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Hong Kong Arts Go International

Following the unprecedented success achieved in the Performing Arts Market in Seoul last October, the Hong Kong Arts Development Council (HKADC) will lead delegations comprising local arts groups and artists to take part in three international arts events from August to November this year, namely the“internationale tanzmesse nrw” (Tanzmesse), the Gwangju Biennale and the OzAsia Festival. A variety of performances and exhibitions will be held, encouraging arts and cultural exchanges between Hong Kong and overseas, as well as promoting excellent Hong Kong performances and artworks in the international arena.

To mark this important occasion, a press conference was held today (28 July) at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre, with the presence of HKADC’s Chairman Dr Wong Ying-wai, Wilfred; Vice Chairman Ms Yan Hau-yee, Lina; Chairman of Arts Promotion Committee, Ms Chung Siu-mui, Ribble; Chairman of Dance Group, Ms Mui Cheuk-yin; Chairman of Visual Arts Group, Mr Chan Kam-shing, Chris and Chief Executive Ms Winsome Chow.

Also joining the occasion were the artists who would participate in the above-mentioned arts events. They included local young choreographers and dancers attending in Tanzmesse, Chen Kai, Yang Hao, Chloe Wong, Ivanhoe Lam, Kenny Leung and Li Long-hin; local artists participating in the OzAsia Festival, namely interdisciplinary artist Kingsley Ng, composer and member of SIU2 Ng Cheuk-yin, singer-songwriter Jabin Law, indie girl band GDJYB, music promoter Kung Chi-shing and Willy Tsao, Founder and Artistic Director of City Contemporary Dance Company. Joseph Mitchell, Festival Director of OzAsia Festival, also joined the occasion. During the press conference, Jabin Law and Chen Kai performed music and dance pieces respectively.

Speaking at the occasion, Dr Wong Ying-wai, Wilfred said the HKADC led over 80 Hong Kong arts practitioners to attend the Performing Arts Market in Seoul for its first time last year, providing opportunities for local arts practitioners to establish overseas network. This year, HKADC would continue to support local artists and lead Hong Kong delegations to take part in three international arts events. Through participating in performances and exhibitions, it was hoped to showcase the diversity and vibrancy of Hong Kong arts to the world, as well as to promote local performances and artworks in the international arena.

HKADC will lead local artists and arts practitioners to participate in the following three international arts events:

1. internationale tanzmesse nrw (Tanzmesse)

Tanzmesse hosts the largest professional gathering dedicated exclusively to contemporary dance biennially in Düsseldorf, Germany. It provides opportunity to dance groups, dancers and arts practitioners in dance sector to look for partners, resources and sponsorships. Tanzmesse will be held from 31 August to 3 September this year. HKADC will organise a delegation of 60 members, including local choreographers, dance artists, producers, programmers to participate in it, with 15 of them subsidised by HKADC. By attending different programmes at Tanzmesse, it is hoped that the Hong Kong dance artists can establish an international network; and also to assist them in exploring overseas performing opportunities and accumulate experience in overseas promotion.

Programmes of Tanzmesse include Performance Programme, Open Studio, site-specific dance performances, forums and seminars. Six local emerging choreographers, namely Chen Kai, Yang Hao, Victor Fung, Chloe Wong, Ivanhoe Lam and Hugh Cho will present Hong Kong original contemporary works to professional audiences in Performance Programme and Open Studio at Tanzmesse.

2. The Gwangju Biennale

The Gwangju Biennale is an international exhibition of contemporary art held every two years and is also one of the most important biennales among the contemporary art exhibitions in the world. The Biennale organises exhibitions and academic conferences to induce explorations and discussions on visual arts culture. The Biennale will be held in Gwangju of Korea from 2 September to 6 November this year, with the theme “The Eighth Climate (What does art do?)”.

A delegation comprising local visual arts practitioners will be led by HKADC to attend the Gwangju Biennale from late August to early September with 16 of them subsidised by HKADC. The delegation will attend various programmes at the Biennale, including exhibitions, opening ceremony and forums. In addition to participating in different programmes at the Biennale, HKADC will provide support to the local visual artist, Wan Lai-kuen, Annie, who has been invited as participating artist in the Gwangju Biennale. Wan is currently resided in Gwangju for the production of her art exhibits. She intends to explore the connection between art and community by collaborating with the local ceramic studios and shops in the neighborhood, in order to respond to the theme of the Biennale.

HKADC hopes it would benefit the visual arts practitioners in gaining wider horizon, establishing international network strategically as well as promoting exchange between local and overseas arts practitioners through attending the biennale. The experience consolidated and knowledge gained is expected to bring further discussion and reflection that, promotes the long-term development of the local visual arts sector.

3. The OzAsia Festival

Presented by the Adelaide Festival Centre, the OzAsia Festival is one of the most important international arts festivals in Australia. With an aim to showcase Asian contemporary artworks in its unique form and style, the Festival will be held from 17 September to 2 October this year. HKADC will collaborate with the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in Sydney to support local arts practitioners to take part in the Festival, namely interdisciplinary artist Kingsley Ng, City Contemporary Dance Company, singer-songwriter Jing Wong and Jabin Law, indie girl band GDJYB and fusion band SIU2. Johnnie To’s Retrospective Exhibition will also be held during the Festival with the appearance of Director To conducting master class.

By taking part in these arts events, it is hoped to establish global network with overseas arts institutions and explore overseas markets and accumulate experience in external promotion.