All posts filed under: Profiles

Bouie Choi Yuk Kuen 蔡鈺娟

By John Batten / Bouie Choi Yuk Kuen reminded me that we first met when she and fellow Chinese University of Hong Kong fine arts students were invited to use empty units of the former Police Married Quarters in 2008 to show their work before its closure for renovation into PMQ. This was a touching memory; the battle to save the historic PMQ was one of many campaigns to save Central Hong Kong’s heritage buildings in which I was involved. After its closure as residential quarters for the police, the PMQ units were decrepit and had seen no paint or repair for decades: perfect for artists to use and fill with sound, lights, videos and found objects for their installations – or, as Choi did, hang paintings on dusty walls of ripped wallpaper. Hong Kong’s old colonial city also plays an underpinning role in Choi’s recent work, the physical remains of the past under attack. After Choi’s early experiences with the unrenovated PMQ, and later seeing that site and its modernist buildings conserved, she was a community worker …

Tobe Kan Kiu Sin 簡喬倩

By John Batten / Tobe Kan Kiu Sin graduated from the Hong Kong Art School/RMIT University with a fine arts degree in 2017. It was a fortuitous education: she had previously applied to but was not accepted into Hong Kong’s two other established fine arts undergraduate programmes, at The Chinese University of Hong Kong and Hong Kong Baptist University’s Academy of Visual Arts. Undoubtedly, the art school’s programme was more suitable for her. Kan’s fellow students were not all fresh secondary school graduates, but similar to her: a bit more mature – she was born in 1984 – with some work experience and a thoughtful commitment to the self-financed study of visual art. Initially enrolled in the sculpture stream of the course, she immediately moved to painting, where her mentors included Art School teacher and artist Ivy Ma and alumni artist Carol Lee Mei Kuen, with Lee curating Kan’s first solo exhibition, Peck-eyes Ravens, at the studio of CL3 Architects in 2018. Kan grew up in Hong Kong’s Fanling and Kwun Tong districts and went to a “nice, not competitive” …

Onnie Chan 陳安然

By Richard Lord / No one’s route into as niche and demanding a field as immersive theatre is a straightforward one. But for Onnie Chan, founder and artistic director of Banana Effect, Hong Kong’s first immersive theatre company, hers has particularly deep roots. “My father died when I was very young,” she says. “It made me a bit disconnected from people, and kind of confused about my own identity. When I was about nine or 10 years old, I realised I could get connected with the world again through drama.” That search for connection, she adds, has powered her entire career. “That word is very important throughout my theatre journey. Through acting, I thought I could connect with people around me.” It eventually led her to apply for the acting course at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts behind her mother’s back, and after five years of study, she was offered a full-time job by the Hong Kong Repetory Theatre. It was her dream come true – but something was missing. “A big theatre company is like a corporation; everything …