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HK City Hall commemorative exhibition to revisit venue's glorious past

     People wishing to revisit Hong Kong City Hall's glorious past should not miss "The Golden Stage – Hong Kong City Hall 50th Anniversary Commemorative Exhibition", to be held in the venue's exhibition hall from tomorrow (March 3) to April 9.

     On display will be costumes worn by renowned Cantonese opera stars Mak Bing-wing and Fung Wong-nui, who performed their popular Cantonese opera "Never-ending Ties and Feud" at City Hall when the venue opened in 1962; the nightclub set from Raymond To and Ko Tin-lung's famous drama "I Have a Date with Spring"; and interviews with Lung Kim-sung, Yuen Siu-fai, Law Kar-ying, Ko Tin-lung, Lo King-man, Barbara Fei, Ella Kiang, Nancy Loo, Yip Wing-sie, Mui Cheuk-yin, Chan Hei-hing, Alex Cheung and other artists on their various performances and experiences at City Hall. Valuable posters, early recordings, stage-set models from "We Are One Family" and "Teahouse" and precious, memorable photos collected during the Hong Kong City Hall 50th Anniversary Photo Collection Campaign will also be exhibited.
     More than 10,000 local and overseas arts troupes have performed at City Hall since its inauguration on March 2, 1962, five decades ago. Many important cultural events like the Hong Kong Arts Festival, the Festival of Asian Arts and the Hong Kong International Film Festival made their début there. Hong Kong City Hall has been instrumental in bridging the arts of East and West, nurturing innumerable local artistic and performing talents as well as fostering generations of audiences in various art forms.

     To commemorate City Hall's golden jubilee, the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) has organised "The Golden Stage – Hong Kong City Hall 50th Anniversary Commemorative Exhibition". The exhibition will showcase the venue's influence over and contribution to local performing arts over the past 50 years, including the drama, Chinese opera, music and Western opera, festivals, dance, multimedia and film activities that took place there, as well as its history and architectural features.

     In addition to stage-sets and props, there will be old photos of the swearing-in ceremonies of former Governors, the concert hall, theatre, ballroom (the exhibition hall nowadays), the marriage registry, memorial garden, the public library located in the High Block and various memorable civic events that took place over the years. There will also be screenings of play excerpts by the Hong Kong Repertory Theatre, including "I have a Date with Spring", "Noises Off", "We Are One Family" "Where Love Abides", "Xiaojing Hutong" and "Peach Blossom Fan".

     Recordings and video excerpts of various concerts and performances staged at City Hall in the 1960s to 2000 will also be featured, including a piano recital by Fou Ts'ong's and the Japan Philharmonic Orchestra in the 1960s; the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, concerts by the Hong Kong Children's Choir, a piano recital by Vladimir Ashkenazy in the 1970s; and the opera Carmen in the 1980s, as well as a concert by the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra and Monique Duphil. Not to be missed are some early experimental films, including Sek Kei's "Dead Knot" starring John Woo in 1969; Law Kar's "Routine" featuring Nathan Road in the 1960s, Mable Cheung's "Writing on the Wall" and Alex Cheung's "Come Together".

     Various artists have expressed their feelings about City Hall for the exhibition. Some examples include:

     Chung King-fai: "In the past 50 years, City Hall has nourished the artistic lives of many theatre practitioners, mine included."

     Yuen Siu-fai: "......the opening of City Hall was the first bridge built between the Hong Kong Government and the local arts and cultural sector, or even the populace...... I have honed my skills and put them into practice on the stages of the City Hall Concert Hall and theatre. I have also reviewed my books in the study room of the City Hall Library. This place witnessed my growth and is filled with my memories."

     Willy Tsao: "Whenever I set foot in the City Hall, or go to a concert in its concert hall, or a play in its theatre, I can still catch a whiff of the scent of sweat and toil of the numerous Hong Kong dancers who have performed here."

     To complement the exhibition, "Those Were The Days Celebrity Talks" will be held every weekend afternoon from March 4 to April 8 in the exhibition hall. Pre-eminent practitioners in the fields of dance, Cantonese opera, theatre and music such as Willy Tsao, Miu Cheuk-yin, Yuri Ng, Tam Wing-pong, Oliver Chou, Chow Fan-fu and Chan Hing-yan will be joined by various guests to talk about how this iconic venue witnessed the birth of their creations and stage performances and how its creative ambience inspired them. The talks will be conducted in Cantonese.

     To commemorate this special occasion, a new book has been published, "Where Modern Hong Kong Began: The City Hall and Its 50-Year Story", written by veteran music critic Mr Chow Fan-fu. Using the form of story-telling, the book affectionately depicts people and events closely associated with City Hall over the past 50 years. The book, priced at HK$230, is now on sale in the venue's art shop. 

     Admission to the exhibition and talks is free. For enquiries about the City Hall 50th anniversary programmes, please call 2921 2881 or visit the website at .

Ends/Friday, March 2, 2012


Costumes worn by Cantonese opera stars Fung Wong-nui (left) and Mak Bing-wing (right) in their performance "Never-ending Ties and Feud" will be on display at "The Golden Stage - Hong Kong City Hall 50th Anniversary Commemorative Exhibition", to be held at the exhibition hall of Hong Kong City Hall from tomorrow (March 3) to April 9.


"The Golden Stage - Hong Kong City Hall 50th Anniversary Commemorative Exhibition", to be held in the City Hall's exhibition hall, will showcase the nightclub set from the famous drama "I Have a Date with Spring".


"The Golden Stage - Hong Kong City Hall 50th Anniversary Commemorative Exhibition", to be held in the City Hall's exhibition hall, will showcase a stage-set model for "Teahouse".




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