Freespace at Taikoo Place: Encouraging Creativity
Freespace at Taikoo Place, Hong Kong, is an endeavor that seeks to bring together local, regional and international artists. Running from Thursday, 26 October to Sunday, 5 November 2017, the event will showcase contemporary and cross-disciplinary art forms.
No longer separating “Work” and “Play”
So often, especially in a city like Hong Kong, one feels they must compartmentalize their lives. They must separate the part of themselves that “goes to work”, often at the detriment and neglect of that side of themselves that is free to be creative; to take time to enjoy their surroundings and community; to “play”.
The goal of this event is to encourage creativity in everyday life, by bringing the community together to celebrate new forms of art. Hosted in multiple venues including office lobbies, at different times of the day, this event hopes to spur the community into seeing this part of Hong Kong with new eyes. It seeks to immerse Hong Kong residents and performing arts aficionados in a host of hand-picked programmes ranging from shadow puppetry, music concerts or contemporary dance performances, to theater productions.
So often, many artists tend to struggle in a city. The need for a place to perform is in high demand, but the vast majority of artists are limited by the price of rent.
In order for art and culture to thrive in a city, that city must be immersed in it. It cannot just be for those who can afford the time and money to appreciate art, or that city’s art will be limited.
The majority of people’s education in art and culture, just comes from their ability to be exposed by it. In a city like Hong Kong, where people keep busy, and art is not high on many agendas; most do not go out of their way to discover new art forms.
The best thing about this event is that it supports local artists by giving them a platform right in the heart of a busy Hong Kong district. It also brings international artists to Hong Kong, giving variety to the local community which can only encourage and develop future artists.
“to foster arts and culture in Hong Kong.”
Hosted by Swire Properties, director of Swire, Don Taylor, explains it is part of an ongoing commitment by Swire “to foster arts and culture in Hong Kong.”
If Hong Kong is truly to be Asia’s World City, it not only needs more of these events, but it needs these events to be supported by the community.
Programmes at a glance:
At the New ArtisTree
Freespace at Taikoo Place will host four, must-see, ultra-creative and colourful productions.
The first will be the Hong Kong debut performance of the internationally-acclaimed production – Luna del Ray by Manual Cinema. Described by New York Times critic Ben Brantley as an, “…enchanting…spectral parade of fantastical images…’ Luna del Ray features shadow puppets, actors in silhouettes and live music, and tells the story of a young girl’s rebellion against loneliness.
Experience Shakespeare like never before with Tim Crouch’s production – I, Malvolio. A hilarious re-imagination of Twelfth Night from the point of view of Shakespeare’s pent up steward Malvolio, the play is a one-man act that draws audiences deep into the madness of this classic comedy, and opens up the narrative for new audiences.
Multi-award-winning Australian choreographer, filmmaker and installation artist Sue Healey will present ON VIEW: HONG KONG. Commissioned and produced by West Kowloon, Healey is partnering with Hong Kong Dance Award cinematographer Maurice Lai and ten acclaimed Hong Kong dance artists to explore the notions of portraiture, identity and the moving body through online videos, an installation exhibition and live performances. Responding to Healey’s ON VIEW, five Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan filmmakers – Tsang Tsui Shan, Hugh Cho, Elysa Wendi, Chiu Chih-hua and Remu Iwai commissioned by West Kowloon will present Look Two Ways in the foyer, which will explore the ideas of time and space through dance video installations and feature another twelve Hong Kong dance artists.
And wrapping up the programmes at ArtisTree will be the immersive show MEETING. Pairing Antony Hamilton’s compulsive choreography with Alisdair Macindoe’s obsessive machine-making, the performance will mesmerise audiences through the ‘articulation of the body and mind in motion’; with the two performers sharing the space with 64 robotic percussion instruments. This work has been toured to 12 countries across Europe and North America. This is the premiere in Asia.
At Mr and Mrs Fox
Exploring the endless possibilities of the performing arts, songwriter, psychologist and chef David Chong will perform ACROBAT at an unexpected venue – the popular Mr and Mrs Fox. The performance aims to foster interaction between the actor and audience through a meal that weaves a cultural mosaic of language, music, heritage and differences.
At Taikoo Place Office Lobbies & Outdoor Areas
Human Body Parts by Snuff Puppets will fill the office lobbies and outdoor spaces at Taikoo Place with roaming, giant interactive human body parts with minds of their own, who will demand people’s undivided attention. Audiences can whisper secrets to a giant ear, chew the fat with a disembodied mouth or tickle the toes of an enormous foot.
And in the PCCW Tower office lobby, small metal objects by Back to Back Theatre will explore the joys and difficulties of human interaction in a chaotic, status-driven world. Audiences should prepare to be both spectator and performer.
At Taikoo Park
Two lunchtime concerts and three weekend concerts will also be held at Taikoo Park, the green, landscaped open area at the entrance of One Island East, Swire Properties’ headquarters. The programme will showcase international and local talent including Jim Kroft, a British musician and film maker, and AMA, a multi-disciplinary artist who combines a range of expressive art forms into interactive art pieces and performances. Young artists will include 10-year-old Haley Wong, the first-ever Hong Kong youth to win an international music competition using the harp; as well as the
Fantastic Saxophone Ensemble, a youth group that is set to take saxophone music in Hong Kong to the next level.
Local indie, math-folk and all-girl band GDJYB (Gai Dan Jane Yuk Bang) will take to the stage, as will Swiss singer-songwriter Anna Aaron, who is known for her dramatic folk, pop and jazz music. Music lovers can also move to the tunes of the 10-piece international funk band Grove Lee – which is inspired by local hero Bruce Lee; or admire Chinese contemporary Kazak music by Mamer, founder of legendary band IZ.
Tickets are available at: