Art

Album reviews, art house films and the latest exhibitions
Arts & Music - South China Morning Post
  1. Looking for a career change and entry into a pandemic-proof business? The answer may lie in your own backyard, but be warned: places in the pecking order are defended robustly and the really big money never trickles down.According to the makers of true-crime drugs documentary Traffickers: Inside the Golden Triangle, business has seldom been better. Far from making a dent in profits, Covid-19 has helped pay dividends to people invested in narcotics in the region bordering Thailand, Laos and…
  2. The career of a company high-flyer in glittering Shanghai is throttled at the hands of some vindictive competition in The Rational Life (Netflix, series one now showing).Qin Lan stars as hard-nosed but warm-hearted lawyer Shen Ruoxin in this slow-burning concoction of romance, corporate duplicity, stalking and... amateur astronomy.Far from putting a downer on the whole enterprise, its relatively slow pace is a welcome relief from the shouty sort of drama that hurries along at the expense of…
  3. Towers of glass and steel project the futuristic image of a Hong Kong that has traditionally discarded its own past on a path to establishing its place in the world as a major global entrepot. Physical remnants of yesterday have often been obliterated in collision with a society whose eyes were firmly fixed on visions of tomorrow and the hope it held.Yet while the all-consuming modernity of Hong Kong’s 21st century urban milieu has erased much tangible evidence of old Hong Kong, even now potent…
  4. Comedy is not a fully convertible currency. One nation’s screamingly funny sitcom might be another’s American version of The Office.A similar problem seems to afflict Korean situation comedy So Not Worth It (Netflix, series one now showing), set in a Daehan International University dormitory, where misunderstandings and well-meaning gestures gone wrong seem to represent the entire meaning of life.Nominally in charge is Se-wan (played by Park Se-wan), a business major senior and resident adviser…
  5. Get ready for an immersive and unusual dance experience with the Asian premiere of choreographer William Forsythe’s Nowhere and Everywhere at the Same Time No. 2 – an interactive installation in which the audience members are the performers.Developed inside the monumental industrial architecture of the Turbine Hall, of London’s Tate Modern, as well as the Venice Biennale, the installation is being exhibited at The Box, West Kowloon Freespace, Hong Kong until July 19, and features an obstacle…
  6. Having pulled down the shutters on his neighbourhood landmark for the last time, Canadian-Korean screenwriter Ins Choi can take pride in his cult show’s stars’ serving of prime-cut comedy from behind the counter of Kim’s Convenience.With all five seasons now available on Netflix, and several of those stars reaching household-name status through other projects, there is an end-of-era feeling about the show’s conclusion. Sadly, close of business has also come with gripes from some of the cast…
  7. Once Upon a Time in the West (1968), the iconic spaghetti Western directed by Sergio Leone, stars Henry Fonda, Claudia Cardinale, Charles Bronson and Jason Robards in a stylish, violent tale of gunslingers fighting over a widow’s land – accompanied by an epic, haunting score, by composer Ennio Morricone, that has become among the most instantly recognisable of all time.Jaap van Zweden, the Dutch-born music director of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic, tells…
  8. Some Chinese historical fables nail it from the start: those that pull off the considerable trick of keeping the romance, martial arts, elaborate costumes, imposing sets and myth-laden fantasy in equilibrium.Word of Honor (Netflix, series one now available) achieves all this with ease, balancing bloodshed and cherry blossom, horrors and heroics, for the duration of this latest wuxia epic. (And at 36 episodes it certainly qualifies as an epic. Season two, whenever that arrives, will burnish its…
  9. Adjoining the bustling retail hub in Causeway Bay, Hong Kong is Victoria Park, an oasis of calm where people practise tai chi and enjoy their lunch. At the main entrance, pigeons sit on the shoulders of a large bronze statue of Queen Victoria.Frank Tang Kai-yiu, 35, is well acquainted with the figure. The Hong Kong artist has sketched her hundreds of times, along with the plants and flowers that flourish in the 19-hectare park.Created by Italian sculptor Mario Raggi, the statue was cast in…
  10. And now for something completely different; different to many of the ominous familial dramas and romantic sagas emerging from South Korea, anyway. Mad for Each Other (Netflix, series one now streaming, new episodes weekly) is a madcap romcom that doesn’t shrink from the maddening certainty of mutual attraction – however hard one might fight it – and all the screaming, swearing, misunderstanding and spite that go with the madness of true love. That said, mad at each other might better describe…