Creative Meeting Point: Hong Kong x Barcelona, two-week artist residency exchange starting May 2018, supports artistic research and development

Following two successful collaborations with Finland and Australia launched in November 2016 and March 2017, the West Kowloon Cultural Authority (WKCDA) Performing Arts Department announces a third residency exchange programme, Creative Meeting Point: Hong Kong x Barcelona in collaboration with Barcelona, Spain’s municipal performing arts venue Mercat de les Flors. Spanning three years, the collaboration builds on the international dance network established at WKCDA and cultivates global arts leaders by enhancing cultural exchange and creating international access for local art communities. To deepen artistic conversations between art practitioners in both cities, this initiative earmarks resources for residencies, exchange projects, research, work-in-development showcases, workshops, forums and more.

At the centre of Creative Meeting Point: Hong Kong x Barcelona is a series of two-week residency exchanges for four artists. WKCDA selected the pair of artists from Hong Kong and Mercat de les Flors chose the artists from Spain. The Hong Kong artists travel to Barcelona in May 2018 for two weeks of exploration, research, and exchange. In late 2018 / early 2019, the Spanish artists will come to Hong Kong.

Hong Kong dance artists Mao Wei and Wong Pik Kei took part in the first two-week exchange in Barcelona. Mao explored dancer’s body as a medium of expression through different disciplines such as visual arts and traditional dance forms like Spanish Flamenco. Wong continued her creative inquiry into portrayals of the female body and desire in Eastern cultural norms, extracting from her personal experiences being a woman in Asia. The residency exchange may lead to future co-productions between the Hong Kong and Spanish artists.

“At the WKCDA, we pursue growth and excellence for our artists both in Asia and beyond,” says Louis Yu, Executive Director, Performing Arts of WKCDA. “Committed to ongoing cross-cultural initiatives, artistic experimentation, as well as learning and participation engagements, we continue to lead in elevating the stature of Hong Kong’s performing arts on the world stage. This is supported by the ongoing steps towards the opening of Xiqu Centre at the end of this year, and the completion of Freespace in 2019 and the Lyric Theatre Complex in 2023.”

Anna CY Chan, Head of Dance, Performing Arts of WKCDA, underlines the importance of the collaboration: “Our vision is to further the development of dance in a more connected and increasingly diversified international industry. Creative Meeting Point: HK x Barcelona fosters artistic dialogues, provides support for excellent local talents and the infrastructure for co-productions between Hong Kong and Barcelona.”

Mercat de les Flors is a leading house for local and international dance presentation, production and creation based in Barcelona, Spain. It is a member of the European Dancehouse Network (EDN), an umbrella project funded by Creative Europe Programme of the European Union, with a mission to secure a sustainable future for the dance sector and to improve the relevance of diverse dance genres for the wider society. WKCDA recently launched the Asia Network for Dance+ (AND+), a sister organisation to EDN, with fourteen members of the core group across Asia Pacific regions.

Remarks

The Selected Hong Kong dance artists

Mao Wei
Having received a full scholarship at The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, Mao Wei is an independent artist who focuses on body research and choreography. His works are often thought-provoking with powerful visual effects. He has been invited to arts festivals worldwide including RAM Dance Festival (Hong Kong, Taipei and Japan), Wiz World Dance Festival and New Dance for Asia - NDA International Festival in Seoul, Fukuoka Dance Fringe Festival, Macau Arts Festival, Hong Kong Arts Festival and I-Dance Festival, etc. He works closely with independent artist Tracy Wong on many projects and various artists in different disciplines from Belgium, Italy and Macau, among others.

Wong Pik Kei
Wong Pik Kei graduated from The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts in 2010, majoring in choreography. Her works can be labelled as “filthy” (filthy body, filthy desire, filthy mind-set) – if explored in a binary way. She develops her works from personal experiences focused on women, body, desires and sex. The emotions and behaviours of an “identified” woman are expressed with a contrasting difference between private and public spheres. Her major works include when time limps, Woman. Body, 19841012 and Nook. The latter two were commissioned by the Hong Kong Arts Festival. She has performed her works in Iceland, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu and Guangzhou. She also travelled to Japan to learn Butoh and participated in master Yukio Waguri’s theatre production White Room. Now as an independent dance artist, Wong travels around the world to enrich her choreography through contemplation and anticipates creating more works from the perspective of women that question traditional oriental values.

About West Kowloon Cultural District
Located on Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour, West Kowloon Cultural District is one of the largest cultural projects in the world. The vision of the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority is to create a vibrant new cultural quarter for Hong Kong. With a complex of theatres, performance spaces, and museums, West Kowloon Cultural District will produce and host world-class exhibitions, performances, and cultural events, as well as provide 23 hectares of public open space, including a two-kilometre waterfront promenade.

About Mecrat de les Flors
Mercat de les Flors is a public consortium by the Barcelona City Council and the Government of Catalonia, and is supported by the Ministry of Culture, with a goal to be recognised internationally as a reference point for all those artistic disciplines related to movement, dance and contemporary circus.

As well as serving as an important venue for performances by national and international companies, Mercat represents a clear commitment to the encouragement, stimulation, support and promotion of new educative initiatives and entrepreneurs to establish the dynamics needed to re-affirm the creativity of artists and advance their possibilities abroad. A member of the European Dancehouse Network, the association has experience leading European projects such as Modul-dance, a project together with 18 dance houses from the rest of Europe.