Newsletter No. 427

10 No. 427, 19.11.2013 艺术行政人员的左脑和右脑是否都要相当发达? 哈哈,我可是看不到自己的两边脑袋是否同样发达。话说回来,艺术行政人员对艺术有热 情是先决条件,这样才有足够的推动力,否则只是停留在行政的层次。至于充当桥梁把艺 术家抽象的创作带到受众可以理解的层面,则需要理性的部署。 你怎样和艺术沾上边? 我是个很静的孩子,没有学乐器,但很喜欢听音乐。那时荃湾大会堂刚落成,政府开始资 助乐团,我常从学校取免费票,独个儿去听管弦乐团和中乐团的演奏。一进音乐厅坐下, 彷佛到了另一个世界,浑忘一切,那种感觉很美妙。我在中学学现代舞,有了表演经验, 跟着认识了演艺学院的毕业生,开始做话剧,渐渐发觉自己较有兴趣在幕后工作。自觉审 美能力不错,空间感强,我跑到英国念舞台设计,回来后参与了几个制作,不久便给艺术 中心看上帮手策划节目。 精心策划的表演遭受冷淡对待时,怎办? 给观众的教育和准备十分重要。小朋友许多时会在演奏厅里坐不安席,如果事前安排导 赏,介绍作曲家故事、历史背景、乐器特色等,或参观排练,让他们理解从创作到表演的 整个过程,与之产生联系,不觉得是受命而为,便会慢慢改变行为,静下来欣赏,而且感 受会更加丰富立体。 艺术家都是脱离现实又脾气大的,是吗? 艺术家多是完美主义者,专注于追求最理想的,却未必了解怎样运作,或者认定只有一种 方法才行得通。我喜欢艺术,所以能理解他们的执着。当理想与现实冲突时,艺术行政人 员得设法解决问题。遇到资源有限,要调节艺术家的心态,同时思考怎样比较轻省地达 到同样目的。尤其是演出在即,一大堆问题等着解决,必须有策略地一一对付,哪些要坚 持,哪些可妥协,都要当机立断。 什么原因驱使你进大学工作? 多年创作、推动甚至资助艺术创作的经验告诉我,香港整体的艺术教育还是不足。大学 生正好处于建立价值观念和人生模式的阶段,我不希望见他们只着眼在商业经济上,而 欠缺了人文关怀和文化修养。透过接触、欣赏和创造艺术,久而久之会建立人生观,懂得 珍惜美善,知道何者当为,何者不当为。我很想填补这个空缺,在大学撒下一些种子,丰富 学生的一生。 较为满意的是哪项工作? 学生文化大使计划。我加入中大时它在试行阶段,有二百人,今年增至八百人了。计划除了 资助学生观赏表演和展览,提供导赏,更鼓励他们讨论,就同一个作品,发掘不同面向, 探索艺术、自身与社会的互为关系。我们希望大使也发挥推广文化的影响力,譬如找朋友 作伴看表演,与别人分享感受。 这些工作对学生有什么影响? 有学生初来参加文化大使的时候,没有什么信心,也不惯于表达自己。三年下来,已经会 兴致勃勃主动跟我们分享观后感。有学生藉活动发掘到对旧物的兴趣,毕业后进了拍卖 行工作。两年前我们曾带中大剧团到北京参加大专生汇演,与各地的学生观摩,讨论对艺 术、社会和人生的看法,学生眼界豁然开广,增长很快。 工作的困难在哪里? 学生是不断流动的,在他们在校的三四年里我们尽量播种,是否就能开花结果,我不敢 说,也不会执着。每个人心中都有艺术,端视怎样引发出来。有些可能得经过几个寒暑才 可萌芽,有些可能只需一点儿催化剂便可激发。庆幸的是中大有好环境有空间,利于塑造 滋养学生心灵的文化氛围。 An arts administrator needs to be equally strong in the left and right brains. Is that true? Ha-ha, I really don’t know as I have no idea what my left and right brains are like. Let’s put it this way, a passion for the arts is a must-have for an arts administrator because motivation is driven by passion. Without passion, what one does is merely administration. Bridging the gap between the abstract elements of an artistic creation and the audience’s comprehension surely requires rational logistics. How did you become acquainted with the arts? I was a quiet kid who didn’t take any musical instrument lessons but loved music. I remember that was the time when the Tsuen Wan Town Hall opened and the government started sponsoring local orchestras. I often attended concerts of the philharmonic and Chinese orchestras alone on free tickets given out through my school. To me, the concert hall was like another world where I could leave everything behind me for the enjoyment of music. It’s marvelous. I learned Chinese dance in secondary school and gained some stage experience. After knowing some graduates from the Academy for Performing Arts, I participated in drama and found that I like the backstage more than acting. I studied stage design in the UK because I believed I have a good sense of aesthetics and space. Upon my return to Hong Kong, I worked on a few productions and then joined the Hong Kong Arts Centre as a programme officer. What can be done when a performance gets a cold shoulder from the audience? Educating and preparing the audience for the performance is a way out. It’s difficult to ask children to sit still in a recital hall, but it’s possible if they are given the chance to attend a pre-concert talk or open rehearsal. Knowing something about the composer, the historical background and the instruments, or witnessing the process from production to performance makes them feel connected. With this connection, the act of attending a concert will turn from a passive duty to enjoyment, and the experience will be more multi-dimensional. Artists are unrealistic and bad-tempered, aren’t they? I would say artists are perfectionists whose sole focus is on pursuing excellence, though they may not be aware of the operational support needed to achieve that, or may think that there is only one way of doing it. I love the arts, and so I fully understand their obsession. The role of an art administrator is to solve problems when conflicts arise. When resources are limited, he/she has to manage the artist’s expectation and think of a less costly way to achieve the same goal. When the curtain is about to draw, and problems keep coming, he/she must be resourceful, strategic and decisive enough to strike a balance between insistence and compromise. What made you take up the job at the University? After all those years of producing, promoting and sponsoring the arts, my experience told me that arts education in Hong Kong is generally inadequate. The undergraduate years are vital for life education and the development of values. It will be sad to see students overly concerning themselves with monetary pursuits at the expense of humanistic concern or cultural cultivation. It’s through exposure to the arts, the appreciation of it and the participation in it that students gradually shape their values, and learn about beauty and benevolence. I want to help fill this void. I want to sow some seeds on campus for the lifelong enrichment of our students. Any project that you feel particularly satisfied with? The Student Cultural Ambassador Scheme which had 200 members when I joined CUHK. It has expanded to 800 now. The scheme sponsors students on show and exhibition tickets, prepares them with the necessary knowledge for arts appreciation. It also encourages them to have open discussions on their arts appreciation experience so that they can learn from each other how the same piece of work can be interpreted from different perspectives. We hope they would come to discover the interrelation between arts, individuals and society. We also hope that they would help to promote culture by influencing their peers. What impact has the work of your office brought to students? I met a student who lacked self-confidence and was too shy to express his views when he first joined the scheme three years ago. Now he is always keen on sharing his reviews with us. Another student found interest in antiques and took up a job in an auction house after graduation. Two years ago, we took the CUHK drama group to Beijing to meet other universities for a performance. They learned a lot through interacting with their counterparts from different places. The eye-opening experience broadened their vision and they came back visibly improved. What difficulties have you encountered? Students come and go. They are here for just three or four years. We try to sow as many seeds as possible, with no guarantee whether they will blossom or bear fruit. But I won’t be bothered by this. There is an artistic seed in everybody’s heart, but whether it will sprout depends on how you take care of it. Some may take years to germinate, while others may only need a small dose of fertilizer. We are fortunate that CUHK offers a nice and spacious environment, with the right kind of cultural ambience favourable for the spiritual growth of our students. 请扫描QR码 阅读全文版 Scan the QR code for the full version 艺术行政主任 钟小梅 Ribble Chung Arts Administrator

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