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Old January 20th, 2005, 05:20 PM   #1
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Hong Kong's Art Scene

French masterpieces to make first impression in Hong Kong
Jan. 20, 2005


laude Monet's 'Water Lilies,' seen here, will be one of 47 French impressionist masterpieces that will be exhibited in Hong Kong for the first time as part of 'The Year of France in China'(AFP/EPA/File)

HONG KONG (AFP) - Some 47 Impressionist masterpieces will have their Hong Kong debut in an exhibition next week, the government said.

As part of "The Year of France in China", the internationally-acclaimed works of art will be on display in the former British colony for the first time.

They include Edouard Manet's "The Fifer"; Edgar Degas' "The Dance Class" and "In a Cafe, the Absinthe"; Claude Monet's "Rouen Cathedral, the Portal, Harmony in Brown" and "Water Lilies"; and Pierre-Auguste Renoir's "Woman, Torso in the Sun".

There will also be works by Camille Pissarro, Alfred Sisley, Paul Cezanne and others -- all on loan from the prestigious Musee d'Orsay and other French national collections.

The exhibition, "Impressionism: Treasures from the National Collection of France", will be held at the Hong Kong Museum of Art from February 5 to April 10.
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Old January 21st, 2005, 12:49 AM   #2
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I love impressionistic paintings and music! Especially Claude Monet's paintings~
I would love to go to the Museum if I am in HK > <
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Old February 5th, 2005, 01:42 AM   #3
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SHA's speech at the opening ceremony of an exhibition on Impressionism
Friday, February 4, 2005

Following is the speech by the Secretary for Home Affairs, Dr Patrick Ho, at the opening ceremony of the exhibition "Impressionism: Treasures from the National Collection of France" held at the Hong Kong Museum of Art today (February 4):

The Honourable Tung Chee Hwa, the Chief Executive, Mr Serge Mostura, Consul General of France in Hong Kong, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good evening. It gives me great pleasure to welcome you all to the opening of the exhibition "Impressionism: Treasures from the National Collection of France". This exhibition, a highlight programme of the Year of France in China, marks the friendship and fruit of co-operation between the two countries.

In this year's policy address, the Chief Executive has stressed that developing cultural and creative industries is one of the new growth areas for our economy. Hong Kong is well positioned to develop cultural and creative industries because we are a pluralistic and inclusive society and a confluence of Eastern and Western cultures. I am sure Impressionism will be welcomed by our citizens with the same enthusiasm, as it has inspired creative talents of the world for the last hundred years.

Presentation of the exhibition in Hong Kong also reinforces our position as an international city of art and culture. Here I would like to express my sincere thanks to the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Culture and Communication and the Consulate General of France in Hong Kong for bringing this significant show to Hong Kong. My thanks are also due to the generous sponsorship from HSBC and the French sponsors, LVMH, Moet Henessy, Louis Vuitton and Christian Dior. In addition, I would like to thank the Musee d' Orsay and other French national museums for lending us these valuable masterpieces.

Lastly, may I wish the exhibition every success and I look forward to more cultural exchanges between China and France in future.

Thank you and a Happy Lunar New Year to you all.
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Old February 14th, 2005, 07:08 PM   #4
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$2b mainland treasures set for HK exhibition
The collection of artefacts comes from 46 museums

Quinton Chan
14 February 2005
South China Morning Post

More than 300 artefacts valued at just over $2 billion will go on display in Hong Kong next month in the largest exhibition of Chinese national treasures to leave the mainland.

The exhibition, "From Eastern Han to High Tang", tells the story of the fall of the Han dynasty, the coming of the Xianbei nomadic tribes and other nomads, the Silk Road, as well as reunification in the Tang dynasty.

The collection, which will run from March 12 to June 10, has just been shown at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and will be taken to Japan after it closes in Hong Kong.

Most of the exhibits, assembled by the State Bureau of Cultural Relics from 46 museums in 14 provinces, are recent archaeological discoveries.

Tom Ming, chief curator of the Hong Kong Heritage Museum where the three-month exhibition will be held, said it focused on an era from the late Han to the Tang dynasty (AD200-AD750), a time of war and political chaos also marked by massive east-west cultural exchanges.

Mr Ming said about 70 per cent of the 300 objects were "class one" treasure. Of those, 10 textile items discovered on the Silk Road, as well as another 10 wall paintings, were extremely rare.

Although most of the objects are Chinese works of art, the exhibition also includes gold artefacts of the nomadic tribes from Mongolia, who entered northern China after the collapse of the Han dynasty, and luxury articles of glass and precious metal imported from western and Central Asia in the fourth to sixth centuries.

Some of the most famous early Chinese Buddhist sculptures are included, as well as a spectacular assemblage of works in every medium from the Tang period, interpreted as the culmination of several centuries of cultural exchange and adaptation.

The curator said the most valuable exhibit was a Sui dynasty (581-619 AD) sarcophagus, excavated from the tomb of Yu Hong in Shanxi province , valued at $62.4 million.

Another key exhibit is a 5th century earthenware groom and horse, found in Inner Mongolia.
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Old March 14th, 2005, 12:58 AM   #5
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300 national treasures on display at Heritage Museum
Government Press Release
Sunday, March 13, 2005

More than 300 invaluable relics will be featured at the Hong Kong Heritage Museum from tomorrow (March 14) until June 10, showing the artistic and cultural changes that took place in China from Eastern Han to High Tang (25-755).

The exhibition, "From Eastern Han to High Tang: A Journey of Transculturation", is jointly presented by the State Administration of Cultural Heritage and the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, organised by the Heritage Museum and Art Exhibitions China and sponsored by the Tsui Art Foundation.

Officiating guests attending the exhibition's opening ceremony today (March 13) included the Secretary for Home Affairs, Dr Patrick Ho Chi-ping; the Deputy Director-General of the State Administration of Cultural Heritage, Mr Tong Mingkang; the Standing Member of National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, Mr Tsui Tsin-tong; the Director of Leisure and Cultural Services, Ms Anissa Wong Sean-yee; the Director-General of Publicity, Culture and Sports Department, the Liaison Office of The Central People's Government in Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Ms Zhang Yanjun.

The cultural relics on display were selected from 46 museums and cultural institutions in 14 provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions. Many of these national treasures are grade-one relics from the most significant archaeological discoveries in the past 50 years. They include valuable wooden objects of the Han dynasty, pottery guardian figures and Buddhist sculptures of the Northern dynasties, porcelain ware of the Southern dynasties and objects imported from Western Asia and beyond, such as glassware, gold and silverware and gold coins.

At the end of the Eastern Han in AD 220 there emerged a number of political leaders, and the state of fragmentation into which China was plunged lasted for nearly 400 years. Political disarray did not, however, impede cultural development. The period of the Three Kingdoms, the Jin dynasty and the period of the Southern and Northern dynasties were a time when China was receptive to many foreign influences, particularly from Central and Western Asia, this all-embracing ethos culminating in the glorious Tang dynasty.

The exhibition is divided into six sections. Section One covers the Eastern Han period. Highlights of the exhibition include a retinue of bronze carriages and mounted guards unearthed from Wuwei, Gansu, and a large pottery model of a watchtower that demonstrates the power of wealthy landowners in the late Han period.

Section Two introduces 2ndíV5th-century artefacts of the Xianbei and other northern peoples, the Xianbei's distinctive style most tellingly illustrated by a group of objects with animal motifs. The Buddhist images and secular objects with Buddhist decorative motifs featured at the exhibition attest to the mixture of Han and Xianbei characteristics.

Section Three covers the Hexi region (west of the Yellow river) and Gansu, highlighting the fusion of artistic conventions between various peoples along the Silk Road. Textiles, gold and silverware imported from Central Asia, and early Buddhist statues illustrate the flow of objects in an easterly direction.

Section Four displays works of traditional Chinese themes and styles of the Eastern Jin and the Southern dynasties. Highlight íVare a nautilus cup and the glass vessels with ground decoration, which bear witness to the quality of imported goods from the west.

Section Five covers the Northern dynasties. Through 6th-century artefacts the effects of transculturation whereby east and west, Han Chinese and non-Han Chinese were altered through contact with each other are made manifest. The Northern Qi Buddhist figures carved in stone and ornamented with gilding recovered from Longxingsi in Shandong are superb examples of the sculpture of this period.

Section Six displays relics of the Sui and Tang dynasties. These include pottery with three-colour glazes, porcelain, stone and bronze statues, gold and silver vessels, jade, jewellery, and rarely seen paintings and textiles, some of the latter unearthed from Turfan. These relics evolved in style from those developed in north China during the period of the Northern dynasties to reach a level of splendid achievement in the High Tang period.

To coincide with the exhibition, a series of activities will be organised. A seminar will be held on April 17, from 2.30pm to 5.30pm. The speakers include the Honorary Professor of Fine Arts, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Professor Ho Puay-peng; the Honorary Professor of Fine Arts and the Director of Art Museum, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Professor Peter Lam; Dr Simon Kwan (PhD in Fine Arts, University of Hong Kong) and Ms Xu Xiaodong (PhD in Fine Arts, the Chinese University of Hong Kong). They will discuss the transculturation of east and west in ancient China from the Buddhist images, ceramic works, gold ware and clothing. For details of the seminar and reservation of seats, please contact the Education Team of the Heritage Museum at 2180 8260.

A fully illustrated catalogue will be available at the Gift Shop of the Heritage Museum.

Located at 1 Man Lam Road in Sha Tin, the Heritage Museum opens from 10am to 6pm from Monday to Saturday, and from 10am to 7pm on Sundays and public holidays. It is closed on Tuesdays (except public holidays). Admission is $10, with a half-price concession for senior citizens aged 60 or above, people with disabilities and full-time students. Admission is free on Wednesdays.

A free shuttle bus operates between the Sha Tin KCR Station and the Heritage Museum from 1pm to 6pm on Saturdays and from 1pm to 7pm on Sundays and public holidays.

For enquiries, call 2180 8188. For details of the exhibition, visit the Heritage Museum's website at http://hk.heritage.museum/.

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Old March 14th, 2005, 06:45 PM   #6
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Science and history attract museum visitors over art
Carrie Chan
14 March 2005
South China Morning Post

Despite all the hype about the West Kowloon cultural hub, most Hongkongers are still more interested in going to science and space museums.

Even the history of rail lures more people than art.

While property developers bidding for the West Kowloon project have been promoting arts over the past year, attendance figures at the city's museums give no evidence of a change in taste.

Museums of modern art, ink, design and moving images are planned for the cultural district.

Last year, overall visitor figures to 12 museums and the film archive dropped from 5.03 million in 2002 to 4.57 million.

The Science Museum and Space Museum are the only museums where attendance figures exceeded 780,000 last year. The Museum of History came third, with 658,000 visits.

The Heritage Museum experienced a sharp drop in attendance from 958,800 in 2001 to 632,300 last year.

The Railway Museum was also more popular than the Museum of Art, attracting 388,510 visitors, while the latter attracted only 271,400.

Ho Kam-chuen, chief curator of heritage museum services, said surveys showed Hong Kong people had always preferred science museums and their second choice would be history museums. He also had an explanation for the dip in figures at the Heritage Museum. "It opened in 2000. According to our experience, a new museum sees rising visitor figures in the first two years. Then they slightly fall and stabilise."

He refused to comment on whether the combination of museums in the West Kowloon cultural district was incompatible with people's tastes, saying the district's components were subject to change.

Meanwhile, attendance at 13 performing arts venues proved more stable. Overall attendance dropped from 2.78 million in 2002 to 2.75 million last year.

Assistant director of performing arts Agnes Tang In-kwan said there were always people who had to be turned away because events were so popular.

The booking rate recorded at most civic centres was more than 90 per cent.

"That's why we think West Kowloon's new venues will add impetus to the cultural scene," she said.
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Old March 14th, 2005, 06:48 PM   #7
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$2b worth of treasuresexpected todraw 150,000
Lu Man-yan
14 March 2005
South China Morning Post

About 150,000 people are expected to visit an exhibition of national treasures that starts today at the Heritage Museum at Sha Tin and runs until June 10.

"From Eastern Han to High Tang: A Journey of Transculturation" comprises 363 treasures, including more than 250 grade-one relics, selected from 46 museums and cultural institutions in 14 provinces. It is valued at $2 billion.

"It is a rare opportunity, with about 40 museums and cultural institutions working together on an exhibition," heritage museum curator Brian Lam Kwok-fai said.

When visitors first walk into the exhibition room they will see the largest piece, a Han dynasty wooden sculpture called Wood Chariot and Horse, which was excavated in Gansu province in 1972.

The most valuable relic, the Marble Sarcophagus valued at $62.4 million, is part of the Sui section and shows a fusion of Chinese and foreign cultures.

The exhibition is divided into six sections: Eastern Han: The Beginning of Disintegration; The Rise of the Xianbei; The Silk Road; The Southern Dynasties: Economic and Cultural Developments South of the Yangzi; The Northern Dynasties: Regime Changes; and Sui and Tang: Efflorescence.
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Old March 22nd, 2005, 03:04 AM   #8
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Arts Festival has best season in 33 years
Kevin Kwong
21 March 2005
South China Morning Post

Despite jazz violinist Regina Carter cancelling at the last minute and founding members of The Blind Boys of Alabama Clarence Fountain being too ill to travel with the rest of their gospel choir, the Hong Kong Arts Festival has recorded its highest ticket sales for 33 years.

With more than 104,000 people packing the festival venues over the past five weeks, the 123 performances grossed more than $28.5 million, exceeding last year's sales figure by $2 million.

More than half the shows were sold out.

Festival executive director Douglas Gautier partly attributed this year's box-office success to the varied mix of programmes that were on offer.

"We certainly tried to anticipate and stimulate the needs of the audience that we know, and we do take a lot of care of that," he said.

"In areas where our audience is building, say in world music and particularly locally based theatre, and also commissioned works from China like Amber, they brought in new audiences and I think that is important."

Among the sold-out programmes were the visually stunning The Palace of Eternal Youth by the Jiangsu Kun Opera, and the complete Beethoven Symphonic Cycle performed by Frans Bruggen's Orchestra of the 18th Century, as well as the National Theatre Company of China's Amber directed by Meng Jinghui.

English subtitles were widely available this year for all Cantonese/Mandarin shows such as French Kiss to make local dramas more accessible to non-Chinese speaking theatregoers.

"So we've made that investment," Mr Gautier said.

"It's opened another market for us. A small one, but an important one."

Written by Chong Mui-ngam, French Kiss has been invited to Seoul by the Theatre Director's Association of Korea.

Meanwhile, Mr Gautier is already planning next year's arts festival.

"It's difficult to predict with the box office, but I think one thing we can predict is the programming and [the 2006 lineup] looks wonderful," he said.

"It opens with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra and closes with Mozart's Don Giovanni by the Semper Opera Dresden and Opera Nuremberg, and very wonderful things in between.

"I think it looks very exciting. I hope the audience will be [excited] too, and I am confident they will."
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Old March 23rd, 2005, 12:46 AM   #9
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Entertainment Expo faces French invasion
Vivienne Chow
11 March 2005
South China Morning Post

This month's Entertainment Expo will receive its largest delegation from France as part of Year of France in China celebrations.

More than 60 film and television professionals from 37 French film companies and commissions will participate in the three-day Filmart event, organised under the expo by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council, from March 22.

The delegation and France's consulate-general in Hong Kong will host "French Day" and "French Night" on March 23, featuring seminars and the gala screening of the hit film A Very Long Engagement. The film's director, Jean-Pierre Jeunet, will be present.

Thirty films produced and co-produced by French filmmakers have also been selected as part of this year's Hong Kong International Film Festival. The Year of France in China is a nationwide celebration of French culture.

"We are very excited to have such a large delegation. This is historic, given that the French invented movies over a hundred years ago. This will be a great exchange opportunity," said Raymond Yip Chak-yan, the Trade Development Council's service promotion director. Mr Yip said this year's Filmart would be the largest since it was first held nine years ago. More than 2,000 visitors are expected.

"Up until now, 343 exhibitors have registered, including 87 from Hong Kong and 256 from overseas," said Mr Yip.

Twenty Asian films will premiere at Filmart, including the recent Berlinale Silver Bear winners Peacock by Gu Changwei and The Wayward Cloud by Tsai Ming-liang.

Filmart and the film festival are two of the eight events being held as part of the Entertainment Expo. The government has said it hopes the expo can become the "Cannes of Asia".

About 1,000 guests will join the gala opening of the Entertainment Expo on March 21, featuring dozens of movie stars, including Tony Leung Chiu-wai and an international star yet to be announced, and musical performances by guests including Coco Lee.
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Old March 25th, 2005, 03:07 AM   #10
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Impressionist masterpieces attract over 170,000 visitors
Thursday, March 24, 2005
Government Press Release

More than 170,000 have viewed the exhibition "Impressionism: Treasures from the National Collection of France" at the Hong Kong Museum of Art since its opening on February 5.

To date, the exhibition has attracted 174,768 visitors, a new attendance record for art exhibitions staged at the Museum of Art.

The exhibition, which showcases 48 masterpieces selected from the Musee d' Orsay in Paris and other major French museums, runs until April 10. Members of the public are urged to grab this rare opportunity to discover the richness of the Impressionist masterpieces on display.

The exhibition opens from 10am to 8pm daily and closes on Thursdays, except public holidays.

Admission for this exhibition is $30 from Friday to Tuesday, and $20 on Wednesdays. A half-price concession is available for senior citizens aged 60 or above, full-time students and people with disabilities. For any purchase of 20 regular tickets or more, admission is $21 each from Friday to Tuesday, and $14 each on Wednesdays.

The Museum of Art is located at 10 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon. For details of the exhibition, visit the Museum of Art's website at http://hk.art.museum. For enquiries, call 2721 0116.
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Old April 7th, 2005, 09:47 PM   #11
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National treasures attract 87,000 visitors
Thursday, April 7, 2005
Government Press Release

The exhibition "From Eastern Han to High Tang: A Journey of Transculturation" which is now running at the Heritage Museum, has attracted tens of thousand visitors since its opening on March 14.

To date, the exhibition has drawn 87,625 visitors.

"We registered more than 12,500 visitors last Wednesday (March 30), marking the highest attendance record for a single day in the past three weeks," a spokesman for the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) said today (April 7).

Visitors were fascinated with the artifacts on show which are wide in scope to vividly reflect the history and the transculturation of different regions in different periods of ancient China. Many were impressed by the exquisiteness of the ancient craftsmanship.

The education corner, which provides visitors with games to learn more about the relics and the ancient culture, proved popular with the visitors.

The exhibition features more than 300 cultural relics selected from 46 museums and cultural institutions in 14 provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions.

"Many of these national treasures are grade-one relics from the most significant archaeological discoveries in the past 50 years," the LCSD's spokesman said.

The exhibits include valuable wooden objects of the Han dynasty, pottery guardian figures and Buddhist sculptures of the Northern dynasties, porcelain ware of the Southern dynasties and objects imported from Western Asia and beyond, such as glassware, gold and silverware and gold coins. The exhibition will close on June 10.

To supplement the exhibition, a series of educational activities has been organised, including a seminar to be held on April 17, from 2pm to 5.30pm.

Speakers of the seminar include the Honorary Professor of Fine Arts, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Professor Ho Puay-peng; the Honorary Professor of Fine Arts and the Director of Art Museum of Institute of Chinese Studies, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Professor Peter Lam Yip-keung; Private collector Dr Simon Kwan and Dr Xu Xiaodong.

Topics for discussion range from the transculturation of east and west in ancient China through appreciation of cultural relics of Buddhist images, to ceramic works, gold ware and clothing. Admission is free for the seminar. For details, please contact the Education Team of the Heritage Museum at 2180 8260.

Located at 1 Man Lam Road in Sha Tin, the Heritage Museum opens from 10am to 6pm from Monday to Saturday, and from 10am to 7pm on Sundays and public holidays. It is closed on Tuesdays (except public holidays). Admission is $10, with a half-price concession for senior citizens aged 60 or above, people with disabilities and full-time students. Admission is free on Wednesdays.

Car parking spaces are available in the Heritage Museum. Besides, a free shuttle bus operates between the Sha Tin KCR Station and the Heritage Museum from 10am to 6pm on Saturdays and from 10am to 7pm on Sundays and public holidays.

"Those who prefer to make use of public transport may take the KCR Ma On Shan line to the Che Kung Temple station which is within a five-minute walk to the Museum," the spokesman added.

For enquiries, call 2180 8188. For details of the exhibition, visit the Heritage Museum's website at http://hk.heritage.museum/.
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Old April 9th, 2005, 03:35 AM   #12
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Philadelphia Orchestra to perform in Hong Kong
Friday, April 8, 2005
Government Press Release

Hailed as one of the best in the world, The Philadelphia Orchestra will be in Hong Kong again for two not-to-be-missed concerts under the baton of music director Christoph Eschenbach.

The programme, presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, will be held in the Concert Hall, Hong Kong Cultural Centre.

The first concert will be at 8pm on May 31 (Tuesday) featuring Dvorak's "Carnival" Overture and Bartok's "Concerto for Orchestra". Sought-after pianist Lang Lang will be the soloist in Tchaikovsky's "Piano Concerto No. 1 in B-flat Minor, Op. 23".

For the second concert at 8pm on June 1 (Wednesday), the orchestra will play Mozart's "Oboe Concerto in C, K.314" (Oboe Solo: Richard Woodhams) and Mahler's "Symphony No. 1 in D, 'Titan'".

Founded in 1900, The Philadelphia Orchestra has distinguished itself as one of the leading orchestras in the world. The reputable orchestra has established its standing through a century of acclaimed performances, historic international tours, best-selling recordings, and its unprecedented innovative recording technologies and outreach programmes. Christoph Eschenbach, who began his tenure as the orchestra's seventh music director in September, 2003, has carried on the rich tradition of the orchestra.

The 106-member orchestra has toured extensively and recorded more than 1,200 different musical works since its founding. It moved to its new home at The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts in 2001. The orchestra has performed with the most celebrated guest artists of the past century, such as Fritz Kreisler, Isaac Stern, Vladimir Horowitz, Van Cliburn, Luciano Pavarotti, and Kiri Te Kanawa.

Eschenbach is held in high esteem by the world's foremost orchestras and opera houses for his commanding presence, versatility, and consummate musicianship. Before turning to conducting, he earned a distinguished international reputation as a pianist was awarded the first prize in the Steinway Young Pianist Competition in Germany at age 11. A prolific recording artist, Eschenbach has made numerous recordings as a conductor, pianist, or both. Among his many honours are France's Legion d'Honneur and the Officer's Cross with Star of the German Order of Merit.

Tickets priced at $780, $600, $400 and $200 are available at URBTIX outlets. Half-price tickets are available for senior citizens, people with disabilities, full-time students and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance recipients (limited tickets for students and CSSA recipients on a first-come, first-served basis) and a 10% discount applies to Friends of LCSD performing venues.

Enquiries for programme and pre-concert talks, call 2268 7321 or visit www.lcsd.gov.hk/cp. Ticketing enquiries and reservations can be made on 2734 9009 and credit card telephone bookings on 2111 5999. Tickets can also be booked online at www.urbtix.hk.
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Old April 13th, 2005, 01:43 AM   #13
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Heritage Museum features Huizhou architecture
Tuesday, April 12, 2005
Government Press Release

The art of Huizhou architecture will be featured at the Hong Kong Heritage Museum from tomorrow (April 13) until July 11.

The exhibition features a selection of models, component parts of buildings, artifacts and furniture from Anhui Provincial Museum and local designer Kai Yin Lo.

Jointly presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department and the Anhui Provincial Museum, the "Huizhou Vernacular Architecture" exhibition showcases more than 120 sets of exquisite wood, brick and stone carvings from Huizhou. Along with a reconstruction of a main hall and a study room of a typical Huizhou dwelling, the exhibition enables the visitors to get a better understanding of traditional Huizhou, its beauty and cultured elegance, as well as a taste of the idyllic enclave.

Under the jurisdiction of Huizhou is the mountainous region of Southern Anhui, covering the Yellow Mountain, Qiyun Mountain and the upper reaches of Xinan River. Its unique geographical environment provided the migrant officials and scholars a safe haven from wars and other upheavals, and an idyllic pastoral setting in which to live and indulge in the beauty of nature.

During the Ming and Qing dynasties (1368-1911), the emergence of a class of Hui merchants saw the flourishing of luxurious mansions, renovation of ancestral halls, and construction of roads, bridges and memorial archways.

Among the various local dwellings, the renowned villages of Xidi and Hongcun were listed as the world heritage by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) in 2000.

Huizhou architecture is the embodiment of the aesthetic and ethical values of the region, evolving from the geographical settings of the area. It reflects the Confucian upbringing of the Huizhou merchants, whose practical wit blended perfectly with a serene sense of elegance.

Most of the villages in the region are set in a north-south orientation, facing their water source and a mountain barrier to the rear. The whitewashed walls topped with grey tiles, the soaring tiered gables and the high enclosing walls are all typical features.

The courtyards are mostly surrounded by buildings in multiple, symmetric rows. Portraits of ancestors are hung in the main halls, together with paintings and calligraphies of renowned masters -- all very typical of the Confucian legacies of Huizhou. The courtyards adjoining the main halls are sources of light and ventilation. Rainwater is gathered and drained from these courtyards, taking on the propitious meaning of "all waters converge at the hall", denoting the accumulation of wealth and happiness. The ancestral halls, memorial archways and gardens too, are manifestations of the art of Huizhou architecture.

Decorative brick, stone and wood carvings, the renowned "Three carvings" of Huizhou traditional dwellings are focal features which add to the charms of its architecture. Such carvings are commonly seen on dwellings, ancestral halls and memorial archways, door canopies, columns, brackets, beams and window panels.

Apart from being pragmatic architectural components, the carvings provide details of aesthetic interest to the buildings. The subjects of the carvings varied from landscapes and folklores to the more popular historical anecdotes, scenes from folk operas and auspicious motifs, all part and parcel of the aesthetic and values of the Huizhou people.

To coincide with the exhibition, a fully illustrated catalogue will be available at the Gift Shop of the Heritage Museum.

Located at 1 Man Lam Road in Sha Tin, the Heritage Museum opens from 10am to 6pm from Monday to Saturday, and from 10am to 7pm on Sundays and public holidays. It is closed on Tuesdays (except public holidays). Admission is $10, with a half-price concession for senior citizens aged 60 or above, people with disabilities and full-time students. Admission is free on Wednesdays.

A free shuttle bus operates between the Sha Tin KCR Station and the Heritage Museum from 10am to 6pm on Saturdays and from 10am to 7pm on Sundays and public holidays. From June 27 onwards, the shuttle bus will operate from 1pm to 6pm on Saturdays and from 1pm to 7pm on Sundays and public holidays.

Car parking is available at the Heritage Museum. Those who prefer to make use of public transport may take the KCR Ma On Shan line to the Che Kung Temple station, which is within five minutes' walk of the Museum.

For enquiries, call 2180 8188. For details of the exhibition, visit the Heritage Museum's website at http://hk.heritage.museum/.
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Old April 25th, 2005, 05:58 PM   #14
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Pan Asia Symphony Orchestra to perform double concertos
Thursday, April 21, 2005
Government Press Release

Violinist Ho Hong-ying, pianist Eva Lue and cellist Si-won Park will play with the Pan Asia Symphony Orchestra at concerts of "The Great Double Concertos" next month (May).

Under the baton of director Dr Yip Wai-hong, the orchestra will perform Mendelssohn 's "Overture to Fingal's Cave" and "Double Concerto for Violin and Piano in D Minor" as well as Brahms's "Double Concerto for Violin and Cello in A Minor, Op. 102".

Ho Hong-ying began to study violin at 7, entered the Central Conservatory of Beijing at 11 and earned her Master's degree from Julliard School of Music in 1990. Ho is currently teaching at The Chinese University of Hong Kong, The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, St. Stephen's Girl's College and the Yip's Music Centre.

Hong Kong born pianist Eva Lue graduated from the Royal College of Music of London and won many awards including Hopkinson Gold Medal. Her recitals and radio broadcasts both as soloist and accompanist were critically acclaimed.

Korean cellist Si-won Park received her Bachelor's and Master's degree at The Juilliard School and The Manhattan School of Music under the tutelage of Paul Tobias, Myung Wha Chung. She won the Artist International Competition in 1997.

The orchestra, which aims to promote music among the general public especially the younger generation, has performed frequently in the Hong Kong City Hall, regional town halls and civic centres over the past 20 years. A number of internationally famous conductors and soloists have been invited to perform with it.

Presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, the concerts of "The Great Double Concertos" will be staged at 8pm on May 21 (Saturday) and May 22 (Sunday) at the Auditorium, Sha Tin Town Hall and Auditorium, Tsuen Wan Town Hall respectively.

Tickets priced at $100, $80 and $60 are now available at all URBTIX outlets. Half-price concessions will be granted to senior citizens, people with disabilities, full-time students and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance recipients. (Limited tickets for students and CSSA recipients available on a first-come, first-served basis.) A 10% discount applies to Friends of LCSD performing venues.

For programme enquiries, call 2268 7321; for ticketing enquiries and reservations, call 2734 9009; for credit card telephone bookings, call 2111 5999; for internet booking, visit www.urbtix.hk; for more information, visit www.lcsd.gov.hk/cp.

Box seats and lounge packages are available for sale for the performance, please call 2268 7237 for details.
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Old April 29th, 2005, 01:59 PM   #15
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Shanghai old jazz band to perform in June
Friday, April 29, 2005

One of the most famous and the only old jazz band in China today, the Shanghai Peace Hotel Old Jazz Band will give three concerts of golden melodies in June.

Featuring classics like "Stand by Me", "Besame Mucho", "What a Wonderful World" and "Moon River", the performances will be held at the Yuen Long Theatre on June 11 (Saturday), Kwai Tsing Theatre on June 12 (Sunday) and Sheung Wan Civic Centre on June 13 (Monday). All concerts will begin at 8pm.

Founded in 1980, the Shanghai Peace Hotel Old Jazz Band is made up of six veteran musicians whose careers span more than half a century and with an average age of 76. Two of them were former members of the first all-Chinese jazz band led by Jimmy King in the 1940s. The band was a crowd-puller at the Paramount, the favourite haunt of the fashionable Shanghainese in those days. Its repertoire consists mainly of jazz standards of the thirties and forties as well as some of pop's golden oldies. The revived band has made 27 overseas visits over the years and has performed for many celebrities and heads of states, including former US presidents Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan, and King Harald V of Norway.

The Concert by the Shanghai Peace Hotel Old Jazz Band is presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department. Tickets ranging from $80 to $180 are now available at URBTIX outlets, while senior citizens, people with disabilities, full-time students and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance recipients may have 50% off (limited quotas for students and CSSA recipients on a first-come, first-served basis). A 10% discount applies to Friends of LCSD performing venues. There will also be group booking discounts: 10% for four to nine tickets, 15% for 10 to 19 tickets, 20% for 20 tickets or more.

For enquiries about the programme and a pre-concert talk, call 2268 7321 or visit www.lcsd.gov.hk/cp. Ticketing enquiries and reservations can be made on 2734 9009 and credit card telephone bookings on 2111 5999. Tickets can also be booked online at www.urbtix.hk.
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Old April 30th, 2005, 02:52 PM   #16
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International Museum Day Hong Kong to launch on May 14 and 15
Friday, April 29, 2005
Government Press Release

More than 30 museums and cultural institutions from Guangdong Province, Hong Kong and Macau will participate in the "International Museum Day 2005, Hong Kong" on May 14 and 15, organised by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD).

"International Museum Day 2005, Hong Kong" is in support of the International Museum Day first designated on May 18, 1978, by the International Council of Museums. It is being organised locally for the fifth time.

People will be able to visit 26 local museums and cultural institutions free of charge (except the Special Exhibition Hall of the Hong Kong Science Museum and the Stanley Ho Space Theatre of the Hong Kong Space Museum) and view more than 100 exhibitions. More than 200 programmes will also be organised for this special event.

Meanwhile, a Museum Panorama with a theme "Museums Bridging Cultures", will be held at the Hong Kong Heritage Museum at 1 Man Lam Road, Sha Tin during May 14 and 15. Open from 10am to 6pm daily, the two-day colorful Panorama will provide visitors with entertaining booth games and a series of educational activities.

The Museum Panorama contains three main parts -- Theatre Programme, Interactive Zone and Courtyard Carnival.

Theatre Programme will include several informative talks on Chinese medicine, health, Cantonese opera and architecture.

In Interactive Zone, workshops with interesting contents such as Chinese book binding method, model making of Mars globe, warship and museums and Chinese martial art will be organised.

Booths of 18 museums and cultural institutions from Guangdong Province, Macau and Hong Kong will be featured in the Courtyard Carnival. It will provide details of individual museum, their characteristics, services and activities.

The "Gems of Museums", to be held at the Thematic Gallery 3 and 4 at the Heritage Museum, is another highlight of this year's International Museum Day. Representative collections selected from more than 10 major local museums will be on display, giving visitors a glimpse of diversified collections of local museums.

To encourage more people to visit local museums frequently, visitors to the Museum Panorama will receive an "IMD Game Card" which enable them to take part in a game to be held from May 14 to August 31. Participants who bring along this game card and visit a participating museum or institution will get a stamp and receive a souvenir card. If 18 stamps are collected, participants can get an "International Museum Day 2005, Hong Kong" souvenir watch. The souvenirs are available for collection while stocks last.

Other programmes for International Museum Day include lectures on the work and functions of museums, demonstrations on art and traditional handicrafts, model making, children's programmes, free guided tours and behind-the-scenes tours.

This year, International Museum Day also sees the participation of museums and cultural institutions from Guangdong Province and Macau. Participating institutions include: Hong Kong Museum of History and its branches, Hong Kong Museum of Art, Hong Kong Heritage Museum and its branches, Hong Kong Science Museum, Hong Kong Space Museum, Hong Kong Museum of Coastal Defence, Flagstaff House Museum of Tea Ware, Hong Kong Film Archive, Central Conservation Section under LCSD, Antiquities and Monuments Office, Art Promotion Office, Museum of Ethnology, Foods of Mankind Museum, Tung Wah Museum, Po Leung Kuk Museum, The Hong Kong Racing Museum, University Museum and Art Gallery of The University of Hong Kong, Art Museum of The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong Planning and Infrastructure Exhibition Gallery, Hong Kong Museum of Medical Sciences, Hong Kong Correctional Services Museum, Police Museum, Guangdong Provincial Department of Culture, Guangzhou Municipal Bureau of Culture and The Museum of Macao.

Programme Booklets with details of the "International Museum Day 2005, Hong Kong" will be available at all participating Hong Kong institutions starting May 7. Information will also be available on the website at http://hk.heritage.museum/ starting May 7. For enquiries, please call 2180 8188.
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Old May 4th, 2005, 03:38 AM   #17
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Korean troupe to perform traditional songs and dances
Tuesday, May 3, 2005
Government Press Release

Hong Kong audiences will soon get a taste of the dynamic dance style of the Seoul Performing Arts Company from Korea.

Presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, "Dynamic Korea" will be presented at 8pm at the Auditorium of the Yuen Long Theatre on June 10 (Friday) and Shatin Town Hall on June 11 (Saturday).

The programme will feature a variety of traditional folk dances and songs, including "Taepyong-mu" and "Whagwan-mu", court dances of refined beauty; "Sword Dance", with its austere movements and captivating variations originating from ancient times; "Halyang-mu", an ethereal portrait of ancient scholars who lead a secluded life in the woods; "Ip-chum", an improvised and mirthful dance; "Saran-ga" (Love Duet), set to a traditional operatic song; the "Fan Dance", with its elegant movements complemented by magnificent costumes; and "Nong-ak", folk dances performed at festivals where people pray for good harvests, featuring the famous hourglass drum dance. The show reaches its climax with "Chilgo-mu" (Dance of Seven Drums): each dancer plays seven drums at the same time on a three-tier platform. The result is a dynamic spectacle, showcasing Korea's traditions of dance and music.

The Seoul Performing Arts Company was established in 1986, with the mission of revamping the traditional Korean performing arts and promoting the unique culture of Korea around the world. It has created many musicals and traditional Korean song and dance productions.

The group has toured over 42 countries including the United States, Germany, Spain, Japan, India and Brazil, staging about 800 performances, attracting over three million viewers at home and abroad. It performed at the closing and opening ceremonies of the Seoul Olympics 88, 99 Winter Asian Games, 2000 Korea Millennium Grand Gala and the promotional event for the World Cup 2001.

Tickets ranging from $90 to $160 are now available at URBTIX outlets, while senior citizens, people with disabilities, full-time students and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance recipients may have 50% off (limited quotas for students and CSSA recipients on a first-come, first-served basis). A 10% discount applies to Friends of LCSD performing venues. There will also be group booking discounts: 10% for four to nine tickets, 15% for 10 to 19 tickets, 20% for 20 tickets or more.

For enquiries about the programme and the workshop, call 2268 7323 or visit www.lcsd.gov.hk/cp. Ticketing enquiries and reservations can be made on 2734 9009 and credit card telephone bookings on 2111 5999. Tickets can also be booked online at www.urbtix.hk.
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Old May 5th, 2005, 08:26 PM   #18
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Hanging in the hood
A group of artists immersed themselves in Wan Chai life for a fortnight and they made fast friends and found fresh inspiration
5 May 2005
South China Morning Post

WAN CHAI'S ROLE as a cultural hub is open to debate. The district may be home to the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts and the Hong Kong Arts Centre, but once you've crossed Gloucester and Jaffe roads, you're more likely to see pole dancing than classical or contemporary displays. Moving further south towards Queen's Road East, you'll reach the culturally rich old Wan Chai, the fate of which is being threatened by redevelopment. Perhaps it's not the best place to breed creativity or inspiration. Or is it?

The Artists in Residence (AiR) Association, a non-profit-making organisation, tries to answer this question with an arts project and exhibition that promotes cultural exchange through residency programmes. Codenamed "re:wanchai", the project consists of 24 local and overseas artists immersing themselves in Wan Chai's culture for a fortnight. The participants have left their studios and integrated with the local community "to engage each other, to explore new ideas, and expand the boundaries of their practice".

The artists also went about their work, creating traditional art, photography, video and engraving, to installations and multimedia works such as Indian artist Nandabattlv Harsha's rice paintings.

Their works will be displayed on Saturday in a derelict building, specially christened the AiR Corner House, opposite the Wan Chai Market. The show will run until May 29, just days before the demolition of this old block, which the Urban Renewal Authority leased to AiR Association for this project. The artists' sole, non-political mission is to regenerate people's interest in the area.

One artist, Vietnamese photographer Dinh Q. Le, was inspired by a recent news report on a lack of space and opportunities for elderly gardeners. So, he created a rooftop garden in the old exhibition venue.

With the help of project partners St James' Settlement, a group of retirees was invited to grow their plants at AiR Corner House until the building is sealed off. These plants will then be given to the elderly, for free.

Installation artist Nindityo Adipurnomo, from Yogyakarta in Indonesia, hit the streets of Wan Chai for his piece, Do You Have Fun and Space for Alternative Thinking?

"I went out to talk to the people, and ask them to write on a board what was on their minds," he says. "Some wrote their names, some wrote their wishes, and one drew some mahjong tiles. Many said they weren't into art. So, I am going to make use of those drawings to illustrate the function of arts in Hong Kong."

Local mixed-media artist Leung Mee-ping says she's making a documentary about street-sleepers that explores their identity in the Wan Chai community.

"I have been filming them without letting them know," says Leung. "By now, I have been able to recognise quite a number of them. During the day, it seems they just keep walking, going nowhere. And no one seems to notice them either. But when we talk about community culture, this group of people should not be ignored."

The local residents are just as important to the project as the artists themselves, and some have cooked for their guests and been helpful in other ways, the project's organisers say. "Such a programme would not be successful if [the artists] failed to get insights of Wan Chai's changing faces from kaifongs [neighbourhood associations]," says AiR spokesman Howard Chan Pui-hoe. For instance, the "legendary tailor" on Lee Tung Street, Lee Yuk-lun, is a Wan Chai history book on legs. The 71-year-old has run his business in the neighbourhood for half a century. In the 1950s and 60s, Mr Lee's name was all but a fashion brand for the hostesses at Wan Chai clubs.

"I designed and made costumes for the girls at nightclubs in the Jaffe Road area," he says. "I was a dab hand at mini-skirts, see-through blouses, halter-neck pyjamas," says Lee.

He recalls the good, old days when he, and many big spenders, frequented nightclubs and bars and made clothes for their girls. "Behind those fancy neon signs, it was a wonderland," he says. "Wine flowed like water. I was often offered free drinks. Of course, there was no Suzie Wong, and I'm no Robert Lomax, either."

Another long-time resident Ng Kam-cheu, who has been taking the artists on cultural tours, explains why Queen's Road East is like a tunnel that can take people back in time. "About 150 years ago, it was the main thoroughfare for local fishermen," he says. "It used to be on the waterfront. From there, a small bay, or wan chai in Cantonese, led to the sea."

Cheung Hay-ming also volunteered to be a tour guide. The Correctional Services Department officer is so enamored by the district's charms that he recently moved there. He took the artists to the Hung Sing Temple (or Tai Wong Temple) because the ancient structure marks where the waterfront used to be.

During their two-week stay, the artists also learnt how Wan Chai is full of contradictions. While the alleys between Johnston Road and Queen's Road East house printing shops, cobblers and green grocers - where one can still catch a glimpse of the old way of life - several blocks away, Hopewell Holdings plans to turn the area between Ship Street and Hopewell Centre into a mega-hotel complex, a proposal that perplexes Adipurnomo.

"This is my first time in Hong Kong," he says. "Wan Chai is a dynamic place. Residents here are eager to keep it as an old and historical place while the government wants to see more modern buildings."

Fellow-artist Amy Cheung says the contrasts sum up the district's character. "Perhaps that is the real Wan Chai - a fusion of seemingly contradictory things, where the old converges with the new, where everything seems to be in transition," she says.

However, the past still lingers. The old Wan Chai Post Office has ceased to operate, yet locals relate the story of a ghost postman riding his bicycle on midnight deliveries. The tale inspired Seeman Ho, whose contribution will feature in the toilet (where ghost stories are traditionally told) at AiR Corner House. "It is the old stories and old things that have made Wan Chai a community, without which Wan Chai is only the name of a place on the map," says AiR Association spokesman Jaffa Lam. "We hope to bring back the soul of the old and true Wan Chai through the project."re:wanchai, AiR Corner House, 245 Queen's Rd East, Wan Chai. Opens Sat, noon-8pm. Inquiries: 8201 1500
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Old May 10th, 2005, 04:39 PM   #19
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Photo exhibition captures allure of Paris over last century
Tuesday, May 10, 2005
Government Press Release

More than 160 black-and-white photographs selected from the Centre Pompidou will go on display tomorrow (May 11).

The exhibition, "Paris Reflections: Photographs from the Centre Pompidou", will run at the Hong Kong Museum of History until May 30, 2005.

Presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department and the Centre Pompidou of France, the exhibition is jointly organised by the Museum of History and the Consulate General of France in Hong Kong. It is also part of the programmes of "The Year of France in China" and "Le French May".

The exhibition was opened today by the Director of the Leisure and Cultural Services, Ms Anissa Wong Sean-yee; the President of the Centre Pompidou, Mr Bruno Racine; the Consul-General of France in Hong Kong, Mr Serge Mostura; and the Chief Curator of the Museum of History, Dr Joseph Ting Sun-pao.

The exhibition features more than 160 black-and-white photographs taken from the 1920s to the 1990s by 32 photographers. There are masterpieces of world-renowned artists, including Brassa?, Henri Cartier-Bresson and Man Ray, as well as artists recently discovered by the Centre Pompidou, such as Daniel Masclet, Eli Lotar and Tore Yngve Johnson.

Paris is presented in a variety of styles through street scenes, buildings, portraits and everyday life. The exhibition shows the city's grandeur as a modern cosmopolitan city as well as its uniqueness as a European city of a gentler era. Both long shots or close-ups, the images, with their poetic flavour and philosophical overtones, speak of the reality and romance of Paris in the last century. They also capture the mystique and allure of the city that has made a lasting impression.

The exhibits are divided into three parts. The first presents an extraordinary series of prints made between the two World Wars in the 1920s and 1930s. Photographers of this period were influenced by artistic movements such as Impressionism, Cubism and the Bauhaus. The economic crisis that took place in the 1930s also prompted them to face social and economic realities. Scenes of everyday life in the city became the popular subject in their photographs.

The second part covers the postwar period from the 1940s to 1970s, when photography entered the commercial age. Cameras shrank in size while printing techniques were much simplified and improved. Documentary photography as a genre came into being, and photo agencies became a new breed of business, especially in Paris. Exhibitions and publications of photographs proliferated, giving photographers the social status that used to be enjoyed by artists.

The third part features photographs taken in the 1980s and 1990s, when photography became a medium of artistic experimentation, and with it came a radical change in the perception of the relationship between the image and reality. Other emerging trends that had parallel influences to photography included conceptual, minimalist, documentary and filmic approaches.

Audiences will notice from the old photographs the subtle changes that have taken place in Paris over the last century.

The Hong Kong Museum of History is located at 100 Chatham Road South, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon. It opens from 10am to 6pm from Monday to Saturday and from 10am to 7pm on Sundays and public holidays. It is closed on Tuesday except public holidays. Admission is $10 and a half-price concession is available to full-time students, senior citizens and people with disabilities. Admission is free on Wednesdays.

For details, please visit the Museum of History's website at http://hk.history.museum or call 2724 9042.
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Old May 11th, 2005, 07:40 AM   #20
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Xi Opera to showcase 200 years of Jiangsu theatre
Tuesday, May 10, 2005
Government Press Release

The Xi Opera Troupe of Jiangsu will perform in the series, "Chinese Regional Opera of Jiangnan" next month (June) in Hong Kong.

Performances will feature the award-winning opera, "The Pearl Pagoda", and excerpts from Xi opera.

Xi Opera, or Wuxi Opera, is one of the most representative vernacular theatrical genres of Jiangsu. It originated from the banks of Taihu Lake in southern Jiangsu over 200 years ago. Its vernacular nature gives it a strong earthy touch, which is vivid and easy to understand.

"The Pearl Pagoda" won the Gold Award at the 7th Chinese Theatre Festival. The main cast, Ni Tongfang and Zhou Dongliang, National Class One performers of the troupe, are also winners of the Plum Blossom Award for Chinese Theatre. They will showcase the best of this unique Chinese opera genre. Excerpts to be staged are full of action and romance, complemented by martial arts and beautiful lyrics and tunes.

Presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, "The Pearl Pagoda" and Excerpts from the Opera will be staged at 7.30pm on June 21 (Tuesday) and 22 (Wednesday) separately at the Theatre, Hong Kong City Hall. Lyrics and dialogue will have Chinese and simplified English subtitles.

Tickets priced at $200, $150, $100 are now available at all URBTIX outlets. A group discount for the series, "Chinese Regional Opera of Jiangnan", is provided. For each purchase of 4-9 tickets: 10% off; 10-19 tickets: 15% off; 20 or more tickets: 20% off. Half-price concessions will be granted to senior citizens, people with disabilities, full-time students and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance recipients. For details about other discounts, please refer to the programme leaflet.

For programme enquiries, call 2268 7323; for ticketing enquiries and reservations, call 2734 9009; for credit card telephone bookings, call 2111 5999; for more information, visit www.lcsd.gov.hk/cp.

"Lu Opera Theatre of Hefei, Anhui" and "Wu Opera Troupe of Zhejiang" will also be invited to perform for the series "Chinese Regional Opera of Jiangnan" in July and August separately.
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