Thursday, August 14, 2014

An Art Teacher in Hong Kong

The fact that there are no penis shrines in Hong Kong is kind of a drag, because I came up with the perfect title for such a blog.  What it lacks in phallus worship sites, though, it makes up for in art.  This is good, since my whole reason for going there during this curst bad time was to check out the logistics of an art-related school trip. 

If you are in HK and you want to get out of:
A.  The Heat
B.  The Rain
C.  Both
I suggest a museum day.  My second full day was my museum day, although I lost interest after the Museum of Art, which was excellent.  Their exhibition of Qing and Ming objets d'art had one of the best exhibition guides I've ever seen.  Throughout the exhibit were curio cards with a picture of one of the pieces on the front and an explanation of the particular aspect of this era's masterworks it embodied on the back.  They made a brilliant souvenir, and, since I went on Wednesday, free.
As I mentioned in my last post, the Museum of Art is on the promenade, and on the ground surrounding the building they have a sculpture park.  The current exhibition is "Heaven, Earth, and Man," and while the title didn't make an enormous amount of sense to me, I enjoyed seeing the sculpture anyways.

I was also happy to find some street art in Hong Kong.  Actually, since it was so bloody hot and I didn't feel like getting heat rash in the name of a school trip that probably won't come here, I didn't end up chasing down any galleries.  That made finding street art a welcome boon.  I was especially pleased to see yarn bombing on this hand rail.  I've never seen yarn bombing anywhere other than the internet.  To see it in the actual world made it a real thing.

For a long time, Hong Kong's street art was the domain of one man, the self-proclaimed King of Kowloon.   Since his death in 2007 there has been public pressure to protect his legacy, but I was pleased to see that other artists were continuing the tradition - perhaps not in his medium, because he was a calligrapher, but at least were making public works of art.
The last day I was there, I decided to take a friend's advice and ride the trolley along the length of Hong Kong Island, and stop by the IKEA at Causeway Bay for some frames.  Well, on my way to IKEA, I saw a poster advertising an exhibit about the art of Studio Ghibli at the Hong Kong Heritage Museum.  This seemed like a start at making up for the fact that I didn't make it to the Ghibli Museum when I was in Tokyo, so when I brought my haul back to the Mansion I went online to figure out where the Heritage Museum was.  It turned out to be "way out there."  (Not really, but considering most of my wanderings were confined to a fairly limited space, Sha Tin is pretty far out of the way).  It was a cool show and I'd wished I could have taken my students who are interested in animation, because I think they could have gotten a lot out of it.  However, my feet were worn the heck out and it didn't seem to be that well air conditioned and I was just kind of done with Hong Kong, so I didn't stay long.

And speaking of being done with Hong Kong, that's all, folks. 

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