Come end of October, we’re all in a bit of a spooky mood. Hong Kong’s arts and events scene is no different, with plenty of odes to haunting stories, eerily beautiful productions and heart-pounding games and events to take part in around town. Look no further than our curated list of the best things to do in Hong Kong this month.
Perfect for natural history buffs, the third collaboration between City University of Hong Kong and Taipei’s National Palace Museum brings about a fantastic array of exhibits that showcase how animals have been represented throughout the ages, particularly leveraging both the City University’s expertise in new creative media and the National Palace Museum’s gorgeous historic collections. From archaeological treasures to digital and interactive installations, rich Chinese painting and sculpture, music, augmented and virtual reality, it’s set to be a day out that will fascinate all ages.
ANiMAL: Art Science Nature Society Exhibition
The ninth year of the biennial New Vision Arts Festival returns, continuing to introduce cutting-edge artistic endeavours to the Hong Kong stage. With a thrilling programme of cross-media productions, highlights include “Tree of Codes,” a joint effort between dancer Wayne McGregor, visual artist Olafur Eliasson and musician Jamie xx; “AquaSonic” by Between Music, a Danish group of bona fide mermaids who have developed the ethereal ability to sing and perform underwater; “Angel’s Bone” a hard-hitting multi-art piece by Shanghai-born composer Du Yun, the first Chinese woman to receive the Pulitzer Prize for Music, working with librettist Royce Vavrek to delve into the dark psyches of human traffickers; and Tan Dun’s “Buddha Passion,” a bold interpretation of Buddha’s teachings in a symphonic narrative, presented in collaboration with the Hong Kong Philharmonic and Chorus and the International Choir Academy Lübeck.
New Vision Arts Festival
Following Akram Khan’s staging last June, this iteration of the hauntingly beautiful Giselle by the Hong Kong Ballet comes perfectly at this spooky time of year, and perhaps with even higher anticipation as we bid farewell to principal dancer Jin Yao, who gives her final performance after a long and illustrious career with the company for over two decades. Featuring guest stars Marcelo Gomes and Sarah Lane from the American Ballet Theatre and Matthew Golding of the Bavarian State Ballet, it’s sure to be a stunningly executed, heart-rending masterpiece.
Hong Kong Ballet: Giselle
Taiwanese musician Lim Giong’s work spans across the studio and stage, and he's also an illustrious composer for documentary and feature film scores. This exhibition offers a unique opportunity for Hongkongers to experience the relationship between image and sound contextualised through Hong Kong and Taiwan. Together with M+, Lim presents live accompanied moving image works from the M+ collections: with short films by Michael Rogge, and a dual-projection work by Simon Liu entitled “Harbour City.”
Haunting Images: Live Cinema by Lim Giong
Samuel Beckett’s masterful and cryptic play is brought to Hong Kong to the delight of many theatre enthusiasts. Lost vagabonds Vladimir and Estragon while away their time on a lone country road, waiting for salvation -- and the answers to their questions from a man named Godot. Few plays have attracted as much free interpretation as Waiting for Godot, and Hongkongers are about to get their chance to weigh in this October. Lifestyle Asia readers can also save 20% by using the code GODOT20 for all Wednesday, Thursday and Friday evening performances.
Waiting for Godot
Save Pottinger Street for the Sevens: If you’re really looking to blow it out of the water with a killer costume this Halloween, take a gander through the original film prop auctions currently on for FX network’s American Horror Story, where you can bid on gems ranging from Marie’s jumpsuit or Madame Lalaurie’s blood facial kit from third season Coven, to leather cuff restraints from second season Asylum and more. If you’re more faint of heart, you’d perhaps like to browse the Parks and Recreation wardrobe and prop store, where you can channel your best normcore Pawnee bureaucrat. Psst... items from hit shows such as Mad Men, True Blood and Boardwalk Empire are also available.
American Horror Story Screenbid Auction
The comfortable fall weather in Hong Kong is now perfect for outdoor shenanigans, and Shi Fu Miz kick starts the season’s al fresco music festival fever -- you’ll want to grab your last minute tickets while you still can. Organised every year by music creative agency FuFu in collaboration with French collective La Mamie’s, this two-day affair takes place at Saiyuen Camping & Adventure Park at the southwestern tip of Cheung Chau. An eclectic lineup of regional and French producers and DJs will have you dancing from dusk to dawn and back, while wellness events such as yoga workshops, gong bath meditations, street art, a marketplace and massages will round out the rest of your weekend immersed in nature.
Shi Fu Miz
In the spirit of dressing up for Halloween comes the ultimate dress-up extravaganza in the form of Hong Kong’s most thrilling drag brunch. Broad Cast (formerly Biiitch Brunch) has been bringing exuberant affairs at Lily & Bloom and Jinjuu, and now brings the shade to Picada with yet another sensational and haunting party. Expect three hours of free-flow beer, wine and prosecco with a Latin dinner buffet, as well as Halloween-themed drinks, performances and plenty of scary surprises.
Broad Cast: Cult Classic
Horror game aficionados are sure to get a kick out of this one. Hong Kong event production company Dorian Concept is bringing Dead Rising, an open-world survival horror game created by video game franchise Capcom, to real life. Taking place in Riviera Plaza, a real long-abandoned shopping mall in Tsuen Wan, brave Hongkongers can trace the footsteps of fictional photojournalist Frank West who made his way through the zombie-infested building. It’s nothing like Hong Kong has seen before, so strap in for the ride (and pray you get out alive)...
It’s not often adults get the excuse to go nuts on a bouncy castle, and K11’s Fairyland Playscape installation masks the opportunity all in the name of contemporary art. Why not? Unleash your inner kid and immerse yourself in this work by Manfred Yuen, founder of Groundwork Architecture. A result of research on the ideal play space for the future generation, strap in and see for yourself how far this squishy artwork ticks all the boxes for your future needs.