Hong Kong Week — a cultural exchange program that hails from the Pearl of the Orient — unfolds today in Taipei with the theme Legacies and Innovations (傳承與創新), and features dance, classical music performances and four free exhibitions of fashion, contemporary art, comic art and design.
In its second year, the Hong Kong government-sponsored endeavor hopes to entice the Taiwanese public to “better understand and appreciate Hong Kong’s cultural diversity and dynamics,” said John Leung (梁志仁), director of the Taipei-based Hong Kong Economic, Trade and Cultural Office (HKETCO, 香港經濟貿易文化辦事處), which co-organized the event with the Hong Kong-Taiwan Cultural Cooperation Committee (港台文化合作委員會).
“I think Taiwanese have some understanding of Hong Kong, especially those who engage in the art and culture sectors. The general public, however, probably doesn’t,” Leung told the Taipei Times in a phone interview on Tuesday.
Starting today at Eslite Bookstore’s Xinyi branch (信義誠品), A Century of Fashion: Hong Kong Cheongsam Story (百年時尚：香港長衫故事) will showcase an extensive collection of cheongsams — traditional Chinese one-piece dresses that are tight-fitting — from the late Qing Dynasty through the early Republican period to the present day.
Cheongsams belonging to celebrities such as the late Linda Lin Dai (林黛), a Hong Kong actress popular during the 1950s and 1960s, will be on display. The show will also exhibit a replica cheongsam worn by actress Michelle Yeoh (楊紫瓊) at the 55th Cannes International Film Festival in 2002.
A Cheongsam fashion show kicks off the exhibition this afternoon at The Library on the sixth floor of Eslite, and features over 40 contemporary cheongsams by fashion designers from Hong Kong and Taiwan.
This edition of Hong Kong Week offers more exhibitions and fewer performance art shows than last year’s program. Additionally, this year’s program offers meet-the-artist sessions and workshops to the general public.
For example, Hong Kong Dance Company will have a meet-the-artist session before staging Spring Ritual — Eulogy (蘭亭‧祭姪), which will be followed by an after-show talk. Spring Ritual — Eulogy uses classical dance and traditional Chinese music to interpret masterpieces by calligraphy masters Wang Xizhi (王羲之) and Yan Zhenqing (顏真卿), as well as their literati ideals.
“We worked with the National Palace Museum to arrange the activities, since the calligraphy masterpieces are exhibited in the museum,” said Leung.
This year, organizers will extend select Hong Kong Week programs. The exhibition A Parallel Tale: Taipei in 80s x Hong Kong in the 90s, for example, will show works by 10 comic artists from Hong Kong and Taiwan. It runs until February.
Meanwhile, Taiwan Month (台灣月) began its eighth edition earlier this month in Hong Kong.
“Taiwan Month has a longer tradition in Hong Kong. But we also see Hong Kong Week as a long-term commitment, and we are trying to build up the brand,” Leung said, adding that the organizers have started planning for next year’s show.
For complete details in English and Chinese, visit www.hongkongweek-taiwan.hk/eng