Unique Culture Goes on Display
The rich multicultural tapestry that gives Hong Kong its identity is celebrated in the annual Hong Kong Culture Festival.
26 October 2018
Running from Sept 2018 to Feb 2019, the Hong Kong Culture Festival aims to preserve the city’s cultural heritage through performing arts, exhibitions and traditional arts and crafts. Community participation is encouraged – specifically targeting the youth – in line with the aims of the non-profit, independent Intangible Cultural Heritage Earthpulse Society, which founded the festival in partnership with the Leisure and Cultural Services Department.
Now in its fourth edition, cultural organisations, universities and local communities have joined in to present a rich array of activities.
The festival also works to project Hong Kong culture to audiences overseas. Parts of one key exhibition have already been shown in Melbourne, Australia, Lausanne in Switzerland and Shenzhen on the Chinese mainland, and festival founder Hing Chao said: “We very much hope to tour the entire or selected components of this exhibition to museums and venues around the world.”
Mr Chao is referring to the Safeguarding the Community: an Intangible Cultural Heritage New Media Exhibition, which showcases the society’s ongoing documentary work on intangible cultural heritage in Hong Kong, particularly Chinese martial arts, using a range of conventional and new-media strategies including motion capture and 3D (three-dimensional) animation as well as multi-angle and 360 panoptic video.
This exhibition also upholds the society’s mission to document and preserve cultural heritage with advanced technologies.
The coming weekend offers a smorgasbord of cultural enrichment, including the cultural fair ICH Mart being held at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre (26-28 Oct). Highlighting a different theme each day, the mart will revitalise a series of time-honoured customs and rituals, designed as a fiesta for all ages featuring game booths, workshops, display boards and talks.
Visitors will enjoy rarely seen performances such as lion and dragon dances, puppetry and Nanyin, or "southern tunes", a genre of narrative songs popular in the early 20th century, usually performed by blind artistes.
As a literal drumroll for ICH Mart’s launch, the Hong Kong Drum Festival Outdoor Music Concert will feature skilful lion dance drum masters, sharing the stage with winners from the 16th Hong Kong Synergy 24 Drum Competition to demonstrate various rhythms and techniques that convey the lion’s emotions.
Hong Kong Dragon and Lion Dance Fiesta and Hakka Unicorn Dance and Kung Fu Carnival will also make a welcome return, the latter featuring unicorn dance teams from Europe and Southeast Asia spreading wishes of good fortune and wellbeing across the city. The 17 metre-tall fa pau (floral wreaths) constitute another unmissable highlight.
Alongside traditional customs, ICH Mart will bring back some favourite childhood snacks such as ping on bun, Paederia scandens (fevervine) rice cake and sesame peanut soft candy, rekindling memories for older folk and introducing these delicacies to the young. Visitors can drop by the tea salon to taste different types of Chinese tea and experience the gentle art of tea culture.
The Hong Kong Classic Films Retrospective (17-18 Nov and 15-16 Dec at Hong Kong Space Museum) salutes the city’s role as a movie hub in Asia. The sector that has produced such global stars as Bruce Lee, filmmaker Wong Kar-wai and cinematic icon Run-Run Shaw has not only been instrumental in defining how the world perceives Asia – particularly Hong Kong and the mainland – it also brought changes to movie making.
A series of programmes including screenings, sharing sessions, lectures, exhibitions, workshops and film classes will help the audience understand more about local movies and cultivate young people’s interest in Hong Kong’s film culture.
Then in February, Heaven and Earth, a contemporary ink art exhibition featuring artists from Hong Kong and Inner Mongolia, will be held at the Hong Kong Visual Arts Centre (11-26 Feb 2019).
In this first-ever collaboration with Hulunbuir, Inner Mongolia, artists have painted two culturally and geographically divergent regions from a foreigner’s perspective: the city of Hong Kong, and the Inner Mongolian deserts and meadows. These ink art and new ink art pieces are the result of an artistic exploration, and regarded as a cornerstone of cultural exchange.
With “Dialogue/Fusion” as its theme this year, the Hong Kong Culture Festival bridges east and west, old and young via the traditions generations have held dear, and remain so culturally relevant today.
Hong Kong Culture Festival
- Film & Audio-Visual Production
- Hong Kong