Monday, October 5, 2015

Inspired by Cello and Wing Chun

On 1st October National Day my wife and I were invited to attend a very special concert called One Moment - when cello meets Wing Chun, Unleash the power of one thought by Cellist Clara Tsang, Wing Chun sifu Lei Ming Fai, with pianist Zhang Jiao. In Hong Kong, there are main stream government supported concerts and art programs, and there are self-financed persons and groups, some of professional standard while others amateurish, who put their heart into making their respectively art form with their own vision. If one is looking for anything new, fringe or experimental, one has to go after the non-main streams. My wife and I came to the right place that evening.

I am not on top of western instrumental music, and is not familiar with cello pieces (I played Chinese flute and was a amateur player for group till I left University). The music repertoire of the evening (Shostakovich's Op.40 and Myaskovsky's Op. 81) took me by surprise as they are very refreshing, the former has a more complex musical structure while the latter is more passionate and therefore touching. The repertoire harmonized well with Wing Chun which sifu Lui performed with variation in speed, power and application. In the beginning a short video was shown in the background delivering the philosophical note of the performance: finding one's centre line as like finding the meaning in one's life. The whole performance gave me a flair of situation-specific art commonly exhibited in today's contemporary art museums: it can only happen here! If you ask me for any possibility of improvement, I would say the creative inputs of a choreographer can be useful in enriching the art-form as presented.

I also find sifu's interpretation of Wing Chun very refreshing. Wing Chun nowadays, in particular in the West, has been stereotyped as a no-nonsense fighting art (and this positioning put some Wing Chun practitioners in verbal, if not in physical, conflicts with some MMA practitioners).  Sifu Lui also practises Chinese tea-ritual (not the same as Japan's Tea ceremony which in more Zen like) and Buddhism, that probably help making his Wing Chun (as well as his personal presence) more harmonized with the performing art as presented.

Final applause has to go to cellist Clara to make it all happened. It is no easy task singularly treading the music or art field with no main stream support. Yet it is the best way to remain independent so that new ideas can easily be tested - without possible bureaucratic hindrance.

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