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Hong Kong’s first major exhibition for graffiti and street art

  • By: Yuhan WANG、Juncong SHUAIEdited by: Noah Tsang
  • 2023-03-22

 “City as Studio” is China’s first significant graffiti and street art exhibition. The exhibition showcases over 100 pieces of artwork by more than 30 artists, including Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring, and FUTURA. It is held at K11 Art & Cultural Centre from Mar. 20 to May. 14. This video has been updated on 26/3/2023.


Tolls for two Hong Kong cross-harbour tunnels will increase to HK$30 from August 2, charges for Western Tunnel will decrease to HK$60

  • By: Kei Tung LAMEdited by: Ming Min AW YONG
  • 2023-03-22

To alleviate long-standing traffic flow issues, the Hong Kong government proposed a new toll plan for three cross-harbour tunnels in two stages.  Chan Sai-hung, the Secretary for Transport and Logistics, said that under the first stage, starting from August 2, tolls for private cars using the Western Harbour Crossing will be lowered from HK$75 to HK$60. Also, the tolls for the Cross-Harbour Tunnel and the Eastern Harbour Crossing will be increased from HK$20 to HK$30 and from HK$25 to HK$30, respectively.  Taxi fares will be standardized at HK$25 per trip for all three tunnels to discourage empty taxis from concentrating on lower-priced return trips through the Cross-Harbour and Eastern Harbour Crossings. "The lower toll rate for the Western Harbour Tunnel would encourage me to use it more often," Chan, a private car driver, said. He said that the higher toll rates for the other tunnels could help distribute traffic evenly across all three tunnels. However, not all drivers are happy with the proposed changes. Sze, a private car driver and a frequent user of the Eastern Harbour Tunnel, said that the toll increase would add to his monthly expenses. "The new charges are just a disguised increase in fares," he said. Under the proposed second stage, which is expected to start latest by the end of this year, the government plans to implement different charging schemes for different time periods.  During "non-peak hours", 7 pm to 7.30 am,  from Monday to Saturday nights, the three tunnels will charge a flat rate of HK$20 for private cars. In the morning and evening "peak hours", the fee is HK$60 for the Western Harbour Tunnel and HK$40 for the Cross-Harbour and Eastern Harbour Crossings.  On Sundays and public holidays, private cars will be charged at a flat rate of HK$20 to HK$25, depending …


Hong Kong blooms in joy as annual flower show returns after three-year hiatus

  • By: James Ezekiel Kalaw MODESTOEdited by: Tsz Yin HO
  • 2023-03-20

As the city welcomes spring, swarms of people flocked to Victoria Park to celebrate the return of the annual Hong Kong Flower Show in Causeway Bay. The event has been cancelled since 2020 due to the safety concerns over the virus. This year’s theme was “Bliss on Bloom”, featuring 40,000 hydrangeas as the theme flower, along with some 400,000 flowers, according to the LCSD. Accompanying the flowers were attractions built by several government departments and the 18 district councils, along with other organisations, including the Philippine Consulate-General and the Guangzhou local government. The returning Hong Kong Flower Show garnered hundreds of people, including families, schools and tour groups. The 2023 Hong Kong Flower Show started on Mar. 10 and ended on Mar. 19.  


Michelle Yeoh creates Asian women’s history with Oscar

  • By: Yuqi CHU、Yuhan WANGEdited by: Chengqi MO
  • 2023-03-14

  An 84-year-old woman sat in a theatre in Malaysia to watch the Oscars ceremony broadcast live on the big screen with tears in her eyes. On the screen, her 60-year-old daughter, Michelle Yeoh Choo-kheng held the Oscar and gave an acceptance speech at the 95th Academy Awards ceremony in Los Angeles. "For all the little boys and girls who look like me watching tonight, this is a beacon of hope and possibilities. This is proof that dreams dream big and dreams do come true,” Yeoh said, “and ladies, don't let anyone ever tell you you're past your prime.” Andy Vermaut shares:Oscars 2023: Michelle Yeoh's mum in tears as she celebrates historic victory: Michelle Yeoh becomes the first Asian woman to win the Academy Award for best actress. Thank you — Andy Vermaut (@AndyVermaut) March 13, 2023 Yeoh’s mother cried for joy for her proud daughter winning the Oscar for best actress Malaysian-born Yeoh became the first actor of Asian descent to win the Academy Award for Best Actress for the action comedy Everything Everywhere All at Once, witnessed by the whole world at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood on Sunday night. The film tells the story of a middle-aged immigrant woman facing the problems of family and mid-life crisis while living a multiverse life. Yeoh has already won several awards for her performance in the movie, including a Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Award a few months ago. The film also took best picture, best supporting actor and actress at the Oscars. Yeoh expressed thanks especially to the Hong Kong film industry, which is the cradle of her acting career.  Everything Everywhere All at Once — The Cinegogue (@TheCinegogue) March 8, 2023 Stage photo in the movie Everything Everywhere All at Once “To my extended …


The 47th Hong Kong International Film Festival will open with Mad Fate and Elegies

  • By: Juncong SHUAI、Junzhe JIANG、Yuhan WANGEdited by: Wisha LIMBU
  • 2023-03-11

The 47th Hong Kong International Film Festival is set to open on Mar 30 in person after a year of postponement with two movie premieres, Mad Fate and Elegies as the curtain-raiser.  HKIFF47 is also in the “Hello Hong Kong” campaign from the government as an effort to rejuvenate the tourism industry after the pandemic. Hong Kong actor Aaron Kwok Fu-ching, ambassador for both the Hong Kong International Film Festival and was not able to attend the press conference on Friday. Directed by Cheang Pou-soi, Mad Fate is a noir thriller telling the story of a neurologist who attempts to change a delivery man's desire to kill while discussing the relationship between fate and instinct. Elegies is a lyrical documentary by Ann Hui On-wah portraying the landscapes of contemporary local poetry and showing the different personalities of those poets. The two movie premieres will open HKIFF47 at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre while Louis Koo Tin-lok’s Vital Sign will wrap up the festival on Apr 10.  Wilfred Wong Yin-wai, the chairman of the Film Society, hopes that people from every industry would support the festival after the pandemic hampered Hong Kong movies from reaching overseas markets. “Hong Kong International Film Festival will act as a torch passing from generations to generations to revitalise Hong Kong’s film industry,” Wong said in the press conference. Soi Cheang will be the “Filmmaker-in-Focus” of the festival this year, he brought along his latest movie Mad Fate which was shown in the special screening unit at the 73rd Berlin International Film Festival.  Twelve works of Soi Cheang will be retrospected in the festival, featuring the aesthetic of violence with his strong personal style. Meanwhile, a series of products including special edition magazines will be published which the audience will be able to purchase whereas VIP …


ChatGPT should be encouraged in schools, says experts

  • By: Jemima BadajosEdited by: KOO Chi Tung 顧知桐
  • 2023-03-09

Executives from local universities expressed their support towards the use of AI technologies in assignments at an AI summit, following a temporary ban on ChatGPT due to considerations of academic plagiarism in Hong Kong universities. The  “Artificial-Human-Centred Summit” held at Hong Kong Baptist University on Monday, had academics gathered from different disciplines, including computer science, data science and communication. “ChatGPT can perform extremely well if you ask the right question,” said Guo Yike, Provost of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. Guo supported the use of AI in education and called for funding to help teachers re-design lesson syllabus.  He suggested rather than doing an answer-based assessment, teachers can check the quality of questions prompted into ChatGPT. “Getting the right answer will deduct much less intelligence than asking the right question,” he said. Martin Wong Ding-fat, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering at the Chinese University of Hong Kong also believes that ChatGPT can be beneficial to students. “ChatGPT allows students to work on projects that are bigger because the smaller units are already available,” said Wong. ChatGPT, a free AI chatbot developed by research and deployment company OpenAI, works by providing detailed responses to user prompts. It is currently used as a feedback tool to create safe and appropriate AI systems. Hong Kong has invested in artificial intelligence in recent years, such as introducing an AI learning module in secondary schools and setting up an ethical framework for AI and big data analytics. In the Budget Address this year, Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-Po also announced the launch of a feasibility study for a potential AI Supercomputing Centre, which will be completed in 2023-2024. But the audience at the Summit also expressed concerns about the regulation of AI and whether it will overtake human beings.  “The more …


Young children adjusts to “new normal” after mask mandate ends

  • By: Jemima BadajosEdited by: Ming Min AW YONG
  • 2023-03-04

The end of mask mandates on Wednesday brings hopes to improve children’s psychological development, as the COVID-19 pandemic caused a rise in speech problems and emotional recognition in children. The removal of mask requirements was announced by Chief Executive John Lee-Ka Chiu on Wednesday due to the “trend (of COVID-19 cases) and the fact that the winter surge (of influenza)” is ending.  “We are starting to resume to normalcy comprehensively, and that will be very beneficial to economic development, our international competitiveness as well as our activities which involve everyone in Hong Kong,” he said. Mask-wearing had especially impacted the speech development and facial perception of children.  The number of children under 12 newly diagnosed with speech and language development problems grew by 25% from 2019 pre-pandemic to 2021, according to the Department of Health. Phoebe Ber, 26, a teacher at Tiny Talent Professional English Learning Centre, says that mask-wearing had raised difficulties during the pandemic in learning pronunciation, especially for similar-sounding vowels M and N. Teachers also had to exaggerate their emotions more with their eyes and voices. “(The mask mandate) is a good thing because not only it helps the younger kids to see facial expressions, they also get to see the mouth movements and as well as improve what they need to improve,” said Ber.  “Especially the kids who were born in 2019, who the moment they knew the world, they've just worn masks the entire time,” she said.  Mask-wearing has also shown a decrease in holistic processing and facial processing abilities in children, according to a scientific study done in 2022. Participants who took the Cambridge Face Memory Test had about a 20% decrease in scores when asked to remember faces with masks compared to faces without them. Faith Wong, 32, is the mother of a …


Hong Kong’s mask mandate lifted after almost three years

  • By: Tsz Yin HOEdited by: Ming Min AW YONG
  • 2023-03-01

Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu has announced scrapping the COVID-19 mask mandate starting today. The lift came into effect and Hongkongers and tourists are free to not wear masks on public transport, public indoor and outdoor areas and all scheduled premises, without fines. Hong Kong is believed to be the last place on the planet to end the mask-wearing mandate according to Lee. The mask mandate has lasted for 959 days. “In order to give people a very clear message that Hong Kong is resuming to normalcy, I think this is the right time to make this decision,” said Lee. The majority of people in the city are still wearing masks, especially in crowded areas such as public transport and commercial districts. “The demand for masks will still remain in the short run,” said Zita Cheung, a salesperson at a mask shop. She said that the business of her shop is significantly worse today, as very few customers visited. Currently, her shop is providing discounts for clearance sales and the shop is no longer restocking masks. However, mask-wearing is still required for entering venues regarded as high risk, according to Lee, including medical facilities, residential care and elderly homes. The government also suggests that people with weak immunity or chronic diseases should also wear a mask. Hong Kong has axed several other major controls in recent months, including mandatory quarantine for all arrivals, social distancing and vaccine requirements.


Hong Kong echoes the country’s honour for former Chinese leader Jiang Zemin

Hong Kong expressed sorrow over the death of former Chinese president Jiang Zemin with a three-minute silence while live streaming Beijing’s memorial service in the Great Hall of the People at 10 am Tuesday. The city’s 18 district offices live broadcasted the memorial service to the public for residents to mourn Jiang. “The whole party, the entire military and the Chinese people of all ethnic groups mourn the loss of such a great man,” said current Chinese leader Xi Jinping at the state’s farewell event. “Comrade Jiang Zemin was a great Marxist, a great proletarian revolutionary, statesman, military strategist, diplomat and a long-tested communist fighter," he added. “The death of President Jiang is an immeasurable loss to our country,” said chief executive John Lee Ka-chiu on Facebook today. Outside the main entrance of the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government on Tuesday morning, around twenty police officers were on guard near wreaths and a pile of white flowers dedicated to the former president. Some passersby stopped to take photos of the flower dedications and paid respect with bows to the picture of the late leader. “It’s a kind of respect,” said Win Hung, 78, “he (Jiang) had great achievements.” Hung brought his friend from the mainland to observe the scene after bowing in front of the former head of state’s portrait. “(Former) president Jiang has done a lot for our country,” said Yeung Kuen, 48, a businesswoman who also came with her friends to express their condolences outside the Liaison Office. A Hong Kong Polytechnic University postgraduate Teng Zihan, 23, held a white chrysanthemum, representing grief for the dead in Chinese culture, and bowed with his friend to honour the paramount leader. The Liaison Office in Hong Kong closed the mourning hall on Monday at 5:30 pm with prior …


Hong Kong losing power to retain mainland students after graduation

Yang Yuhe will graduate with a bachelor’s degree in advertising from Hong Kong Baptist University in 2024, but she has no plans to stay. From Hubei Province in mainland China, she moved to Hong Kong to attend university in 2020. Yang said she plans to go to the United States for graduate school as soon as possible. “The housing here is oppressive, and I would not need to withstand it in the mainland or the US,” she said. “Besides, universities in the US can give me more and better internship opportunities with a higher salary.” Like Yang, more mainland students are coming to Hong Kong to study but fewer are staying after graduation. Students and experts say the reason for mainland graduates leaving Hong Kong is a weakened labour market and unaffordable housing prices. In 2020, the government issued 31,123 student visas to mainland students, an increase of 68% from 2015. But in the same year, 6,125, fewer than 20%, applied for an IANG visa, the work visa available to non-local students who graduate from accredited programmes in Hong Kong. This is down from a peak of close to 10,000 IANG applicants in 2019. Even fewer are applying for permanent residency, available after seven years of continuous employment in the territory. In 2019, immigration data showed that 3,117 were granted permanent residency under the IANG program, meaning around 10% of mainland students educated in Hong Kong end up making the city their home. “Mainland students are the bridge between the mainland and Hong Kong in business and many other fields. Their increasing leave means loss of connections,” said Kaxton Siu, a professor of social sciences at HKBU who has mentored students from the mainland for nearly eight years. “The number of mainland students leaving Hong Kong has increased because of …