It was an ugly family affair. In May, the Pottery Workshop, a fixture for 24 years at Wyndham Street’s Fringe Club, lashed out at its landlord on Facebook after being asked to move out by the end of the year to make way for a major renovation project. In what the Fringe Club’s founder Benny Chia described as a “smear campaign,” the Pottery Workshop’s Caroline Cheng accused the club of kicking them out in order to have more space for commercial purposes.
The Fringe Club is closing down for renovation at the end of the year. Winnie Yeung asks what this means for the local art scene.
My parents were landlords in China and were persecuted during the Cultural Revolution. We migrated to Hong Kong when I was two. They had to start over from nothing, but since my mother was a university graduate and my father a white-collar worker, we ended up reasonably well off.
I didn’t know what I wanted to do when I was young. I was a science student, so I chose civil engineering at university.
Legislative Councilor Lee Cheuk-yan went from being an apolitical science student to holding the very political position of General Secretary of the Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions. He tells Winnie Chau why he isn’t worried about the democracy movement’s future in Hong Kong.
“My approach is to tell Shakespeare’s story truly and faithfully, as it’s written for the audience,” Lam says. This epic historical play delves deep into the dark side of humanity, as manifested by Richard’s selfish and brutal desire to become King of England. The director emphasizes there are “no gimmicks” in his production and says he has removed all reference to witchcraft.
Director Sam Lam has removed the witchcraft and the gimmicks in order to make his version of Richard III a “total theater experience."
My mom was 19 when she gave birth to me. She was always struggling to make a living, so we drifted from place to place. I went to five or six kindergartens. Lots of different people took care of me. I didn’t have any real friends. I was quite lonely.
I didn’t think I was missing anything, having lost my father. I don’t have any memories of him. Since it was always all women in my house, I would be pretty nervous in front of men. I didn’t really know how to get along with the opposite sex.
As one half of Cantopop sensation Twins, Gillian Chung needs little introduction. Though she has shied away from the public eye since her involvement in last year’s “Sexy Photo Gate” scandal, when sexual photos of her with Edison Chen surfaced on the internet, she is back now and starring in a production of Neil Simon’s “I Ought to Be in Pictures.” Chung talks to Winnie Chau about her early life, the scandal, and her advice to the women of Hong Kong.
HK Magazine: How did the idea for this photo exhibition come about?
Siu Ding (a.k.a. Liu Ngan-ling) is perhaps best known as the naked chick in the controversial music video for local band Forever Tarkovsky Club. Also currently showing an exhibition of nude photography, she talks to Winnie Chau about why a little nakedness never hurt anybody.
What makes you a Hongkonger? Is it the number of stars on your I.D. card? Does it matter whether you’ve been in this city for 60 years or for six? Or perhaps being a Hongkonger is all about attitude. We asked locals from all walks of life to share their views, and hopefully shed a little light on this complicated question.
A Love-Hate Relationship
We live in a city of contradictions. We love its energy but detest its sometimes-overwhelming intensity. Yes, our relationship with our city is a complicated one.
How do you define “Hongkonger”? In honor of the handover anniversary on July 1, Winnie Chau and Jojo Choi talk to 20 local residents to find out.
With all the international productions that arrive in Hong Kong each year, it can be easy to forget that our city has its very own flourishing theater scene. In celebration of our local acting community, On & On Theatre Workshop has produced a big-scale homegrown theater event: Sidekick Theatre Festival 2009, where local small theater collectives present their scripts to a judging panel, which picks five outstanding submissions to be performed live onstage.
The inaugural Sidekick Theatre Festival 2009 is the talk of the town among fringe theater enthusiasts. Winnie Chau talks to five groups of theater devotees whose works will feature in the event.
Abandoned buildings in Hong Kong? The idea seems preposterous, given our local tycoons' nose for a prime piece of real estate. But derelict properties do exist, having been left to decay for decades. We discover the stories behind these once-occupied buildings now fallen to rack and ruin.
HK Magazine tracks down the city’s urban decay.
HK Magazine: Tell us about yourselves.
Ah P: Nicole (the vocalist) and I formed My Little Airport in 2004 when we were still journalism students at university. We have no musical skills to speak of. Actually, we gave up our musicality and went straight for the song content, which is what matters most. I’ve been playing with my $100 dollar Casio toy keyboard because we can’t afford proper equipment for electronic music. Our recent songs I play mostly with my acoustic guitar.
Don’t be deceived by My Little Airport’s sugar-coated melodies. The indie duo’s lyrics touch on everything from politics to sex to suicide. Singer-songwriter Ah P (pictured, right) tells Winnie Chau about their new song, “Donald Tsang, Please Die.”
As a child, I wanted to be a doctor or an adventurer, but my favourite subject at school was history. I liked to imagine living in different historical periods.
I studied law at university. It seemed like a promising career path. I love debating.
It was there that I fell in love with the theater. In my second year, I acted in “Woyzeck” by German playwright Georg Büchner. It had a huge impact on me. I learned to read an actor’s emotions, voice and body movements, and what they mean on the stage.
Tang Shu-wing is one of Hong Kong’s most prominent stage directors, though he also regularly treads the boards as an actor. The Dean of Drama at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, he is also the director of a recent production of Shakespeare’s “Titus Andronicus,” which is currently enjoying a second run. He talks to Winnie Chau about his minimalist approach to the theater and to his life.