The exact vision one may have after a week’s hard work and goodwill visits for the Chinese New Year.
Friday, January 27, 2012
Thursday, January 26, 2012
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Showcased at the West Kowloon Bamboo Cinema (opening session ended yesterday) are the Portraits of Cantonese Opera done by Michael Wolf, a photographer born in Munich and currently living and working in Hong Kong. A two-time winner of the World Press Photo Award Competition in 2005 and 2010, he has been engaged in photographing various aspects of Chinese cultural identity and local urban architecture.
In this Portraits of Cantonese Opera, Mike utilises his lens to capture the essence of Cantonese opera and its locally celebrated performers, documenting the specificity and individuality of each character and their costumes. His approach of juxtaposing the tradition of Cantonese opera against the backdrop of the old neighbourhood conveys his reflection on the city and its diverse cultural contexts.
The Bamboo Cinema was a one-off project, now finished, to provide spectators with performances at the old-day price. Cantonese opera performed in the setting of a bamboo cinema is a traditional art form combining music, martial arts, drama and architecture. An embodiment of linguistics, literature and entertainment of the Southern China Lingnan culture, Cantonese opera has officially been inscribed into the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity and remained China's first batch of intangible cultural heritage.
The author had the privilege to attend the grand opening performances at the theatre. But regrettably, in the bag was only the Leica X1 fitted with the 35mm lens. Sitting next to the author were lots of shutterbugs busy clicking the shutter release. That's a slight imperfection of the night.
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Leica is not known for premium lenses for nothing. Before doing some portraits with the Sony A55 with some lenses and the wireless flashgun, the author took out the X1 for some test shots. It was about six thirty and the sun had already set. The environmental light was so dim that the X1 hesitated in focusing automatically. But once again, for some reason, the low resolution LCD screen gives out a highly better visual result for confirming MF compared to the much beefed-up one on the GXR body. And when it comes to image quality, the X1 shines. Even though the Elmarit lens on the X1 is not the original Elmarit for the M, it is a worthy member of the family in terms of image quality.
Let the picture speak itself with a 100% crop of today's shot:
Monday, January 23, 2012
Fake monks from Mainland China begging for "charity donations" in the street is a known issue in Hong Kong. The author stumbled upon two police officers stopping such a monk, who showed great remorse on his face.
In Hong Kong, the unwritten rule is that on the first day of the Chinese New Year, drivers are licensed to do illegal parking. Unless the car is parked in the middle of the road, no police officers will stop it. This no-punishment rule obviously doesn't apply to fake monks.
Sunday, January 22, 2012
Tomorrow is the start of the Chinese New Year. The city is heavily decorated in red and rosy colour which culturally augurs well for the new year.
The new year will be the Year of the Dragon, which is an auspicious fictitious creature possibly originated from the totem of the ancient Chinese tribe. According to a retired curator of a local university, the painting of cloud on the bronze utensils in the ancient days may be related to the emergence of the dragon concept.
While it is the year of the important creature, the new year is also special in that it will have 384 days since it is a double leap year – a leap year according to both the solar and lunar calendars.
For further reading about the lunar calendar calculations, visit this page.