We knew that the West Kowloon Cultural District had to be good for something. This otherwise desolate wasteland will, from December 4 to February 27, play host to the popular Hong Kong-Shenzhen Biennale, a multimedia event that aims to provoke thought and discussion about the city and society we live in. The 46,000 square meters of space will be packed with fascinating installations, workshops and performances from renowned artists, amateur groups and members of the public, and is well worth a look for anyone interested in the burgeoning alt-culture scene of the Pearl River Delta. Here are some of the program highlights; watch this magazine over the coming months for more highlights from the festival. For more info, log onto www.hkszbiennale.org . Opening Forums The Biennale will open with a series of guest speakers discussing the main themes associated with “City Mobilization.” The first, on December 3 will kick off proceedings with talks and discussions about urban trees and sustainability from 5:30pm-6:15pm. Guest speakers include Shigeru Ban, the Japanese designer and architect behind the 500-person capacity “Paper Pavilion” that will be showcased at the event. Then, on December 4, between 2pm-3pm, the “Cultural Education/Bi-City Exchange” will explore the cultural and historical elements that shape a city and its people. Guest speakers include David Benjamin and Soo-In Yang, founder of “The Living,” an “amphibious” outdoor pavilion in Seoul with an environmentally sensitive “skin” that changes color according to its surrounding environment. Soo is also hosting the “Flash Living Architecture” event on the same day. The third theme is centered around the idea of “Community and Heritage.” The opening forum “Grassroots/Diversity/Community” will be held from 3pm-4pm on December 4, while “Mediascapes/ Narrative Cities” will take place at 4pm-7pm. Classical Music Performances There will be five main musical events over the course of the Biennale. And here they are: Samson Young The famed local multimedia composer Samson Young showcases his dark, creative side. January 3, 7am The iPhone Orchestra The iPhone Orchestra: a collective of 10-50 individuals who use their iPods as musical instruments. January 3, 5pm Street Music Special Street music event organized by local composer Kung Chi-shing. January 9, 6pm The Hong Kong Youth Choir Community music with the Hong Kong Youth Choir January 26, 6pm Mozart Showcase “Mozart on the Promenade,” hosted by Chamber Music Hong Kong February 26, 6pm Yoga This year’s Biennale will play host to BYOBlanket, Asia’s largest yoga event at the outdoor Waterfront Promenade. It is a key event that raises awareness of health, ecology and sustainability. Hosted by Tiana Harilela, an experienced and well-traveled yoga instructor with the Yoga Alliance International. The event will be held on 9 January from 4:30pm-6pm. ARUP Drivers of Change Arup is a global firm of designers, engineers and planners who place much emphasis on sustainability in the heart of every project in order to exert a positive influence on the wider world. Their most notable works include the National Aquatics Center (Water Cube) at the Beijing Olympics, The HSBC main building and the IFC Two. On February 27, ARUP will host a large scale forum, investigating what our world will look like in 2050 and identifying some of the leading drivers of change that will affect our future. Plantation Station The Biennale will have its very own “Ecofarm,” where local ecology center Kadoorie Farm will hold a series of workshops teaching people how to plant herbal teas. Each session lasts 30 minutes to an hour, and can accommodate up to 200 people at a time. Workshops will be held on multiple dates from December 13-January 31. Water Play “Hong Kong WaterWorks: Memory, Water, and Architecture” is modern dance project that explores significant convergences between memory, water and architecture. Catch the performance on February 19, 5pm-6:30pm, followed by a workshop at Hong Kong University, in Pok Fu Lam from 10am-noon. Save Our Streets Design Hong Kong is a non-profit organization committed to identifying ways and means of enhancing the quality and sustainability of Hong Kong’s living environment for residents and visitors. Participate in how our city is shaped at the Street Culture forum, a meeting of activists, artists, bureaucrats and members of the public to talk about Hong Kong’s street culture and sustainable town planning. The events will be held held on 23 January at the Fringe Club. Admission is free.