Art

Album reviews, art house films and the latest exhibitions
  1. It’s a numbers game. Everybody knows the true value of a person can be gauged by the number of social media followers they have: no followers, nobody. Such a reality can be particularly harsh in a place like Tokyo, which is powered by mobile phones. Those in the Japanese capital’s modelling and entertainment industries, needing acolytes more than most, suffer greatly from a lack of friends. So when you are a bit-part actress and stand-in model keeping the studio warm for the stars, and your…
  2. Just as Hongkongers were starting to poke their heads out, a second wave of Covid-19 infections boom­eranging back from Europe, North America and elsewhere in Asia has sent many people back into their carefully disinfected homes. Many locally owned galleries have stayed open throughout this period and, two months after the first local confirmed case of the novel coronavirus, dozens of people were once again starting to show up for events. One visitor at Hong Kong artist Chow Chun-fai’s well…
  3. Set in a parallel near future, science-fiction classic The Matrix (1999), by sibling directors Lana and Lilly Wachowski, stars Keanu Reeves as a man on a mission to free the human race from a computer simulation that uses humanity as an energy source for machines that control the world. Steve Zhao, chief executive of Hong Kong-based Sandbox VR, which provides immersive group virtual-reality-gaming experiences, explains how it changed his life. When I first saw The Matrix, I was in high school…
  4. With the coronavirus closing restaurants, eating out has become a vicarious pleasure. But at least we have American-Korean chef David Chang to step into the breach. Series two of Chang’s documentary Ugly Delicious, now showing in four Netflix instalments, remains true to its original inquisitiveness about food and its origins while benefiting from an increased travel budget (Tokyo-Mumbai-Sydney-Los Angeles). Guests Padma Lakshmi, Nick Kroll and Aziz Ansari are among those doling out dollops of…
  5. Who doesn’t like to visit the Louvre, the British Museum and the Met in New York, at least when they have not been closed to combat the spread of the coronavirus? But let’s face it, a lot of Western museums are salt in the wounds of nations and peoples who suffered long spells of oppression under European and United States political and economic domination.Pieces such as the Amaravati marbles, in the British Museum, just a floor above their more famous Greek counterparts, and a trove of looted…
  6. Of riches and rags: My father was born into a rich family in Hong Kong. He had 21 brothers and sisters – he was the 19th child. His father’s first wife had two girls, but since his father didn’t like daughters, he took a second wife, who gave birth to 20 children.My grandfather owned several buildings and was able to collect a lot of rent, but he was an opium smoker and had 22 children, so by the time my father came along he didn’t have much money. Although his elder brothers were sent overseas…
  7. In the summer of 1941 in New York, United China Relief (UCR) was founded, bringing together eight organisations that had been working towards the same ends: to raise the American public’s awareness of China’s resistance to Japan, and to collect funds to directly aid civilians.The images chosen to promote their work were a series of full-colour posters that appeared in newspapers, maga­zines and on billboards nationwide, images that would be seared into many people’s memories long after the war,…
  8. Imagine you are the big cheese behind a gazillion-dollar, mega-hit, television sci-fi thriller and you are scouting shiny, futuristic locations for your third, enthusiastically awaited season. Where do you look? Easy: Singapore. Then again – and without spoiling the forthcoming fun – the shimmering bits of the city state aren’t the only parts with star­ring roles in the new series of Westworld, which begins its mind-warping mission at 9am on March 16 on HBO and HBO Go (repeated at 10pm on HBO)…
  9. When Austrian filmmaker Constanze Ruhm signed up to Living Archive, a project in which artists are encouraged to appropriate and rework the films and footage stored in the vaults of the Berlin cinematheque Arsenal, one title caught her eye. Having spent her career exploring representations of women in cinema, she was drawn to Anna, a 1975 documentary about a fragile teenager in Rome, Italy.While Ruhm considers Alberto Grifi and Massimo Sarchielli’s documentary a mas­ter­ful work of art, she…
  10. Country music: I was born in 2000, in the Madhubani district of Bihar, India. I grew up in a village in a remote area – there was no electricity and most people were farmers, herding cows. I didn’t go to school as there was no school in the area. My father lived away much of the time, in Delhi, establishing himself as a music teacher. He taught his students in their homes. I lived with my mother, two younger brothers, Rishav and Ayachi, and my grandparents on my father’s side, who were a huge…