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Prominent artists pay tribute to film master at "Inspired by Jean Cocteau"

Multi-talented French artist Jean Cocteau (1889-1963) was a true renaissance man - a poet, novelist, painter, choreographer, playwright, filmmaker and set designer. His work continues to inspire artists worldwide 40 years after his death.

To pay tribute to the great master, a number of prominent artists join force to create works at the "Inspired by Jean Cocteau" exhibition to reflect on Cocteau's creativity and surreal world.

Presented by the Hong Kong Film Archive (HKFA) of the Leisure and Cultural Services Department and curated by Jualian Lee, the exhibition will display works in fashion, photography, dance, writing, sculpture and painting from renowned artists. They include writer Michael Lam, musician Anthony Wong, painter Yankwai Wong, choreographer Yuri Ng, video artist Maurice Lai, ballet star Nishijima Kazuhiro, photographer Julian Lee, sculptor Ho Siu-kee, caricaturist Tattatwing, fashion designer Henry Lau and mixed-media artist Wu Wing-yee.

Be it a ballet story, self-portrait, caricature, poetry, erotic drawings, fantastic images and surrealism in his films, especially the use of mirror and poetic symbols, they have inspired the artists with a new vision for creation.

The exhibition runs from today (November 26) to February 5, 2006, at the Exhibition Hall of the HKFA.

The opening ceremony at the Film Archive was attended by the Assistant Director of the Leisure and Cultural Services (Heritage and Museums), Mr Gerard Tsang, Julian Lee, Michael Lam, Anthony Wong, Yankwai Wong, Yuri Ng, Tattatwing, Henry Lau , Wu Wing-yee and artists who love the work of Cocteau.

Cocteau's creations are filled with myth, poetry, dream, mirror, death, voice, hands, flowers, masks, stars and lines... which continues to stimulate the imagination of artists of a later generation.

"Mirrors are but ponds of water, searching repeatedly for a form..." Inspired by Cocteau's ballet story "Young Man and Death", Michael Lam counteracts with Cocteau's stage work across time with his poem "Young Man and Immortality".

Musician Anthony Wong's first encounter with Cocteau's work is a film still of the "Orpheus", featured as a cover of an album from "The Smiths" with Conteau's actor/lover - Jean Marais lying by to a pool of water with his beautiful reflection.

To pay his tribute, Wong re-interprets an old song "Hymn to Love" (1950) with Chinese lyrics. The song was sung by legendary French singer Edith Piaf who became famous after starring in Cocteau's play "Le Bel Indifferent". She died on the same day as Cocteau.

Choreographer Yuri Ng and video artist Maurice Lai went to Japan to collaborate with ballet star Nishijima Kazuhiro on a piece combining dance and video, inspired by Cocteau's erotic sketches.

A self-portrait of young Cocteau sitting on a sofa with flowery patterns, his hand holding the camera was extended to a space out of frame, his head was slightly tilted up, gazing at the grey sky as if in a trance... Insipired by Cocteau’s drawings and some self-portrait photos, art director Yankwai Wong re-discovers Cocteau with his painting.

Inspired by Cocteau's usage of mirrors, Julian Lee and Tattatwing pay their tribute via photography and caricature.

Fashion designer Henry Lau designs two costumes to reflect on Cocteau's aesthetic sense in fashion design while sculptor Ho Siu-kee and mixed media artist Wu Wing-yee show Cocteau’s multi-identities with 3-D art pieces.

Not to miss is Orphee Restaurant's blending of delicious French cuisine with quality art, music and French wine with a delicious menu based on Cocteau’s film titles.

Cocteau is regarded as one of the most important avant-garde film directors. Due to the passage of time and the language gap, the best way to appreciate the master is perhaps through his films.

Six film classics of Cocteau including the "Beauty and the Beast", "The Blood of a Poet", "Orpheus", "Testament of Orpheus", "The Eagle Has Two Heads" and "The Storm Within" screen from today (November 26) to January 21, 2006, at the Cinema of the HKFA, as a contribution programme to the 34th French Cinepanorama.

Tickets priced at $50 are available at URBTIX outlets. Half-price tickets are available for senior citizens, people with disabilities, full-time students and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance recipients. There will be a 10% discount for Friends of LCSD performing venues, Alliance Francaise Privilege cardholders or each purchase of 6 to 10 tickets, and a 20% discount for each purchase of 11 or more tickets.

Reservations can be made by phone on 2734 9009 or on the Internet at .

A seminar, "Poetic Surrealism of Cocteau Cinema", is scheduled on January 14, 2006 at the Cinema of the Film Archive. Admission is free and it will be conducted in Cantonese.

For programme information, call 2739 2139/ 2734 2900 or visit .

Ends/Saturday, November 26, 2005

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