The relocation forms part of Swire Properties’ ongoing HKD15 billion redevelopment of the Taikoo Place district in Hong Kong.
The new 7,000 square feet venue aims to foster the growth of young talents and mid-career artists, with a focus on the performing arts.
The new 7,000-square-foot ArtisTree multi-purpose venue in Hong Kong is slated to be opened in June 2017 after its relocation from Cornwall House to Cambridge House in Taikoo Place within the Swire Properties-owned business hub. Situated in a district in which commercial offices and lifestyle amenities converge, the venue serves as an art and event space for the public.
With a focus on performing arts, the space will host a month-long series of productions and masterclasses by local and international artists following its official launch on 8 June.
First opened in 2008, the venue aims to make diverse arts and cultural events accessible to local communities. Over the years, the space has hosted over 130 events, including exhibitions such as the inaugural Vivienne Westwood A Life in Fashion exhibition, The World of Tim Burton, Outside the Box | Frank Gehry exhibition and Building M+: The Museum and Architecture Collection and ZAHA HADID: There Should Be No End To Experimentation.
Art Radar takes a look at the upcoming events.
1. ContempoLion (9 and 10 June)
ContempoLion is the brainchild of Hong Kong choreographer Daniel Yeung. It showcases the Cantonese lion dance tradition with a contemporary flair, blending artistic form of contemporary dance, lion dance techniques, aerial arts, live video projection and electronic music arrangements. The multimedia contemporary dance performance is commissioned by Swire Properties to celebrate the relaunch of ArtisTree.
Graduated from the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Yeung has won numerous awards, including Hong Kong Dance Award by Hong Kong Dance Alliance and Rising Artist Award by the Hong Kong Arts Development Council. He has also studied choreography in the Netherlands and in the United Kingdom and has performed internationally.
Speaking about his creation in an interview, he remarks:
Lion dancing isn’t just about giving or performing, it’s about watching and learning. We wanted to create something organic. We don’t say that it’s a lion dance, we say it’s a contemporary dance with elements of lion dance training.
2. La Traviata (17 and 18 June)
The 90-minute performance is presented by More Than Musical, a Hong Kong-based non-profit opera production organisation which is founded by Rumiko Hasegawa and Lucy Choi Ting-ting.
In an interview with South China Morning Post earlier on, founder Hasegawa says:
Hong Kong people are so busy. They don’t want to invest three or four hours of their time to see an opera. People are also intimidated by the theatre setting and the foreign languages. They think they won’t understand opera.
The condensed version of Verdi’s La Traviata, an Italian classic, will be held without traditional staging, making the experience more immersive for the audience. The organisation aims to make opera accessible to the public by distilling their productions into critical scenes.
A special masterclass on 16 June named “Happy Hour with Award-winning Opera Stage Director Nic Muni” will be held. Viewers are invited to watch the opera stage director Nic Muni coaching young and talented professional singers, as well as listen to his sharing. As a recipient of six National Opera Association Awards, he has directed numerous opera productions around the world, including at the New York City Opera.
3. Animatorium and Folk (24 and 25 June)
The National Dance Company Wales will present the Asian debut of two productions: Animatorium and Folk. Directed by Artistic Director Caroline Finn, the aim of these performances is to make contemporary dance accessible. In Animatorium, a group of dancers act as though they were manipulated by a central ‘Master’ character. Meanwhile, in Folk, surreal and familiar scenes inspired by 17th- and 18th-century European oil painting depict a dark yet comic interpretation of life and society that resonates with the viewers’ everyday experiences.
After acquiring her BFA from the Juilliard School in New York in 2004, Finn worked as a freelance dancer and choreographer. She won the Matthew Bourne New Adventures Choreographer Award 2014 and has led numerous productions internationally.
On 26 June, a special masterclass named “Contemporary Dance Masterclass with Caroline Finn, Artistic Director of National Dance Company Wales” will be held. Participants will learn warm up and contemporary technique work, as well as an excerpt of Folk.
Commenting in an on the idea of accessibility, she mentions:
I want to produce work that is accessible for audiences, but at the same time, not something that is handed to them on a plate. It’s about the audience finding a way through the ambiguity, through the music, the sets and the costumes.
- “The Afterlife of Rosy Leavers”: Hong Kong artist Angela Su at Blindspot Gallery, Hong Kong – June 2017 – the solo exhibition showcases Angela Su’s newest works, including drawing, video, hair embroidery and installation
- Affordable Art Fair Hong Kong 2017: First-time buyers snap up works as fair demystifies art world – round up – May 2017 – Art Radar rounds up Affordable Art Fair Hong Kong 2017
- “91 Square Meters of Time”: Taiwanese video artist Wu Chi-Yu at TKG+ Projects, Taipei – May 2017 – the Taiwanese artist creates moving image works that resurface lost memories and reproduce oral history and myth
- “Mekong – New Mythologies” at Hong Kong Arts Centre features the work of 18 Southeast Asian artists – May 2017 – “Mekong – New Mythologies” runs at Pao Galleries, Hong Kong Arts Centre, until 21 May 2017
- “Howie Tsui: Retainers of Anarchy”: exploring notions of nationhood in Hong Kong at Vancouver Art Gallery – April 2017 – Howie Tsui explores the liminal space between self-governance and lawlessness
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