West Kowloon is pleased to announce the two awardees of the 2020 Young Fellows Scheme: drama educator and immersive theatre creator Onnie Chan On-yin, and arts practitioner, researcher and writer Leung Ho-yin.
A sharing session will be held with both fellows after the completion of their projects.
(Details to be announced in early 2021)
Onnie Chan On-yin
Drama educator Onnie Chan On-yin is the founder and artistic director of Banana Effect, a Hong Kong theatre group specialising in immersive game theatre productions for audiences of all ages. In 2015, she led the establishment of BE KIDS, a branch of Banana Effect focused on interactive puppet performances.
Onnie graduated from The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts with a Bachelor of Arts in Acting. After working as a full-time actor at the Hong Kong Repertory Theatre from 2009 to 2011, she moved to London to study at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. In 2017, Onnie was awarded a Yale-China Arts Fellowship by the Yale-China Association and the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office to develop the immersive theatre project Never Stand Still.
Committed to drama education, Onnie has provided training for the Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui and the Hong Kong Chinese Culture Development Association, and worked with The Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups and the Hong Kong Youth Arts Foundation to host storytelling and drama workshops for teenagers, parents and teachers. She has also conducted workshops and seminars for The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, the City University of Hong Kong and the Hong Kong Design Institute.
Fellows Project: Fun Time for Single-parent Families
Pressured by long working hours, many parents in Hong Kong struggle to give their children as much time and attention as they would like and parent-child relationships can suffer as a result. For single parents, the pressures can be even more acute. Having witnessed her own mother’s struggles, Onnie is keen to explore ways to use her professional and personal experience to help single parents build closer, stronger relationships with their children, and in 2019 she led the Banana Effect project You are absent and what does that mean? exploring how the absence of a father can affect children in the course of growing up.
For the Fellows project, Onnie builds on her past work and experience, and explores storytelling as a simple and effective way to enhance parent-child bonds and create open communication. Working closely with single parents, social service organisations and child psychologists, she will conduct drama workshops and interviews to research the challenges faced by single-parent families and their support needs. From this, and secondary research, Onnie will develop an interactive toolkit based on storytelling and drama techniques to help parents engage more easily with their children, enhance and personalise storytelling routines and improve heart-to-heart communication.
Photo by Homan Fan
Leung Ho-yin is an arts practitioner, researcher and writer with an interest in arts and social engagement, social science and creative methodologies. He is currently working on a book on the artwork created by Vietnamese boat people in detention camps in Hong Kong in the late 1980s.
Ho-yin obtained his Master of Philosophy in History of Chinese Art from The Chinese University of Hong Kong and is currently a member of the Diversity, Equity and Social Inclusion Research Group at The Education University of Hong Kong. Prior to this, he assisted Professor Frank Vigneron in designing an internship programme focused on arts and social engagement for the Department of Fine Arts at The Chinese University of Hong Kong, and conducted research on local ecological art with the Wanwu Practice Group led by Dr Zheng Bo from the School of Creative Media at the City University of Hong Kong. Ho-yin participated as an artist in Hak Hak Jap at the Rooftop Institute (2019) and was assistant curator for the art space Neptune from 2016 to 2018. In 2018, he was selected as an emerging art professional by Hong Kong’s contemporary art centre Para Site. He is also a contributor to a number of arts publications, including The Art Newspaper, City Magazine, Harper’s Bazaar, Paratext and Ran Dian.
Fellows Project: “Yau Lok, Ng-goi” – The Music of Minibus Drivers in Hong Kong
Minibuses are an iconic part of Hong Kong’s public transport landscape. Everyone in the city has personal memories connected to rides that can often be memorable sonic journeys as well. Even a short ride will be marked by the sounds of passengers talking on phones or shouting to get off, by radio broadcasts or by the songs on the driver’s playlist. How does this soundscape affect how we connect to the people travelling with us? To what extent are minibuses also personal performative spaces for the drivers – like travelling live houses?
Inspired by personal and artistic experiences, Leung Ho-yin’s “Yau Lok, Ng-goi”, is an interdisciplinary research project that investigates the demographics of Hong Kong’s minibus driver community and the idea of minibuses as community spaces where passengers and drivers are connected through a shared soundscape. By researching drivers’ playlists and music tastes, and documenting personal stories in published writings and recordings, Ho-yin hopes to open up new connections between drivers and passengers and new perspectives on minibuses as spaces for shared music experiences.
West Kowloon is pleased to announce the two awardees of the 2019 Young Fellows Scheme: theatre maker, researcher and co-founder and co-artistic director of Little Bean Theatre, Bonnie Chan Yuen-yan and audio describer and arts administrator Dorothy Ngan So-yan.
A sharing session will be held with both fellows after completion of their projects.
(Details to be announced in late 2019)
Bonnie Chan Yuen-yan
Bonnie is a theatre maker, researcher, educator and the co-founder and co-artistic director of Little Bean Theatre (London), an organisation catering for Cantonese-speaking children and families in the UK. She has toured Little Bean Theatre performances in schools and community centres that support non-Chinese speaking students in Hong Kong. Her research interest covers theatre and education as well as community cultural development. She is also an experienced Cantonese teacher.
Bonnie received her MA in Theatre Criticism and Dramaturgy at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in London and received an MA in East-West Drama from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. She worked in the Literary Department of the Royal Shakespeare Company on the Chinese Classics Translation Project. Between 2004 and 2015, she was a core member of FM Theatre Power. She has also worked with a number of other Hong Kong-based theatre groups. Bonnie has worked as Senior Researcher in the Performing Arts Department at West Kowloon Cultural District and as Research Executive in the Cantonese Opera Education Research and Promotion Project in the University of Hong Kong.
Her theatre works and academic papers on community theatre and related topics have been presented in international arts festivals and conferences in several countries, including Taiwan, Korea, Bangladesh, Singapore, Portugal, France, the UK and the Netherlands. Bonnie received an HSBC scholarship for an internship in off-West End venues in London (2007). She was the guest curator of the International Community Arts Festival in Rotterdam in 2017.
Fellows Project: Little Bean – Cantonese is Fun!
As an international city, Hong Kong is home to a number of different minority communities. But language and cultural barriers, and an inability to read, write or speak Chinese, can make it difficult for individuals from these communities to gain academic qualifications, pursue careers and fully participate in Hong Kong life. To help make Hong Kong a more inclusive society, the social integration and enhancement of this population is crucial.
For this project, Bonnie will work with experienced arts education and language-learning facilitators to offer Cantonese-language drama and music workshops for non-Chinese speaking children aged 3 to 8 years from ethnic minority communities. In an immersive Cantonese-language environment, the children will be provided with a fun arts-learning experience that will also help enhance their language proficiency. Through these workshops, the project also aims to establish closer ties with minority community families, engage them in local arts and cultural activities, and help promote diversity and social inclusion.
Dorothy Ngan So-yan
Photo: Jack Li
Practicing audio describer and experienced arts administrator Dorothy Ngan So-yan received professional training in audio description in Hong Kong in 2008. During her training she received guidance from a number of established audio describers including Joel Snyder, Professor Chao Yaly, Andrea Day, Celia Hughes and Andrew Holland.
Since 2009, Dorothy has devoted herself to supporting arts accessibility services for music, dance, theatre, xiqu, film and visual arts. She is the curator of the accessible tour programme for the Xiqu Centre and the coordinator of in-gallery guide for M+. She has served as audio describer for the DVD production of the documentary films Snuggle and Light Up, and for a number of live performances including events for the Cantonese Opera Young Talent Showcase, Le French May, City Contemporary Dance Company, Hong Kong Ballet, Hong Kong Dance Company, Hong Kong Arts Festival, Chung Ying Theatre, Zuni Icosahedron, and Hong Kong Repertory Theatre.
Dorothy obtained a Master’s Degree in Fine Arts and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mathematics from The Chinese University of Hong Kong. She also studied Management Studies in The University of Hong Kong.
Fellows Project: Research on Accessible Theatre in Hong Kong – Overcoming Visual Barriers
In this project, Dorothy reviews the accessibility services provided during performances by local art organisations, such as audio description, performing arts interpreting and sign language interpretation.
Through research focused on accessibility services provided to audiences with visual impairments and the young-old with special needs, the project will provide important references for arts administrators on programme planning and audience development. Using her extensive knowledge and understanding of arts accessibility services and arts management, especially with regard to audio description for the visually impaired, Dorothy will engage service users and service providers through surveys and focus groups to examine existing accessible services provided by non-profit organisations and private companies, as well as those provided by theatre companies. The project will assess the effectiveness of existing accessibility services and also provide feasible recommendations for improvement.
Besides generating useful findings for programme planning for the Hong Kong performing arts sector, it is hoped that the project will also help develop a new model for accessibility services that overcome visual barriers and promote audience building through new interpretation-related systems.