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Hong Kong Arts Go International  OzAsia Festival 2016 Shed the Light on Hong Kong Arts

Hong Kong Arts Development Council (HKADC) actively promotes Hong Kong arts overseas, encouraging cultural exchanges and cooperation between Hong Kong and other regions of the world, as well as showcasing outstanding local artists and their works at international platforms. Following the internationale tanzmesse nrw (Tanzmesse) in Düsseldorf, Germany and the Gwangju Biennale in Korea, HKADC led a number of artists to participate in the 10th OzAsia Festival (the Festival) organised by the Adelaide Festival Centre (the Centre) in Australia this September and October.

Held successfully from 17 September to 2 October, the Festival featured a number of Hong Kong programmes, jointly supported by HKADC and Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, Sydney (HKETO). They included “Record Light”, a solo exhibition by inter-disciplinary artist Kingsley Ng, singer-songwriter Jing Wong, Jabin Law, 4-girl band GDJYB and fusion band SIU2 at the Outdoor Concert Series, and a film retrospective series of director Johnnie To, who also visited Adelaide to give a master class. In addition, As If to Nothing by City Contemporary Dance Company was presented as the Festival’s opening programme with the support of HKETO.

At its 10th anniversary, the Festival showcased a number of Hong Kong artworks and organised a special ceremony for Hong Kong’s participation. Co-hosted by the South Australian Government and the Centre, the Hong Kong-South Australia Cooperation Celebration was held on the night of 22 September, with the presence of Governor of South Australia Mr Hieu Van-le, Minister for Investment and Trade, Defence Industries and Veterans’ Affairs Mr Martin Hamilton-Smith, Deputy Director of HKETO Mr Bernard Lo, Chairman of HKADC Dr Wilfred Wong, CEO & Artistic Director of Adelaide Festival Centre Mr Douglas Gautier and OzAsia Festival’s Director Mr Joseph Mitchell.

Speaking at the occasion, Dr Wong said, “HKADC has devoted much effort to promote Hong Kong’s arts overseas in order to enable our talented artists to obtain recognition and support for further development in the international arena. It is the first time for HKADC and the Centre to join hands, with the generous support from the HKETO and the Home Affairs Bureau, to present in this rising international arts festival the diversity and vibrancy of Hong Kong’s contemporary arts to the Australian audience.”

With regard to the featuring of Hong Kong’s programmes, Festival Director Mr Mitchell said, “Hong Kong is an iconic place across Asia in terms of its vibrancy, energy and youthfulness. After this year which has been a great success working with HKADC, I really hope that we can continue our collaboration in future years not only in presenting works from Hong Kong, but also in developing cooperation between Australian and Hong Kong artists to create and produce artistic works for presentation in Adelaide and Hong Kong.”

HKADC held a party on 23 September during the Festival’s Outdoor Concert inviting representatives of Australian arts communities to attend as well as to meet and exchange with Hong Kong artists/ arts groups. Renowned local composer, performer and music advocate Mr Kung Chi-sing was invited by HKADC to serve as the Concert’s consultant. Mr Kung said, “It is the first time for HKADC to support local indie bands and musicians to perform overseas. On one hand, it gives foreign audience insights into the diversity of Hong Kong contemporary music scene, and on the other hand, offers emerging musicians the invaluable experience of staging overseas. It is very meaningful.”

Invited by the Festival, singer-songwriter Jing Wong was the only artist performed at the Parliament House in Canberra. He then performed at the Parliament House in Adelaide. SIU2 was also the sole performing group at the Moon Lantern Festival and they held a workshop to introduce their unique music style to the Australian audience.