Friday, August 31, 2012

REVIEW: 5P Illustration & Installation Exhibition at Kubrick

Kubrick, Thursday August 30

I went to see the new Wes Anderson film Moonrise Kingdom at Broadway Cinematheque in Yau Ma Tei yesterday. Instead of filling up myself with popcorn during the movie, I deliberately went to the cafe earlier so that I can have a proper dinner and also to have a look at this exhibition.

The exhibition reflects the title of the show (一紙五樣, which roughly translates to 1 Paper 5 Pictures... though the official title is 5P) and indeed the featured 5 artists have very different styles. The featured 5 artists are: 黎達達榮, 利志達, Leumas To, 神野猫 and 劉思. Since the works are on a wall behind dining tables, it was not exactly easy to appreciate them. Having said that, the bigger works, such as those by 利志達 (Li Zhi-da) shown below did stand out and in fact were my favorites.

Dig by 利志達

Ghost by 利志達


5P Illustration & Installation Exhibition
17-08-2012 to 30-09-2012
Prosperous Garden
3 Public Square Street
Yau Ma Tei, Kowloon

黎達達榮 x 利志達 x Leumas To x 神野猫 x 劉思

主辦及策劃:Leumas To

  • 黎達達榮,從事漫畫創作17年,作品在香港、台灣、日本及法國皆有發行
  • 利志達,從事漫畫創作30年,1984年發表《衛斯理》系列,作品曾於日本雜誌發表

  • Leumas To,2011年舉辦首個插畫展《我們都是浪漫的好孩子》

  • 神野猫,2007年開始紙品藝術創作,2009年「神野犬」紙糊作品首次公開展覽
  • 劉思,2011年加入進念,參與舞台及展覽設計,從未停下以畫筆描繪世界

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Monday, August 13, 2012

Review: Nine Songs by the Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan

Cultural Centre Grand Theatre, Sunday August 5

Visually stunning, Nine Songs 《九歌》is an intriguing exploration and challenge on the notion of what is meditative and repetitive; and imploring and boring. 

Before I talk about Nine Songs, I do feel the need to state that Cloud Gate 《雲門舞集》is in a class of its own. In my review of its Whisper of Flowers, I  contextualized that "Cloud Gate played a huge part of my artistic and cultural life. My first Cloud Gate experience was way back in the mid-80's with their performance of Legacy《薪傳》. It was like nothing I have ever seen and the company danced as if nothing else mattered. It was distinctively modern, yet distinctively Chinese, two facets I never thought could possibly co-exist so beautifully." That feeling has never diminished. While some other Chinese dance companies has tried to emulate Cloud Gate, not a single one ever came close.

The title of the work came from a cycle of poems written some 2300 years ago by the Chinese poet Que Yuan. Choreographer Lin Hwai-min, digging deep into the cycle's ancient worldview and feel, created a modern ritual juxtaposing and interweaving differing cultures of different times. The aesthetics of Nine Songs were both raw and polished. The music was predominantly chants and ritual songs that was sometimes jarring and sometimes consoling. The movements were distinctively modern infused with folk gestures and shapes.

One of the highlights of the work and strategically programmed in the middle section was the Homage to the Goddess of the Xiang River. This segment was beautifully balanced in its development with a clear narrative. My personal favorite, however, was the Homage to the God of the Clouds. Representing summer, the God danced in the air by bearing down on two mortals who carried Him all throughout the 8 minutes dance. It was a beautifully crafted segment sustained by stunning technique and stamina, imagery and imagination.

The aesthetics of Nine Songs was enhanced by the gorgeous backdrop of lotus painting mirroring the lotus pond built into the orchestra pit. More than just an ornamentation, the lotus motif held the core of the work as a symbol of reincarnation. At the end, the dancers placed candles on the stage creating a stream of quivering lights reaching into the starry sky and bringing the ritual to a full cycle.

In final analysis, the work was both meditative and repetitive; and imploring and boring. Nine Songs , while visually gorgeous and opulent, stand on that thin and fragile line of being a tad rich, tad long and tad empty. 

2*-4 August 2012 (Thur-Sat) 8:15pm
5 August 2012 (Sun) 3pm
Grand Theatre, Hong Kong Cultural Centre

Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan

Choreography: Lin Hwai-min
Narrator: Chiang Hsun, Kuo Yuan-hsien
Set Design: Lee Ming-cho
Lighting Design: Lin Keh-hua
Costume Design: Lin Hwai-min, Lo Ruey-chi
Mask Design: Lin Yen-ling, Wang Yao-chun

Premiere: 10 August 1993 at the Taipei Theatre, Taiwan

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