We're in a Cultural Renaissance: Embrace the Change!
By: Meaghan McGurgan
When I moved here there was very little in Hong Kong’s art scene. There was Hong Kong Arts Festival, a few community theatres putting on plays and the Chinese language art scene, which was completely separated from the English speaking artists. I remember there were six companies that I could work with in the beginning and very few paid… Want to know how many companies there are now? Forty-seven.
Never before have there been this many new bands, art galleries, open mic nights, comedy clubs, theatre openings… I’m not saying every work is perfect, but I’m loving the fact that I can see something new and different every night of the week. Hong Kong has something to say and is using art to say it. Let the declaration be made: We are in a Cultural Renaissance!
It’s time to embrace the changes that come with it and stop thinking about how we used to create art five years ago. We’re in unchartered territory. It'll be harder to fill the house and find new audience members, but just because something is harder doesn't mean that progress isn't being made. Making art shouldn't be easy.
We are in the point in history where Hong Kong is deciding upon its identity. Who are we: As people… As a nation… As artists… As writers... What is our collective voice? This is a very exciting time to be an artist in Hong Kong. Occupy Hong Kong was an amazing turning point for us, as an artistic community. People now know there is local talent and we have something to say!
It won’t be tranquil during this Renaissance… Change is not easy. We can’t rely on the government or grants to support the sudden boom of young talent. Red tape and extortionist venue prices are not going to go away overnight. The only thing that will solve the issue that artists have with lack of sustainability currently in our market, is reeducation of audience. And that education falls on us as arists. We’ve reeducated Hong Kong to get rid of plastic bags, stop eating sharkfin, buy food from local farmers… Now it’s our responsibility to help them realize that buying from local artists is just as important.
Embrace the Renaissance.
Share your plans for promoting art in Hong Kong.
Let’s work together to create a better future, for everyone.
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