Cover photo: “A View From The Bridge” Toneelgroep Amsterdam © Jan Versweyveld
This year, the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority (WKCDA) has launched a comprehensive three-year programme called Creation for Freespace to combine its past initiatives for artists from Hong Kong under one umbrella, and to encompass programs on artist capacity, work development, artist residencies, and artist-led research and development.
With a focus on theatre, the project is devoted to the future venue of Freespace set to open in 2018 at WKCD, providing a space of cultural discourse, engagement and community experience.
The first series of Creation for Freespace is about scenography. “The practice of scenography in theatre making has evolved over the years, and especially within the contemporary theatre scene,” says Low Kee Hong – Head of Theatre, Performing Arts at West Kowloon. “Scenography of course is more than just set design alone. It is also more than the sum of the set, props, costumes and lighting. It is a practice that is akin to the manipulation of space and time. The scenographer as such, is like a magician who determines what the audience is allowed to see and how they see.”
This series of programmes on scenography, catered to the art until 2019, is called Creation for Freespace: On Scenography and is curated by Hong Kong theatre director Edward Lam. Each year of the project will study the work of a key artist from this sector.
This year’s series presented an insight into the world of the acclaimed Dutch scenographer Jan Versweyveld, a major player in contemporary theatre around the world. The programme was called What is Stage – Dynamics of Seeing.
Through hosted seminars, screenings and workshops, held from June to September across Hong Kong, participating theatre professionals and aficionados were able to gain a deeper understanding of the concept of scenography and the role of the scenographer, as well as explore the interplay of text and imagery, and the possibilities of space and time by one of the most revered contemporary European scenographers today.