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M+ museum reopened after a three-month closure

The M+ museum reopened on Thursday as the social distancing restraints relaxed. Residents visited the museum after the Tiananmen satires had been replaced with new installations.

People

How NFTs are transforming the art market in Hong Kong and mainland China

In a Sotheby's auction exhibition in Hong Kong last October, 32 film props used by Hong Kong's legendary film director Wong Kar-wai were displayed in a dimly lighted gallery. Items soon to be auctioned off included a mustard-yellow leather jacket worn by actor Leslie Cheung in the movie Happy Together and a poster with Wong’s autograph. But the surprise, and the star, of the exhibition was clip of Wong’s first NFT video. The complete 91-second video has never been seen except for Wong. It is a behind-the-scenes footage taken from the first day of shooting In the Mood for Love. It features both lead actors warming up before they fully immersed in their characters. “This is the most significant NFT artwork in this auction season,” Kwok Tung-kit, Head of Modern Art at Sotheby's Asia, said. “The highest bidder will become the exclusive owner.” Non-fungible tokens, called NFTs, are digital tokens that can be attached to digital files, such as art, that allow sale and ownership. The technology is based on blockchain, similar to cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. Though mainland Chinese authorities are skeptical of digital assets and have treated them as a threat to financial stability, Hong Kong and mainland China are both becoming regional hubs for this new type of investment. In July this year, Tsang Yit-zee, a 23-year-old Hong Kong student, purchased a non-fungible token for an artwork called Bored Ape Yacht Club. She didn’t know at the time that this portrait of a cartoon ape would become one of the world’s most sought-after digital artifacts. Four months later, the price climbed to more than US$260,000 (HK$2 million), more than 30 times what Tsang paid for it. “It is like gold-rush,” Tsang said. Bored Ape Yacht Club was founded by four anonymous developers under the name Yuga Labs. …

Culture & Leisure

Cancellation of Lam Tsuen Well-wishing Festival under Covid-19

Covid forces cancellation of the Lam Tsuen Well-wishing Festival for a second year. Well-wishing Square is closed for the first 15 days of Lunar New Year.

Photo Essay

Chinese New Year in Singapore’s Chinatown under COVID

Chinese New Year is approaching. In Singapore, Chinatown is bedecked with festive light displays and colorful lanterns. It also serves as a shopping centre where Singaporians prepare for the new year. However, the celebration is subjected to COVID-19 restrictions, including group gatherings of a maximum of five people and five guests at home. Religious ceremonies are also forbidden. “We will be celebrating this Chinese New Year during the pandemic again, but what matters is the spirit of this joyous occasion,” Lee Hsien-loong, Prime Minister of Singapore, said in his Facebook account on Jan. 24.

Society

Students learn together on Instagram as Covid-19 gets worse

The candidates of 2022 Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education maintain their burning ambition to study by posting under #2022dsestudygram, a trending hashtag that has gained over 6,000 posts on Instagram. “Studygram makes me more concentrated on my studies during the class suspension period when I see how hard others study though their Studygram,” said Cindy Lam Pui-yin, a DSE candidate taking Physics and Economics as elective subjects, on top of the four compulsory subjects including Chinese, English, Mathematics and Liberal Studies.   “The future depends on what you do today,” is one of the inspiring quotes captured by the student-managed Studygrams, where pupils keep a record of their study progress in Instagram accounts, to encourage peers amid class suspension due to rapid spread of Covid-19. The Education Bureau announced that all schools must hold classes online only on Jan.20, but schools can arrange in-person half-day lessons for form six students to prepare for the final examinations. Examinations and student activities in other levels should halt and postpone, according to the announcement. Although online lessons save travelling time and give students more autonomy in learning, Lam worries that the sudden amendment will affect her performance in the public exam.  “We haven’t been taught the full curriculum for some elective subjects yet, and the class suspension is having an impact on my preparation for the public exam,” said Lam.  Michelle Lam, also a candidate for the examination, owns a studygram with over 700 followers, said that online teaching always distracts her from focusing on the lessons.  “I don’t dare to relax when I see so many people study hard even though the in-person classes are suspended,” Lam said.  The 2022 DSE will start on Apr. 22 while the class suspension lasts until Chinese New Year holidays.

Culture & Leisure

“Cinema for the Climate”: Environmental Crisis through Camera Lens

The Hong Kong French Film Festival collaborated with Greenpeace East Asia to hold a special movie screening of Animal and a roundtable discussion today.  Dr. Benoit Guenard and Dr. Janet Chan from the University of Hong Kong were invited to the roundtable discussion with the students. Students raised questions on multiple environmental issues and discussed solutions to alleviate the problems. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the HKFFF, the movie screening was held in Hong Kong City Hall. The HKFFF aims at promoting public engagement in creating positive impacts on the community and raising the public’s awareness of the environmental crisis. To achieve this, the HKFFF has curated a new series of movie screenings from today to 14 December, named “Cinema for the Climate”, taking the opportunity to connect with youngsters through this outreach programme. Tom Ng, Campaigner of Greenpeace, said this cooperation is a valuable opportunity to raise awareness among youngsters.  “Through this cooperation with the HKFFF, we would like more people, especially the younger generation, to be aware of environmental issues such as climate change and water resources,” he said.  There are a total of 170 students from more than 10 faculties from different educational institutions, including the University of Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Baptist University,  the Education University of Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts and the French International School. University students mainly come from the “French language", "Film and TV Directing" discipline who are interested in French culture and cinema. Directed by Cyril Dion, “Animal” is part of the “Cinema for the Climate” selection in this year’s edition of the Cannes film festival.  The film is about young campaigners and their stories of travelling around the world to search for another way of living alongside other species, as co-habitants rather than predators. …

Society

HK Philharmonic Swire Symphony Under The Stars back in-person after 2 year hiatus

The Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra returned to the Central harbourfront on Saturday for its annual Swire Symphony Under The Stars, after being moved online last year because of the pandemic and cancelled in 2019 because of pro-democracy protests.  The orchestra presented an exuberant programme of classical dance music with four philharmonic musicians performing as soloists: violist Andrew Ling and trumpeters Christopher Moyse, Douglas Waterston and Robert Smith.  "This year's event is very exciting because all the pieces are classical dance pieces," host Harry Wong said in his opening remarks.  Hong Kong conductor Wilson Ng led the concert after music director Jaap van Zweden was denied a quarantine waiver by the Hong Kong government. All of his remaining 2021 appearances have been cancelled. About 12,000 people attended the concert live at the Central harbourfront on Saturday night and around 2,000 attended the live screening at the West Kowloon Art Park, Wong said at the concert.  "It's a very artistic weekend in West Kowloon as the concert also coincides with the opening of the M+ museum of visual culture and other events," said Paul Tam, executive director of performing arts at the West Kowloon Cultural District.  "West Kowloon is not just an entertainment hub, also for civic engagement, you actually enjoy both inside and outside and it's pet-friendly.” "It's good that the event is free and it is socially distanced to give people access to the orchestra," said Marcus Scarlett, who watched the live screening of the concert from the Art Park. "It's really nice that the host engaged the audience to be involved in the dance music," said Vanessa Kwan, who also attended the live screening at the Art Park.  The concert was also shown online via Zoom and live streamed on  the philharmonic website, official Facebook page and YouTube channel.  …

Culture & Leisure

Premier League Opening: Kitchee 1-0 Eastern

In the opening game of the 2021/22 Hong Kong Premier League on Saturday afternoon, Kitchee, the champion of last season, beat the Eastern by one goal at the Mong Kok Stadium. In the 14th minute, Gavilán, No. 11 of Kitchee, used a made-up shot to score, which made his team win. Under the current COVID-19 prevention policy, the stadium can only accommodate up to 4,800 spectators, compared to 6,664 before the pandemic. 3,163 people came to watch today’s opening battle, reaching 65% of the maximum capacity.  “The fans here are very enthusiastic. I've never been so close to the players in the game,” said Wang Jida, a university student who came to watch the competition for the first time. The opening game is the focus of the league as the two teams were the champions and runners-up last season. Kitchee got 37 points last season to win the title while Eastern got 34 points, only one victory from the championship. Last time the two teams met in the League, Kitchee defeated Eastern 2-0, which directly led to the latter ranking second with a victory gap. This time they still cannot get a result of victory. The competition rules of this season are the same as last season. The eight teams will play in three cycles. After the first two cycles, the top four in the tables enter the “Championship group” to compete for the title in the last cycle, while the remaining four teams enter the “Challenge group”, in which they need to avoid ranking the last and being regulated. HK FC and HK U23 have newly joined the Premier League this season. The returning teams are Kitchee, Eastern, Lee Man, Southern District RSA, Tai Chung, and HK Rangers.  “This year's champion will probably still be Kitchee. Only Eastern and …

Culture & Leisure

Asian contemporary art gallery holds exhibition "Prism" to celebrate 3-year anniversary and promote Eastern art

  Soluna Fine Arts, an Asian contemporary art gallery with deep roots in South Korea, located in Sheng Wan, hosted a month-long exhibition themed “PRISM” from September to October to celebrate its three-year anniversary. Prism - an optical term - is a piece of glass or transparent material cut with precise angles to reflect or disperse a beam of light, forming a rainbow. It symbolises ways people used to see things with respective judgements and prejudices, the organiser said, as they filter facts and live under their own spectrum. The exhibition displayed 36 pieces of artwork produced by sixteen South Korean artists and one Hong Kong artist collaboratively. One of the exhibits was “Buncheong Tiger” - a pair of classical Korean pottery of white slip and transparent glazes covered with dark stones - crafted by artist Huh Sang-wook. Agnes Wy Ching-yi, the gallery operation manager, said the exhibition aimed to promote Asian contemporary art with its items representing a diversity of cultures and styles across countries. “Many people have known us as an art organisation with a lot of Korean artists, but we are starting to represent and excavate Hong Kong artists as well,” she said. “PRISM” was a milestone to the gallery as for the first time it launched an exhibition on its anniversary, she said, and it gave artists a platform to reflect on their work over the years. Over 500 visitors attended the exhibition, said gallery assistant Hannah Lee. It was open to the public for free. “Since we have to display the artworks from 17 artists in our gallery which is not very spacious, the balance of exposure gained by every single artwork is one of our concerns,” Wu said, speaking of the challenges her team faced in running the exhibition. They had to thus switch …

Culture & Leisure

Wong Tai sin temple Lantern festival fair reopens after a one-year suspension

The lantern carnival and temple fair in Sik Sik Yuen Wong Tai Sin Temple embraced the peak of visitors on the Mid-Autumn Festival, celebrating the temple’s centenary at the same time. Due to the overwhelming number of visitors, the opening time of the fair was shortened for an hour and a half. Citizens reveal satisfaction as well as complaints about the arrangement.