The French May Arts Festival is back in May with an exciting range of programs under the theme of “Art Unboxed”.
In its 30th edition, the festival looks to break out of the box with performances, exhibitions, talks and workshops that push the boundaries of art and culture in Hong Kong.
Established in 1993 to promote French arts in Hong Kong, the festival has become one of the largest cultural events in Asia.
With an emphasis on making art accessible, there is something for everyone.
Check out our top picks and see if any of them tickles your fancy.
1. Cities of Light: A Love Affair between France and Hong Kong
Featuring renowned Hong Kong composer Leon Ko, pop diva Gin Lee and jazz vocalist Talie Monin, the two-night concert takes audiences on an extraordinary musical journey through Hong Kong and French pop music.
Date: June 24 and 25
Venue: Grand Theatre, Hong Kong Cultural Centre
Price: HK$580, HK$680, HK$780 and HK$880 (Tickets are available at URBTIX from May 19)
2. Carte Blanche to Christian Rizzo
Curated remotely by acclaimed French choreographer Christian Rizzo, the full-week event will be packed with an installation, dance film screenings, a pop-up dance performance by local dance artists, a creative dance workshop for families and an online talk.
Date: May 31 to Jun 5
Venue: Freespace, West Kowloon Cultural District
Price: Free admission
For more information, visit https://www.westkowloon.hk/en/carte-blanche-to-christian-rizzo.
3. THÉÂTRE SANS ANIMAUX
Eight seemingly independent sketches are strung together to form a vivid collage depicting the everyday lives of the common French people in this play, where the characters are leading ordinary but absurd lives. THÉÂTRE SANS ANIMAUX premiered in France in 2001 and won three awards at the Molière Awards. The Hong Kong edition features local artists Chan Chu-hei and Ima Collab.
Date: June 17 to 19
Time 3pm (June 18 and 19) and 8pm (June 17 to 19)
Venue: Theatre, Ngau Chi Wan Civic Centre
Price: HK$230 (concessionary) and HK$280 (standard). Tickets are available at URBTIX from April 21.
4. Notre Dame – How to rebuild a masterpiece of Gothic architecture in the 21st century?
As part of the French Rendezvous @ Tai Kwun series, this heritage talk covers the rebuilding of the famous cathedral Notre-Dame, which was seriously damaged in 2019 after a fire. Speakers Pascal Asselin, President of the National Union of Construction Economists, and Jonathan Truillet, Chief Curator of Heritage and Deputy Director of the Public Institution of Notre-Dame, will touch on how we can reconstruct an iconic monument of French heritage today and reappropriate heritage without distorting it.
Date: May 3
5. Adrift in Time—Photography by Chun Wai
Adrift in Time—Photography by Chun Wai is an exhibition of photographs taken by the artist in France in the 1990s. Born in Hong Kong and educated at the École supérieure des beaux-arts de Mulhouse, Chun Wai toured Europe on a quest for the beginning of time, understanding that everything he photographed had a finite start and end.
Date: May 20 to Sep. 25
Venue: University Museum and Art Gallery, The University of Hong Kong
For more information, visit https://umag.hku.hk/exhibition/adrift-in-time-photography-by-chun-wai.
For more information on other French May Arts Festival programs, visit https://www.frenchmay.com.