Culture & Leisure

Photo Essay

Gaudí's Barcelona

Sagrada Família is kind of hard to miss in Barcelona, not only because of its height and size, but it is unusual to see a seemingly old building constantly surrounded by construction cranes. On the day of visit, tourists craned their necks to gawk at the spire, some with the ice-cream they just bought from one of the mant vendors dripping down their front as they gawked at the spires.  Other posed as the crucified Christ outside the main doors. Unlike most crucifixes, the Jesus figure on this one stares down at an angle, almost as if he is flying. Such unconventional and sometimes over decorated designs are iconic of the Catalan architect, Antoni Gaudí (1852-1926). His work defines Catalan Modernism. Between 1984 to 2005, seven of his masterpieces were listed as World Heritage Sites by UNESCO, including Casa Batlló, Park Güell and the unfinished basilica, Sagrada Família. More than six million tourists visited Spain in April, according to the country’s government data, and Sagrada Família alone drew more than three million people. A survey by Statista indicates that other masterpieces by Gaudí, including Park Guell, La Pedrera and Casa Batlló also rank among the top destinations. In 1877, Gaudí designed his first building, Casa Vicens, under the commission of a merchant Manuel Vicens, on Passeig de Gràcia, Barcelona. Further down the boulevard stands Casa Batlló with its colourful mosaic and dragon-like balconies. The line for tickets to these building may be long, but many more people pose for selfies outside. Visiting everyone of these Gaudí site in the city will set you back more than 100 euros ($923). Gaudí conceived those richly sophisticated columns, vaults and other geometric structures abstracted from "the Great Book of Nature." He once said, "The line belongs to human beings, and the curve belongs …

Culture & Leisure

My Homeless Town

 

Culture & Leisure

The journey of enlightenment

In almost 25 years, the Tian Tan Buddha, the biggest outdoor seated bronze statue of Gautama Buddha on Lantau Island, has become one of the most visited places in Hong Kong.

Culture & Leisure

Lacking writers and readers: the critical art writing industry is in dilemma

The critical art writing industry is always considered as something obscure and profound by the general public. It has become hard to stick solely to the art industry in the commercial society to which we live in nowadays. Compared to other financial and economic-related jobs, things related to art are the minority. Asked about the writing ecology, Elaine Ng, Editor and Publisher of ArtAsiaPacific in Hong Kong, stated that finding professional art writers is "super challenging". "I would say that in terms of a career choice in Hong Kong, it’s not even an option," Ms.Ng said. Ms.Ng also suggested that it’s difficult to be critical in some Asian countries like the Philippines because of cultural reasons. Keith Wallace, Editor-in-Chief of Yishu: Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art, also pointed out that some of the younger writers have a language problem whilst writing, which need to be fixed and improved upon. And he also emphasized the quality and professionalism of writers who write exhibition reviews. "They think they are writing to a professor, and you really have to change that language," Mr. Wallace said, "and I think the other point is if you are making a negative or a questioning comment, it has to be qualified in some way, and it can’t be just a personal opinion and a generalisation." Mr. Wallace added. The common language used in the art industry nowadays is English, and according to Mr. Wallace, the translations sometimes can be quite difficult. Due to globalization, the unification of language can also be a new problem for some local artists, who are only familiar with their own mother language. Denial Sehin Ho, Co-Founder and Editor-at-Large of Ran Dian, which is a magazine that aims to promote contemporary art in China, and publish in both English and Chinese, brought up a previous …

Culture & Leisure

Oscars 2018: The results are in!

  • The Young Reporter
  • By: Katherine Li、Holly ChikEdited by: Angie Chan、Ezra Cheung
  • 2018-03-05

The "most colourful" night of Hollywood is over and all awards this year are presented. The Shape of Water, the movie with 13 nominations, is the biggest winner of the night bringing home four trophies. Here is the list of Oscars 2018 nominations with the winners bold: Best Picture: Call Me by Your Name Darkest Hour Dunkirk Get Out Lady Bird Phantom Thread The Post The Shape of Water Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri BREAKING: The #Oscar for Best Picture goes to “The Shape of Water.” https://t.co/KyJELjJlTS #Oscars pic.twitter.com/VncaRPrsXU — ABC News (@ABC) March 5, 2018 During the Cold War era in Baltimore in 1962, lonely and mute Elisa (Sally Hawkins) works as a cleaning lady in a high-security government laboratory. Her life forever alters when she and co-worker Zelda (Octavia Spencer) discover a secret project where a mythical humanoid amphibian, living underwater, was held captive, experimented on and then tortured. With the help of Zelda and Giles (Richard Jenkins), Elisa rescues the creature to her own home against life-threatening odds. As the two forms a deeper bond, a romance that transcends race and species unfolds. Director Guillermo del Toro​ dedicates his Best Picture Oscar for 'The Shape of Water' to 'every young filmmaker.' "This is a door, kick it open and come in." #Oscars A post shared by ABC News (@abcnews) on Mar 4, 2018 at 9:05pm PST Lead Actor: Timothée Chalamet, Call Me by Your Name Daniel Day-Lewis, Phantom Thread Daniel Kaluuya, Get Out Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour Denzel Washington, Roman J. Israel, Esq. Gary Oldman thanks his 98-year-old mother. "Thank you for your love and support. Put the kettle on. I'm bringing Oscar home." https://t.co/lJd891ISOk #Oscars pic.twitter.com/N3HLidEb0t — ABC News (@ABC) March 5, 2018 Lead Actress: Sally Hawkins, The Shape of Water Frances McDormand, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri …

Culture & Leisure

Oscars 2018: are there any colours other than white and black?

Nominating only actors of European descent in the lead and supporting categories in 2015 and 2016, the Academy Awards were accused over the past few years of being too "white" and have received years of backfire and boycotts. Even the host Jimmy Kimmel made fun of that "whiter than white" phenomenon at last year's presentation. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences then became rivetingly diverse last year, aiming to escape from the #OscarsSoWhite scandal with seven nominations of coloured actors; Moonlight also won Best Picture although its way towards the trophy was a downright blooper because it got mixed up with La La Land. 90 years ago, this was the first joke ever told at the #Oscars! pic.twitter.com/NWP8F6dYl3 — ABC Network (@ABCNetwork) March 5, 2018 Its board of governors also approved in a unanimous vote on January 18 this year to alter its membership composition for the sake of increasing its diversity, committing to doubling the number of female and minority Oscars voters by 2020. And thanks to the spectacular performances of Daniel Kaluuya (Get Out), Denzel Washington (Roman J. Israel, Esq.),  Mary J. Blige (Mudbound), Octavia Spencer (The Shape of Water) and the nomination of Mudbound, the Academy Awards seem to have succeeded in getting rid of being #OscarsSoWhite this time. Unfortunately, it seems that there is still a lack of some oriental tenor in the nominations. Asians have been denied altogether of any nomination of main acting categories. Lebanon's The Insult, directed by cinematographer Ziad Doueiri, nominated for Best Foreign Language Film, is imbued with the most noticeable sense of "eastern" ambience. This Near Eastern drama has earned a "certified fresh" with an approval rating of 88% based on 69 reviews from review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes and an audience score of 92%. "The Insult uses its familiar …

Culture & Leisure

Oscars 2018: TYR's Picks and what we expect from the ceremony

The 90th Academy Awards are just a few hours away. As the people of Hollywood get prepared for their big night. Much like the previous years, there are many speculations as to what people will wear, what the host, Jimmy Kimmel, will be saying, what topics would be mentioned during acceptance speeches, and most of all, who will be the winners. While we will have to wait until 5 pm PST on Sunday, March 4 (9 am HKT on Monday, March 5), editors Angie Chan and Ezra Cheung sat down with The Young Reporter's Editor-in-Chief Holly Chik and discussed the upcoming Oscars, before their live-streams on Facebook during the event. A: Angie Chan       E: Ezra Cheung       H: Holly Chik H: What makes the 90th Academy Awards so significant? E: I think it's fairly important because the ceremony is held amidst the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements, electrifying the whole American film industry. I am very curious about what one of the nominees, Meryl Streep, will say during the presentation (given she wins the Best Actress in a Leading Role). And besides, I did go to pretty much all of the films nominated. The race is fairly competitive and I am looking forward to (the announcement of) the winners. A: Well, it's the 90th Academy Awards, the number itself makes it significant. *laughs* I think with so much happening in Hollywood, it would be hard for the celebs not to be political one way or the other, and I think how they represent their stance will be what makes this year extra significant 'cause what these important figures of the entertainment industry say will easily determine the general public's view. And I think seeing Jimmy Kimmel a second time would be quite interesting as well considering his kind of awkward …

Health & Environment

Flexitarian: an easy way to go green

  • The Young Reporter
  • By: Sharon Pun、Candice WongEdited by: Richelia Yeung、Ellen He
  • 2017-11-21

To become a flexible vegetarian in Hong Kong "I'd like to have the Pesto Chicken Salad, but please take away the chicken," said Ms. Chan at a bakery cafe. Her friend surprisingly asked her, "What? You're taking away the best part of the dish!" This is a situation often encountered by Chan Wun, but her diet habit is different from that of traditional "vegetarians". She is a member of a rising group, "flexitarians", a combination of "flexible" and "vegetarians". The number of flexitarians rose from 5% in 2008 to 22% in 2016, while vegetarians only account for 3% of Hong Kong's population. Up till 2017, over 1,000 restaurants in Hong Kong have joined an initiative programme to offer vegetarian-friendly menus, according to a social startup, Green Monday. "In order to lose weight, I had become a vegetarian for around two months during high school," said Ms. Chan, an 18-year-old university student. She had no choice but to constantly ordered Indian curry since it was the only vegetarian choice at school. Things become more difficult during family gatherings. When Ms. Chan's mother cooks vegetarian meals for her non-vegetarian father and brother often complain that the meals lacked protein. "It is difficult to avoid eating meat especially when we are living in Chinese culture where specific cuisines and dishes will be offered during celebratory events and festivals," said Ms. Chan. "Then I decided to quit because of inconvenience, time cost and expense." Instead of being a strict vegetarian, she opted for a flexitarian-style diet. In fact, the problem was not faced just by Ms. Chan when she was a vegetarian. To Hiu-yan, 20, a university student who has been a vegetarian for two years, said that the once-athlete started this eating habit to keep fit.   Ms. To said she faced limited …

Culture & Leisure

Hip-hop geeks leap forward with local rap battles

  • The Young Reporter
  • By: Daisy Lee、Jianne SorianoEdited by: Daisy Lee、Jianne Soriano
  • 2017-10-26

At eleven o'clock on Saturday night, when it's past bedtime for the city, the nightlife hub in Hong Kong's Lan Kwai Fong just kicked off its day. Standing at the entrance of an underground club, Hector "SCF-SAiNT" Telmo, in a plain black t-shirt with the words "Straight Outta Home Kong" was busily distributing leaflets for his hip-hop show held later night. Unlike others, he's looking for the chance to break the deadlock of hip-hop on the 'cultural desert' by organising regular rap battles in Central hipster clubs. Straight Outta Home Kong is a underground music project co-founded by two non-Chinese rappers, Telmo and Mohit "DJ Mojito" Kailandasani. Telmo has been stuck for a while in developing his career as a rapper. "Nobody opened the doors for us, nobody gave us opportunities. We felt like outcasts, so our mission was 'how do we bridge the gap, how do we connect, how we get to work with them,'" he said. Though the road to success is not as simple as he expected, the 25-year-old didn't stop. Instead, he started searching for way-out for his fellows—to connect Cantonese, English and Tagalog rappers, who were also looking for a place in the hip-hop industry for a long time. "Now that there's a platform, an opportunity and the fact that the younger generation can see this...at least they have something to look up to, especially on the ethnic minority side," he added. Invited by Telmo, Eric "Heartgrey" So, a Hong Kong beatboxer who debuted about 10 years ago, sees hip-hop battles held in bars as a chance 'to show [their] passion and energy to the local people'. "It's already hard to do music in Hong Kong so if there's a platform...why don't you perform and participate?" Describing the times when he was still starting as …

Culture & Leisure

How Chinese treats hungry ghosts

Commonly known as the Chinese Halloween, the Hungry Ghost Festival falls on the 14th of the seventh lunar month. This year, a Chinese community organisation held the third Hungry Ghost Festival exhibition in Victoria Park from 1 to 3 September. Watch the video to know more about the customs and traditions of the festival and visitors' view about the event. Reported by Holly Chik and Michelle Ng Video edited by Angela Cheung