Art for the People: Street Performance in Hong Kong

By Bonnie Yuen Yan Chan and Nga Yu Lee.

Published by The Arts Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Street performance and the use of public space is one of the hottest issues in Hong Kong recently. Hong Kong, like many other cities in the world, has serious problem of limited space and overcrowding. And cultural activities are still always regarded as marginal in the society. Therefore, under such circumstances, when compared to nearby cities such as Taipei and Tokyo, street performance in Hong Kong is extremely rare and people are not very familiar with it. Even the government does not have a complete system to help or support artist to perform in streets.
FM Theatre Power, a local independent theatre troupe, has started to perform in the most crowded street in the city for over four years. The troupe even name the street they usually perform in the “West Kowloon Cultural Street” in response to the “West Kowloon Cultural District” brought out by the government. From freezing in the busy street to doing invisible theatre, the group tried out different performing style to make theatre for all people to enjoy. FM Theatre Power believe that everywhere can be the stage and all people should have the right to get in touch with and to enjoy theatre, regardless of their social status and purchasing power etc.
The paper uses the street performing experience of FM Theatre Power in a special context, Hong Kong, to explore the possible uses of street performances.

Keywords: Hong Kong, Street Performance, Theatre, Street Theatre, Public Space

International Journal of the Arts in Society, Volume 3, Issue 4, pp.47-52. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 526.368KB).

Bonnie Yuen Yan Chan

Universities Drama Secretary, Hong Kong

Graduated with Master of Arts in East-West Drama, Chan is now a research executive in the University of Hong Kong, working on the integration of Cantonese Opera in Chinese language education. Joined the FM Theatre Power in 2003, Chan participated in numbers of production in the troupe and is now the Universities Drama Secretary. In 2007, Chan received HSBC Scholarship to take up an internship in Off-West End, London. Her works in London includes: Lower Depths and Men Without Shadows at the Finborough and Merchant of Venice at the Arcola.

Nga Yu Lee

Assistant Artistic Director, Hong Kong

Graduated from the University of Hong Kong with Bachelor of Arts in Comparative Literature, Lee is now studying for a Master of Arts in Theatre Making in University of Leeds, UK, with the Hong Kong Arts Development Council-FCO Chevening-University of Leeds Scholarship.

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