tai Kwun hosts West-Eastern Divan Ensemble alongside several of Hong Kong’s finest classical musicians to bring audiences eight powerful programmes, most of which take place in the open air in Hong Kong’s idyllic autumn weather.

After the success of last year’s festival, Tai Kwun is bringing Prison Yard Festival: Music from within back for its second year. Spanning November 20th to November 30th 2023, for 10 days, Tai Kwun’s Prison Yard will be transformed into a performance space, where music wafts above the imposing background of the granite-textured prison structure. Guests can immersive themselves in the tranquil and intimate atmosphere, as music melts in and out of walls that were built to imprison, reimagined as eager spectators to free expression. Music lovers are invited to be moved by the liberating power of performance, as it engages humanity’s primal response to music as its passport, and the act of communal music-making as a form of intuitive diplomacy.

Prison Yard Festival: Music from within brings together like-minded musicians, talented instrumentalists, composers, performers, and audiences to create and share music in and around the walls of the former prison. 8 wide-ranging programmes will be presented, including the West-Eastern Divan Ensemble debut performance in Hong Kong, the principal players of which originate from an orchestra formed with a profound commitment to peace in the Middle East.  

Emanating from deep in Tai Kwun, Music from within commences inside the JC Cube with a chance to gain insight into the West-Eastern Divan Ensemble’s approach to music-making from the Arab and Israeli musicians of the group, in conversation with Dr Joanna Lee. The ensemble's approach is heavily intertwined with their mission to break once-thought insurmountable boundaries by rehearsing, performing, collaborating and touring together, playing side-by-side in the shared pursuit of a musical ideal. The ensemble’s founding philosophy – a call for a peaceful solution in the Middle East, and the conversation followed by  two concerts on the Prison Yard stage exemplify the musicians’ shared commitment to peace and reconciliation.

Hong Kong-born pianist Chiyan Wong, fresh from  his performance at Paris’s Théâtre des Champs-Elysées and the premiere of his new feature-length concert film Encore!, gives the piano recital format a distinctly personal twist in a perfect reflection of an artist driven by insatiable curiosity and an appetite challenging conventions.  Revisiting a Mozart piano concerto from the perspective of the celebrity composer-as-performer, Chiyan riffs with the string players of the West-Eastern Divan Ensemble in Mozart and leads us into the superhuman virtuosity of Paganini and Liszt. And by broadening the musical spectrum from the French baroque to the jazz-inflected 1920s, Chiyan highlights one of music’s most enduring sources – dance, whether it’s a courtly gavotte from Versailles or a Charleston from a smoke-filled cabaret in Berlin.

On the night of the November full moon, Hong Kong pianist Shelley Ng presents her own, highly personal response to Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata, and throughout the Festival, 100 metronome on the Laundry Steps remind us why, even on the 100th anniversary of his birth, the music of György Ligeti remains truly avant-garde.

Over the weekend, the Prison Yard stage is given to a talented group of Hong Kong’s next generation classical musicians. Under the mentorship of some of Hong Kong’s finest musicians and visiting guest artists, they will curate their own daytime concerts from the repertoire which they have been working on.

West to east meanderings  closes this year’s Prison Yard Festival with an uplifting musical trek. The music of JS Bach is the Magnetic North that fixes the compass of every classical musician, and violinist Wang Liang firmly establishes this point of departure before inviting his Hong Kong Philharmonic colleagues to ruminate with Brahms at his most elegiac and then follow Bartok’s footsteps in folk dances across Transylvania, Romania and Turkey, glimpsing the Arab world and culminating in the raucous celebration of a Jewish wedding.  

Each evening concert in the Prison Yard will be preceded by   short “pre-concert” performance on the Laundry Steps, each of which includes a performance of the notorious Poème Symphonique for 100 metronomes, in a centenary salute to the birth of avant-garde Hungarian composer György Ligeti.

Tai Kwun’s Prison Yard Festival: Music from within runs  from 20 November to 30 November 2023; tickets for the programmes are available at URBTIX and art-mate.net. Please visit the Tai Kwun website for the programme details.


Tai Kwun Conversations 20.11.2023

Date & Time: 20 November 2023 (Monday), 7pm – 8:30pm
Venue: JC Cube, Tai Kwun
Ticket: Free of Charge


West-Eastern Divan Ensemble (Hong Kong Debut)

Programme I 21.11.2023

Date & Time: 21 November 2023 (Tuesday), 7pm – 8:30pm
Venue: Prison Yard, Tai Kwun
Ticket: $480

Programme II 22.11.2023

Date & Time: 22 November 2023 (Wednesday), 7pm – 8:30pm
Venue: Prison Yard, Tai Kwun
Ticket: $480


Wong Time to Play 23.11.2023

Performed by: Chiyan Wong (Piano Solo) with musicians from the West-Eastern Divan Ensemble

Date & Time: 23 November 2023 (Thursday), 7pm – 8:30pm
Venue: Prison Yard, Tai Kwun
Ticket: $380


Weekend Yard Music 26.11.2023

Performed by: Various up-and-coming artists

Date & Time: 26 November 2023 (Sunday), 2pm – 5pm
Venue: Prison Yard, Tai Kwun
Ticket: Free of charge


Beethoven by Moonlight 27.11.2023

Performed by: Shelley Ng (Piano Solo), with Andres Hui (Violin), Chi Li (Violin), William Lane (Viola), Richard Bamping (Cello) and Simon Hui (Bass)

Date & Time: 27 November 2023 (Monday), 7pm – 8:30pm
Venue: Prison Yard, Tai Kwun
Ticket: $380


West to east meanderings 30.11.2023

Performed by: Wang Liang (Violin), Gui Li (Violin), Kaori Wilson (Viola), Richard Bamping (Cello), Lorenzo Iosco (Clarinet)

Date & Time: 30 November 2023 (Thursday), 7pm – 8:30pm
Venue: Prison Yard, Tai Kwun
Ticket: $380


Ligeti’s 100 Metronomes 20-30.11.2023

To celebrate the birth centenary of composer György Ligeti (1923-2006), Poème Symphonique will be presented at Laundry Steps multiple times over the festival week alongside Ligeti’s delightful Six Bagatelles as the opener of other Prison Yard Festival programmes.

Veiled in mystery owing to its scarcity in public performance, the hundred pyramid-shaped metronomes, each set to a different tempo by 10 operators to be “conducted” for Poème Symphonique, create a mesmerising spectacle of audio and visual stimulation that is sure to dazzle and amaze!

Date & Time: 20 to 30 November 2023, 6pm – 6:30pm
Venue: Laundry Steps, Tai Kwun
Ticket: Free of Charge

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Tai Kwun and The Hong Kong Jockey Club greet the festive season with the Simple Gifts of Joy

20 Oct 2023, Friday

Bringing good tidings and cheer to Hong Kong from 1 Dec 2023 to 1 Jan 2024, a 12-metre-tall Christmas tree will be unwrapped along with a festive light show and the action-packed Contemporary Circus Plays


As the city readies itself for the graceful transition of autumn to winter, an undeniable sense of excitement permeates the air. Streets are adorned with fallen leaves, while dusk greets the sky earlier, and cheeks are gently kissed by the chilled breeze. What is the perfect gift for the holiday season? Often, it is the intangible things that have the most lasting impression – those spontaneous smiles, those warm embraces, those moments shared together. Christmas is that special time of year where these little things take on an extra special meaning. Together, Tai Kwun and The Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC), as an annual tradition, will present a resplendent season of play and joy, infusing new meaning and setting the stage for an unforgettable Christmas season in the Parade Ground of Tai Kwun this December.

Truly bedecked with more than boughs of holly, the annual festivities of HKJC Presents Simple Gifts of Joy will thrill Hong Kong with everything from Christmas carols to experimental contemporary circus spectacles, including comedies, a parade of giant giraffe puppets, gravity-defying acrobatics and a competitive playoff of edgy circus skills, all within the twinkling glow of the towering Christmas tree in the Parade Ground. Singers and circus performers from Hong Kong will be featured alongside brilliantly entertaining international acts such as Gregarious (from Catalonia/Sweden), Giraffes (Spain) and Funny Business (UK) as each weekend of December grows and buzzes with more excitement and joy for everyone to enjoy.


A beacon of togetherness: the 12-metre-tall Christmas tree

At a towering 12 metres in height, the Christmas Tree, adorned with elegant decorations, beckons friends and families to gather and celebrate the spirit of togetherness at Tai Kwun. With a daily light show starting from 1 December, the evening sky atop Tai Kwun will transform into a breath-taking spectacle of lights and colours. Visitors can immerse themselves in the Christmas ambience at the Parade Ground as the heritage buildings' façade will be covered in fairy tale lighting, enveloping the area in an enchanting glow.

Christmas Light Show

Date: 1 December 2023 - 1 January 2024

Time: Every half an hour from 6pm – 9:30pm*

Venue: Parade Ground, Tai Kwun

Price: Free of Charge

*The light show may be canceled without prior notice due to the on-site performances


The Gift of Music: Embracing the Festive Spirit through Carolling

Music lovers will be delighted at the chance to embrace the beloved tradition of carolling at Tai Kwun at "The Gift of Music". A beautiful musical experience that resonates with the spirit of the festive season, the public is invited to join in the celebration.

The Gift of Music – Tree Lighting Ceremony

Date: 1 December 2023

Time: From 6:30pm

Venue: Parade Ground, Tai Kwun

Price: Free of Charge

The Gift of Music

Date: 2, 8 & 9 December 2023 

Time: 6:30pm – 7:10pm

Venue: Parade Ground, Tai Kwun

Price: Free of Charge


Tai Kwun Circus Plays: A World of Wonder

Prepare to be dazzled as Tai Kwun Circus Plays returns with an even grander spectacle. Against the backdrop of Christmas and New Year, the annual event is a highlight of mid-December and early January, featuring the finest contemporary circus artists and street performers from around the world. Circus Plays showcases the latest trends in circus arts, enthralling audiences with extraordinary performers and a series of captivating circus programmes on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and public holidays. The lineup includes both local talents and international sensations, allowing visitors to witness the fusion of culture and creativity only offered by Tai Kwun.

To enrich the diversity of performing arts in HKJC Presents Simple Gifts of Joy, innovative performances from the world are invited to join the programme and share the fun with the public.

The Receptionists (Finland)

A physical comedy shows revolving around the theme of customer service, presented by two talented Finnish female clowns, The Receptionists features everything from clownery, dancing, and miming to physical theatre. Throughout the performance, these components combine to create an engaging experience, showcasing five-star customer service both at the table and beyond.

Date & Time: 15 December 2023 7pm | 16 – 17 December 2023 4pm & 7pm

Location: JC Cube

Ticketing information to be announced in early Nov

Funny Business (UK)

This award-winning clown show will be performed by festival favourite Fraser Hooper.

Date & Time: 16 – 17 December 2023 1pm & 5pm | 23 – 26 December 2023 1pm & 4:30pm

Location: Parade Ground

Gregarious (Catalonia /Sweden)

A contemporary circus gem that portrays the human side of sports, challenging the traditional depiction of athletes as heroes.

Date & Time: 16 – 17 December 2023 3pm | 23 – 26 December 2023 3pm & 6pm

Location: Parade Ground

Giraffes (Spain)

A family-friendly large puppet show, featuring a charming household of giraffes strolling through the city.

Date & Time: 23 – 26 & 28 – 30 December 2023 2pm, 4pm & 7pm | 31 December 2023 – 1 January 2024 2pm & 4pm

Location: Parade Ground

Screws (Belgium)

Curated by Alexander Vantournhout, the performance guides audiences along a route of reverberating micro-performances, from short solos and duets to pointed group choreographies.

Date & Time: 23 – 26 December 2023 2:30pm & 4:30pm

Location:           Prison Yard


With the mission of nurturing and discovering homegrown talents, Tai Kwun has invited local creative artists to prepare joyous performances for a wide array of rich programming.

Circus Wulin (HK x Macau)

This upcoming production, a spin-off of Arts Delivery by the renowned Macau theatre group Po Arts Studio, promises to be an enchanting circus-themed addition to their immersive and magical performances.

Date & Time: 20 – 26 December 2023 3pm – 7pm

Location: Site-wide

New Boom in Circus (HK)

A double-billed performance showcasing the incredible skills of Hong Kong’s contemporary circus talents, Dennis Law, Charles Huang, and Ho Ho Yeung. New Boom in Circus features juggling and contemporary circus acts.

Date & Time: 23 December 2023 7pm | 24 – 26 December 2023 4pm

Location: JC Cube

Circus Bootcamp (HK)

A stage for the professionals to come together and help young circus performers shine, Circus Bootcamp acts as a breeding ground to showcase the potential of emerging circus artists.

Date & Time: 28 – 29 December 2023 3pm & 5pm

Location: Laundry Steps

Ting Koo Ki Mad Skills Gala and Battle (HK x Taiwan)

Featuring artists from Hong Kong and all over the world, Tai Kwun’s ever-popular signature circus battle returns for a fifth year.

Date & Time: (Gala) 30 – 31 December 2023 | (Battle) 1 January 2024 2:30pm

Location:           Parade Ground


A Month of Delight: Exclusive Treats, Delectable Dining, and Festive Gifting

Throughout December, Tai Kwun will offer an array of activities, including TK Fan exclusive offerings, and delectable festive F&B and gifting options from the shops and restaurants at Tai Kwun that will elevate anyone’s visit.

Conserved and revitalized by HKJC, Tai Kwun is more than just a destination; this Christmas, Tai Kwun will transform into a sanctuary of joy, a realm of giving, and a celebration of togetherness. With more details to come, festive fanatics and visitors alike can stay tuned for more exciting details, soon to be revealed in November.


About Tai Kwun

Tai Kwun is Hong Kong’s beating cultural heart, enabled by The Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC) in partnership with the Hong Kong SAR Government. A vibrant, welcoming space that brings people together, Tai Kwun is committed to inspiring the community through arts, culture and heritage. Located in the heart of Central, Hong Kong, Tai Kwun brings creative energy into our city by providing the people of Hong Kong with access to a variety of immersive, world-class experiences. It is open for all members of our community to enjoy, nurturing appreciation for arts, heritage and culture.

Tai Kwun supports youth in our community with the skills and development opportunities needed to thrive in the creative industries. Together with HKJC, Tai Kwun aspires to contribute to a culturally vibrant Hong Kong, amplifying the city’s role as a thriving arts and cultural hub in the region and the global arena.

The relationship between HKJC and Tai Kwun continues HKJC’s longstanding role as a supporter of the city’s iconic arts and cultural institutions, which aligns with HKJC’s purpose of acting continuously for the betterment of our society. HKJC funded the revitalisation and continues to fund the ongoing operation of Tai Kwun, which consist of three Declared Monuments – the former Central Police Station, Central Magistracy and Victoria Prison – transforming the historic site into an accessible world-class centre for arts, culture and heritage. In 2019, Tai Kwun received the Award of Excellence in the 2019 UNESCO Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation.

For more information, please visit

Website: https://www.taikwun.hk

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/taikwunhk

IG: https://www.instagram.com/taikwun.hk/

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Maria Hassabi's first exhibition in Asia, I’ll Be Your Mirror, debuts at Tai Kwun Contemporary (13 Oct to 26 Nov 2023)

13 Oct 2023, Friday

Tai Kwun Contemporary is delighted to announce a new exhibition by the visual artist and choreographer Maria Hassabi (b. Cyprus), I’ll Be Your Mirror, the artist’s first solo presentation in Asia. As the latest exhibition in Tai Kwun Contemporary’s live art programme, I’ll Be Your Mirror will premiere two new works by Maria Hassabi, who has for the past two decades pioneered a distinctive artistic practice based on the relationship between the live body, the still image, and the sculptural object. Curated by Xue Tan with Louiza Ho, I’ll Be Your Mirror will be live from 13 October to 26 November 2023; over the course of the exhibition, dancers perform the artist’s choreography throughout the opening hours of Tai Kwun Contemporary.

One of the leading figures of live art, Maria Hassabi moves freely between the contexts of museums, theatres, and public spaces. With a signature choreographic style defined by sculptural physicality, stillness, and quietness, her works challenge our expectations as viewers within the museum space. By exploring the relationship that the human figure has with the still image and the sculptural object, the two connected live installations in I’ll Be Your Mirror seek to leave lasting impact on the way we perceive ourselves and those around us.

This new exhibition is elaborated in the architectural space of the top floor galleries of JC Contemporary. Bringing together her choreographic practice, sound, sculpture, photography, and painting, the exhibition confronts the notion of one’s own image through a gold scheme of reflections. The works invite the spectators to question the fluidity of an image, one that is similar to the fleeting nature of a dance — ungraspable unless documented, which in turn subtracts from its liveness and thus realness. The tension between the live body and the still image, the spectacular and the everyday, the subject and object all come in play.  

Hassabi's iconic language of stillness and deceleration references representations of human figures based on mannerisms throughout history; her works generate resistance to the accelerated anticipation of our contemporary life. The exhibition thus uncovers and recovers a sensitivity redacted by our hybrid ways of receiving and processing visual information today — where we listen but not see, or watch but not hear. With the artist’s high-tension choreographic work evolving throughout the duration one spends in the space, the work shifts the dynamics between the dancer and the spectator, spurring on questions:  What are we looking at? Who is performing? Who is more vulnerable? 

More generally, Hassabi’s distinctive works have contributed to a broader shift — where museums today are often animated with live situations rather than being a “mausoleum” of the past and still objects. Such dance and performative experimentations have led efforts in rethinking the museum’s role in the 21st century, and such works are no longer seen as an event but as a lasting exhibition format, timed with the institution’s opening hours and coexisting with the exhibits of paintings and sculptures. Hassabi has referred to these performative works she creates and presents within museums and exhibition spaces as “live installations” — a genre-defining term.

Trained in visual art and dance, Hassabi studied at CalArts in Los Angeles before moving to New York City in the mid-1990s, where she was amongst contemporaries from visual arts, performance, and music. With an interdisciplinary practice, Hassabi employs choreography as a vessel of image-making in real time and space. Her works are often distilled to the most crucial relationship: the relationship between the performer and the spectator in a shared space and time.

“We are honoured to present Maria Hassabi’s new works in Hong Kong. Her ground-breaking works make us reconsider the concepts of time, the nature of the object and subject in museums, and our relations with others. She has been a key artist at the centre of the paradigmatic shift in museums worldwide where choreography, performance, and social situations have been installed as works of art in exhibition spaces. With this exhibition, we show our deep devotion in supporting bold formats of artistic expression and interdisciplinary collaborations. We are proud to have established an institution that enables artistic experimentation, with a live art programme that is distinctive in Asia and that will continue to commission and present artists at the forefront of visual arts and performance. ” said Xue Tan, Curator of I’ll Be Your Mirror, and Senior Curator of Tai Kwun.

Dr Pi Li, Head of Art at Tai Kwun, remarked, “We are thrilled to be presenting Maria Hassabi’s first solo exhibition in Asia. Tai Kwun Contemporary’s engagement with unconventional exhibition formats, as in I’ll Be Your Mirror, is testament to our continual support of breakthroughs by artists. This is very much a part of our mission to transform the experience of contemporary art and deepen our understanding of the world we live in, as part of Tai Kwun’s vibrant and distinctive programming.”          

The exhibition is equally complemented by a range of public programmes that guides participants on a journey of life-long learning and to a deeper understanding of art. These include a Tai Kwun Conversations on 18 October; Teacher’s Morning and Teacher’s Workshop; curator’s tours and other guided public tours. In the After Hours series, the audience will get the chance to listen to a fascinating spectrum of speakers working in art, photography, literature, as well as academia who chat and discuss on a broad range of matters. Finally, the Hi! & Seek corner at the 2/F is a space of dialogue and exploration. The space is open for visitors of all ages and provided different ways of interacting and conversing.

Maria Hassabi: I’ll Be Your Mirror 

Date:               13 October to 26 November 2023

Tuesday–Sunday, 11 am to 7 pm

Monday, CLOSED

Curated by Xue Tan with Louiza Ho

Dancers: Marah Arcilla, Elena Antoniou, Sylvie Cox, Li De, Maria Hassabi, Adam Russell Jones, Mickey Mahar, Tasos Nikas, Yuma Sylla, Sara Tan, Solong Zhang

Architectural Study: Maria Maneta, Maria Hassabi

Sound Design: Stavros Gasparatos, Maria Hassabi

Clothing Design: Victoria Bartlett, Venia Polyhronaki

I’ll Be Your Mirror is constructed with performances which run daily from 11am to 7pm Tuesdays to Sundays, performed by dancers from Hong Kong and around the world. The artist will also be present in the exhibition for the first half of the exhibition period.

About Maria Hassabi

Since the early 2000s, Maria Hassabi (b. Cyprus) has carved a unique artistic practice based on the relationship between the live body, the still image, and the sculptural object. Her works reflect on concepts of time and the human figure, while employing a variety of media to emphasise the complexity of formal organisation. In most of Hassabi's works the performing body is the main subject, often embedded within imposing installations. Through meticulously crafting her material—every action, even the gaze, is subject to counts and cues—a constant negotiation between the body's relation to gravity, time and space, reveals the physical side effects of labour, anchoring both dancers' and viewers' awareness to the present moment. Her works are always in dialogue with a site's unique architecture, while conventions and hierarchies common to theatres, museums, and public spaces are taken into consideration.

Maria Hassabi has had numerous solo exhibitions and presentations around the world, including LUMA Arles; OGR, Turin; Secession, Vienna; Centre Pompidou, Paris; K20, Düsseldorf; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Centre d’Art Contemporain, Geneva; Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne; The Kitchen, New York; documeta14, Kassel; Performa, New York; 55th Venice Biennale, amongst others.

About Tai Kwun Contemporary Live Art

Maria Hassabi: I’ll Be Your Mirror is the latest exhibition of Tai Kwun Contemporary’s unique live art programming. This series of exhibitions commissions and features artists who work in the intersection of visual art, performance, moving image, music, and sound. Previous presentations have included artists such as Pan Daijing, Tino Sehgal, Scarlet Yu & Xavier Le Roy, Nile Koetting, Mette Edvardsen, and Eisa Jocson.

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Editor’s notes:

Please click here to download the hi-res images with captions.

Visitor information

The entire site of Tai Kwun is open to the public daily from 8am to 11pm, while Tai Kwun Contemporary at JC Contemporary is open from Tuesdays to Sundays from 11am to 7pm (closed on Mondays).

Programme details are subject to change, so please refer to the Tai Kwun website for news and updates.

About Tai Kwun
Tai Kwun is Hong Kong’s beating cultural heart, enabled by The Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC) in partnership with the Hong Kong SAR Government. A vibrant, welcoming space that brings people together, Tai Kwun is committed to inspiring the community through arts, culture and heritage. Located in the heart of Central, Hong Kong, Tai Kwun brings creative energy into our city by providing the people of Hong Kong with access to a variety of immersive, world-class experiences. It is open for all members of our community to enjoy, nurturing appreciation for arts, heritage and culture.

Tai Kwun supports youth in our community with the skills and development opportunities needed to thrive in the creative industries. Together with HKJC, Tai Kwun aspires to contribute to a culturally vibrant Hong Kong, amplifying the city’s role as a thriving arts and cultural hub in the region and the global arena.

The relationship between HKJC and Tai Kwun continues HKJC’s longstanding role as a supporter of the city’s iconic arts and cultural institutions, which aligns with HKJC’s purpose of acting continuously for the betterment of our society. HKJC funded the revitalisation and continues to fund the ongoing operation of Tai Kwun, which consist of three Declared Monuments – the former Central Police Station, Central Magistracy and Victoria Prison – transforming the historic site into an accessible world-class centre for arts, culture and heritage. In 2019, Tai Kwun received the Award of Excellence in the 2019 UNESCO Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation.

Tai Kwun Contemporary is the not-for-profit visual art programme of Tai Kwun. Realising six to eight exhibitions a year and curatorially driven, Tai Kwun Contemporary showcases and commissions artists from Hong Kong and beyond, while offering an extensive range of public programming. With the aspiration to contribute to and transform the experience and understanding of contemporary art in Hong Kong, Tai Kwun Contemporary is devoted to

inspiring the Hong Kong public with an inquisitive attitude and committed to offering a conducive platform for learning and experimentation.

For more information, please visit our website: https://www.TaiKwun.hk.

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TAI KWUN ANNOUNCES 2023/24 PROGRAMME GUIDE: A YEAR OF HOLISTIC EXHIBITIONS AND CULTURAL DELIGHTS

12 Oct 2023, Thursday

Tai Kwun — the vibrant cultural heart of Hong Kong, is thrilled to announce a spectacular array of programming from now until summer 2024.

The subtle freshness in the evening air is the planet quietly letting us know that we can finally leave summer behind, move the beach chairs out of the shade and enjoy the full spectrum of arts and culture indoors and out as Tai Kwun announces its full 2023/24 programme from autumn to summer. While our superb indoor spaces such as JC Contemporary, JC Cube, F Hall Studio and Duplex Studio continue to house fascinating exhibitions, performances and talks, our incomparable outdoor spaces — Parade Ground and Prison Yard — where imposing heritage edifices and striking contemporary architecture protectively surround these generous expanses of open space, come fully to life with outdoor shows — free-of-charge, full of fun — entertainment and perhaps a few unexpected surprises.

Throughout 2023/24, Tai Kwun’s programming is typically eclectic, born out of our unique old-meets-new collection of heritage and contemporary architecture which in turn inspires us to bring old worlds and new worlds together, to welcome pioneering artists and performers from the rest of the world to share their vision with us alongside Chinese artists whose works radiate the vitality of the arts in our region and, from time to time, to revisit those quirky taken-for-granted Hong Kong eccentricities which, in the hands of our most imaginative artists, can put a wry smile on our face.

Three new art exhibitions will open in turn to create Tai Kwun’s Autumn/Winter exhibition season. One of the most distinctive contemporary art forms which has found such a natural home in Tai Kwun is Live Art, involving dancers and performers who bring artworks to life throughout exhibition hours; our live art programmes have been igniting curiosity in our contemporary art programming since Tai Kwun’s opening. This month, Tai Kwun unveils a captivating new chapter with Maria Hassabi's I’ll Be Your Mirror (from 13 October), where works blur the lines between performers and spectators, subjects and objects, and confront audiences as living sculptures. As the days shorten in early winter, the Duplex Studio becomes home to the psychedelic solo exhibition Kongkee: Warring States Cyberpunk, which reimagines the resurrection of legendary Chinese poet Qu Yuan in a cyberpunk future, weaving together elements of animation, sound, and neon art. Just before the holiday season, Green Snake: women-centred ecologies features a diverse roster of artists, exploring women-centred ecological themes through various mediums to showcase the complex relationships between gender, environment, and culture.

As spring breathes new life into the art world, Tai Kwun's JC Contemporary sets the stage for an invigorating fusion of American creativity and Asian perspectives. American artist Sarah Morris takes the spotlight with ETC, her cinematic exploration of everyday Hong Kong locales and iconic figures, capturing the city's evolution in the post-Covid era. The climax of the 2023/24 season of contemporary art will be a first not only for Hong Kong but for all of Asia: the large-scale survey exhibition, co-curated with Pinault Collection and mounted exclusively for Hong Kong, of US-born pioneering visionary Bruce Nauman will fill the galleries of JC Contemporary and F Hall Gallery throughout the summer of 2024. Encompassing over five decades of Nauman's diverse artistic experimentation, the showcase delves deep into his profound influence on art movements like post-minimalism and conceptual art, impacting a generation of artists around the world and in Asia particularly.

Amidst the summer heat, an artistic and literary oasis awaits with BOOKED: Hong Kong Art Book Fair at Tai Kwun Contemporary. Returning for its sixth edition, the exceptional event gathers over 100 artists, publishers, and booksellers to celebrate the profound role of books as a medium for artistic expression and a conduit for intellectual exploration.

Two newly renovated heritage galleries, Victoria Prison: B Hall & D Hall, will debut permanent exhibitions in autumn, marking the beginning of a multiyear project aimed at enhancing the interpretation of heritage throughout the site. These exhibitions, which include new research, multi-vocal narratives, ex-inmates’ voices, and creative works, emphasise the prison's historic transformation and how a confinement space for inmates can also offer a transformative–journey of rehabilitation. As these newly interpreted historic spaces open to the public, deeper insights revealing some of the newly uncovered research into the Victoria Prison will be the subject of an entire series of Tai Kwun Conversations as well as a new series of Discover Tai Kwun — an online video documentary series to be released in parallel with the unveiling of B and D Halls.

With a growing reputation for creative performances which respond to or make inventive use of the highly distinctive and quite unconventional spaces, Tai Kwun’s performing arts encompass music, theatre, dance, circus, cabaret and film. The Prison Yard Festival: Music from within sets the stage against the imposing background of the granite-textured Prison Wall and conjures a magical and intimate atmosphere to give audiences a series of unforgettable musical events, performed by Hong Kong’s finest classical musicians side by side with some of the world’s most exceptional performers. With the last notes of the Prison Yard Festival still ringing in our ears, the lighting up of Tai Kwun’s towering Christmas Tree on 1 December signals the joy of giving which is at the heart of Simple Gifts of Joy — The Hong Kong Jockey Club’s month-long Christmas extravaganza of free entertainment in the Parade Ground: heart-warming Christmas carols, encounters with giant giraffe puppets who can be found strolling amongst the crowds and some gravity-defying aerial skills which will make your heart leap. Circus Plays supports the best young circus talent in Hong Kong and stimulates their creativity by inviting international artists known for bringing a contemporary edge to a foundation of extraordinary personal skill.

The winning artwork from the Open Call: Tai Kwun Neon Connection will continue to pay homage to Hong Kong's iconic neon lights, creating a captivating bridge between the Parade Ground and the Prison Yard, further enriching the unique cultural experience Tai Kwun offers. InnerGlow has captured the imagination of the public since its first season in 2022 and returns with a completely new show which will transform, illuminate, animate and play with the huge historic façade of the Barrack Block, providing free, awe-inspiring entertainment for family throughout the CNY period. As the season progresses, the fourth edition of SPOTLIGHT: A Season of Performing Arts is set to sparkle with site-specific theatre productions, technological marvels, and theatrical masterpieces. Tai Kwun is honoured to open Spotlight with a profound and meditative performance by the legendary Tsai Ming-liang before diversifying the Spotlight season to encompass a wide range of disciplines, several productions having been developed over the last 2-3 years as Tai Kwun enables creative and performing artists in the fields of theatre-making, music and dance.

Announcing the 2023/24 season, Director of Tai Kwun Arts, Timothy Calnin said, “Presenting a suite of programming which takes us from the autumn through all four seasons until next summer provides Tai Kwun with the opportunity to demonstrate our breadth of programming, aimed at making high-quality arts and heritage experiences available, accessible and attractive to the whole Hong Kong community. It is also a chance to articulate some of our overarching themes and highlight certain types of programmes which we have developed over a number of years as we provide insights into our artist development programmes which evolve organically in order to offer the right support for young and emerging home-grown artists at the right time. Our confidence in making these long-term commitments is only possible with the unwavering support of The Hong Kong Jockey Club, which, having revitalised Tai Kwun in the first place, has committed to supporting Tai Kwun and our many programmes into the future. It is thanks to the Club that Tai Kwun is increasingly described by regular visitors as, ‘my favourite place in Hong Kong’”.    
 

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Prison Yard Festival-Music from within

Date: 20-30 November 2023
Venue: Prison Yard & JC Cube

The sounds of music cannot be imprisoned by lofty walls, barred windows and barbed wire. As music freely escapes from Tai Kwun’s Prison Yard, wafting gently upward into the night sky, music just as effortlessly drifts across land borders and vast oceans, using humanity’s common primal response to music as its passport, and the act of communal music-making a form of intuitive diplomacy.

Revered conductor and pianist Daniel Barenboim and the late Palestinian public intellectual Edward Said shared both a passion for music and a profound commitment to peace in the Middle East. By forming an orchestra of Israeli and Arab musicians, the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, every rehearsal, performance, recording and concert tour would be irrefutable proof that living, working and playing side by side in a shared pursuit of a musical ideal can create the common ground from which can grow empathy, understanding and reconciliation.

Tai Kwun is immensely proud to host the West-Eastern Divan Ensemble as our ensemble-in-residence in November 2023, comprising eight principal musicians from the Orchestra, directed from the violin by Michael Barenboim. The residency includes two full concerts featuring the whole ensemble in music by Elliott Carter, Fanny Mendelssohn, Beethoven and Schubert, a community outreach programme, an exciting collaboration with outstanding Hong Kong pianist Wong Chiyan and opens with a Tai Kwun Conversation in which Hong Kong audiences will hear about the musicians’ experience of performing in the ensemble and the orchestra, gain insights into the challenges and triumphs which have defined the West-Eastern Divan’s 24-year history, and have the opportunity to participate in a Q&A on the opening night of the Prison Yard Festival.

Several of Hong Kong’s finest classical musicians perform throughout the Festival, including Shelley Ng to whom we handed the challenge to devise her own, personal Beethoven by Moonlight recital under the November full moon on 27 November, by using the Moonlight Sonata as a launch pad for a highly personal musical flight of imagination. Violinist Wang Liang once again assembles a close-knit quintet of like-minded musicians for Brahms’s serene and autumnal Clarinet Quintet before racing off in an easterly direction, dancing frantically in Bartok’s Transylvanian, Romanian, Arab and Turkish footsteps to arrive just in time for a Jewish wedding.

Before each concert in the Prison Yard, we salute the centenary of the birth of the avant-garde Hungarian composer György Ligeti (1923-2006) with a series of short pre-concert concerts on the Laundry Steps, each of which includes a performance of the notorious Poème symphonique for 100 metronomes.

Tai Kwun Neon Connection

Inspired by the overwhelming public response to Vital Signs — our summer exhibition that paid tribute to Hong Kong’s distinctive neon culture in the second half of the 20th Century — Tai Kwun invited Hong Kong’s creative minds to participate in Tai Kwun Neon Connection and use neon light to illuminate Tai Kwun Lane, with the objective of enticing visitors in the Parade Ground to explore the Prison Yard and vice versa.

From a pool of impressive submissions, Tai Kwun’s judging panel, comprising experts in the fields of design, architecture, heritage conservation, neon science, contemporary art and engineering were thrilled and inspired by the 24 entries which were received, but, faced with the daunting task of selecting only one winning entry, the panel agreed that YARD Architecture Studio’s concept Memoir in Neon not only met all of the stringent judging criteria but also dazzled with its flair, creativity and boldness, while respecting the authentic heritage setting in which it is to be installed. The winning entry of Neon Connection will be switched on in late January 2024 to coincide with the opening of InnerGlow 2024.

Installation Date: Late January 2024
Venue: Tai Kwun Lane
Supported by: Bloomberg Philanthropies

HKJC Presents Simple Gifts of Joy

Tai Kwun and The Hong Kong Jockey Club celebrate Simple Gifts of Joy this festive season

What’s the perfect gift for the holiday season? Often, it’s the intangible things that have the most lasting impression — those spontaneous smiles, those warm embraces, those moments shared together. Christmas is that special time of year when these little things take on an extra special meaning. This is the spirit in which Tai Kwun and The Hong Kong Jockey Club (“HKJC”) conceived this entire Christmas season in the Parade Ground where Simple Gifts of Joy will encompass Christmas carols, circus spectacle, comedy, a parade of giant giraffe puppets, gravity-defying acrobatics and a competitive playoff of edgy circus skills, all within the twinkling glow of Tai Kwun’s towering Christmas tree. Singers and circus performers from Hong Kong are featured alongside brilliantly entertaining international acts such as Gregarious (from Switzerland), Giraffes (Spain) and Funny Business (UK) as each weekend of December grows and buzzes with more excitement and joy, all offered free of charge for everyone to enjoy.

Date: 1 December 2023–1 January 2024
Venue: Site-wide

Tai Kwun Circus Plays is Tai Kwun’s laboratory for contemporary circus arts, providing all the promise and potential of Hong Kong’s home-grown talent with the chance to experiment, and explore new skills and concepts with access to a carefully selected cohort of international artists who are distinguished by the quirky originality and uniqueness of their performances and for opening up new and unexpected horizons for contemporary circus. Circus beginners can find their way in through Circus Bootcamp and work their way towards professionalism through New Boom in Circus and Circus Wulin, and compete for the audience’s longest and loudest applause in Ting-koo-ki Mad Skills Battle in the season’s finale.

Date: 1 December 2023-1 January 2024
Venue: Site-wide

InnerGlow 2024

In a very short space of time, InnerGlow has captured the imagination of the Hong Kong public and a sense of curiosity and anticipation is developing as InnerGlow 2024 approaches. Tai Kwun’s Creative and Technical Partner for InnerGlow is The Electric Canvas — the brilliant minds behind so many of the architectural projection mapped spectacles that pulled the world’s focus onto Vivid Sydney from its very first year. Apart from taking the creative lead in the first two seasons of InnerGlow, The Electric Canvas has been working closely with Tai Kwun to spot talent for future productions of InnerGlow so that, through this remarkably generous partner, Tai Kwun can help to build up Hong Kong’s capability in this highly specialised field in which the lines between creative artists and technical geeks become blurred while the end results come ever more sharply into focus. Having worked with, coached and mentored a highly skilled and talented cohort of Hong Kong artists, illustrators, animators, sound producers and technicians, The Electric Canvas has now stepped back into a mentor and adviser role in the creation of a new show for the Barrack Block and handed the creative lead to Oliver Shing, the highly distinctive Hong Kong film-maker, and his creative team at Daaimung, who will conceive, create and direct InnerGlow 2024. Details are still very much under wraps, but rumours suggest that one of Tai Kwun’s most prominent themes of 2023 — Hong Kong’s unique visual identity as expressed through the medium of neon signs —will find its way into the aesthetic looks of InnerGlow 2024.

Meanwhile, the search remains open to bring more of Hong Kong’s young creative talents into the world of InnerGlow, and by expanding the reach of InnerGlow up to the Prison Yard this year, Tai Kwun can provide students of art, creative media, film and design with the unique opportunity to try out their ideas under the guidance of The Electric Canvas, to rethink and rework, expand their practice and bring them back to the Prison Yard, which becomes their massive creative workshop space.

Date: 26 January–14 February 2024
Venue: Parade Ground, Pottinger Ramp, Prison Yard
Principal Sponsor: CLP Holdings Limited

SPOTLIGHT: A Season of Performing Art

Eyes on Hong Kong, mind on the world — Tai Kwun Performing Arts Season: SPOTLIGHT has always advocated for interdisciplinary collaborations, where local artists break free from conceptions of space and form to explore new possibilities of the performing arts. As the season enters its 4th edition, we are now seeing previous commissions gradually making their way onto the international stage, showcasing the vibrant vitality of new creations.

In a time of global recovery, Tai Kwun dedicates its efforts to foster collaborations between Hong Kong and international artists. The season will feature the Spanish award-winning outdoor theatre production Dormitory Town adapted to the Hong Kong context; as well as The Algorithmic Theatre, a newly-established Danish collective working alongside Hong Kong director Wiki Lo to explore the relationship of technology and human lives. The season continues to embody the spirit of local commissions and the introduction of masterpieces, such as renowned film director Tsai Ming-liang's theatre work The Monk from Tang Dynasty. More programmes to be announced.

Date: April 2024
Venue: Site-wide

Victoria Prison: B Hall & D Hall

To inspire continuous discovery of Tai Kwun, two heritage galleries located in the former Victoria Prison — B Hall & D Hall — will unveil new permanent exhibitions in autumn 2023. The two remodelled galleries will kick off a multiyear project for refreshing and enriching heritage interpretation across the site. Asking new questions — such as “What is Prison Life Like?” “What Hurts? What Heals?” — the new exhibitions are based on newly uncovered research that deepens our understanding about the site's complex histories, the real people, and their experiences within the prison walls. The historical realities of corporal and capital punishment, racial discrimination, physical and psychological pain are juxtaposed with the redemptive themes of rehabilitation, family and social support, and inner and spiritual freedom.

Multivocal narratives about the prison — including the voices of correctional officers, ex-inmates, and a prison chaplain — showcase the different dimensions of authenticity in heritage. The interpretation highlights the historic prison as a transformed heritage site for reconciliation and peacemaking, for transcending the wall of separation, and for connecting all people, including the vulnerable and the marginalised.

Curated by Anita Chung and Maggie Chan
Date: 16 November 2023 onwards
Venue: B Hall & D Hall

Bruce Nauman

Tai Kwun Contemporary and Pinault Collection will host a survey exhibition of the US-born artist Bruce Nauman, inspired by “Bruce Nauman: Contrapposto Studies”, presented at Punta della Dogana, Venice, in 2021. Based on works from the Pinault Collection and realised in collaboration with the Bruce Nauman Studio, the exhibition at Tai Kwun Contemporary takes the form of a survey covering aspects of the artist’s entire career, the first show of this kind to be presented in Asia. 

Bruce Nauman (b. Fort Wayne, Indiana, in 1941) is considered as one of the most influential artists working today. From the 1960s to the present day, Nauman has constantly experimented with various artistic languages — from photography to performance, from sculpture to video — exploring their potentialities, and producing a body of work that questions the very definition of what constitutes artistic practice. This upcoming exhibition at Tai Kwun Contemporary highlights the experimental character of the artist’s work by including a wide diversity of media, developed over five decades

Part of Tai Kwun Contemporary’s series of major summer exhibitions, which put the spotlight on major pioneering artists.

Artist: Bruce Nauman
Curated by Caroline Bourgeois (Pinault Collection), Carlos Basualdo (Philadelphia Museum of Art), and Pi Li (Tai Kwun Contemporary)
Date: May–August 2024
Venue: JC Contemporary
Based on works from the Pinault Collection and realised in collaboration with the Bruce Nauman Studio; special thanks to Angela Westwater and Sperone Westwater Gallery

Green Snake: women-centred ecologies

Green Snake: women-centred ecologies focuses on the connections between art and larger themes of ecology in the context of the climate crisis. The exhibition asks what alternative narratives are activated through artists’ visions that celebrate nature as an all-encompassing and generative force, many of them grounded in notions of care and interrelationship that are central to ecofeminism — that natural sustainability is based on the equality of human, nature, and other beings.

The exhibition references the mythological snake figure in East Asian culture, which often takes the form of a woman when walking amongst humans. Highlighting the green snake’s potential for transformation and renewal — when snakes grow, they shed their skins — the exhibition is directly inspired by an ancient Chinese folktale, dating back at least 1000 years, about two powerful snake-demon sisters, White Snake and Green Snake, whose story reveals themes of agency, sisterhood, and gender fluidity. On another level, in the exhibition, the snake’s sinuous curves echo the geomorphology of river systems and the vital energy of the water flowing through them. A number of artists in the exhibition have long been interested in and researching specific river ecosystems and mythologies. The exhibition thus deepens the dialogue between works by artists whose practice is rooted in geographies with longstanding political and environmental issues. The figure of an all-encompassing circle of planetary and cosmic renewal emerges in a symphonic call for a radical reorientation of the human within the whole.

Artists: AFSAR (Asian Feminist Studio for Art and Research), Yussef Agbo-Ola & Tabita Rezaire,  Maria Thereza Alves, Lhola Amira, Minia Biabiany, Adriana Bustos, Seba Calfuqueo, Cao Minghao & Chen Jianjun, Carolina Caycedo, Stephanie Comilang & Simon Speiser, Valentina Desideri & Denise Ferreira da Silva, Rohini Devasher, Gidree Bawlee, Guo Fengyi, Manjot Kaur, Jaffa Lam, Candice Lin, Lavanya Mani, Marzia Migliora, Ann Leda Shapiro, Karan Shrestha, Dima Srouji, Natasha Tontey, Cecilia Vicuña, Tricky Walsh, Dana Whabira

Curated by Kathryn Weir​ and Xue Tan, with assistant curators Tiffany Leung and

Pietro Scammacca
Date: 20 December 2023–1 April 2024
Venue: 1/F JC Contemporary & Prison Yard
Lead Sponsor: Indosuez Wealth Management

Kongkee: Warring States Cyberpunk

Immortal souls, past lives, and cyberpunk futures fuse in a psychedelic solo exhibition by the Hong Kong artist Kongkee, which follows legendary Chinese poet Qu Yuan (c. 339-278 BCE), a singular commemorated hero of the annual Dragon Boat Festival holiday.

Kongkee’s animated film Dragon’s Delusion begins after Qu Yuan’s untimely ending, in which he drowned himself in a river, dejected and in despair over the state of affairs of those tumultuous times. From there, Kongkee imagines the poet’s resurrection 2,000 years after his death, from the waters of the Kingdom of Chu into a cyberpunk future. As his soul wanders a landscape filled with cyborgs and surprising romantic reunions, several worlds collide, reflecting Kongkee’s own philosophical outlook on the past, and Qu Yuan’s futuristic language that possessed its own wandering quality and inspired generations of artists.

Part comic book, part motion picture, part speculative journey, Kongkee: Warring States Cyberpunk is an immersive experience complete with a large-scale LED installation and site-specific neon works, transforming Tai Kwun’s heritage site into a cyberpunk universe that bridges the past and the future.

For the presentation of Kongkee: Warring States Cyberpunk at Duplex Studio in Tai Kwun, apart from selected works from the previous exhibition, Kongkee will develop new site-specific works in connection with Hong Kong that reflect on the world we live in today. The exhibition is first organised by the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco and curated by Abby Chen, Head of Contemporary Art and Senior Associate Curator and this presentation at Tai Kwun is co-curated by Ying Kwok, Senior Curator at Tai Kwun.

Artist: Kongkee (aka Kong Khong-chang)
Curated by Abby Chen and Ying Kwok
Date: 9 December 2023–3 March 2024
Venue: Duplex Studio, Block 01
Lead Sponsor: Oriental Watch Company

Sarah Morris: ETC

Commissioned by M+ and Tai Kwun Contemporary, Sarah Morris’s newest film ETC (2023) is a cinematic portrait of Hong Kong made in the spring of 2023. ETC will screen for the first time on the M+ Façade facing the city skyline, and in March, ETC will screen on the Tai Kwun Contemporary galleries; alongside a site-specific commissioned wall painting, the feature film also includes an exclusive soundtrack composed by the artist Liam Gillick.

The film documents the city post-covid, recently reopened to the outside world. In an era marked by rapid change, ETC meditates on the psychology, architecture, and culture of Hong Kong, layering daily life with complex histories. 

ETC charts both iconic and lesser-known city locations, including HSBC headquarters, LegCo, ATL Logistics Centre, Sham Shui Po’s Electronic Market, Hop Cheong Pens & Lighters Co., and Hong Kong West Kowloon Station. The feature-length film also features notable Hong Kong residents such as graphic designer Henry Steiner, architect James Kinoshita, and actress Josie Ho, amongst many others.

Since Morris’s 1998 debut film, Midtown, which captures a day in the life of the city of New York, she has filmed ten global metropolises including Washington D.C., Los Angeles, Beijing, Rio de Janeiro, among others. ETC continues Morris’s examination of the chain of global sites in the electronic and digital age post-pandemic. The title plays with the designs of Henry Steiner, alluding to the history of Hong Kong as a global banking center, yet forming a futurist abbreviation and shorthand for Morris’s latest film.

Artist: Sarah Morris
Curated by Tobias Berger
Date: March 2024
Venue: 3/F JC Contemporary

BOOKED: Hong Kong Art Book Fair

Tai Kwun Contemporary's BOOKED: Hong Kong Art Book Fair 2024 is returning for its sixth edition! Featuring over 100 artists, booksellers, organisations, and publishers from Hong Kong and around the world, BOOKED: Hong Kong Art Book Fair will also include special displays, dynamic projects, and a wide roster of thought-provoking conversations, performances, and workshops.

BOOKED: Hong Kong Art Book Fair underscores Tai Kwun Contemporary's dedication to providing a platform for creative practitioners and publishers who are invested in books as a medium of artistic and intellectual expression, particularly around publishing as artistic practice and artists’ books.  

Date: End of August 2024
Venue: JC Contemporary
Artistic Team: Daniel Szehin Ho, Ingrid Pui Yee Chu, Louiza Ho

Maria Hassabi: I’ll Be Your Mirror

The artist and choreographer Maria Hassabi (b. Cyprus) has long pioneered live installations that explore the sculptural body, image-making, and the deceleration of time. Frequently involving dancers moving at a glacial, barely perceptible pace, Hassabi’s works confront visitors as living sculptures. Her works bring the performing body into museums, theatres, and public spaces, which shift the boundaries between visitors and performers, subjects and objects.

Maria Hassabi: I’ll Be Your Mirror is the artist’s first solo exhibition in Asia. Comprising elements of performance, sound, photography and painting, the exhibition brings her pathbreaking practice to Hong Kong, with all works newly commissioned for Tai Kwun's architectural environment. The central body of work on 3/F gravitates around the production of image through the usage of mirrors dressed in gold, playing with the myriad meanings and representations of gold in ancient and contemporary myths — as a colour in divinity, as a symbolic representation of capitalism, or even a kitsch sample from pop culture. The paradox between the immutability of gold and the shifting perceptions of its representation echoes the tensions in Hassabi’s practice — between subjects and objects, dance and sculpture, the live body and still images, the spectacular and the everyday.

Artist: Maria Hassabi
Curated by Xue Tan, with Louiza Ho
Date: 13 October–26 November 2023
Venue: 3/F JC Contemporary

— End —

Editor’s notes:

Please click here to download hi-res images.

About Tai Kwun

Tai Kwun is Hong Kong’s beating cultural heart, enabled by The Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC) in partnership with the Hong Kong SAR Government. A vibrant, welcoming space that brings people together, Tai Kwun is committed to inspiring the community through arts, culture and heritage. Located in the heart of Central, Hong Kong, Tai Kwun brings creative energy into our city by providing the people of Hong Kong with access to a variety of immersive, world-class experiences. It is open for all members of our community to enjoy, nurturing appreciation for arts, heritage and culture.

Tai Kwun supports youth in our community with the skills and development opportunities needed to thrive in the creative industries. Together with HKJC, Tai Kwun aspires to contribute to a culturally vibrant Hong Kong, amplifying the city’s role as a thriving arts and cultural hub in the region and the global arena.

The relationship between HKJC and Tai Kwun continues HKJC’s longstanding role as a supporter of the city’s iconic arts and cultural institutions, which aligns with HKJC’s purpose of acting continuously for the betterment of our society. HKJC funded the revitalisation and continues to fund the ongoing operation of Tai Kwun, which consist of three Declared Monuments — the former Central Police Station, Central Magistracy and Victoria Prison — transforming the historic site into an accessible world-class centre for arts, culture and heritage. In 2019, Tai Kwun received the Award of Excellence in the 2019 UNESCO Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation.

For more information, please visit our website: https://www.taikwun.hk.

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Tai Kwun Neon Connection: Winner Announced YARD Architecture Studio's Work Will Be Realised at Tai Kwun in Late January 2024

10 Oct 2023, Tuesday

Tai Kwun is delighted to announce YARD Architecture Studio with proposal name: Memoir in Neon as the winner of the Open Call: Tai Kwun Neon Connection. Inspired by the overwhelming public response to Vital Signs – an exhibition that paid tribute to Hong Kong’s distinctive neon culture in the second half of the 20th Century which concluded on 3 September 2023 – Tai Kwun openly invited Hong Kong’s creative minds to participate in Tai Kwun Neon Connection and use neon light to illuminate Tai Kwun Lane, with the objective of enticing visitors in the Parade Ground to explore the Prison Yard and vice versa. 

Hailing from fields such as art, design, architecture, and the broader creative industry, these talented individuals and groups were challenged to create an illuminated public installation that would be integrated in one or more heritage buildings while preserving the historical authenticity of the former Central Police Station and Victoria Prison. The results exceeded expectation, with artistically bold and technically ingenious entries pouring in.

From a pool of impressive submissions, Tai Kwun’s judging panel, comprising experts in the fields of design, architecture, heritage conservation, neon science, contemporary art and engineering were thrilled and inspired by the 24 entries which were received, but, faced with the daunting task of selecting only one winning entry, the panel agreed that YARD Architecture Studio's concept not only met all of the stringent judging criteria but also dazzled with its flair, creativity and boldness, while respecting the authentic heritage setting in which it is to be installed.

The winning entry of Tai Kwun Neon Connection will be switched on in late January 2024 to coincide with the opening of InnerGlow 2024. The public is invited to come and witness this exceptional design. This Tai Kwun Neon Connection has been made possible with core funding provided by The Hong Kong Jockey Club through its Charities Trust, and with support from Bloomberg Philanthropies. Visitors can also access exclusive content of the winning artwork through the Bloomberg Connects App.

"While Memoir in Neon takes the spotlight, the panel was genuinely astounded by the overall calibre of entries. It serves as a testament to Hong Kong's distinct embrace of neon as a vibrant part of the city's cultural fabric," said Timothy Calnin, Director of Tai Kwun Arts.

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TAI KWUN CONTEMPORARY’S “KILLING TV” EXHIBITION TUNES INTO HOW ARTISTS HAVE DISRUPTED TV AS A MEDIUM (27 Sep to 19 Nov 2023)

28 Sep 2023, Thursday

Tai Kwun Contemporary is thrilled to present Killing TV, a new exhibition about how contemporary artists deploy, disrupt, and deconstruct television as a medium. The artworks in the exhibition — dating from the 1970s up to the present day, by 15 artists from around the world — shed light on how television has influenced art, particularly how artists have reflected on and challenged television’s pervasive power on culture as a whole. Curated by Jill Angel Chun and Tiffany Leung, Killing TV runs from 27 September to 19 November 2023.

For decades, television has been a major mass medium globally, transforming how we have consumed information, news, and entertainment. With social media on the rise, however, television — especially live TV and broadcasting — has been overtaken by digital platforms and steaming technologies. While Killing TV does not offer an exhaustive survey of artists’ responses to television, the featured artworks in the exhibition do show how television has provided a fertile ground for examination and critical reflection by artists.

A notable highlight of the exhibition takes the form of a revolving black carousel of obsolete TVs which serve as “canvases” for five artworks. Resting on a sofa, a viewer can look at the artworks coming and going. Appearing when in front of the sofa, each artwork’s signal fades out once it is outside the viewer’s gaze, as if an invisible hand were controlling the remote control. Evoking memories of a bygone era when television shows adhered to fixed schedules, drawing families and friends together for communal viewing, it stands in stark contrast with today’s atomising on-demand streaming culture.

With video works that take in performance art as well as sculptural installations — from parodying TV shows to appropriating TV commercials — the broad range of works in Killing TV invites audiences to embrace artistic experimentation and discover unfamiliar formats and settings. Together, the different artists explore issues of identity, consumerism, and human relationships in society, thus probing the mass psychological and social impact of television from new perspectives. Ultimately, these artists offer us different way of looking at television as a medium — a medium which has fundamentally affected the way we understand ourselves and the world.

Television is dead — long live television! While broadcast television appears to be under threat, we are at the same time also living the “Golden Age of TV” — witness the widespread popularity of television dramas streamed online. In some form or another, television continues to influence and even mould society. At the same time, contemporary artists continue to disrupt and deconstruct television in the expanded field. Don’t switch channels just yet!

Education & Public Programmes

Over the course of the exhibition, Tai Kwun Contemporary will be hosting a range of public programming and educational events that dive into the deeper themes raised by Killing TV. These include Tai Kwun Conversations; Teacher’s Morning and Teacher’s Workshop; curator’s tours and other guided public tours. In the After Hours series, the audience gets the chance to listen to a fascinating spectrum of speakers working in art, photography, literature, as well as academics who will be chatting and discussing a broad range of topics. Finally, the Hi! & Seek corner at the 2/F, a space of dialogue and exploration, will as usual be open for visitors of all ages, providing different ways of interaction and conversation.

Artists in Killing TV

Ant Farm

Dara Birnbaum

Chris Burden

Chow Chun Fai

Shigeko Kubota

Kwan Sheung Chi

Li Ran

Grace Ndiritu

Nam June Paik & Jud Yalkut

Daniel Pflumm

Alex Prager

Aled Simons

Ryan Trecartin

Magdalen Wong

— End —

Editor’s notes:

Please click here to download the hi-res images with captions.

Killing TV

Curators: Jill Chun and Tiffany Leung

27 September–19 November 2023

(Closed on Mondays, except when a public holiday falls on Monday)

11am–7pm

1/F F Hall (entry through JC Contemporary)
https://www.taikwun.hk/

Visitor information

Killing TV runs from 27 September to 19 November 2023, every Tuesday to Sunday from 11am to 7pm at the art galleries in Tai Kwun. Admission is free, with guided public tours and related public programmes available. Along with Killing TV, visitors can visit I'll Be Your Mirror, a new live art exhibition by the trailblazing artist and choreographer Maria Hassabi from 13 October to 26 November 2023.

The entire site of Tai Kwun is open to the public daily from 8am to 11pm.

Programme details are subject to change, so please refer to the Tai Kwun website for news and updates.

About Tai Kwun

Tai Kwun is Hong Kong’s beating cultural heart, enabled by The Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC) in partnership with the Hong Kong SAR Government. A vibrant, welcoming space that brings people together, Tai Kwun is committed to inspiring the community through arts, culture and heritage. Located in the heart of Central, Hong Kong, Tai Kwun brings creative energy into our city by providing the people of Hong Kong with access to a variety of immersive, world-class experiences. It is open for all members of our community to enjoy, nurturing appreciation for arts, heritage and culture.

Tai Kwun supports youth in our community with the skills and development opportunities needed to thrive in the creative industries. Together with HKJC, Tai Kwun aspires to contribute to a culturally vibrant Hong Kong, amplifying the city’s role as a thriving arts and cultural hub in the region and the global arena.

The relationship between HKJC and Tai Kwun continues HKJC’s longstanding role as a supporter of the city’s iconic arts and cultural institutions, which aligns with HKJC’s purpose of acting continuously for the betterment of our society. HKJC funded the revitalisation and continues to fund the ongoing operation of Tai Kwun, which consist of three Declared Monuments – the former Central Police Station, Central Magistracy and Victoria Prison – transforming the historic site into an

accessible world-class centre for arts, culture and heritage. In 2019, Tai Kwun received the Award of Excellence in the 2019 UNESCO Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation.

Tai Kwun Contemporary is the not-for-profit visual art programme of Tai Kwun. Realising six to eight exhibitions a year and curatorially driven, Tai Kwun Contemporary showcases and commissions artists from Hong Kong and beyond, while offering an extensive range of public programming. With the aspiration to contribute to and transform the experience and understanding of contemporary art in Hong Kong, Tai Kwun Contemporary is devoted to inspiring the Hong Kong

public with an inquisitive attitude and committed to offering a conducive platform for learning and experimentation.

For more information, please visit our website: https://www.taikwun.hk.

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Tai Kwun’s Vital Signs Exhibition Shines A Light On Hong Kong's Neon Heritage (30 Jun To 3 Sep 2023)

27 Jun 2023, Tuesday

Tai Kwun, in association with Tetra Neon Exchange, is proud to present Vital Signs, a new exhibition that celebrates Hong Kong’s unique and distinctive visual identity through its iconic neon heritage. The exhibition invites contemporary artisans to follow in the footsteps of the pioneering neon masters who came before them, and pays tribute to the skill, craftsmanship, audacity, competitiveness, precision, and can-do mindset that define this vibrant art form.

Visitors to Vital Signs will be able to experience and appreciate up close the neon signs, master craftsmen, and vibrant streetscapes that were once synonymous with Hong Kong’s visual culture. The exhibition spans two entirely separate spaces within Tai Kwun, commencing in the Duplex Studio in Block 01 where visitors can marvel at the sheer size and audacity of over 20 neon signs, many of which have been conserved and recommissioned by Tetra Neon Exchange and are on public display for the first time.

The neon tour then continues at Laundry Steps, which are transformed into a riotous electrified streetscape crowned by another cluster of 5 authentic and original Hong Kong neon signs. The exhibition  highlights the flair and  imagination, as well as the  ingenious problem-solving of Hong Kong's legendary neon masters, and invites visitors to step back into the Wan Chai, Tsim Sha Tsui and Causeway Bay of the 80s and 90s, where distinctive canopies of dazzling, blinking, multi-coloured neon signs in Chinese characters (and occasionally English) competed for attention in the streets of Kowloon and Hong Kong Island – an image instantly recognizable around the world, capturing in a single polaroid shot the vitality, excitement, and opportunity that drew the world to Hong Kong.

“Far from being the exclusive domain of huge international brands, neon was the medium embraced by thousands of local companies and family businesses in Hong Kong who could grab the public’s attention through quirky and creative design,” said Timothy Calnin, Director of Tai Kwun Arts. “Vital Signs, while being a joyous celebration of this vivid and unmistakable look, also pauses to reflect on how much of this radiant past has been lost. We hope that Vital Signs, as the name implies, reveals a living visual medium rather than a sunset industry, and that our nostalgia for neon finds new friends, fans and exponents to preserve this wondrous legacy and lead it in new directions.”

“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to tour visitors through the Vital Signs exhibition and look forward to sharing with the public our passion and affection for the signs which evoke Hong Kong at its best – bold, confident and brimming with possibility,” said Cardin Chan, General Manager of Tetra Neon Exchange. “As a non-profit organisation dedicated to rescuing and conserving pieces that preserve Hong Kong’s authentic neon identity, we are very excited to bring these huge and elaborate artefacts back into full public view.”

Vital Signs runs from 30 June to 3 September 2023 and is open from 12pm to 8pm every day. The exhibition has been made possible with core funding provided by The Hong Kong Jockey Club through its Charities Trust, and with support from Bloomberg Philanthropies.

To further promote the art of neon and support Hong Kong's neon industry, our open call, Neon Connection, is inviting local artists, designers and architects to conceive their own large-scale public sculptures using the medium of neon, to create a visual thread which links Tai Kwun's buzzing Parade Ground with the more introspective Prison Yard, via Tai Kwun Lane. The winning design will be fully realised by Tai Kwun and installed next January.

Along with the exhibition, Tai Kwun will host a series of public programmes beginning on 11 July 2023, including a series of workshops, talks, screenings, and tours, designed to immerse Vital Signs visitors in the unique cultural heritage of Hong Kong’s neon industry. These programmes aim to explore the remarkable craftsmanship behind neon artworks and their significance in shaping Hong Kong's future.

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Patricia Piccinini's HOPE opens at Tai Kwun Contemporary

12 May 2023, Friday

Tai Kwun Contemporary is excited to announce HOPE — a large-scale summer exhibition of the sculptures, paintings and moving image works by the renowned Australian artist Patricia Piccinini from 24 May to 3 September.

Best known for her hyper-realistic sculptures whose human scale and touchingly expressive features belie their non-human limbs, fins, wings and scales — cute, intriguing, grotesque — Piccinini’s vision explores the unexpected consequences of tampering with nature. Featuring more than 50 fascinatingly detailed and highly imaginative works across different media, including paintings and moving images in addition to her distinctive sculptural works, HOPE offers visitors an engrossing, perplexing and deeply touching view of a fantastical imaginary world, yet one with which we identify naturally and instinctively.

Piccinini has been featured in many highly successful exhibitions around the world, including a pavilion presentation at the Venice Biennale in 2003. While her work raises questions about scientific progress and mankind’s destructive power over nature, a resilient optimism shines through as the scale and expressiveness of her works speak of tenderness, care and empathy.

HOPE is Patricia Piccinini’s first solo exhibition in Hong Kong and encompasses all of the gallery spaces of JC Contemporary. Among the largest works in the show is Celestial Fields — a vast immersive installation comprising 4,500 individual flower stems sprouting both upwards from the floor and downwards from the ceiling, drawing the visitor into its embrace where it poses questions on the nature of progress. Elsewhere, Piccinini responds to the signature spiral staircase of JC Contemporary with a 20-metre-high installation of multi-coloured wigs spun together and suspended down the void from the ceiling of the top floor.

Ultimately, much of Patricia Piccinini’s work explores the notion of interdependence: the interdependence between humans and artificial objects — such as shoes, cradles, chairs — or the interdependence between humans and other creatures. The artist is fascinated by what she calls “artificial nature”: she imagines awe-inspiring and somewhat unsettling mixtures of creatures, where humans may be combined with living beings concocted in the imagination — or in the laboratory. These “chimeras” fundamentally ask questions about how technological advances are opening new horizons, given that humanity appears to be on the cusp of being able to design and create new forms of life and new forms of living-mechanical hybrids. For the artist, this prospect triggers both hope and anxiety about the nature of progress; at the same time, the artist imagines how living with such creatures will demand love, care, and empathy — the same love and care that humanity is morally compelled to show to other living creatures we share the planet with. Visitors to HOPE will therefore not only experience the artist’s spectacular vision but will also be invited to delve more deeply into broader questions about progress, science and technology, as well as the ethics of care.

“After last year’s wildly popular Behind Your Eyelid summer exhibition, we are honoured to present another spectacularly large-scale exhibition by such a legendary artist at Tai Kwun Contemporary. Our preconceived notions about biology are challenged by Piccinini\'s works, which force us to confront the limits of genetic experimentation, technology, the arts, and, of course, humanity itself. Moreover, this exhibition reflects a longer cycle where Tai Kwun Contemporary explores the notion of ‘future bodies’ and the question of nature. HOPE will offer an artistic response — or perhaps rather than an answer, the artist poses more questions about the state of science and technology and progress in the world today,” said Tobias Berger, Curator of HOPE — Patricia Piccinini.

Timothy Calnin, Director of Tai Kwun Arts, commented, "An exhibition of the breadth, and vision of HOPE is a significant commitment for any contemporary art institution, and would have been unimaginable without the unwavering support from The Hong Kong Jockey Club and this exhibition’s Lead Sponsor Indosuez Wealth Management, We salute the Club and Indosuez for enabling Tai Kwun to bring the extraordinary art of Patricia Piccinini to Hong Kong for this summer exhibition. We are tremendously proud to bring Patricia and her studio of skilled technicians and artisans to Hong Kong and very grateful to Tobias for once again curating a stunning exhibition which we know will win fans for the artist, for contemporary art in general and for Tai Kwun. Less visible to our visitors is the outstanding behind-the-scenes work of Tai Kwun’s small but dynamic Contemporary Art team, led by Head of Art Dr Pi Li, who have once again gone above and beyond the call of duty to guarantee a wonderful experience for all visitors from the moment the gallery doors open.”

“At Indosuez, we are committed to supporting the vibrant arts and cultural landscape in Hong Kong. We believe that the arts have the unique ability to connect and inspire the communities we live and operate in, and are thrilled to be the Lead Sponsor of HOPE by Patricia Piccinini at Tai Kwun,” said Olivier Livenais, CEO, Hong Kong, at Indosuez Wealth Management.

Over the course of the exhibition, Tai Kwun Contemporary will also be hosting a wide range of public programming and educational events that dive into the deeper themes raised by Piccinini’s works, including her references to classical Greek mythology and art historical iconography, as well as broader ethical questions about science, progress, and ethics.

These include Tai Kwun Conversations: HOPE — A Dialogue between Patricia Piccinini and Tobias Berger; a series of film screenings chosen by the artist in Patricia Piccinini’s Choice; Workshop: Making of HOPE — Patricia Piccinini; Teacher’s Morning and Teacher’s Workshop; curator’s tours and other guided public tours. Of particular interest to families with children will be the Family Day events held throughout the run of the exhibition. Finally, Patricia Piccinini After Hours will be offering intimate conversations with special guests and speakers, who will chat about topics such as ethics and morality in biotech and genetics, climate crisis and extinction, and human creations of life.

HOPE will also present a small number of artist editions and merchandise in the Tai Kwun Contemporary kiosk in the gallery reception area.

Tickets to the exhibition is available on Klook. HK$60 for general tickets and HK$50 for concession tickets (Full-time students with ID, people with disabilities, and senior citizens over the age of 60).

Tickets will also be available at the JC Contemporary reception: HK$70 (general) and HK$60 (concession).

Children under the age of 5 can enjoy free admission.

Meanwhile, Tai Kwun will offer limited qualities of buy-one get-one free admission tickets exclusive to TK Fan on a first come, first serve basis.

For more details about the exhibition, various activities, and ticketing information, visit: https://qrs.ly/vsetej4

Lead Sponsor: Indosuez Wealth Management

HOPE

Artist: Patricia Piccinini

Curator: Tobias Berger

Date: 24 May to 3 September 2023

Tuesday – Sunday, 11 am to 7 pm

Monday, CLOSED

On-site: HK$70 (Adults) | HK$60 (Concession)

Online: HK$60 (Adults) | HK$50 (Concession)

About Patricia Piccinini

Born in Freetown, Sierra Leone, in West Africa in 1965, Patricia Piccinini grew up mainly in Australia, where her family moved in 1972. At the beginning of her artistic career, she spent a substantial amount of time in medical museums, making drawings of preserved specimens. Indeed, her works usually begin with her drawings, which then are translated by the artist and her team of technicians into three-dimensional objects. Since the 1990s, Piccinini’s work has combined the cute and the grotesque, spurring viewers to overcome a sense of revulsion and to see the beauty of all forms, however unsettling, deformed, or artificial. In 2003, Piccinini represented Australia at the Venice Biennale, and since then she has had numerous solo and group exhibitions around the world.

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Editor’s notes:

Please click here to download the hi-res images with captions.

Visitor information

The entire site of Tai Kwun is open to the public daily from 8am to 11pm, while Tai Kwun Contemporary at JC Contemporary is open from Tuesdays to Sundays from 10am to 8pm (closed on Mondays), and Fridays to Saturdays from 11am to 9pm.

Programme details are subject to change, so please refer to the Tai Kwun website for news and updates.

About Tai Kwun — Centre for Heritage and Arts

Tai Kwun is Hong Kong’s Centre for Heritage and Arts — a cultural destination for inspiration, stimulation and enjoyment. We aspire to offer the best heritage and arts experiences, and to cultivate knowledge and appreciation of contemporary art, performing arts and history in the community.

Tai Kwun invites all visitors on a journey of discovery that unites across multiple genres of arts, heritage, culture and lifestyle in Hong Kong. Here, visitors will discover the rich heritage of the site through the thematic exhibitions and immersive public programmes that explore Hong Kong’s history and culture, alongside a multitude of vibrant and inclusive contemporary art presentations and performing arts offerings all year round.

Opened in May 2018 and operating on a not-for-profit model, Tai Kwun is the fruition of a joint partnership between The Hong Kong Jockey Club and the Government of the HKSAR to conserve and revitalise the buildings of the historic Central Police Station compound, which represents one of the most significant revitalisation projects in Hong Kong. The site comprises three Declared Monuments of Hong Kong – the former Central Police Station, Central Magistracy and Victoria Prison – all have been meticulously conserved, with unfailing attention to authenticity. The site also includes two new buildings – JC Contemporary and JC Cube, by renowned architects Herzog & de Meuron – and several outdoor spaces – Parade Ground, Prison Yard and Laundry Steps – providing an exciting venue for the public programmes presented by Tai Kwun and its partners.

Tai Kwun, which means “big station” in Chinese, is the colloquial name used by Hong Kong people to refer to the former police headquarters and the surrounding compound. The name has been adopted as a reminder of the historical importance of this living heritage site.

In 2019, Tai Kwun received the Award of Excellence in the 2019 UNESCO Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation. This is the highest honour of the prestigious Awards, which bestows an international recognition of the outstanding achievement in the conservation and revitalisation efforts of Tai Kwun.

For more information, please visit our website: https://www.TaiKwun.hk.

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With over half a decade of arts and cultural delights, Tai Kwun celebrates its milestone as Hong Kong’s premiere arts and culture centre

2 May 2023, Tuesday

Join Tai Kwun as the compound invites you to Feel Your Heart Beat in an anniversary celebration like no other this May with heartfelt programmes such as Unfurl, Stepping Up, Hidden Spaces Tour and HOPE—Patricia Piccinini

For over half a decade, Tai Kwun has delighted and enlightened visitors and guests, immersing them in arts, culture and heritage. This month Tai Kwun celebrates its fifth anniversary, inviting you to feel your heart beat with us, as we unveil spectacular performances and exhibitions that honour the community for helping to transform the compound into the extraordinary space it is today and will continue to be in the future.

Since opening its doors to the public five years ago, the heritage site has come alive with culture, heritage and internationally renowned art exhibitions, musical and performing arts performances, films, docent tours and more. Over 12 million visitors have visited Tai Kwun over the years, enjoying the 3,900 programmes that have graced the galleries, venues and shops within the compound.

While The Hong Kong Jockey Club conserved and revitalised Tai Kwun, and through its Charities Trust provides the core funding for Tai Kwun’s arts and heritage programmes, Tai Kwun belongs to the people of Hong Kong as they are the true owners of the heritage site. In celebration of its fifth anniversary, Tai Kwun is launching a myriad of exciting art and culture programmes under the Feel Your Heart Beat initiative, bringing back treasured moments while creating new transformative experiences that touch the community to become the vibrant heart of Hong Kong. The abstract form of a beating heart represents Tai Kwun's mission in promoting cultural participation and community engagement, and visitors are invited to experience the city's finest artistic and cultural delights, all the while feeling their heart beat inside the historical compound of Tai Kwun.

Welcoming all to come along and be immersed in the familiar environment alongside one’s favourite people to truly feel at home, Tai Kwun is celebrating the milestone with heartfelt programmes such as Unfurl, Stepping Up, Hidden Spaces Tour, HOPE—Patricia Piccinini and limited-time visitor gifts along with an exclusive TK Fan giveaway.

Unfurl

The Parade Ground is set to be transformed into a unique garden full of light, colour, and sound by the Asian debut of Unfurl from 23 to 31 May, with installations that enchant both crowds and individuals. Nature, art and technology have combined to create this visual spectacle consisting of 19 plants, nine of which are massive robots. The interactive, gentle giants in Unfurl are made from fabric and air, towering as high as five metres. They form a dreamscape where plants can sense that you’ve come to visit and thus reach out to connect, enabling a joyful experience not to be missed that celebrates the wonder and intelligence of nature’s design sensibilities, and makes space for human connection and play.

Date

23 – 31 May 2023

Time

2pm – 10pm

Venue

Parade Ground, Tai Kwun

Price

Free of Charge

Stepping Up

Welcoming home artists and performers who have performed at Tai Kwun since its opening in 2018, the centre will be filled to the brim with live performances of the special programme Stepping Up held over the long weekend of 26 – 28 May. The music performance on 26 May, curated by music producer Janet Yau who has collaborated with Tai Kwun since 2018, will showcase a diverse mixture of classical Western music and contemporary Chinese music, from standard ensemble to mixed ensemble. On 27 – 28 May, circus newcomers and veterans will return with Circus Box, who made their debut performance at Tai Kwun in 2020. The long weekend performance will be hosted by Vivek Mahbubani, a local sought-after stand-up comedian who is one of the first artists to perform at Laundry Steps at Tai Kwun’s opening. Visitors are welcome to come and enjoy these first-rate and vibrant performances in the inviting atmosphere of the Laundry Steps.

Date

26 - 28 May 2023

Time

2pm – 6pm

Venue

Laundry Steps, Tai Kwun

Price

Free of Charge

Hidden Spaces Tour

heritage spots strewn around the Central Police Station Compound, where secluded architectural traces may well be located inside the Hidden Spaces Tour, including underground passages to the courthouse, Tai Kwun’s prison cell revitalisation, and air-raid shelter.

Date

26 - 28 May 2023

Time

11:15am (Cantonese) / 12pm (Cantonese) / 12:45pm (Putonghua) / 1:30pm (Cantonese) / 2:15pm (Cantonese) / 3pm (English) / 3:45pm (Cantonese) / 4:30pm (Cantonese) 

Venue

Side-wide, Tai Kwun

Price

Free of Charge

Registration

qrs.ly/2les93v

HOPE—Patricia Piccinini

Not to be missed is the intriguing, large-scale exhibition HOPE—Patricia Piccinini held at JC Contemporary starting 24 May, supported by our corporate patron Indosuez Wealth Management as the Lead Sponsor of the exhibition. As renowned Australian artist Patricia Piccinini’s first solo exhibition in Hong Kong, HOPE showcases more than 60 artworks, ten of which have been specially commissioned for Tai Kwun Contemporary across two series. Featuring hyperrealistic and surreal sculptural, photographic and film works by the artist, the immersive exhibition HOPE addresses crucial concerns about the nature of history, progress, and technology, as well as our potential to come together and live in harmony.

Date

24 May – 3 September 2023

Time

11am – 7pm

Venue

JC Contemporary, Tai Kwun

Price

Online Tickets:

$60 (Regular) / $50 (Concession)

On Site Tickets:

$70 (Regular) / $60 (Concession)

Ticketing

Tickets are available at KLOOK

TK FAN Exclusive

Truly a place for the people, members of TK FAN may redeem one token to use at the exclusive 5th-anniversary capsule machine and receive a celebratory gift during the festivities period of 23 – 31 May 2023. There will be a limited daily quota on a first-come-first-served basis.

Date

23 – 31 May 2023

Time

10am – 8pm

Venue

Outside of Visitor Service, Tai Kwun

For more details about the exhibition, various activities, and ticketing information, visit: https://qrs.ly/3xesogm

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Tai Kwun In Bloom 2023: Blooming and Beyond…

4 Apr 2023, Tuesday

Venture into the realm of sustainability in full bloom

Hong Kong, 04 April 2023 -- “Tai Kwun In Bloom returns to the Parade Ground for its third year from today until 10 April! Bursting with botanicals just before the Easter weekend, the annual flower extravaganza offers an abundance of lush and lavish experiences for this entire week. Visitors of Tai Kwun can experience the compound in full bloom once again and delight in the unforgettable garden, which puts sustainability and eco-friendliness at the forefront of its celebration. Eighteen handpicked local brand partners are set to join the jubilee, with lovely workshops, botanical-inspired bites, and offerings, and plenty of spectacular and sustainable "Instagrammable" displays focusing on promoting a greener lifestyle for all.

Blooming and Beyond…

Tai Kwun is dedicated to finding the right balance between extravagance and sustainability in addition to bringing eco-friendly lifestyle offerings to people in Hong Kong and beyond. This year Tai Kwun wishes to share the uniqueness and beauty of flowers during Tai Kwun In Bloom 2023, and has crafted new practices that will offset carbon emissions caused by refrigeration and long-haul transportation. The flower show collaborates with nearby flower farms in an effort to substitute imported flowers with locally produced flowers, reducing the market's carbon emissions.

To further minimise environmental impacts, In Bloom is set to lower its installation wastage by up to 90%. Most of the festival’s fixtures have been made from upcycled materials, and over 95% are designed to be reusable. Now, ready to be given a second life, Tai Kwun will collaborate with local groups to transform the fixtures into home furniture for local families in need. All the suitable flowers and plants used at the set-up will also be given away to local NGOs and ready for adoption by the end of the market. Stay tuned to Tai Kwun’s Facebook and Instagram for the adoption details to enhance your home garden and give these plants a lovable second life!

A kaleidoscope bursting with blooms

This year's market features a plethora of Hong Kong-owned brands, including florists, botanical stores, lifestyle, and even food and beverage brands! The market features a range of floristry brands, including Flower Flows in You, Give Her Flower, nao florist and FLORISTRY by ART OF LIVING, from fresh flower boutiques to single-stem flowers and weekly flower orders. For those who are looking for exotic botanical and plant options, Forest Round Round, ROOT and Uncle Caudex are here for you. Meanwhile, those who consider themselves to be short on time with no wiggle room for plant babies can explore the never-withered hand-dyed fabric flowers from Timeless Flower!

Local bakery Solight Studio, Kombucha brand Fruitable Hong Kong and agro-food brand LoCoFARMS also join the celebration, supplying the market with food and drinks that not only deliver flavour, but also a delectable journey with lovely stories from locally farmed produce.

As the first season of Tai Kwun In Bloom that visitors can enjoy bites and sips at the market, there are plenty of plates to discover, such as the true Spanish flavours from 22 Ships, who have brought their traditional yet modern tapas and drinks from chef Antonio Oviedo. Meanwhile, Between is set to present delicious modern Japanese café bites, as well as signature blends and wellness beverages crafted by seasoned baristas. Botanical buddies can be sweetly reminded to embrace sustainability and bring their own cutlery for some quick and easy treats.

Tai Kwun In Bloom is a market for people to buy environmental friendly. GREEN BITCH loves the earth and is the perfect spot for one to find all the goodies needed for enhancing a sustainable urban lifestyle. Designs have been crafted to last a lifetime at Tiny Island Maps, while SOULMATTE‘s plant-based vegan leather handbags offer a beautiful alternative to animal leather. Not to mention DayDaySoap, Conceptu Home and Yiwooo.co, three top-notch local brands embracing craftmanship and sustainability with natural ingredients.

Budding in green treats

A sure way to find oneself rewarded with a bed of roses, TAI KWUN FAN who spend an accumulated HK$500 or above at Tai Kwun In Bloom partner’s booths, will also receive a HK$50 Tai Kwun e-voucher that can be used at selected shops and restaurants at Tai Kwun (terms and conditions apply).

Green-themed plates and lifestyle options from shops and restaurants

Tai Kwun is set to blossom not only inside the Parade Ground, but also within the restaurants and shops where visitors can find extravagant bouquets, baskets and green-themed plates and lifestyle offerings. Gin lovers will be delighted upon entry to the Botanical Garden, and the evening can only become more magical with a signature cocktail from Dragonfly! For those embracing sobriety, floral-inspired cold brew tea from LockCha Tea House is served not only as a soothing beverage, but as a work of art. Finally, those who have a sweet tooth for bites instead of drinks can head to The Chinese Library and discover splendid cakes and other desserts.

For those wanting to get crafty, one’s inner gardener can be released during bonart’s Mounted Rabbit’s Foot Fern Workshop, while PAP Studio’s glass mosaic workshop allows for one to enter a zone of absolute concentration as the class teaches the beauty of moving light and shadows. With workshops galore, visitors can also paint their own white porcelain bowl with different flower gods at Touch Ceramics. Last, but certainly not least, book lovers are invited to indulge in "Paper Blossoms" from TASCHEN.

Fabulous Sustainable-Themed Workshops

Tai Kwun In Bloom 2023 has joined hands with two participating local brands: “Yiwooo” and “Fruitable Hong Kong”, to present a functional and aesthetically pleasing “Tai Kwun x Yiwooo Bamboo Crafting Workshop” and “Tai Kwun x Fruitable Hong Kong Kombucha workshop”. Participants will learn basic bamboo-weaving techniques to create bamboo trays without using any glue, and how to brew kombucha with locally farmed products.

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BOOKED: HONG KONG ART BOOK FAIR WELCOMES INTERNATIONAL EXHIBITORS BACK TO TAI KWUN CONTEMPORARY WITH NEW PROJECT

3 Apr 2023, Monday

Tai Kwun Contemporary's BOOKED: Hong Kong Art Book Fair 2023 is returning for its fifth edition, with local, regional, and international exhibitors joining in person. Extending across the gallery spaces of JC Contemporary and F Hall in Tai Kwun from 28 April to 1 May 2023, this latest edition also launches "Sounds Like Print”, a project that explores the intersection of “sound” and “print”.

For the first time since 2020, BOOKED: is welcoming exhibitors from outside the city physically back in Hong Kong, including Printed Matter (New York), Nieves (Zurich), onestar press / Three Star Books (Paris), Self Publish Be Happy (London), Afterall (London), Jakarta Art Book Fair (Jakarta), aBC (Beijing/Shanghai), Jiazazhi (Ningbo/Shanghai), and more. Additionally, Display Distribute and Reading Room will respectively bring along a special selection of books from lumbung kios and lumbung publishers, previously featured in Documenta 15. This inspiring range of artists and exhibitors reasserts BOOKED: as a major regional art book fair.

Venturing into new horizons, BOOKED: 2023 includes the project "Sounds Like Print" (28 April – November 2023), co-curated by Ingrid Pui Yee Chu and Edward Sanderson, and co-organised with Daniel Szehin Ho. “Sounds Like Print” explores how the visible and the audible overlap: on the one hand, the ways in which sound and music—what we hear and listen to—are recorded in print, in the packaging around sound and music, as well as magazines, zines, and flyers, and on the other, how printed matter can trigger or generate sounds. Created in affordable, multiple copies for distribution and circulation, music/sound recordings as well as printed matter have remarkable similarities to one another, particularly in opposition to the classical notion of “art” considered as valuable and unique. There is thus an accessible, indie or self-made spirit here.

The project launches with a special display of sound art and experimental music primarily from the Mainland, on loan from the archive of Hong Kong-based curator and scholar Dr. Edward Sanderson, alongside several "Notations" exploring associated themes. Other artworks by Samson Young (Hong Kong), Dave Muller (Los Angeles) and mmmmor studio (Düsseldorf/Hong Kong) are set among the Artists' Book Library. During BOOKED: 2023, “Sounds Like Print” features a durational piano performance spearheaded by Samson Young as part of his larger Furniture Music series, which combines repurposed furniture with books and recorded sound as a way to visually represent sound as well as its silences.

Featuring more than 80 artists, publishers, organisations, and booksellers, BOOKED: Hong Kong Art Book Fair also includes special displays by the Hong Kong photographer Kurt Tong, the Swiss independent publishing house Nieves, and the high-end French publisher onestar press / Three Star Books, along with a wide range of public programming such as talks, workshops, and performances. Of note is an on-site performance by BASE (Florence Lam and Pang Jing), who will walk through the fair and interact with books in a variety of acrobatic ways, generating new definitions of female "bodily knowledge".  

BOOKED: Hong Kong Art Book Fair underscores Tai Kwun Contemporary's dedication to providing a platform for creative practitioners and publishers who are invested in books as a medium of artistic and intellectual expression while providing an opportunity for public audiences to enjoy and engage with these materials as art, and as an important resource for learning and research.

Tickets will be available on KLOOK from 3 April, HK$40 for Adults and HK$30 for Concession; limited numbers of tickets will be available on site.

Highlighted participants this year include:

Printed Matter (New York)

-           Founded in 1976, Printed Matter, Inc. is the world's leading non-profit organisation dedicated to the dissemination, understanding and appreciation of artists' books and related publications.

onestar press / Three Star Books (Paris)

-           Onestar press / Three Star Books has produced over 300 books, 300 multiples and artists' films since 2000, allowing for collaboration among international artists on a variety of projects. This has enabled them to access and use new technologies.

David Zwirner Books (New York)

-           David Zwirner Books is a publishing house dedicated to publishing the highest quality art publications. It focuses on projects that are artist led or inspired, and commissions texts by novelists, poets, and journalists. It was founded in 2014 and publishes over 25 titles a year, available worldwide in museum stores, independent bookstores, online, and in all gallery locations.

Jakarta Art Book Fair (Jakarta)

-           Further Reading Press is an independent multi-format publishing platform with a production and distribution unit, that seeks to engage in discourse within design practices by exploring the wider contexts through various programmed experiences, such as online publication, printed periodicals, pop-ups, and residency.

-           The Jakarta Art Book Fair showcases a range of Indonesian independent publishing.

Jiazazhi (Ningbo/Shanghai)

-           Hailing from Shanghai, Jiazazhi is a photo art publisher devoted to exploring the possibilities of photo work presentation.

Reading Room (Guangzhou)

-           Reading Room offers publications from an active network of art collectives and cultural commons, and is a part of the "lumbung" presentation by BOLOHO (in documenta 15). Based in Guangzhou, they share a regional perspective as a member of Lumbung Publishers.

Self Publish Be Happy (London)

-           Self Publish Be Happy is dedicated to shaping contemporary photography and visual culture through publishing, online and offline events, and education programmes.

Nieves (Zurich)

-           A one-man publishing house, founded in 2001, Nieves focuses on producing artist publications and zines.

Case Publishing & shashasha (Tokyo)

-           Case Publishing is a Tokyo-based publisher founded in 2015. For nearly a decade they have spotlighted Japan's artistic culture showcasing contemporary art, photography and design.

P_PAL (Beijing)

-           Beijing's latest up-and-coming magazine focused on artists' books and independent publishing.

abc (art books in China fair) (Beijing)

-           One of the largest art book fairs in the Mainland, abc hosts fairs in metropolitan Chinese cities such as Shanghai, Beijing, and beyond.

Highlighted Local Exhibitors

mini press @ Tiana Cloudland

-          mini press is a publishing project of Tiana Cloudland, which advocates publishing independent publications in limited editions, mini-sizes and hand-binding.

This Bakery

-           A fantastic, mystical world of stories including but not limited to comics, storytelling and illustration.

YeP YeP

-           Featuring works by emerging local artists, YeP YeP is an experimental fashion and art magazine published in Hong Kong.

ACO Books

-           An independent bookshop located in Hong Kong, ACO Books believes in freedom of expression and the sharing of knowledge. It is a space for connecting art practitioners, cultivating humanity and sensibility through art and cultural collaboration activities.

Kan Tai Wong

-           Kan Tai Wong began a long career as a photojournalist when he joined the Hong Kong Press in the late 1970s, after attending the Tokyo Institute of Polytechnics to study photography.

Asia Art Archive

-           Asia Art Archive is a catalyst for new ideas that enrich our understanding of the world through the collection, creation, and sharing of knowledge around recent art in Asia. An independent non-profit, the archive documents the multiple and recent histories of art in Asia, with a valuable collection of art.

For more information, please visit https://www.taikwun.hk/en/programme/detail/booked-hong-kong-art-book-fair/1193.

#BOOKEDHK2023 #BOOKEDHK

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“SPOTLIGHT: A Season of Performing Arts” Returns with Seven Spectacular Multi-Disciplinary Programmes from Hong Kong and the Mainland’s finest artists

28 Feb 2023, Tuesday

Tai Kwun is delighted to announce the return of SPOTLIGHT: A Season of Performing Arts, which will showcase seven versatile performing arts programmes from April through May 2023. The programmes offer a wide spectrum of culture and talents from Hong Kong and the Mainland at Tai Kwun's distinctive venues and outdoor spaces, enabling talented local artists to produce work that is unique in nature with a focus on audience engagement, evolution and continuity.

This season’s SPOTLIGHT features original productions by all-new talent and returning artists who delighted audiences in 2021, continuing Tai Kwun’s dedication to establishing close and lasting collaborative relationships with artists in the performing arts community. Following Tri Ka Tsai and LauZone, multi-talented music artists Anna Lo and Rick Lau continue with the poignant yet playful The Farewell Comeback Tour, the third and final episode of the Hong Kong-style cabaret trilogy that sings tribute to the language and slang that shape the city’s generational identity. Choreographer and dancer Gigi Yang and visual artist Chow Chun Fai give witness to the stories in our lives through dance, images, and sound with The Forgiving Trees. Meanwhile, music and installations performance Since When, guided by the text of Chow Yiu Fai, music of Joyce Tang, visuals and installations of Chan Wai Lap and performances of iii (Iris Liu), Hong Kong New Music Ensemble and a choir of young signers, invites audiences to reclaim their lost sounds. Presenting tales of the diasporic community awash in magic realism, Guangzhou choreographer He Qiwo (ErGao) presents Butterfly Island, while playwright Chan Kwan Yee and director Yan Pat To make their collaborative debut with I will die in my home, a story told from the perspective of three generations of Hong Kong women about ancestral homes. Spanning across Tai Kwun is site-specific theatre The Sublime Progressions by award-winning Vividly, which takes theatregoers on an intimate journey of migration and diaspora that traverses time and space. Finally, the HKAPA drama students continue their work Last Ride, Fresh Eyes, developed in 2022 and enthrals with a podcast that encourages the audience to listen closely to the faint echoes and whispers of the city as they rally together support for Hong Kong artists.

Stretching across four weeks, SPOTLIGHT: A Season of Performing Arts invites

arts lovers and audiences across the city to celebrate the very best of performing artists inside Tai Kwun’s iconic and dazzling venues.


Hong Kong-style CabaretThe Farewell Comeback Tour 07–09.04.2023

A diva is preparing for her final show as her swan song…or is she? Following the critically acclaimed productions Tri Ka Tsai and LauZone created in Tai Kwun Performing Arts Season in 2019 and 2021, music artists Anna Lo and Rick Lau continue their musical odyssey in The Farewell Comeback Tour, the third and final instalment of the Hong Kong-style cabaret trilogy that examines our generational identity crisis through the evolution of language and slang. With playful music and drama, the show will tug at your heartstrings and tickle your funny bone.

Date & Time: 07 April 2023, 8pm; 08–­­­09 April 2023, 3pm and 8pm

Venue: JC Cube, Tai Kwun

Ticket: HK$280


Dance X Moving Images X SoundThe Forgiving Trees 07–09.04.2023

In her first collaboration with Tai Kwun, dance artist Gigi Yang teams up with visual artist Chow Chun Fai, moving image designer Wilfred Wong and soundscape designer Lawrence Lau to create The Forgiving Trees, which transforms Tai Kwun's F Hall Studio into a new realm through dance, visuals, and music. The audience is encouraged to move around the F Hall Studio space to fully experience the immersive fusion of dance, moving images, and music.

Date & Time: 07–08 April 2023, 2pm and 7pm; 09 April 2023, 2pm

Venue: F Hall Studio, Tai Kwun

Ticket: HK$280


Music x InstallationsSince When 14–17.04.2023

Since When invites Tai Kwun audiences to embark on a quest of seeking, finding, remembering, imagining – hopefully recognising –­­ and reclaiming what used to belong to us. The production, a music and installation project in search of the lost voice, is the first lyrical and musical collaboration between lyricist Chow Yiu Fai and composer Joyce Tang. Together with visual artist Chan Wai Lap, singer iii (Iris Liu), Hong Kong New Music Ensemble and a team of young singers and sound archivers who will bring audience to various locations at Tai Kwun with theatrical experiences of the journey of lost and found.

Date & Time: 14 April 2023, 8pm; 15–16 April 2023, 4pm and 8pm; 17 April 2023, 8pm

Venue: JC Cube and Tai Kwun site-wide

Ticket: HK$280


Dance TheatreButterfly Island 15–16.04.2023

Butterfly Island is the brainchild of the quirky and charismatic choreographer He Qiwo (ErGao), who is regarded as one of the Mainland’s brightest stars in contemporary dance. After hisproduction of Disco-teca blended visuals, installations and dance with kitsch-chic in Tai Kwun in 2018, ErGao has assembled a sizable number of visuals on diaspora for his most recent work, Butterfly Island, which features dancers from the millennial to Gen Z generations. Various spaces of Tai Kwun will be transformed into a “synthesise scene” for performances enveloped in magical realism, telling the tales of the fictional island nestled between the discordant past and unresolved future, where people from different regions and eras meet and bid farewell to each other, just as butterflies’ momentary encounters.

Date & Time: 15–16 April 2023, 1pm and 6pm

Venue: Prison Yard & F Hall Studio, Tai Kwun 

Ticket: HK$280


TheatreI will die in my home21–23.04.2023

Local playwright Chan Kwan Yee and director Yan Pat To collaborate for the first time to chronicle the century-old ghosts that linger within Wan Chai. Set at Wan Chai, the narrative theatre traversing time and space sets forth a story a woman who chose to stay and a tale of bygone years that relates to the city’s cultural changes. The story begins with a home bought by a Hong Kong grandmother. Built in the last century and once the home of glitz, with guests coming and going, it is now the place where the grandmother prophesies to her daughter-in-law about her granddaughter’s eventual passing. I will die in my home explores the idea that people, just like homes, will be forgotten eventually… just like the unrecorded last words of abandoned souls.

Date & Time: 21 April 2023, 8pm; 22–23 April 2023, 3pm and 8pm

Venue: F Hall Studio, Tai Kwun

Ticket: HK$280


Site-specific TheatreThe Sublime Progressions28–30.04.2023; 01, 03–06.05.2023

As humans, we share a special bond with land on our planet Earth. As we survive and expand our footprint on land by establishing cities, we also heed the urge to wander and choose to roam and migrate. Following The Inner Études produced by artist group Vividly in Tai Kwun in 2021 – an immersive theatre inspired by the Victoria Prison and the geological history of Hong Kong’s granite rocks that received four nominations at the HK Theatre Libre Awards and became a Design Mark recipient of Taiwan's Golden Pin Design Award – The Sublime Progressions this year explores themes of migration and diaspora by species and tribes, taking audiences on a journey through time and space in Tai Kwun. Through multi-dimensional soundscapes, lighting, projections, scenery, and performances in various locations, the site-specific theatre offers audiences the chance to rediscover their connection to the land and revelations of life, overcoming challenges and venturing into the unknown.

Date & Time: 28–30 April 2023, 7pm and 9pm; 01, 03–06 May 2023, 7pm and 9pm

Venue: Site-wide, Tai Kwun

Ticket: HK$280


Online PodcastLast Ride, Fresh Eyes 04–05.2023

Created and produced by the Drama School of the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, Last Ride, Fresh Eyes first premiered in 2022 as an immersive online performance in Tai Kwun “Onstage Online”. This year, the team presents a five-episode podcast adaptation of Last Ride, Fresh Eyes that transports listeners on a recreated voyage, witnessing how the lives of four Hongkongers become intertwined during a hitchhike ride from Central to East Kowloon. Recorded with ASMR technology alongside rearranged original songs, echoes and whispers of our city have been reimagined in an original audio journey, where audiences can experience together how Hongkongers overcome their struggles with perseverance in the face of difficulties. We don’t know what’s going to happen to our city tomorrow, but at least we still have today.

Date & Time: April - May 2023 (Exact schedule to be announced)

Venue: Online

Ticket: Free

Please visit Tai Kwun website for more details.

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TAI KWUN EMBRACES ITS PRISON HISTORY IN “DIGIRADIANCE” TO TRANSPORT VISITORS DIGITALLY TO SPACES OF CONFINEMENT

16 Feb 2023, Thursday

The memories and spaces of Victoria Gaol—Hong Kong’s first prison—are the focus of Tai Kwun’s brand-new digital programme DigiRadiance. The heritage digital exhibition consists of two parts: a 30-minute immersive show transforming the F Hall Studio into an immersive project space; and five Augmented Reality checkpoints across the Prison Yard and D Hall that will take visitors on a nostalgic journey to explore Tai Kwun’s history.

Bringing the old Victoria Gaol to life, the new heritage digital exhibition at Tai Kwun, curated by Ying Kwok and Jims Lam, Curators of Heritage Department, allows visitors to experience the past by stepping into the digital world. The first and longest-operating prison in Hong Kong, Victoria Gaol, opened in 1841 and is said to be one of the first buildings constructed of durable material in the city. Now, reimagined and interpreted in a digital context, the prison has been transported back in time to visualise the development of law and order in Hong Kong from artists’ perspectives.

Placing emphasis on architectural materiality and spatial configuration of the 19th century Victoria Gaol, the DigiRadiance exhibition has been designed into two parts. The first programme presented at F Hall Studio takes the original radial plan of Victoria Gaol as a point of departure to revisit Tai Kwun’s prison history and its significance to Tai Kwun as a heritage compound today. Through a 30-minute immersive video experience created by artists Vvzela Kook and Ng Tsz Kwan, the visual production evokes the experience of imprisonment and guides visitors through the prison’s extended implications in societal discourse, such as discipline, punishment, and reform. In the second part, a journey through five Augmented Reality checkpoints across the Prison Yard and the D Hall then leads visitors on a continuous journey that explores Tai Kwun’s history.

Five carefully selected checkpoints centre around the ground-breaking radial plan prison, and its evolvement during the first hundred years when it was first built. The building had experienced dramatic changes, which reflect the changing needs for prison capacity and the ideology for imprisonment. Echoing the artists’ video, the checkpoints highlight the remaining structures of Victoria Gaol and demonstrate how architecture design and spatial configuration reflect the needs.

Ying Kwok, Curator of DigiRadiance and Senior Curator of Tai Kwun, said, “Through reimagining and reinterpreting our historical buildings in a digital context, we hope to bring our visitors back in time, not only to visualise how our buildings have evolved over time, but also to learn and understand how and why these buildings are designed and built as they had. And through these learnings, we hope the visitors can develop a deeper relationship with our historical site, and continue to value and treasure heritage sites such as Tai Kwun. “

DigiRadiance runs from 17 February to 16 March 2023 and starts on the hour and half-hour between 11am and 7pm every day (the last session begins at 6:30pm). Each show has a capacity of 30 people.

Join artists Vvzela Kook and Ng Tsz Kwan as Tai Kwun hosts an artist sharing session for DigiRadiance audiences on 7 March 2023. Together, the artists will delve into the making of DigiRadiance, the depths and challenges of creating cybernetic journeys, and much more. The session is open to the public and is free of charge.

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TAI KWUN WELCOMES NEW HEAD OF ART

14 Feb 2023, Tuesday

Tai Kwun welcomes Dr Pi Li who joins Tai Kwun Culture & Arts Company Limited in the position of Head of Art, with effect from 13 February 2023. Dr Pi will be responsible for leading the Art Team in setting the overall artistic and curatorial direction, guiding strategy as well as the curation and presentation of art experiences at Tai Kwun. He joins Tai Kwun as the institution prepares to celebrate its 5th anniversary, and assumes the role from Mr Tobias Berger, who conceived and led Tai Kwun’s contemporary art programme from the outset and, with a small but highly motivated team, rapidly established Tai Kwun Contemporary as a major player in the arts and culture landscape of Hong Kong. Dr Pi will build on this impressive legacy as Tai Kwun deepens its relationship with the Hong Kong public and sustains its commitment to support Hong Kong’ creativity and its emerging and established artists across genres and disciplines.

A veteran of the M+ museum project in Hong Kong for the past ten years, Dr Pi has worked there since 2012 as the Sigg Senior Curator and and then as Head of Curatorial Affairs at M+. Before joining M+, the exhibitions Dr Pi curated include Media City Seoul (2006), After Shock: Contemporary British Art 1990-2006 (2006), Under Construction: New Dimensions of Asian Art (2002) and Moist: Asian-Pacific Media Art (2002). He also served as the curator for the Shanghai Biennial in 2002, and Allôrs la Chine at Centre Georges Pompidou in 2003. Dr Pi was the Chinese Fellow of Aspen Institute and obtained his PhD in art history from the Central Academy of Fine Arts.

Dr Pi Li, Head of Art at Tai Kwun, said, “It is my pleasure to join Tai Kwun as Head of Art, and am passionate about contributing to the rapidly evolving cultural landscape of Hong Kong with Tai Kwun being a vibrant platform of experiment, engagement, and dialogue with local and global art scene, and welcoming visitors from all over the world to experience truly world-class and moving art experiences.”

Mr Timothy Calnin, Director of Tai Kwun Arts and Ms Chin Chin Teoh, Director of The Jockey Club CPS Limited said, “We are delighted to welcome Pi Li as the new Head of Art at Tai Kwun, and very much look forward to working closely with him to realize his vision for our contemporary art programme, which will build on the tremendous achievements of Tai Kwun’s high performing Art Department under Tobias’s energized and inspirational leadership. The Art Team is very excited about working with Pi Li, who is so highly regarded by his peers across the arts sector in Hong Kong and internationally, and we are very fortunate to be able to maintain an ongoing relationship with Tobias who becomes our Curator-at-large.”

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INNERGLOW RETURNS TO TAI KWUN, REIMAGINING THE PARADE GROUND WITH 3-D ARCHITECTURAL PROJECTIONS, THAT PAY HOMEAGE TO THE CITY’S NEON VIBRANCY

26 Jan 2023, Thursday

The three themes of InnerGlow 2023—Particles, Geometry, and Neon—are combined with Hong Kong imagery and moods to welcome the Lunar New Year with the utmost elegance

Tai Kwun is set to captivate Hong Kong’s evening skies once again as the second season of InnerGlow takes on a deeper dimension from 26 January to 12 February 2023; inviting some of Hong Kong’s brightest and most original talents to join hands with the compound’s Creative Partner, The Electric Canvas, to devise and create an entirely new programme. Following the enormous public success of the first season of InnerGlow in September 2022, a new series of abstract themes will play with and animate the Parade Ground to such an extent that the imposing classical architectural elements are transformed, morphed and choreographed right before Hong Kong’s eyes.

While InnerGlow 2022 told the imagined history of the Barrack Block, InnerGlow 2023 takes audiences into an entirely different world in which the pure architecture of Tai Kwun becomes the main player. Those longing for a distant time in the city’s history will be delighted by the familiar Hong Kong images and moods woven into the show’s three themes of Particles, Geometry and Neon. Particles set off the show with a burst of fireworks and images of traditional Chinese festivities, while the foundational logic of mathematics, science, engineering and building structures are shifted in Geometry. Next, Neon takes one of the most defining genes of Hong Kong’s DNA, twisting and turning it into abstract forms into a celebration of the city’s vibrancy.

What’s more, InnerGlow 2023 grants audiences the unique opportunity to project light and shadow animations, such as Lunar rabbits, fireworks, Chinese lanterns and many more, on the spot through interactive technology placed on site. Visitors of the light extravaganza can project their creations onto the compound’s famous mango tree to show their creativity.

InnerGlow 2023 is created and produced by The Electric Canvas. Once again, it includes contributions from several individual Hong Kong illustrators and animators, recommended by Tai Kwun, ensuring that Hong Kong’s distinctive landscape is infused with the city’s unique style. This fine group of Hong Kong artists has assumed a greater role, joining filmmaker and Associate Director, Oliver Shing for InnerGlow 2023.  Shing directs several scenes in InnerGlow 2023 in a collaborative partnership with The Electric Canvas. Meanwhile, the dramatic and emotional soundtrack of InnerGlow 2023 is edited and produced by Roy Cheung.

InnerGlow has been devised as a multi-year project to bring an annual series of startling public events to Hong Kong by the world-renowned production company, The Electric Canvas. Through the event, Tai Kwun is developing homegrown talent in 3D architectural mapping, art direction, digital design, animation, illustrating, sound producing and technical delivery to enhance Hong Kong’s capability in this genre of large-scale public installations and entertainment. By January 2024, the creative lead will reside with the Hong Kong InnerGlow team as The Electric Canvas steps back to provide advice and mentorship in specific fields. 

The programme is made possible with core funding provided by The Hong Kong Jockey Club through its Charities Trust as one of Tai Kwun’s arts and heritage programmes, and CLP Holdings Limited as the Principal Sponsor.

Peter Milne, Managing Director and Technical Director of The Electric Canvas, remarks, “It seems like only yesterday that we were in Hong Kong delivering InnerGlow 2022 after the delays the inaugural project faced due to the pandemic. We are thrilled that InnerGlow 2023 is returning to its scheduled time slot in January and are excited to continue sharing our knowledge and experience with local skills and talent. It gives us great pleasure to be supporting the team at Tai Kwun for this second iteration of the event.”

Mrs. Betty Yuen, CLP Power Hong Kong Limited Chairman and CLP Holdings Limited Non-executive Director, says, “CLP prides itself as the energy partner of Hong Kong. For 122 years, we have been providing a reliable electricity supply, lighting up the city just like InnerGlow lights up our night sky. We are grateful that Tai Kwun is bringing this project back after a successful first edition, and this time coinciding with the Chinese New Year. InnerGlow sees the collaboration and exchange between overseas experts and local artists which exemplifies the core strength of Hong Kong as an international metropolis. We hope the light show will inject vitality and hope for the city’s great economic recovery in the Year of the Rabbit.”

Creative Partner

The Electric Canvas

Participating Artists

Daaimung

Creative & Visual Director: Oliver Shing

Producer: Annisa Au

CG Artists: Wyatt Lau Tsun Wai, Pong Chan, Sindy Ho, Cheng Suet Gei, Thomas Leung

Projection Consultation: HIKO Studio

Music and Sound Design: Martin Lai

Vocal: Siulung  

Penguin Lab

Kongkee@PenguinLab

Sound Producer

Roy Cheung

Tai Kwun Team

Tai Kwun Executive Producer: David Rees

Production Manager: Mike Ho

Technical and Production: Juk Cheung, Joel Ma, Stephanie Tang, Irene Cheung, Dang Hung, Shandy Leung, Hang Cheung, Bobby Lai, Terrence Choi, Myra Cheung, Neal Lee, Adonic Lo, Cyris Kong

Project Management: Louise Lo

Technical Support

Serious Staging

Harry Yeung

Lun Lam

Terence Chan

Date:               26.01 – 12.02.2023 (except for 30.01 & 06.02.2023)

Time:              6:30pm, 7pm, 7:30pm, 8pm, 8:30pm, 9pm

Venue:            Parade Ground

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