More world-class artists, scientists and academics headed for Hong Kong as the British Council announces further programme details for the inaugural
SPARK: The Science and Art of Creativity festival
More than 30 cutting-edge events at Tai Kwun from 18–20 January 2019
Registration is open NOW!
The countdown to Hong Kong’s first festival celebrating creativity across the arts, sciences and education, SPARK: The Science and Art of Creativity, stepped up a gear today as the British Council unveiled more details of the programme of free events and opened registration to the public. The highly anticipated Festival of Ideas, which is set to take place at Tai Kwun Centre for Heritage and Arts in Central from 18–20 January 2019, features more than 30 events presented by over 50 major creative and education partners from the UK and Hong Kong. Watch the SPARK video here to find out more.
Providing a platform for cultural exchange through a carefully curated selection of interactive experiences, provocative performances, stimulating talks and other innovative happenings, SPARK welcomes artists, scientists and academics from a variety of UK and Hong Kong institutions. These include University of the Arts London, the British Library, London Metropolitan University, the Natural History Museum, the University of Glasgow, Hong Kong Science Museum, the Hong Kong Design Institute, Hong Kong Design Centre and many more. (Please see full list in Notes to Editors)
Events have been organised into four themes – Creative Cities, Art meets Science, Altered Realities and Future Skills – and include everything from eye-popping live science experiments and state-of-the-art multimedia workshops to an exploration of Chinese heritage sites that uses Augmented and Virtual Reality to simulate time travel. Some events will even take attendees beyond the walls of Tai Kwun, such as ‘BioBlitz’, a fun interactive scientific survey set in Hong Kong Park.
The festival is designed to inspire people of all ages, but is particularly aimed at those under 30. It is completely free and open to the public, although some events require pre-booking. Attendees can register for a number of events now at www.britishcouncil.hk/en/spark and new events are being added regularly. Registration will remain open until the final day of the festival, 20 January 2019.
Susannah Morley, SPARK Festival Director and Director of Programmes and Partnerships at the British Council in Hong Kong, said:
‘With so many fantastic partners from the UK and Hong Kong coming together for SPARK, we couldn’t have asked for a better group of collaborators to bring our inaugural festival to life. I hope that we not only inspire our young people of today to be the innovators of tomorrow, but that we also strengthen the connections between the UK and Hong Kong by uniting in a celebration of creativity.”
The SPARK programme includes the following newly announced events:
Artists, scientists and designers will explore the role of creativity in the sustainability of developed urban areas.
‘Nature in the City’, a multimedia workshop led by artist Dr Jacek Ludwig Scarso of The Cass at London Metropolitan University, investigates natural spaces in an urban environment by encouraging participants to use video, photography, creative writing and sketches to document their surroundings.
‘Tai Kwun Tour with Purcell Heritage Architects’ offers a first-hand insight into the challenges involved in transforming the Former Central Police Station Compound into a leading contemporary arts centre, from the UK firm that worked in collaboration with Herzog & de Meuron and Rocco Design Architects to bring Tai Kwun to fruition.
Presented by the University of the Arts London, ‘UAL’s Global Pavilion’ explores 21st century ideas around migration, transportation and identity through the work of local Hong Kong, wider Asian and European artists. Together they explore and destabilise narratives of displacement and subjectivity across three different installations by three UAL colleges.
ART MEETS SCIENCE
Creativity is born when art meets science. This segment of the festival allows visitors to interact with some of the UK and Hong Kong’s creative visionaries working at the crossover of these two mediums.
‘Ignite the SPARK!’ by award-winning outdoor theatre company Walk the Plank working with The Warehouse Teenage Club ignites young people’s imagination through the creation of fire drawings, exploring the science and art of combustion.
‘What is Creativity?’ is a panel discussion exploring what it means to be creative across different disciplines. Speakers include Edmund Lee, Executive Director of the Hong Kong Design Centre, a scientist and celebrated UK artists Idris Khan and Faye Wei Wei.
From how to harness AR and VR to drive innovation in higher education to reimagining the past,
visitors can immerse themselves in the parallel universes of AR and VR in this segment of the festival.
‘Virtual Time Travel’, presented by NVIDIA Joint-Lab on Mixed Reality at the University of Nottingham Ningbo China, brings Chinese heritage to life using Virtual and Augmented Reality, allowing visitors to explore entire sites from 800 years ago and ‘handle’ objects that are hundreds or even thousands of years old.
‘Immersive Technology: Inspiration, Innovation and Practical Guidance’, which is presented by the Centre for the Study of Perceptual Experience, University of Glasgow, looks at how Virtual and Augmented Reality can enhance learning across a wide range of subjects. Through demonstrations and workshops, participants can learn how to write an actionable brief for an app.
How can young people in the UK and Hong Kong prepare for life and work in a globalised society?
Events in this category explore the creative skills and knowledge young people need to prosper in the
face of AI, machine learning and other technological advancements.
‘The Periodic Table of Videos: Live!’ is a series of intriguing live experiments presented by the University of Nottingham that demonstrate chemical properties and reactions, and how they have influenced the world we live in today.
The panel discussion ‘Promoting 21st Century Skills in the Future Workforce’ examines what governments, parents, career counsellors, schools, universities and young people themselves can do to ensure the future workforce has the right skills for a prosperous and sustainable future. Speakers include John Tsang, Founder of Esperanza, Dr. Laylian Ong, Principal of the Hong Kong Design Institute and Hong Kong Institute of Vocational Education (Lee Wai Lee), Albert Wong, Chief Executive Officer of the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation and Samuel Chan, British Council Study UK Alumni Awards Winner.
Keep up to date with the festival by following the British Council on Hong Kong’s social media channels: