Leisure and Cultural Services Department Brand Hong Kong - Asia's world city
GovHKTraditional ChineseSimplified Chinese Search Site Map Contact Us
Publication and Press Releases2014.07.26 17:10 30°C Cloudy
 
* Publication and Press Releases *
*
* Home *
* *
* *
* *
* *
* *
* *
* *
* Public Forms *
* *
* *
* *
* Jobs Available *
"My Culture" Mobile Application
"Fitness Walking" mobile application available for download
Web Accessibility Conformance Statement
Publication and Press Releases

Graphic: Press ReleasesGraphic: January
 
Yu Kai's Cantonese Opera Collection on display
**********************************************

     Yu Kai was born Chak Yu-kai, well known in Hong Kong as a Cantonese Opera master, last year donated more than 2,000 artefacts to the Hong Kong Heritage Museum. The artefacts relate to Cantonese Opera performance, in which he took great care for a number of years following his retirement.

     A donation ceremony was held today (January 15) at the Heritage Museum to honour his contribution. Officiating guests included the Director of Leisure and Cultural Services, Mrs Betty Fung Ching Suk-yee, Chak Yu-kai, the Chairman of Cantonese Opera Advisory Committee, Mr Charles Chow Chan-lum, and the Chief Curator of Hong Kong Heritage Museum, Ms Belinda Wong Sau-lan.

     Speaking at the donation ceremony, Mrs Fung noted that the Heritage Museum has been dedicated to collecting Cantonese Operatic artefacts systematically since the 1980s with the aim of preserving and promoting the heritage of Cantonese opera.  The museum has received generous donations from a number of famous Cantonese opera artists and people working in the field, including scholars and the public, and has formed a collection of more than 20,000 items over the years.  A Cantonese Opera Heritage Hall has been specially established to showcase operatic treasures from the museum’s collection, and thematic exhibitions based on Cantonese opera have been organised from time to time to enhance public knowledge about this aspect of Chinese culture.

     "Yu Kai's generous donation of more than 2,000 items, which covers Cantonese opera costumes, associated pop, librettos, pictures and publicity publications and materials, is of great support and encouragement to the task of preserving the heritage of Cantonese opera. This donation is the first comprehensive resource on "man mou sang" (the principal male role) in Cantonese opera performance collected by the museum, and will be of great significance in studying the performance career of Yu Kai and this Chinese traditional performing art," Mrs Fung said.

     The new collection includes costumes, stage props, librettos, postbills, movie special issues, magazines and photos. Yu Kai's classics such as the librettos of "The Brave Young Ones Rising to Defend the Nation" and "Spring Breeze Blows to the Jade Gate" are included. The collection also includes a number of everyday snapshots of Yu Kai and photos of his father, Chak Sin Chung, and mother, Chow Siu Ying.

     To enable the public to learn more about the new collection, a special exhibition entitled "Highlights from Yu Kai's Donation", featuring a selection of 60 items from his donation, will be held at the Heritage Museum from tomorrow (January 16) to April 18.

     Yu Kai was born in 1938 to a family of Cantonese opera performers. His father, Chak Sin Chung, was known in the theatrical world for his portrayals of the mou sang (the male military role), while his mother, Chow Siu Ying, performed as the siu sang (the supporting male role) and lao dan (old woman). By the age of four, Yu Kai had already started to learn from his parents the acrobatic arts, vocal skills, expressive eye movements and gestures of Cantonese opera, and made his stage debut in 1945 when he appeared with his mother in "Lui Po and Diu Sim" at the Prince's Theatre, as part of a show raising funds for disaster relief. He then went on tour, led by his parents, to places such as Macau and Guangzhou, gaining popularity among opera fans and earning himself the nickname "Yu Kai, the Gifted Child".

     Yu Kai's excellent acting skills soon found favour among many patrons in Southeast Asia. In 1953, he was invited to perform in Singapore and Malaysia, and when he returned to Hong Kong for good in 1957, he greeted his old audience by performing the man mou sang (the principal male role) in his own unique style. In 1962, Yu Kai's theatrical career reached new heights when he took on the position of the man mou sang with the newly established Hing Hung Kai Opera Troupe, under the patronage of Ho Siu Po, and was partnered with Nam Hung as the jing yan fa dan (the principal female role). Other major performers in the troupe included Leung Seng Po, Lang Chi Pak, Connie Chan and Yam Bing Yee. The troupe made its debut with performances of "The Brave Young Ones Rising to Defend the Nation" at the Concert Hall of Hong Kong City Hall, then continued the sell-out run at the Prince's Theatre in Kowloon.

     In 1971, the Hing Hung Kai Opera Troupe and the Tai Lung Fung Opera Troupe shared the stage at the State Theatre in North Point in a double-bill system that saw one troupe star in the first half and the other in the second half of a programme. This new arrangement was warmly received by audiences and drove ticket sales to record highs over more than a decade of stage performances. In 1993, Yu Kai bade his official farewell to Cantonese opera with a performance in a fundraising show that celebrated the 40th anniversary of the Chinese Artists Association of Hong Kong.

     Alongside his stage performances, Yu Kai also appeared in a number of films. In 1948, his father adapted his stage work, "Nazha's Adventures in the East Sea", for the cinema to produce a box office hit. Yu Kai was then in great demand among filmmakers. Over the following year he starred in several movies, including "The Red Kid", "Third Madame Educates her Son", "The Orphan's Rescue" and "Kam Luo, the New Prime Minister". They were all immensely popular, and Yu Kai was instantly transformed into both a stage and screen idol. Yu Kai continued to make films until his last production, "The Story of Fan Lei Fa", in 1967.

     The Hong Kong Heritage Museum is located at 1 Man Lam Road, Sha Tin. It is open from 10am to 6pm on Mondays, Wednesdays to Saturdays; and from 10am to 7pm on Sundays and public holidays. On Chinese New Year's Eve, the museum will close at 5pm. It is closed on Tuesdays (except public holidays) and the first two days of the Chinese New Year. Admission is $10 and a half-price concession is available to full-time students, senior citizens and people with disabilities. Admission is free on Wednesdays.

     For further information, call 2180 8188 or visit the Heritage Museum's website at http://hk.heritage.museum.

Ends/Saturday, January 15, 2011
NNNN

01

The donation ceremony for "Yu Kai's Cantonese Opera Collection" exhibition was held today (January 15) at the Hong Kong Heritage Museum. Picture shows the officiating guests (from right) the Chairman of Cantonese Opera Advisory Committee, Mr Charles Chow Chan-lum, the Director of Leisure and Cultural Services, Mrs Betty Fung Ching Suk-yee, Yu kai, and the Chief Curator of Hong Kong Heritage Museum, Ms Belinda Wong Sau-lan.

05

The Director of Leisure and Cultural Services, Mrs Betty Fung Ching Suk-yee (right), and Yu Kai (left) officiate at the opening ceremony of the "Highlights from Yu Kai's Donation" exhibition.

03

The Director of Leisure and Cultural Services, Mrs Betty Fung Ching Suk-yee (right), and Yu Kai (left) officiate at the opening ceremony of the "Highlights from Yu Kai's Donation" exhibition.

04

Picture shows the Director of Leisure and Cultural Services, Mrs Betty Fung Ching Suk-yee, Yu Kai and guests who attend the ceremony.

 

 

 

 

 
  [News Archive] [Back to Top]  
Graphic: End

Quality Services for Quality Life
2003| Important notices | Privacy policy Last revision date: 15 January, 2011