Artist of the Month- September- Tang Shu Wing

1. Name, Birthplace, Age
Tang Shu-wing, Hong Kong, 53


2. How does where you were raised affect your work?
Bilingual ability enabled me to know more about the Western culture and the Chinese culture. Being a Hong Konger, I was able to learn Tai Chi, techniques of Beijing Opera and mime from various teachers of quality when I was in my 20s. These kinds of training made me a deeper understanding of the body as a container of emotion and inner expression. Moreover, the fact that HK used to be called a cultural desert also prompted me to do something to rectify this unbalanced development.


3. Where did you train?
in France, as a professional actor.


4. What is your favorite style of (insert appropriate medium here)? Why?
Physical theatre, either verbal or nonverbal. Because the body is the primary means of expression or even the ontological existence of human beings, before the invention of language. For me, physical theatre is not just the end result but a crucial process of creation which can liberate the actors from the constrain of their intellect so that they can explore a total organic expression of their whole being. This exploration can conduce to a realistic drama or a totally abstract dance performance.



5. What was the best show you EVER saw?
The Tempest of Shakespeare directed by Peter Brook


6. What was the best show in HK you EVER saw? (You cannot say your own.)
Nine Songs choreographed by Helen Lai


7.What piece of work are you the most proud of?
There are two: 1. Titus Andronicus 2. Detention. The first is the first Cantonese performance ever performed at the Globe Theatre of London while the second is the first Hong Kong theatre piece performed during the entire Edinburgh Fringe Festival for three weeks and is so much critically acclaimed and nominated for the First Fringe Award.


8. What is your process like?
Both of them use devising techniques based on the 5 pre-verbal forms of human expression: voice, breathing, facial expression, gesture and spatial displacement. Titus is a physical expression of a dense text of Shakespeare while the latter is a non verbal physical theatre integrating acrobatics, percussion, dance and Chinese opera movement. 


9. What is your dream project?
To stage a martial arts novel, The Legend of the Condor Heros(射鵰英雄傳) of Jin Yong (金庸)


10. If you could change one thing about the art scene in HK, what would it be?
To establish a theatre which can host the first landmark long run show of Hong Kong, hopefully Detention.