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The HKAC 40th Anniversary flagship exhibition
Wan Chai Grammatica: Past, Present, Future Tense

Date & Time:
30/09/2018 - 04/11/2018  From 10:00 am to 8:00 pm

Culminating in its 40th year celebrations,The Hong Kong Arts Centre(HKAC) is delighted to present Wan Chai Grammatica: Past, Present, Future Tense, an exhibition that explores and celebrates Hong Kong’s cultural and artistic identity as seen through the lens of one of Hong Kong’s most iconic city districts, Wan Chai. Curated by guest curator Valerie C. Doran and the HKAC curatorial team, the exhibition will be held at Pao Galleries, HKAC from Sunday 30 September to Sunday 4 November 2018.
 “Since its foundation 40 years ago, the Hong Kong Arts Centre has fostered artistic exchange, forging connections between the arts of Hong Kong and the rest of the world through a wide range of programmes and collaborations. Wan Chai Grammatica: Past, Present, Future Tense is both a continuation and celebration of that heritage, and presents a new perspective that forms urban cultural identities,” says Connie Lam, Executive Director of the HKAC. 
Hong Kong has been uniquely shaped by a crucible of economic, political, ethnic and cultural influences, resulting in a vastly diverse heritage and identity, which is in turn made up of and influenced by the localised personalities of distinct districts within the city. The exhibiting works in Wan Chai Grammatica: Past, Present, Future Tense look at the bonds formed across generations, multiple languages and artistic genres that establish community and a love of place. The exhibition has been curated to examine personal, historical, and experiential responses to Wan Chai and features works by 18 artists local to Hong Kong, or intricately connected through international ties to the city. The exhibited works also explore the role Wan Chai plays in forming Hong Kong’s artistic identity, and its image in the eyes of both local and international audiences.
“Though varied in their responses, each of the artists presented in Wan Chai Grammatica: Past, Present, Future Tense shares an interest in the idea of place and how this is formed by individual interactions, past, present and future. The dialogue generated between the works opens doors to a new, more layered understanding of Wan Chai as a historical space, a cultural hub and a centre for community engagement,” Says Valerie C. Doran, exhibition guest curator.
During the exhibition period, Thematic tours around Wan Chai will be arranged and will narrate the history of the area, illustrating connections between the district and the artworks presented in Wan Chai Grammatica: Past, Present, Future Tense. Art Experience Workshops will shed new light on the district’s past, present and future, as well as the history of the HKAC as a cultural hub that has consistently over 40 years generated artistic dialogue. Programming will also include a Film Showcase on Wan Chai for audiences to experience the district's charm in a cinematic dimension. Creators and artists who are fans of these films will also talk about how their works have been influenced by Wan Chai.

Guest Curator: Valerie C. Doran (Hong Kong; b. USA)
Featured Artists:  Gaylord Chan (Hong Kong), Luis Chan (Hong Kong; b. Panama), Choi Yan Chi (Hong Kong), Chu Hing Wah (Hong Kong; b. Guangdong), Mark Chung (Hong Kong; b. New Zealand), Xyza Cruz Bacani (Hong Kong; b. The Philippines), Ho Sin Tung (Hong Kong), South Ho Siu Nam (Hong Kong), Phoebe Hui (Hong Kong), Firenze Lai (Hong Kong), Jaffa Lam (Hong Kong; b. Fujian), Leung Mee Ping (Hong Kong), MAP Office (Laurent Gutierrez and Valerie Portefaix, Hong Kong; b. France), Cédric Maridet (Hong Kong; b. France), N. S. Harsha (India), Frank Tang Kai Yiu (Hong Kong), Yeung Tong Lung (Hong Kong; b. Fujian), Trevor Yeung (Hong Kong; b. Guangdong)

Learning and Engagement Programme 
Public Guided Tour

Guided Tour: A 45 min guided tour of Wan Chai Grammatica: Past, Present, Future Tense
Date & Time:  
Cantonese Sessions: On every Saturday and Sunday during the exhibition period, 15:00-15:45 & 17:00 – 17:45 
English Sessions: On every Sunday during the exhibition period, 15:00-15:45
*An additional guided tour will be provided on 01/10/2018 (Mon) National Day and 17/10/2018 (Wed) Chung Yeung Festival from 15:00-15:45 (Cantonese)
Capacity: 20 people per tour
Gathering Point: 5/F Pao Galleries, Hong Kong Arts Centre
Free admission on a first-come, first served basis. No registration required.


School Tour

Please refer to Chinese version. 

Thematic Tours

Thematic Tour — Garden Party


After a day of busy working life, we need some space to take a rest. In Wan Chai, one of the districts with the least resting space per capita, a resting area can arise from just a small open area in between packed buildings with signages and benches.

Chop Suey, an art group formed by artist Frank Tang and composer Charles Kwong will be giving a sound performance in parks of Wan Chai , composing musical pieces using realistic animal sounds in the form of scherzo, so as to remind audiences the lost sound of these parks.

Chop Suey is formed by Tang and Kwong in 2018, and their creation is formed by music, sound and visual arts. Their recent artworks include Art Actually as well as Our Audible City.

Date: 13/10/2018 (Sat); 27/10/2018 (Sat)
Time: 13:30-14:30

Gathering Point: Main Entrance, Hong Kong Arts Centre
Capacity: 15-20 people per tour

Free admission on a first-come, first served basis. Conducted in Cantonese. 


Thematic Tour — Re-Discover Wan Chai
Urban Legends, Little Known Facts & Artsy Corners of an Iconic District

The Hong Kong Arts Centre’s 40th anniversary exhibition is a great occasion to (re)discover one of the city’s oldest and most iconic districts: Wan Chai.

In the exhibition, artists from different generations, backgrounds and origins have created unique art works, each one conveying their experience with or specific view of Wan Chai.

This accompanying walking tour is inspired by various art works in the exhibition. It will take you on a little journey through Wan Chai. Discover what triggered the art works, hear the stories behind them and learn all about the history of this fascinating district along the way, too.

Amongst many others, the following questions will be answered:
• Why is a temple for a water goddess so far from the water?
• How does a Chinese shophouse, aka “tong lau”, look from the inside?
• Why is Nam Koo Terrace the most haunted place in Hong Kong?
• What did the Hopewell Centre do to improve its feng shui?
• Where was Wan Chai’s original coastline?
• Where to eat Wan Chai’s best pineapple buns?

Stops along the tour will include:
• Tin Hau temple
• 7 Mallory Street (formerly “The Green House)
• Tai Wo Street Playground
• Blue House
• (Haunted) Ship Street
• Star Street Area
• A walk along the streets of Wan Chai’s red light district
• Hong Kong Arts Centre

Come, join our tour and fall in love with Wan Chai.

Date: 7,10,19,26/10/2018 ; 2/11/2018
Time: 15:30-17:30
Gathering Point: Behind the entrance gate of the Tin Hau Temple Garden
(next to Ming Tak Mansion, Tin Hau Temple Road, closest MTR: Tin Hau)
Capacity: Max. 8 pax per tour
Language: English ONLY
Price: HKD 280 per person

What to bring:
• Comfortable walking shoes
• An octopus card (we will take the tram for part of the way)
• Headphones (we will use transmitters/receivers for the tour, so you’ll be better able to hear in those noisy surroundings) 


Art Experience Workshops 

Fotomo Workshop
Engraving the lost past into the 3D World

What happened disappears in a flash, whereas moment can only be stored in memories. If you have never experienced histories, can you recognize the real stories by looking at the old pictures? Veron Sung, a local photographer who studied in UK and France, back to Hong Kong in 2010, found fotomo can capture the history, starting to record the old Hong Kong and her precious culture by fotomo.

Fotomo is a portmanteau of Fotografie (meaning photography in German) and Model. When making a fotomo, you have to turn 2D photo prints of real-world scenes into 3D models, reconstructing the history into reality. In this workshop, Veron Sung will go through the history and the characteristics of Wan Chai district with the participants, teaching them to turn Wan Chai old pictures to a tailor made fotomo. Gathering these fotomos, a mini old Wan Chai will be recreated into reality.

Date & Time: 06/10/2018 (Sat) ; 13:30- 16:30
Venue: Room 1012, Hong Kong Art School Main Campus (10/F, Hong Kong Arts Centre)

Date & Time: 03/11/2018(Sat) ; 13:00- 16:00
Venue: Eric Hotung Studio, LB/F Hong Kong Arts Centre

Capacity: 15 people per session
Price: HKD100 per person

Conducted in Cantonese


Polaroid Tour

Re-examining the current Wan Chai through the  Polaroid Camera

Polaroid was the fastest method for us to capture the picture in front of us. However, once digital cameras and smartphones were launched, the reality can be digitized within a second, the speed of instant-photography has been redefined.

Polaroid Tour is organized by Instant Tours Hong Kong, will take us with our polaroid cameras to explore Wan Chai, from past to present, from corner to corner. Waiting for the contingent surprises, then we press the shutter, capture the moment, stay until the image shows itself and witness the stream of time passes. Reality in the photos, has already switched to another actuality. Is time runs faster than our expectation, or is the speed of the city blurred the boundary between the present and the past?

Technologies progresses while city advances, everything comes and goes, only the intuition and emotions of the moment you take the picture would never change.

*A vintage Polaroid camera will be borrowed to each participant and 8 Polaroid Originals films (white frame) will be provided. Participant can pay HKD 180 for an extra box of films (8 films). Photos are for reference only.

Date: 14/10/2018 (Sun); 28/10/2018(Sun)
Time: 13:00 – 15:30
Gathering Point: Main Entrance, Hong Kong Arts Centre
Capacity: 10 people per session
Price: HKD100 per person
Conducted in Cantonese


Moving Image Programmes 

Our list of films and speakers will be announced soon stay tuned for details!


Pao Galleries, Hong Kong Arts Centre


Free Admission


Hong Kong Arts Centre


2582 0200



Donors: CL3 Architects Ltd.; Mr. Nelson Leong; Mr. Bryant LU, JP; Trevor & Dominica Yang
Supported by: Hong Kong Arts Development Council

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