Raft of arts events planned, even without land grant
The authority responsible for the West Kowloon Cultural District isn't letting the fact that it has yet to receive the land grant for the site get in the way of running events to get the arts hub up and running - even before the buildings take shape.
The Town Planning Board is expected to approve the arts district plan before the end of this year, allowing the authority to obtain the land grant next year.
In the meantime the authority is planning three events for the headland of the site, while three more will be organised by other parties. The events will come thick and fast this winter, but the authority doesn't expect audiences to tire of them.
Its executive director for performing arts, Louis Yu Kwok-lit, said the Freespace Fest on December 15 and 16 would combine music with street performances, and more than half of the artists would be local.
"We want to show people that Hong Kong has a lot of great artists," Yu said.
The Freespace Fest will be held just two weeks after the more established Clockenflap music and arts festival on December 1 and 2.
Yu says the authority will co-ordinate with the organisers of Clockenflap. He's not worried that the two events will have an impact on each other.
"Hong Kong deserves to have more outdoor music and arts festivals. Cultural events and festivals are staged together around the same period of time in many international cities," he said.
Yu says the first Freespace Fest, which will offer free admission, will be a test run.
"We are only trying things out this time. We will keep our minds open."
The West Kowloon Bamboo Theatre returns on January 30 for an extended three-week run. A large bamboo theatre will again be erected near Canton Road.
Besides Chinese opera, Yu says contemporary dance and music will also be staged at the bamboo theatre, which "is an important [item of] cultural heritage and has great potential to showcase different art forms".
Visual culture museum M+ will stage Mobile M+: INFLATION!, an exhibition of large inflatable sculptures in March.
The authority's executive director for project delivery, Chan Man-wai, said it had agreed a short-term tenancy with the Lands Department for a nominal HK$1 so it could host events.