The pandemic has imposed many restrictions, increasing the need for us to nimbly handle our guiding principles. The New Vision Arts Festival firmly believes in the power of the arts to not only foster the innovative spirit within the theatre but also extend our focus on the details of everyday life, encouraging us to be more adaptable, break through limitations, and reject deep-rooted and outdated conventions!

Last year, we launched our “ReNew Vision” online platform, transporting artworks and performances into the virtual realm, thus opening new horizons for “New Vision”. On the occasion of this year’s tenth edition of the NVAF, we have commissioned a new set of gifs and logos: the arrows moving in opposite directions symbolise our steadfast mission to uncover new things and explore change in light of the “new normal”.

We still adhere to the NVAF’s four principal programming objectives – crossover collaborations, nurturing new talents, commissioning new works, overseas outreach. Since most international troupes cannot enter Hong Kong this year because of pandemic travel restrictions, we have postponed their appearances. Nonetheless, the NVAF still strives to advance in the face of hardship, working diligently to realise our current plans: a two-pronged approach commissioning local and overseas artists to create new works for live performance, and actively devising online programmes for streaming. Crossover collaborations include Ivanhoe Lam and Dutch contemporary dance maker Janosch Horn’s Report ii: the illegal-i, Thomas Tsang and Japanese American composer Ken Ueno’s Daedalus Drones as well as Wayson Poon and Norwegian/Danish artist Jon R. Skulberg’s Moving a memory. Some of this year’s online offerings are but preambles of larger-scale in-person productions that will enliven future NVAFs. For instance, The Once and Future (fusing music, film and AI) will appear before live audiences next year. This year, we unveil a teaser: an interactive online game entitled Project Labyrinth. Another example is the film Nowhere (Director’s Cut) by Dimitris Papaioannou as lead-in to his 2022 stage performance, Transverse Orientation. We have also commissioned Japan’s new media master Daito Manabe to create TONE, a new dance work based on augmented reality, as prelude to the opening of the East Kowloon Cultural Centre and the New Vision Arts Festival 2023.

In addition to Hung Keung, who continues with It All Begins with a Word – part of last year’s “ReNew Vision” – we are engaging many young creative artists to make their NVAF debut, among them Matthew Lau and Karen Yu in Menú del día; Alan Kwan and Wong Chun in Between Now and Never; Kyle Chung, Enoch Cheng and Lai Wai (who draw inspiration from the construction of a new cultural venue) in 2³ or Not 2³: East Kowloon is on Minecraft); and Rooftop Production, combining an innovative mobile app and street search in We Still Dance. In addition, Dylan Kwok leads young designers in building a collection of ArtSeats for NVAF audiences. Do watch out for related stage and community events and remember to grab your ArtSeat.

It is my fervent wish that the New Vision Arts Festival proffers truth, goodness and beauty. No matter whether you are riding the waves or struggling with adversity, do seize these opportunities to expand your horizons and embrace life and its totality.

Alex Cheung
Senior Manager, Festivals Office
Leisure and Cultural Services Department

New Vision Arts Festival 2021