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Arts of Hong Kong 2020: Hong Kong Arts Festival announces HKartsFestival@TaiKwun [go online] this October

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HONG KONG – Despite the many setbacks brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Hong Kong Arts Festival (HKAF) will be proceeding with HKartsFestival@TaiKwun, originally scheduled to run earlier this year. Now, the festival will take place over two days, completely online from 10th to 11th October 2020, and the first of the 48th HKAF programmes to be relaunched, with interactive performances, installations and creative workshops broadcast on the “HKAF at Tai Kwun” Facebook page. 

carry on. Photo Credit: fieldworks

The programme features a number of films that document works-in-progress developed for the onsite event, as well as original works and workshops adapted for digital presentation. The site-specific immersive theatre carry on was originally imagined as a guided tour in and around Tai Kwun, produced by Belgium-based arts group fieldworks in collaboration with local artists. Dialogue: carry on is a pre-recorded discussion between the original collaborators reflecting on the rehearsals for this now cancelled performance. The documentary fieldworks portrait, which covers a three-day performative exhibition devoted to the works of the creators, will also be made available to online event-goers.

Making Space. Photo Credit: Rita Vilhena

Originally conceived as a backward walking ritual from Tai Kwun to the Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens, Making Space’s online reincarnation will feature Portuguese artist Rita Vilhena’s video sharing on how her backward walking ritual has been transformed from one city to another, accompanied by excerpts of an online workshop with Hong Kong participants that the artist conducted in September 2020.

Fragile: work-in-progress. Photo Credit: Matti Sappanen

Fragile: work-in-progress documents the creative process of Finnish choreographer Hanna Brotherus and local community dancers, including recordings of rehearsals that explore emotions hidden in the body, empathy and inner strength. The video highlights the importance of human connection in a time when social distance is the new normal.  

Our Atlas. Photo Credit: Dicky Wong

In Our Atlas, Hong Kong artist Chloe Wong will capture her huge interactive installation of mirror balls, originally intended for Tai Kwun’s Parade Ground, on camera. The work takes participants on a journey through a maze of mirrors to reflect on their many selves.

Sound Bath. Photo Credit: Cat Lai

In Sound Bath, sound artist and therapist Paul Yip will conduct an online ritual of visual stimulation and healing soundscapes to induce a spiritual awareness of “reality” and question experiences of existence and non-existence, contradiction and transcendence of duality. 

Struck. Photo Credit: Justin Chow

Combining martial arts, parkour and contemporary dance, Struck was originally conceived as a series of pop-up performances in Tai Kwun in which two young men place a table on their heads and reflect on the meaning of life. When their “table-on-the-head” loitering at Tai Kwun is captured on screen, it tells a different story in the style of Italian Neorealism.

Miró Lab. Photo Credit: Nico Fernandes.

Miró Lab is a series of family DIY workshops that invite participants to explore their hidden artistic selves through the works of Spanish surrealist master Joan Miró. The three online programmes were developed through a long-distance collaboration between artists in Portugal, Macau and Hong Kong.

“Thanks to the Festival team, who have worked tirelessly over the past few months, we have overcome many unexpected obstacles to finish what we started. And with the unfailing support of The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust, we have taken an unusual path together. Although the format is different, I hope the artists’ vision will continue to resonate with our audiences’ imagination,” says Ms Tisa Ho, Executive Director of the Hong Kong Arts Festival. 

HKartsFestival@TaiKwun [go online]  runs from 10th to 11th October 2020 online. For more information, visit their website here

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