Yet more excellent stuff as part of Celebrate Australia this week when Aboriginal writer Herb Wharton performs at the Fringe Club on September 23-24. Perhaps 'performs' is the wrong word: Wharton just tells stories of life as he sees it. His genesis as a writer was a slow one. After 40 years working in the Outback as a stockman, Wharton took to poetry and novel writing. He sees those years as essential: 'If I'd started to write then, I wouldn't have known what to write about. I was doing it, and talking about it.' Wharton writes fiction based on his real-life experiences, and is not above turning his career change into fable. According to one version, when injuries made it impossible for him to work outside anymore, he got hold of an old typewriter and starting writing. In another, an old friend asked him if he thought he had wasted his life, and in trying to answer him in a letter, he filled dozens of scraps of paper with his thoughts, thoughts which were subsequently published as his first novel, Unbranded. In Hong Kong he will telling even more tales and the audience is open to anyone from age 10 upwards. Artistic handover at Taikoo Place Swire Properties are treating their Quarry Bay tenants to art this month, starting with lurid avant garde Chinese oil painters from Schoeni Gallery, exaggerated figures grimacing at the wage-slaves on their way to work in the Taikoo Place lobby. Next installation artist Wong Shun-kit has his turn. Wong is from Shanghai, and started his career helping his artist father create massive Chairman Mao portraits during the Cultural Revolution. He came to Hong Kong 13 years ago and has been creating striking, and massive installation works since. Some of his most famous are the two huge robots he once exhibited in the German consul-general's garden, one clasping its hands in the Buddhist greeting, the other with its hand extended, representing director of the Hong Kong branch of Xinhua (the New China News Agency) Zhou Nan's famous refusal to shake hands with Governor Chris Patten during the ceremony to mark the inauguration of the Lantau Buddha. His theme for the Taikoo Place show is the handover, what else, and will compromise a mixture of installations and canvases. Definitely not something to stroll past in a hurry, the display is on from September 23 to 28. Value for money laughs at O'Brien's O'Brien's Comedy House starts again this week with shows from September 24 to 26 by Australian Peter Rowsthorn. Alongside countless other broadcasting credits, Rowsthorn's CV mentions a brief cameo on Neighbours, clearly an important training ground for young actors with comedic talents as demonstrated by Guy Pearce, who started life as square-chinned Mike, and ended up stealing the show as a drag queen in The Adventures of Priscilla Queen of the Desert. Rowsthorn also did a long spell as Rif Raf in a revamped version of The Rocky Horror Show, so all in all it seems a safe bet that he will be worth the $190 admission charge. No small whack that, even including the support act Andy Morley, who played at the last Fringe Festival. There was a time when comedy club organisers practically had to pay the audience that much just to stay until the end of the show. Seeing it all in black and white Yesterday saw the opening of an interesting collection of black and white photographs in the Heineken Gallery in the Fringe. Parallel Life, by the Asian-American photographer Mary Padua, celebrates 40 years of light and shadow, and Padua's 40th birthday. She has collected images from all over the world, from Australia to Latin America. Deceptively simple images, they are her attempt to examine light and form, as seen by the naked eye. Padua works in the 'straight photography' tradition made famous by the likes of Ansel Adams and Paul Strand in the 1930s, where tone and sharp detail, created by maximum depth of field are essential ingredients. Padua did work with the late great Adams, and was a student and assistant to Brett Weston, so her credentials are pretty impressive. Parallel Life runs until October 2.