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  1. Samsung Rising: The Inside Story of the South Korean Giant That Set Out to Beat Apple and Conquer Tech, by Geoffrey Cain, Currency, 3 starsAlthough Samsung stands out today as a giant of the international consumer electronics market, not long ago the idea that a Korean company could achieve global reach and dominance would have seemed unlikely, except perhaps among regional experts.Geoffrey Cain’s new book isn’t the first about Samsung, South Korea’s largest chaebol, or family-owned business…
  2. What is a martial arts film? Hong Kong martial arts films fall broadly into two categories, wuxia and kung fu. Wuxia films feature armed combat, usually swordplay, while kung fu films mainly feature unarmed combat. The two types of film are quite distinct, although kung fu films will sometimes feature a scene that includes fighting with poles (also called staffs), the favoured weapon of Shaolin monks, and the villains will often use weaponry.The word wuxia translates roughly as “martial heroes”…
  3. With cinemas shuttered, productions halted and film festivals cancelled, the Covid-19 pandemic has decimated the movie industry. So there’s something truly heartening about We Are One: A Global Film Festival.Beginning on Friday, this unique online event features presentations from 21 of the most prestigious film festivals around the world, including Cannes, Venice and Toronto. Best of all, it’s streaming on YouTube for free.Just like a real festival, each film, talk or performance is scheduled…
  4. By Kwon Mee-yooCovid-19 has forced art museums and galleries in South Korea to close temporarily, but museums have turned to online platforms to reach people craving culture while they are isolated at home.The Savina Museum of Contemporary Art in Seoul saw a surge in digital viewers of its virtual reality (VR) exhibitions after the outbreak. The private museum was one of the first in Korea to offer VR exhibitions in 2012 and it now has an archive of 29 VR exhibitions available online.“We didn’t…
  5. When Art Basel Hong Kong and the city’s unofficial “art month” were cancelled in March due to the outbreak of Covid-19, Fabio Rossi of the Rossi & Rossi gallery believed all was not lost, knowing that Hong Kong’s vibrant, creative and diverse art scene is much more than two fairs and various auctions.Two months on, he has teamed up with Willem Molesworth, director of the de Sarthe gallery, to stage an event that showcases not only the diversity, but also solidarity, of both the local commercial…
  6. An unusual entry in the swordplay genre, 1971 Hong Kong martial arts film Deaf and Mute Heroine has all the makings of a cult classic. Directed by the late Wu Ma, it features a tough, independent-minded heroine played by Helen Ma Hoi-lun, who takes on two gangs and a vengeful swordsman as she tries to hang on to a big bundle of stolen pearls. The big twist is that, as the title bluntly suggests, our heroine is a deaf and mute swordswoman whose mirrored wristbands enable her to see, rather than…
  7. Wearing a short blouse that reveals a toned midriff, a long flowing skirt and a sequinned belt tied low across the waist, the dancer takes centre stage. Adorned with an exquisite silver necklace, chunky bangles and a nose ring, his short hair is swept back and he sports stylish stubble.The music starts to play and the dancer’s hips sway, gently at first and then more vigorously, as he gracefully keeps time with the catchy tune. His fluid, sinuous movements seem effortless as he pirouettes,…
  8. It’s a term that has become familiar to many people around the world: “dead malls”. As online shopping picks up speed and the global retail landscape is transformed, a growing number of shopping centres are being sucked of life and energy. The novel coronavirus pandemic may only accelerate the trend.So many of these malls sit abandoned in the United States that business analysts have described the situation as a “retail apocalypse”. In March, photojournalist Seph Lawless published a book,…
  9. I recently went to the reopened M+ Pavilion, in West Kowloon Cultural District, to revisit all the works shortlisted for the M+ Sigg Prize. I’d been to the Sigg Prize exhibition in December but it takes more than one visit to digest the nearly four hours of videos in the show, and the exhibition was out of bounds for a long time because of the pandemic. The dominance of videos is a defining feature of the selection made by a jury of six. Four of the six finalists were picked for moving images,…
  10. This review contains major spoilers of early episodes.4.5/5 starsIn The World of the Married, the marriage of a middle-class couple in South Korea unravels in utterly spectacular fashion, the implosion of their relationship sweeping across the small town they call home. The bleak, yet engrossing drama series recorded the largest audience yet for a cable channel show in the country when its final episode aired on May 16 – despite its dwelling on the nastiest aspects of relationships.Adapted from…