Arts & Culture
Centre of Arts and Culture
Hong Kong, where the cultures of the East and West mesh, is a thriving arts and cultural hub.
Chinese and Western orchestras, jazz ensembles, film and arts festivals, international acts and local super stars offer an exciting cultural calendar.
The West Kowloon Cultural District, taking shape on reclaimed land overlooking Victoria Harbour, is one of the world's largest cultural projects. The new cultural quarter, which will have a variety of arts and cultural facilities, will raise Hong Kong's profile as a prominent centre of arts and culture.
This is Our Hong Kong. Why not make it Yours?
“Where East meets West”
An ancient Chinese art form is gaining a new generation of fans. Chloe Ng Brossard Yee Tsing is one of them. The 14-year-old girl was drawn to Cantonese Opera as a toddler. She made her stage debut at the age of three, in a performance of the opera Dai Nui Fa, or the story of Princess Cheungping, in Vancouver, Canada. In 2010, at age nine, she wowed audiences at the Shanghai World Expo.
Cantonese Opera has flourished in Hong Kong and is the first of Hong Kong's cultural traditions to be officially inscribed on UNESCO's Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
Cantonese Opera is performed in magnificent bamboo theatres in Hong Kong's villages, and in historic buildings like the Yau Ma Tei Theatre (the only surviving pre-World War II theatre in Kowloon District) and Red Brick Building, (built in 1895), also in Yau Ma Tei, which opened as a Cantonese Opera performance venue in 2012.
The Xiqu Centre, taking shape in the West Kowloon Cultural District, will play a key role in the development of Cantonese Opera in Hong Kong and the overall development of Chinese traditional theatre, linking its long legacy to the present. The Xiqu Centre will be the first state-of-the art venue to open in Hong Kong's emerging cultural hub and will set a new global benchmark for Chinese opera venues.
“Chloe was quite naturally introduced to Cantonese Opera by me, as I would listen to opera when Chloe was still a toddler,” says her mother, Samantha.
“One day she surprised me by singing back one of the songs. Her father suggested I should teach her more about Cantonese Opera. Later, some friends who heard her sing invited Chloe to sing during the annual Chinese New Year dinner in Vancouver.”
When they moved to Hong Kong in 2006, Chloe started formal training at a school of Chinese Opera.
“With a French father and Chinese mother, I live the cultures of East and West. I am fascinated by the art and theatre of Cantonese Opera – not just its rich heritage but also the makeup, costumes and drama,” she says.
She has performed at leading venues, such as the Hong Kong Cultural Centre, the Sunbeam Theatre in North Point (another famous Cantonese opera theatre in Hong Kong) and the Hong Kong Pavilion at the Shanghai Expo in 2010.
“With daily performances over seven days, the Shanghai Expo was my most memorable event,” says Chloe.
She believes this wonderful performing art form should not only be preserved but also promoted so that Chinese and non-Chinese people of all ages can learn to appreciate it.
“Then the art will flourish in the years to come,” she says.