Thursday, June 10, 2010

Class days

Sculpture outside the museum

Poster for Wu Guanzhong's exhibit outside the museum

Wu did a painting of Victoria Harbor and the museum has superimposed a rendition of it onto the windows facing the harbor

Two swallows - the artist says this is his most important work

One of Wu's more modern works

I am really glad that I didn't take the CUHK course. I am enjoying my class but I feel I haven't absorbed one day's lesson before I go to the next. Taking class every day is intense enough for me. And actually I know a lot of the vocabulary, so it is the structure of the language that I am working on the most. It is on one hand good, it is making me realize how much I know. But on the other hand, there is still so much vocabulary I don't know. I am trying to add to this by asking specific questions, like how do I go to the movie theater, ask for a ticket, pick my seat, etc.

One of my big problems is constructing sentences. I was advised by a fellow blogger to work with patterns so I am trying to apply that to the individual sentences they are giving me in class and within the dialogues in the text. The more I absorb the patterns, the easier it will be for me to think in Cantonese I am told.

My class is in the middle of the day which I find awkward. II am doing my best to work around it. I take my time going and coming, trying to take various routes so as to take the Star Ferry (my favorite form of transportation). I had an early lunch with a fellow blogger and new friend on tuesday, wednesday I went to the Hong Kong Museum of Art afterwards and today I went to the Hong Kong Space Museum today.

Am I speaking Cantonese? Well, my record is spotty I admit. It is really too damn easy to speak English here. So it depends on my mood or my level of confidence which can vary immensely in a short space of time. In one restaurant I might order in Cantonese and in the next in English. Yes, they speak to me in English most of the time, but if I am feeling confident I just continue in Cantonese.

The space museum was interesting because it was a different perspective of the history of space exploration--in other words, not American-centric like one would get in the U.S. The only point I quibbled with was one of the first things I read, it was about how the Romans based their gods on the heavens and mentioned the goddess of the moon and yet didn't mention her name? How hard it is it to say her name was Diana? HMM? But since the Romans acquired (or stole, depending on your perspective) their gods and goddesses via the Greeks and the Greeks got no mention at all, I guess I need to let the Diana "dis" slide.

The Museum of Art has some really cool stuff. The contemporary art display had a variety of types of art, sculpture, painting, video. There was one video which is an elevator door opening and closing, each time you see different people in the elevator. No one gets on or off, you just see these people reacting or not reacting to the door opening. The pottery was beautiful, I had no idea there were so many different styles. I especially liked the Wu Guanzhong exhibit, he seems to have found a Chinese way to do modern art. I can't exactly explain it but it feels a bit like Hong Kong to me, a blending of East and West.

If you are interested I will tell you about my humbling experience in a hot pot restaurant next time.


  1. I've been to the Museum of Art a couple of times, but I don't think I ever ventured beyond whatever the special exhibit was. Did you go to their bookshop? It's pretty great. They stock some hard to find HK movie books, including Paul Fonoroff's Silver Light.

    Two of my favorite museums are the Museum of History and the Hong Kong Heritage Museum (which is out in Shatin, but definitely worth the journey). The history museum currently has a special exhibit about HK in the 60s and 70s and one about the cheongsam starting at the end of the month.

    And yes please, do tell us about your humbling hot pot experience! ;)

  2. I agree with DurianDave. The history museum is my favorite. And that exhibit, "The Hong Kong Story" is wonderful.

  3. Hi, duriandave, yes, I went to the bookshop, it is wonderful. I didn't realize Fonoroff wrote a book. Hmm.

    Duriandave, Joyce thanks for the recomendation. I was thinking about these two museums. Hopefully the next class will make it more convenient to venture farther during the weekdays but I can definitely go to the History Museum on this schedule.

    BTW, I went on the free day to the Museum of Art. I don't go to the free days at the museums in NY, you can move thru the crowds, can barely see the art. But that is because the museums in NY are expensive, "suggested" donations can be more than $20. And they really frown on you not giving the "suggested" donation. But at $10HK, the price is so cheap, I don't know if it made any difference in the attendance.