Hong Kong's Grandmasters: Film and Community
An Evening Discussion with HING CHAO, the founder of the International Guoshu Association.
Drink reception at 6.30pm
Presentation at 7pm
Close at 8pm
Post-war Hong Kong was filled with martial artists who flooded to the city from different parts of China. Some of them taught martial arts for a living; a small number eventually found fame and success. Ip Man was one of them, thanks in no small part to his one-time protégé, Bruce Lee; but equally, some chose not to teach martial arts as a profession, while others decided not to give instruction at all.
Recently director Wong Kar Wai in his martial arts film, Grandmasters, set in the 1930s against a looming backdrop of Japanese invasion and the struggle between the Nationalists (Guomindang) and the Communists, explains how Hong Kong became a major center for Chinese martial arts, particularly in the post-war period. For every ‘grandmaster’ that has been mythologized into a legend, another master and style has been forgotten or fallen into decline. Hing Chao will discuss the local martial arts community, in particular the so-called ‘Hong Kong mou lam’ ‘香港武林’, which was the inspiration behind Wong Kar Wai’s film.
Hing Chao has been active in preserving cultural heritage in China and Hong Kong since 2003, working in diverse fields from revitalizing indigenous cultural traditions in Manchuria, to research and revival of Chinese martial arts and sports, documentation of ethnic musical traditions and restoration of historical buildings. He is Hong Kong’s leading advocate in the research and protection of the city’s martial arts heritage, playing an instrumental role in identifying key martial arts items included in the recently announced shortlist of intangible cultural heritage, and he recently co-authored Hong Kong Martial Arts Community, the first book to discuss the development of traditional martial arts in Hong Kong. He is also the founder of the International Guoshu Association, to date the only research organization in HK focusing on Chinese sports and martial arts. He is the executive editor of the Journal of Chinese Martial Studies and the author of several books.
Friends of the Art Museum the
Chinese University of Hong Kong