Art

Album reviews, art house films and the latest exhibitions
  1. The annals of television appreciation reveal that once upon a time this column postulated that even one regional season of The Bridge, based on the original Swedish-Danish crime-thriller series exported globally ad infinitum, was a bridge too far. Now it seems it wasn’t far enough, because it’s back for a second run. Cross-border foul play remains the foundation, but now the increasingly intriguing plot bridges the gaps between Singapore and Malaysia, and the Malay Peninsula and Jakarta,…
  2. Paralympic gold medallist fencer Alison Yu Chui-yee focused on the positives when the coronavirus pandemic closed the Hong Kong Sports Institute (HKSI), where she had been training for the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics, which have since been postponed until next year.“When the HKSI closed and I had to train at home, I saw it as a time to relax,” says the 36-year-old, who was boarding at the HKSI on weekdays as she prepared for her fifth Paralympic Games. “It was like an unexpected holiday, which gave…
  3. Family history I was born in Sydney. I’m sixth-generation Australian. My museum origin-story is that when I was about one year old, my parents brought me to London on holiday.My parents are lawyers, both excellent storytellers, and they brought me along with them to the British Museum. Dad probably wishes he was a classicist and he took me around the Parthenon part and told me the story. Apparently I was completely obsessed, even then, with these sculptures and who these people were and what…
  4. “We are spirits in the material world,” warbled Sting, inadvertently predicting the advent of Netflix series Mystic Pop-Up Bar. And that’s precisely what the staff of a temporary Seoul eatery turn out to be: a couple of spectres at their own feasts, served at their seemingly normal downtown cafe. There, they delve into the secrets of the subconscious, helping enraged, aggrieved, sorrowful or otherwise disturbed humans settle scores or make amends, all by entering their dreams. The impossibly…
  5. In the second week of July, nearly all major auction houses in Hong Kong will hold their delayed spring sales. Clashing schedules are not a concern because most bidders are expected to view lots and make their offers online. Old inhibitions about buying sight unseen have gone out the window during the Covid-19 pandemic, apparently.Patti Wong, chairman of Sotheby’s Asia, says 80 per cent of bids in the house’s May 23 “In Confidence” mixed-categories auction were made by those who saw the objects…
  6. Beatlemania never really went away: it just found new objects of its affections, some in Asia. Prominent among those has been Japanese “idol” outfit Arashi, which since starting out two decades ago has sold more than 54 million copies of albums, singles and videos, and counting; 53 number-one singles (a Japanese record); 20 number-one DVDs, 18 of those consecutive; live audiences of more than 14 million people; industry awards galore and almost as many costume changes. Arashi stopped being a …
  7. In 1973, Taiwanese writer Huang Chun-ming signed up with a state-owned television channel to direct episodes of Fragrant Formosa, a documentary series on the island’s cultural diversity. Travelling through the country­side on his motorcycle, Huang examined the rituals practised by people in far-flung communities. Among them was a religious pageant held near Taichung in which believers would carry a statue of a sea goddess from one coastal village to another over eight days. With cameraman…
  8. What are we left with when life imitating art, imitates life? Why, Love of Thousand Years (Amazon Prime), of course, in which a vengeful princess sets out to settle a score on a 30-episode quest (and that’s just season one). It’s a big score: king, queen, other royals and just about all the Li Kingdom townsfolk have been massacred by the monstrous, black-clad army of the Tianyuan Kingdom. The black-clads are a genuinely nasty bunch, noted for demon worship among other bad habits. Meanwhile,…
  9. Many Hongkongers would agree we could all use a good laugh about now, so The Riff comedy club’s timing is perfect.Located in California Tower, in Lan Kwai Fong, and owned by global entertainment giant Live Nation – the group behind the Punchline comedy clubs in the United States – The Riff opened its doors to the paying public as Hong Kong’s only full-time comedy club for the first time in January, but quickly closed following the coronavirus outbreak, before reopening last month.Featuring a…
  10. Cloth can reveal much about a culture, offering insights into its people and their lifestyle. While most traditional textiles have been lost to mass production, an ongoing exhibition, “Unconstrained Textiles: Stitching Methods, Crossing Ideas”, provides modern and creative twists on fabric. The sensory-rich show, which runs until July 26 at the Centre for Heritage, Arts and Textile (CHAT), in The Mills in Tsuen Wan, presents alternative perspectives on textiles through the eyes of seven…