Writing | Media Appearances | Public Speaking

Shooting for TVB at Contemporary by Angela Li

Culture is what makes our world a better place to live, and the media plays a key role in the cultural ecology. And for someone who's passionate about culture and the media, I'm very fortunate that my work covers these two areas. 

Throughout my 17 years in the media, I have been writing extensively about arts and cultural development in Hong Kong and Asia, covering a range of topics from cultural policy and politics to art, art market, pop culture, cultural and creative industries to piece together a full picture of the region's cultural ecology. Writings range from breaking news to features as well as in-depth analysis and opinion articles. 

My articles appear in Variety, Quartz, Artsy, BBC's The Cultural Frontline and The Arts Hour, as well the South China Morning Post, where I spent a total of 15 years as the paper's culture correspondent. I also contribute political commentaries to The Interpreter, published by the Lowy Institute in Australia.

[scroll down for my published articles]

Outside of my daily profession as a journalist and critic, I'm also deeply interested in history and cultural policy. I researched the development of cultural policy in Hong Kong for my MA in Literary and Cultural Studies at The University of Hong Kong. My dissertation - Chinese Elitism & Neoliberalism: Post-colonial Hong Kong Cultural Policies - A Case Study - is in the collection of HKU library. I recently contributed an essay entitled Culture and the Media in a Global Age: The Role of the Media in Shaping Cultural Development in "Global City Wannbes" to Creativity and Culture in Contemporary Greater China: The Role of Government, Individuals and Groups, edited by Chi-Cheung Leung and Sonny Shiu-Hing Lo, and published by Bridge21 Publications, now available on Amazon.

In 2014, I founded Cultural Journalism Campus, a non-profit education initiative promoting arts and culture education among young people and children through the practice of journalism and storytelling. I often share my experiences with young people.

I also comment on a vast range of cultural topics in the media. You can find me commenting on the development of West Kowloon Cultural District in the New York Times here, and on the dating culture in Hong Kong and China in Vogue here. I also talked about the impact of Art Basel on ViuTV's English news programme Re-Viu, which can be watched here

Here's a selection of my work. This page is updated on a regular basis.  

Public speaking

Art Basel

It was my honour and pleasure to take part in Art Basel's Salon programme as a host and moderator. While Art Basel is no doubt a platform for the sales of artworks, it makes use of its role as a catalyst and influence as the world's biggest art fair, offering artists, curators, critics and stakeholders to address important topics that go beyond the market transactions. 

In 2016, I presented a talk exploring the issues about art criticism and cultural journalism in Hong Kong at Art Basel 2016. A playback can be watched here: Where Are the Art Critics? Cultural Journalism in Today's Media Landscape

In 2017, I moderated two Art Basel Salon panels: 

Does political art matter | A Discussion

This panel broadly considers arts relationship with politics, in terms of how artists and curators formally respond to the world around them, and the situations that arise. Do artists have an inherent responsibility to participate in political dialogue, and how much of a role does art really play in shaping such dialogues? When has art been most effective in affecting change, and what examples come to mind? 

Chow Chun Fai, Artist, Hong Kong; Cosmin Costinas, Executive Director and Curator, Para Site, Hong Kong; Sampson Wong, Artist, Independent Curator, and Lecturer, Department of Liberal Arts Studies, The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, Hong Kong; Wen Yau, Artist and Researcher, Hong Kong

Moderators: Vivienne Chow, Founding Director, Cultural Journalism Campus, and Honorary Lecturer, Journalism and Media Studies Centre (JMSC), The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong and Stephanie Bailey (白慧怡), Writer and Editor, Hong Kong/London

New Criticism | Digital Media and Cultural Journalism 

The media is facing unprecedented challenges brought about by the digital revolution, with instant news, live streaming on social media, and virtual reality taking communications into new dimensions. How does this trend affect the way art criticism and cultural journalism are presented, and is art criticism improving as a result, or are we killing the nuance of cultural journalism to secure more page-views and followers? Does the rise of digital journalism further legitimate citizen journalism and criticism, and is this making art more accessible? Is this the golden age of cultural journalism, or are our best days numbered? 

Matthew Anderson, Editor, BBC Culture, London; George Chen, Head of Public Policy for Hong Kong and Taiwan, Facebook, Hong Kong; Nonny de la Peña, Founder, Emblematic Group, Santa Monica 

Moderators: Vivienne Chow, Founding Director, Cultural Journalism Campus, and Honorary Lecturer, Journalism and Media Studies Centre (JMSC), The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Re:publica, Berlin, Germany

In May 2016, I gave a talk at Re:publica in Berlin. It is one of Europe's largest conferences on the Internet society. There, I told a European audience about the reedom of media and culture in Hong Kong. A detailed post and video of my speech is available here

BBC World Service 

It was one of my childhood dreams to become a radio DJ. When I did my journalism degree at CUHK, one of my favourite classes was radio production. I worked extra hard for that class, thinking that I would become a radio DJ one day. But life has taken a different course and it wasn't until 2016 that I got to get a taste of how it is like being on the radio. Thank you for BBC World Service's invitation, I get to comment on arts, culture and politics on their programmes The Cultural Frontline and The Arts Hour on a regular basis from the BBC Hong Kong studio. 

Here are some of the highlights: 

The Arts Hour



The Cultural Frontline

On West Kowloon Cultural District: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p047d2jq

On artistic freedom: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p04gyg7s
On Cultural Revolution: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p03vt2vb
On China film censorship: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p04vqs7j

My published articles

Articles published in Quartz

2017-04-11 "Ghost in the Shell" is a poem to Hong Kong as it faces the 20th anniversary of its handover to China

2017-03-21 As the 20th anniversary of the handover to China nears, Hong Kong artists meditates on space, memory
2016-10-18 "It was seen as distasteful. Maybe that's why David loved it." - Inside David Bowie's private art collection
2016-09-29 A prominent Thai artist says his country is becoming "a hybrid of Singapore and North Korea"
2016-08-07 Hong Kong's independence movement is also a rebellion against the "old seafood" generation
2016-07-28 A controversial new Hong Kong opera will explore the private life of Mao Zedong
2016-07-04 Hong Kong doesn't want anyone to know the city's best film is at a New York festival 
2016-06-30 Why some Hongkongers think hometown action Jackie Chan is a coward
2016-06-17 This Art Basel video was banned in China
2016-06-08 L'Oreal is setting a dangerous global precedent by bowing to China over free speech
2016-06-06 Lancome is self-censoring outside mainland China to keep Beijing happy 
2016-05-24 Hong Kong wants to remain a global arts hub while censoring political art
2016-04-24 CY Leung is one of Hong Kong's homegrown treasures, and we should embrace him
2016-04-15 Some Hong Kong Women Would Rather Die Alone Than Date Hong Kong Men 

Articles published in Artsy

Hong Kong’s New Chief Executive Could Reshape the City’s Arts Scene

2016-06-14 At Art Basel's Oversized Unlimited Sector, Under-Recognized Artists Rub Shoulders with the Biggest Names in Art
2016-06-15 Anne Imhof Orchestrates a Performance Troupe and Her Audience through Kunsthalle Basel
2016-06-20 Why London’s Victoria & Albert Museum Is Launching an Outpost in China
2016-07-14 China is Clamping Down on Foreign Arts Organisations 
2016-07-20 New M+ Director Says “Bring It On” to Museum’s Ongoing Controversies
2016-09-07 The 5 Hong Kong Shows You Can’t Miss This Fall
2016-09-20 Hong Kong's M+ Pavilion Opening with a Local Artist is More Important Than You'd Think
2016-10-07 K-Pop Star T.O.P. Helped Sotheby's Break Records in Hong Kong This Week 
2016-10-18 Why Photography is Finally Having A Boom in Asia
2016-10-19 On A Far-Flung Island in Japan, Teshima Museum Offers A Religious Experience

Articles published in Variety

Chinese Corruption Series ‘In the Name of the People’ Rules on TV and Online

Do Young Generation Awards Contenders Hail a Hong Kong New Wave?
2017-02-09 Theater-Goers in China Continue to Embrace Movies From Hong Kong
2016-10-07 Asian Films Looking to Cast More Hollywood Names
2016-10- 05  Busan: Tsai Ming-liang is on a Special Mission as Asian Film Academy Dean
2016-09-14 China Plays Media Power Games in Asia
2016-07-28 What Film Can Learn From Asia’s Rising Art Fair Circuit

Political commentaries in The Interpreter, Lowy Institute, Australia

Lam's election a jolt back to reality for Hong Kong

Democracy won't be a winner in Hong Kong election
Christmas comes early in Hong Kong with CY Leung's sign off

Articles in SCMP and other media


Is Ten Years the Occupy Central movement of Hong Kong cinema? Vivienne Chow says the brouhaha over the Best Film award for the independent production signals a revolt in local cinema that reflects the political mood

Cultural Affairs and Policies

2013-03-18 SCMP A4 FOCUS HK opera maybe out of tune

2013-04-22 SCMP C1 Clash in museums' local art focus
2013-05-22 SCMP A4 FOCUS Drawing the line between art and money
2014-03-16 SCMP A4 FOCUS The art of making money
2014-06-29 SCMP A4 FOCUS The art of begging
2014-06-08 SCMP A4 FOCUS Theatre's curtain call

West Kowloon Cultural District 

2013-05-04 SCMP A4 FOCUS M+, politics and the hints of a culture clash

2014-02-17 SCMP A3 WKCD M+ adds Tiananmen images to collection
2014-05-28 SCMP A1 WKCD Costly arts hub basement questioned (1)
2014-05-28 SCMP A1 WKCD Costly arts hub basement questioned (2)
2014-05-29 SCMP C1 WKCD No U-turns on cultural district HK$23b basement
2014-06-08 SCMP A4 FOCUS Theatre's curtain call
2014-07-21 SCMP A4 FOCUS West Kowloon vision - Time to rethink


2005-12-01 FILM JOURNAL INTERNATIONAL East meets West: Hollywood Studios Explore Chinese Movie Partnerships
2006-05 VARIETY China films at Cannes Film Festival 
2013-01-13 SCMP Striking thoughts - Interview with Zhang Ziyi
2013-03-23 SCMP A4 FOCUS Silver screen's golden era - Interview with Golden Harvest founder Raymond Chow
2013-01-24 SCMP A4 FOCUS HK's starring role in film financing
2013-07-20 SCMP FOCUS Bruce Lee's legacy leaves a family divided
2013-10-29 SCMP A1 FILM Director Bay can't wait to shoot in HK again - exclusive interview with Michael Bay in HK (1)
2013-10-29 SCMP A1 FILM Director Bay can't wait to shoot in HK again - exclusive interview with Michael Bay in HK (2)
2014-03-28 SCMP C2 FILM Isabelle Huppert is in the mood for Wong Kar-wai
2014-03-30 SCMP A7 FILM Swapping scissors for cutting room floor - Interview with Agnes b.
2014-04-20 SCMP A4 FOCUS Fear and loathing on the silver screen
2014-05-31 SCMP C2 FILM Taking China's story to Europe 

Television and Media

‘I’m a risk-taker’: head of Hong Kong’s new free-to-air ViuTV pledges creative programming


2012-09-13 SOTHEBY'S MAGAZINE Uli Sigg's gift to Hong Kong

2013-03-30 SCMP A1 Social rules can unlock hidden youth - Interview with Takashi Murakami
2013-05-10 SCMP C1 ART Ai Weiwei's new work inspired by milk powder debate
2013-11-22 SCMP C1 ART Auction houses vie for space in booming market
2014-05-09 SCMP C4 ART Traditional script "a link to cultural roots"
2013-05-29 SCMP A6 ART Ai Weiwei shares painful memories at Venice Biennale
2014-08-03 SCMP A5 ART Arts festival seeks more funding

Pop Culture

2013-12-18 SCMP A4 FOCUS The same old story - HK's TV culture



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