Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Free art in Hong Kong

Close up of a couple of roses frozen in lumps of ice
that were part of conceptual artist
Janice Lee's Still Remember (AKA Dripping Time)

The artist known as MINE working on his
noticeably Chinese landscape painting-influenced
Ink Graffiti

A few weeks ago, I wrote about the free Arts in the Park at Victoria Park one weekend. Although it was a smaller scale affair, I also enjoyed the equally free and still more quirky art event called The Table that took place in Chater Garden this past Saturday and -- true to its name -- did have several tables on exhibit, others on which art works and related items were placed (and local indie musicians like Gloria Tang and AniDa sat and sang).

However, what more strongly caught my attention in that Central District public space as I wandered around it were the likes of an anti-smoking demonstration (complete with the singing of a song that had both English and Cantonese lyrics) by university students that looked to have been timed to coincide with The Table's timetable and the surprisingly large number of members of the Hong Kong police there to observe and make sure that an acceptable degree of peace was maintained. And, also, the very popular spray painting demonstration by the artist known as MINE (to judge by the number of onlookers he was surrounded by) and deliberately ephemeral installation art piece by Janice Lee (to judge by the number of photographers attracted to it, almost like bees to nectar!).

Later that day, I partook of some more Culture; this time on the other side of Victoria Harbour. More precisely, I was at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre to listen to the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra movingly play Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 9. And although it's true enough that people generally have to pay to attend such as a Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra concert, what can I say other than it really is one of the perks of my job (and, to be fair, the one I had before my current one too!) that I do regularly get complimentary tickets to performing arts and related events... and consequently, the concert that evening was a case of more free art in Hong Kong that day for me! ;b


Glenn, kenixfan said...

In my classical listening days, I tried and failed to get into Mahler. Maybe live it's different?

I clicked the link and saw that Stephen Hough is playing Brahms in the future.

You should check that out as well!

YTSL said...

Hi Glenn --

I've a friend who's a major Mahler fan who sometimes visits this blog. Maybe he'll tell you how better to appreciate Mahler.

For my part, I believe that live IS very different as far as pretty much all classical music appreciation goes. But sspecially with works played by an orchestra, you really can hear some much more gradations, etc.

As for Stephen Hough: I know, I know... but I'm going to go for variety and go for something other than the HK Philharmonic this weekend -- so it'll be Yang Xuifei's guitar recital for me instead! :)


That and, hopefully, a movie or two too. :)

Glenn, kenixfan said...

A friend of mine in the past, who was also a major opera buff, tried to get me into Mahler but I couldn't do it.

I should confess that when I was in this major classical phase, I didn't listen to many symphonies -- Mahler or otherwise.

I listened to a lot of chamber music and a few concertos. I was a big Brahms fan -- not much for his symphonies, though.

Willow said...

I prefer chamber music myself. The performing arts are so expensive! Makes it very difficult to see and appreciate these things live. =\

YTSL said...

Hi again Glenn --

I think symphonies are great but really are best appreciated live. What I find is that most recordings and sound systems make the instrument sounds all blend together whereas when live, you can appreciate many instruments playing in harmony but also the sound and contributions of individual instruments.

Hi Willow --

How expensive are the performing arts where you are? Like I admitted in the post, I get a lot of tickets free but I do sometimes voluntarily shell out money for a play or classical music concert, etc. The last one I did so cost me HK$220 for a top priced ticket -- money well spent to my mind because "The Will To Build" truly was an excellent play.