Art

Album reviews, art house films and the latest exhibitions
Arts & Music - South China Morning Post
  1. Some Chinese historical fables nail it from the start: those that pull off the considerable trick of keeping the romance, martial arts, elaborate costumes, imposing sets and myth-laden fantasy in equilibrium.Word of Honor (Netflix, series one now available) achieves all this with ease, balancing bloodshed and cherry blossom, horrors and heroics, for the duration of this latest wuxia epic. (And at 36 episodes it certainly qualifies as an epic. Season two, whenever that arrives, will burnish its…
  2. Adjoining the bustling retail hub in Causeway Bay, Hong Kong is Victoria Park, an oasis of calm where people practise tai chi and enjoy their lunch. At the main entrance, pigeons sit on the shoulders of a large bronze statue of Queen Victoria.Frank Tang Kai-yiu, 35, is well acquainted with the figure. The Hong Kong artist has sketched her hundreds of times, along with the plants and flowers that flourish in the 19-hectare park.Created by Italian sculptor Mario Raggi, the statue was cast in…
  3. And now for something completely different; different to many of the ominous familial dramas and romantic sagas emerging from South Korea, anyway.Mad for Each Other (Netflix, series one now streaming, new episodes weekly) is a madcap romcom that doesn’t shrink from the maddening certainty of mutual attraction – however hard one might fight it – and all the screaming, swearing, misunderstanding and spite that go with the madness of true love.That said, mad at each other might better describe the…
  4. We were summoned from the backstage tent by an anxious organiser. “Smiling Knives yuedui,” she said, scanning her clipboard and using the word “band” in Chinese, ushering us along with a curt, “You go.”Putting down our complimentary drinks, we readied our instruments and were guided onstage, which was actually a huge ship moored in the Pearl River estuary. British frontman Gary Hurlstone was followed by American horn player Greg Merrell, Canadian percussionist Craig Anderson and myself, the…
  5. The super-wealthy, in all their outrageous opulence, really should be more careful about whom they let into their lives, and for that matter, their magnificent mansions.A boy’s scheming tutor and a resentful housemaid threaten to derail a business empire when they are taken on by the extended family behind the Hyowon Group, a chaebol (a family-owned conglomerate in South Korea) whose inner conflicts are the basis of murky, satirical thriller Mine (Netflix, series one now streaming).And while we…
  6. Artists have long played powerful roles in social movements, with the click of a camera or stroke of a paintbrush having the potential to bring about social change.It is for this reason that the Justice Centre Hong Kong, a non-profit human rights organisation, set up the Human Rights Arts Prize, an annual event that celebrates the power of art as a catalyst for social change. Now in its seventh year, the 2021 event – themed “Shared Future” – is co-hosted by the European Union Office to Hong…
  7. If you think your school days were tough, just be thankful you didn’t have Nanno as a classmate.Taking vengeance and provocation to sadistic levels, Nanno (Kitty Chicha Amatayakul) is the anti-heroine of Girl From Nowhere (Netflix), an un­compromising look through the eyes of a teenage schoolgirl at the “filthy side” of human nature.Equally seductive and treacherous, the mysterious Nanno is a vicious, Moriarty-level manipulator who roams from school to school, exposing the lies and deceit in…
  8. The Last Emperor (1987), directed by Bernardo Bertolucci and starring John Lone, Joan Chen and Peter O’Toole, tells the story of Puyi, from his early life of gilded isolation and his time as ruler of the Japanese puppet state of Manchukuo, to his imprisonment and eventual rehabilitation. The first Western production to be allowed to film in the Beijing’s Forbidden City, it swept the board at the Oscars, winning nine awards including best film and best director.Laszlo Raphael, co-founder of Hong…
  9. Some shocking on-the-job training presents itself to students at Seoul’s Hankuk University in Law School (Netflix, series one now streaming).Working diligently to become the next generation of servants to the South Korean legal system, the students are conducting a mock trial when their carefully choreographed courtroom drama is interrupted by a real crime: murder.The victim, found behind the scenes at the university’s imitation court, is one of their own, a former chief prosecutor and lately a…
  10. This would not have happened in Korea, she thought. For one, she wouldn’t have been scheduled at 10am on the first day of a movie shoot only to be kept waiting. Imagine keeping Meryl Streep baking in the Oklahoma heat for four to five hours in the middle of July. But the force field of celebrity was gone. Here in the Ozarks, she was not Youn Yuh-jung, the 73-year-old actress with a career spanning more than half a century. On the set of Minari, she was an old Korean lady. “A Far East nobody,”…