past activities

CANTONESE AND TANG POEMS ; 3 sessions 18 July - 8 August, 2009

HONG KONG IN THE EYES OF SHU XIANG-CHENG, organised by Storytelling Hong Kong; 15 August, 2009

THE JOY OF HIKING ; 3 sessions 29 August - 12 September, 2009

ACQUIRE SKIN BEAUTY NATURALLY : talk by Maggie Kwok; 26 September, 2009

SELECTED PASSAGES FROM CLASSICAL CHINESE; 2 sesssions 10 October - 17 October, 2009

SWEDEN: NOTHING BUT NOBEL : talk by K. F. Chor; 14 November, 2009

AUTUMN WALK to the Peak; 21 November, 2009

POETRY SESSION for December: guest poet Joseph Lee, organised by KUBRICK POETRY; 12 December, 2009

BEYOND TRAVEL (1) : IRAN RENDEZVOUS : 2 sessions talk by Almanda Cheung; 20 February - 27 February, 2010

BEYOND TRAVEL (2) : SKETCHES OF TURKISH DELIGHT : talk by Laurence Shek; 24 April, 2010

“CLOUDS RAMBLE, RAIN IS BROUGHT FORTH” art contest : July - September, 2010 -- Clouds move swiftly, in a moment rain pours down. Farmers can then cultivate their land, which brings harvest. Rain is a gift from Heaven, a blessing bestowed by Nature. If we truly respect Nature, become simple and modest in our way of living, we can lead a peaceful and happy life, and our future generations can also heartily enjoy the resources of our earth. This contest aims to, through art, draw our attention to the importance of revering Nature and leading a simpler life.

WHAT IS MUSIC? - talk by Gwendolyn Wong: 21 August, 2010 -- An informal discussion on multiple definitions music. We will also talk about possible origins of music, as well as social and biological functions of music. By looking at how some musicians, scientists, psychologists, anthropologists, etc., define music, hopefully we will be able to find its meaning in ourselves.

MUSIC, EMOTION AND PHYSIOLOGICAL EFFECTS - talk by Gwendolyn Wong: 28 August, 2010 -- Do you know the changes that happen to your body when you listen to music? We will discuss how music affects our emotion and causes physiological changes. Come to this session and volunteer to be a research subject; we will conduct a live mini-experiment during this talk.

THE LAST SUNDAY OF SUMMER, an A Cappella Performance by The Hot Potters : 29 August, 2010 -- Summer is almost over, spend the last Sunday of summer with us. We are honored to have invited The Hot Potters, an a cappella group which sings without instrumental music accompaniment. The Hot Potters consists of a solo voice, a soprano, an alto, two tenors, and a bass and vocal percussion. The Hot Potters will sing various English Pop classics songs and do a live demo session with our audience.

EILEEN CHANG UNCOVERED : Public Exhibit (co-hosted by the Project for Public Culture of Journalism and Media Studies Centre, HKU):17 - 19 September, 2010

NATURE IN MUSIC (1): MOON and NIGHT - talk by Gwendolyn Wong: 18 / 19 September, 2010 -- A music listening and appreciation session – as Mid-autumn festival approaches, why don't we listen to how various composers depict the beauty of Moon and Night?

MOZART’S EFFECT AND CHILD DEVELOPMENT - talk by Gwendolyn Wong: 25 / 26 September, 2010 -- Parents, does letting your child listen to Mozart's piano sonatas everyday increases his/her IQ? Since a group of researchers found positive effect of listening to music by Mozart in 1993, the media hype and popularization generated a variety of products aiming to improve child cognitive abilities. We will explore the different scientific findings on the effects of music listening and learning in child cognitive development.

BRAIN DIFFERENCES BETWEEN MUSICIANS AND NON-MUSICIANS - talk by Gwendolyn Wong: 2 Oct, 2010 -- Does learning how to play a musical instrument make you smarter? This talk will focus on scientific findings on the neurological differences between musicians and non-musicians.


GERMAN EXPRESSIONIST PAINTER EMIL NOLDE – talk by Joseph Lee : 20 November, 2010

GWEN BOOK CLUB (1) - THE UNBEARABLE LIGHTNESS OF BEING by Milan Kundera: 4 December, 2010

"PHOTOGRAPHING CHINA" talk by Aaron Li: 11 Dec 2010

"PHOTOGRAPHING CHINA 2" talk by Aaron Li: 22 Jan 2011

GWEN BOOK CLUB (2) - CLOUD-HIDDEN, WHEREABOUTS UNKNOWN by Alan Watts (1) : 29 January, 2011 -- A mountain journal written by a western philosopher famous for his interpretation in Eastern philosophy, which concerns the topics such as the philosophy of nature, ecology, aesthetics, religion, and metaphysics. This meeting will discuss the first half of the book, from “The Water” to “Black and/or White.”

MUSIC AND EMOTION - talk by Gwendolyn Wong : 12 February 2011 -- Do you know the changes that happen to your body when you listen to music? We will discuss how music affects our emotion and causes physiological changes. Come to this session and volunteer to be a research subject; we will conduct a live mini-experiment during this talk.

GWEN BOOK CLUB (3) "Cloud-hidden, whereabouts unknown" by Alan Watts (2) : 19 February 2011 -- A mountain journal written by a western philosopher famous for his interpretation in Eastern philosophy, which concerns the topics such as the philosophy of nature, ecology, aesthetics, religion, and metaphysics. This meeting will discuss the second half of the book, from “Consider the Lilies” to “Protogenesis.”

"PHOTOGRAPHING HK COUNTRYSIDE" - photos sharing session: 12 Mar 2011

YUSHIHOUSE (CHINESE) BOOK CLUB (1) "the unbearable lightness of being" by Milan Kundera : 19 Mar 2011

GWEN BOOK CLUB (4) - THE HEAERT SUTRA : 2 April 2011 -- One of the most important sacred texts of Buddhism / Zen Buddhism; only sixteen sentences, but full of wisdom, expounding the concept of EMPTINESS.

YUSHIHOUSE (CHINESE) BOOK CLUB (2) "the Soul Mountain" (1) by Gao Xing Jian : 30 April 2011

GWEN BOOK CLUB (5) "the snow country" by Yasunari Kawabata : 14 May 2011 -- In this book Kawabata explores the meanings of Life through the doomed love between a geisha and a wealthy diletante.

YUSHIHOUSE (CHINESE) BOOK CLUB (3) "the Soul Mountain" by Gao Xingjian : 28 May 2011

GWEN BOOK CLUB (6) - MY NAME IS RED by Orhan Pamuk (Chapters 1-30) : 18 June 2011 -- "In 16th-century Istanbul, master miniaturist and illuminator of books Enishte Effendi is commissioned to illustrate a book celebrating the sultan. Soon he lies dead at the bottom of a well, and how he got there is the crux of this novel. A number of narrators give testimony to what they know about the circumstances surrounding the murder. The stories accumulate and become more detailed as the novel progresses, giving the reader not only a nontraditional murder mystery but insight into the mores and customs of the time. In addition, this is both an examination of the way figurative art is viewed within Islam and a love story that demonstrates the tricky mechanics of marriage laws. Award-winning Turkish author Pamuk (The White Castle) creatively casts the novel with colorful characters (including such entities as a tree and a gold coin) and provides a palpable sense of atmosphere of the Ottoman Empire that history and literary fans will appreciate." (Library Journal)

YUSHIHOUSE (CHINESE) BOOK CLUB (4) - "Ancient Capital" by Yasunari Kawabata : 9 July 2011

GWEN BOOK CLUB (7) MY NAME IS RED by Orhan Pamuk (Chapters 31 - end) : 23 July 2011

PIANO RECITAL by GWENDOLYN WONG : 30 July 2011 -- Our musician-in-residence Gwendolyn Wong gave a piano recital / music sharing session at the gallery, where she performed works by Beethoven, Schumann, Chopin, and Ravel. She shared with the audience her ideas about the piece and her joy in playing it. ( attendance by invitation)

TALK ON "CI" (1) - WEI ZHUANG : 29 October 2011

GWEN BOOK CLUB (8) - BAD SCIENCE by Ben Goldacre : 12 November 2011 -- moderator: DAVID BIDDLECOMBE -- "Unmissable! Laying about himself in a froth of entirely justified indignation, Goldacre slams the mountebanks and bullshitters who misuse science. Few escape: drug companies, self-styled nutritionists, deluded researchers and journalists all get thoroughly duffed up. It is enormously enjoyable." -The Times (Book of the Year)

TALK ON "CI" (2) - LEE YU : 19 November 2011

TALK ON "CI" (3) - SU SHI (1) : 10 December 2011

CERAMICS RESTORATION WORKSHOP : 7 Janurary 2012 -- tutor : Ann Ko -- Accidents can happen. One day your beloved ceramics item might fall to the ground and be shattered into broken pieces. But if you still have the broken pieces with you, you can bring them to our restoration workshop where Ann will demonstrate and teach you how to repair the item to near perfection. Or, if you are simply one of those enthusiasts who like putting pieces back together, this is the right place for you!

TALK ON GUQIN by Wang Ying Yuan : 12 January 2012

GWEN BOOK CLUB (9) FREEFALL: AMERICA, FREE MARKETS, AND THE SINKING OF THE WORLD ECONOMY by Joseph E. Stiglitz : 14 January 2012 -- "Written by a Nobel Prize recipient, a graduate of President Bill Clinton’s Council of Economic Advisors, and a stout advocate of Keynesian economics, this inquest into the recession of 2007–09 lashes many designated villains, banks above all. Stiglitz assails financial institutions’ size, their executive compensation, the complexity of their financial instruments, and the taxpayer money that has been poured into them. He dwells on incentives — perverse, in his argument — for risky financial legerdemain in housing mortgages. The temptations stemmed from deregulation of the financial industry, a Reaganesque policy Stiglitz rebukes: he favors re-regulation and more government involvement in the economy. In fact, Stiglitz waxes unhappily about the Obama administration’s interventions, which thus far have been inadequate in his view." (Booklist)

TALK ON 'CI' (4) - SU SHI (2) : 4 February 2012

GWEN BOOK CLUB (10) THE EVOLVING SELF : A PSYCHOLOGY FOR THE THIRD MILLENNIUM by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (1) : 25 February 2012 -- "In this wise, humane inquiry, Csikszentmihalyi argues that genetically programmed behaviors that once helped humans adapt and multiply now threaten our survival. These traits include obsessions with food and sex, addiction to pleasure, excessive rationality and a tendency to focus on the negative. We must free our minds of cultural illusions such as ethnocentric superiority or identification with one's possessions. He urges readers to find ways to reduce the oppression, exploitation and inequality that are woven into the fabric of society. Further, he wants us to control the direction of human evolution by pursuing challenging activities that lead to greater complexity while opposing chaos and conformity." (Publishers Weekly)

TALK ON 'CI' (5) XIN QI JI (1) : 10 March 2012

GWEN BOOK CLUB (11) - THE EVOLVING SELF : A PSYCHOLOGY FOR THE THIRD MILLENNIUM by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (2) : 17 March 2012

GWEN BOOK CLUB (12) - THE MYTH OF SISYPHUS by Albert Camus : 21 April 2012 -- "The gods had condemned Sisyphus to ceaselessly rolling a rock to the top of a mountain, whence the stone would fall back of its own weight. They had thought with some reason that there is no more dreadful punishment than futile and hopeless labour" "I leave Sisyphus at the foot of the mountain! One always finds one's burden again. But Sisyphus teaches the hihger fidelity that negates the gods and raises rocks. He, too, concludes that all is well ... The struggle itself towards the heights is enough to fill a man's heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy."

TALK ON 'CI' (6) - XIN QI JI (2) : 28 April 2012

BEYOND TRAVEL (3) - CHERRY BLOSSOMS IN KYOTO 2012: 19 May 2012, 9 June 2012 -- The cherry blossom is Japan's unofficial national flower and symbol. Although we can now see cherry blossoms in a number of cities around the world, like Washington, Vancouver, Toronto, Hasselt (Belgium),...,cherry trees in these locations were all originated from Japan. Japan's cherry blossoms still stand out and attract the most attention due to their abundance and profound cultural tradition. In Japan, one may see cherry blossoms in many places, including parks, castles, temples, shrines, and river banks. Each setting is unique and creates a sense of beauty entirely of its own. When cherry trees blossom, people hold picnic parties underneath the trees, to celebrate the return of spring. In addition, many temples and shrines hold festivals and ceremonies during this season. This session presents mainly the cherry blossom scenes from Kyoto.


TALK ON 'CI' (7) NA LAN XING DE : 16 June 2012

GWEN BOOK CLUB (13) - METAMORPHOSIS and other short stories by Franz Kafka; moderator: David Biddlecombe; 23 June 2012 -- "The Metamorphosis is one of the most frequently analyzed works in literature. This elusive story, which chronicles the transformation of Gregor Samsa from a human being into an enormous insect, is renowned for its ability to inspire diverse, sometimes mutually exclusive interpretations. For this reason The Metamorphosis has come to be considered one of the central enigmas of the modern literary imagination. Nevertheless, critics generally praise Kafka's powerful and symbolic portrayal of alienation achieved through the literalized metaphor of man as insect." (e-notes)

AS THE CHILD DEVELOPS (1) - (4), discussion group (in Cantonese); 14 July - 25 August 2012

GWEN BOOK CLUB (14) - KAFKA ON THE SHORE by Murakami Haruki; moderator: Cee Cee Biddlecombe; 21 July 2012 -- "Kafka on the Shore, a tour de force of metaphysical reality, is powered by two remarkable characters: a teenage boy, Kafka Tamura, who runs away from home either to escape a gruesome oedipal prophecy or to search for his long-missing mother and sister; and an ageing simpleton called Nakata, who never recovered from a wartime affliction and now is drawn toward Kafka for reasons that, like the most basic activities of daily life, he cannot fathom. Their odyssey, as mysterious to them as it is to us, is enriched throughout by vivid accomplices and mesmerizing events. Cats and people carry on conversations, a ghostlike pimp employs a Hegel-quoting prostitute, a forest harbors soldiers apparently unaged since World War II, and rainstorms of fish (and worse) fall from the sky ..."(

TALK ON 'SHI' (1) - Tao Yuan Ming (1) : 4 August 2012

BEYOND TRAVEL (4) - A TASTE OF KANI AND ONSEN, Hokkaido Style, talk by Alex Wong; 18 August 2012 -- Enjoying kani (crab) meal and bathing in Onsen (hot spring) are the two must-dos for every trip Alex, our presenter, made to Japan. Japanese people like taking hot spring bath naked which symbolizes the equality and closeness of people. It is a try-it-love-it experience, especially when you go into an open-air onsen when snowflakes fall over your body while your are immersed in hot spring water. What will you be served in a crab course meal? These courses are expensive, is there a way to enjoy tasty crabs within our budget? Alex likes travelling to Japan. He has made nearly 30 trips there. He envies those who can understand the Japanese language but is also glad that he, ignorant of the language, can maintain the liberty of a traveller without knowing too much about (the negative side of) Japan.

GWEN BOOK CLUB (15) - WALDEN (1) by Henry David Thoreau; 1 September 2012 -- "I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practise resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms."(Thoreau: Walden)

TALK ON 'SHI' (2) - Tao Yuan Ming (2) : 15 September 2012

GWEN BOOK CLUB (16) - WALDEN (2) by Henry David Thoreau; 6 October 2012 -- "I have never felt lonesome, or in the least oppressed by a sense of solitude, but once, and that was a few weeks after I came to the woods, when, for an hour, I doubted if the near neighborhood of man was not essential to a serene and healthy life. To be alone was something unpleasant. But I was at the same time conscious of a slight insanity in my mood, and seemed to foresee my recovery. In the midst of a gentle rain while these thoughts prevailed, I was suddenly sensible of such sweet and beneficent society in Nature, in the very pattering of the drops, and in every sound and sight around my house, an infinite and unaccountable friendliness all at once like an atmosphere sustaining me, as made the fancied advantages of human neighbourhood insignificant, and I have never thought of them since." (Thoreau: Walden)

BEYOND TRAVEL (5) - COPENHAGEN : modern people, modern buildings, talk by Gwendolyn Wong; 13 October 2012 -- Copenhagen has been recognized as one of the cities with the best quality of life. It is also one of the best designed city. Sometimes known as "the city of spires", Copenhagen has a lot of old churches and castles, but there is a boom in recent years of modern architecture, which integrates harmoniously with the old. Copenhagen has a service-oriented economy. At the same time, it is voted the "best city for cyclists" with around 400 km of designated bike lanes in the city, and about 40% of the population commute to work by bicycle. It is also considered one the world's most environmentally friendly cities, intending to become carbon neutral by 2025.

BEYOND TRAVEL (6) - VIENNA : a city of two worlds, talk by Gwendolyn Wong; 20 October 2012 -- The history of Vienna goes back to the Roman Empire, hence beautiful old buildings abound. The city is, of course, famous for cakes and desserts. Yet, Vienna is unique in being "the city of music". Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Strauss, Bruckner, Mahler, Brahms, Verdi, ... all lived here until death. Pianist Gwendolyn Wong is going to introduce to us her exposition of this city of music, at the same time grand, elegant and touristy. For those who love culture, history, and classical music!

ON DRINKING TEA : a sharing session, by Edwin Loong; 28 October 2012

TALK ON 'SHI' (3) - Wang Wei (1) : 3 November 2012

BEYOND TRAVEL (7) - GERMANY : two hong kong girls in germany, talk by Eiwa Cheung and Michelle Lee ; 1 December 2012

GWEN BOOK CLUB (17) - THE NARROW ROAD TO OKU by Basho; co-moderators: Gwendolyn, Joseph & Kaori; 8 December 2012 -- The 17th century Basho is a prominent figure in Japanese poetry. He wrote a lot of haiku, regarded as one of the world’s shortest poetry forms. “The literature of Basho has a character that the more he described men's deeds, the more human existence's smallness stood out in relief, and it makes us conscious of the greatness of nature's power” -- Ryu Yotsuya   In the year 1689, he made a 5-month legendary and difficult journey to the northern part of Japan, travelling a distance of 2400 km, mainly on foot. His travel diary THE NARROW ROAD TO OKU, in prose and verse, is a short but great work. “The months and days are the travellers of eternity. The years that come and go are also voyagers. Those who float away their lives on ships or who grow old leading horses are forever journeying, and their homes are wherever their travels take them. Many of the men of old died on the road, and I too for years past have been stirred by the sight of a solitary cloud drifting with the wind to ceaseless thoughts of roaming.” - translated by Donald Keene

AUTUMN WALK to Lai Chi Wo; 9 December, 2012

FRAME DECORATION WORKSHIP - tutor: Flora Yu; 15 December, 2012

TALK ON 'SHI' (4) - Wang Wei (2) : 5 January 2013

TALK ON CHINESE TEA : a talk by Frankie Chan; 12 January 2013

BEYOND TRAVEL (8) - ROAMING and DINING: savouring Italy, talk by Ellie Leung; 2 February 2013 -- Italy, the cradle of Renaissance, sits on the bright, sunny Mediterranean Sea. And the crisp sound and lucid grammar of the Italian language endow this country and its people with passion and enthusiasm. Yes, we have the impression that the Italians are leisurely, layback or free-spirited. On the other hand, we also see how serious they are when striving for excellence in art, food and anything exquisite. Ellie, an ordinary girl from Hong Kong, had been very interested in the art of Italian food. She made up her mind to study Italian in Italy, and learned how to prepare handmade noodles from an Italian lady. Starting with language and food, she tries to understand, bit by bit, this country of bewitching contradictions.

YUSHIHOUSE (CHINESE) BOOK CLUB (5) : "love at the time of cholera" by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (1) ; 16 February 2013 -- moderator Alex Wong

JAPANESE TEA CEREMONY, presented by Angie Nagano, Jimmy Muramatsu talk; 23 February 2013 -- The Japanese Tea Ceremony is a ceremony practiced throughout Japan involving preparing and serving green tea, normally in the form of MATCHA (抹茶), powdered tea. Usually Japanese sweets are served at the same time to balance the bitter taste of tea. The ceremony as it is known today has its origin in the sixteenth century, and entails a prescribed set of specified actions. The Japanese term for the ceremony is CHADO(茶道), the Way of Tea. It implies something more than a ceremony. One must prepare and drink tea with one’s whole heart, and the ceremony is a focused interaction between the host, guests and tea. The tea master Sen no Rikyu (千利休)perfected the ceremony by making it a ritual of simplicity. The tea room is small and barely decorated. What is important comes from the heart: the virtues of harmony, respect, purity and tranquility (和、敬、清、寂)are advocated. Drinking tea in such circumstances becomes then a redeclaration of the transience of life for the host and the guests, and they value greatly their encounter here and now: ICHIGOICHIE(一期一会), a chance in a lifetime. Nobuko Nagano and Jimmy Muramatsu are experts in the Japanese Tea Ceremony. They will let us know in detail what this ceremony is about -- its utensils, procedure, aesthetics and spirit.

BEYOND TRAVEL (9) - in the FOOTSTEPS of BASHO: talk by Philip Li; 9 March 2013 -- Four hundred years ago, the haiku master Basho made a journey on foot lasting 150 days from Tokyo to Gifu, a distance of 2400 km. He wanted to see the places about which the old poets wrote in an effort to renew his own art. He took five years to complete the book “The Narrow Road to the Deep North”, containing prose and haiku. Philip Li has a great passion for history and Japanese culture. He had the chance to travel through the first one-third of Basho’s journey, from Tokyo to Matsushima, not on foot, but by modern means of transportation. He will tell us what he saw and witnessed, and relate these to Basho’s book. It will be an integrated presentation encompassing Japanese literature, history, geography and traditions.

HARP EVENING: talk by Edith Ting; 17 March 2013 -- Share Edith's passion and fascination towards the harp. It includes a brief introduction to the harp and sampling of the harp repertoire.

YUSHIHOUSE (CHINESE) BOOK CLUB (6) : "love at the time of cholera" by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (2) ; 27 April 2013 -- moderator Alex Wong

WORLDS OF MAGIC - GERMAN FAIRY TALES: talk by Ulrike Erdmann; 11 May 2013 -- Two hundred years ago, the “Children’s and Household Tales”, also known as "Grimms’ Fairy Tales", was compiled by the Grimm brothers, Jacob and Wilhelm. It includes such famous tales as Little Red Riding Hood, Hansel and Gretel, Cinderella and Snow White. It is one of the books that have widespread influence on Western Culture, and one of the most popular and well-known German books worldwide. Generations of children and adults around the world have been fascinated by the adventures of brave heroes and beautiful princesses in a world full of magic, where the good always wins over the evil. Ulrike Erdmann will talk about the essence of "Maerchen", German fairy tales, their universal morals and motifs, which are still being adapted today in countless movies and stories.

TALK ON 'SHI' (5) - Song of Eternal Regret (1) : 18 May 2013

TOKYO STORY - film show and discussion:presented by Kaori Nakamura;1 June 2013 -- Recently, the film “Tokyo Family”, directed by the famous Yoji Yamada is on show. It is a film by which Yamada pays his homage to his predecessor, the great director Yasujiro Ozu, who made the film “Tokyo Story” sixty years ago. It has since been regarded as a classic, one of the greatest films in history. “Tokyo Story” depicts an old-age couple from a small village visiting their sons and daughters in the Tokyo city, but their children are so busy with their work that it is hard for them to find time to keep their parents company, making the circumstances and their interaction very awkward at times. The story line itself is nothing out of the ordinary, but in the magic hands of Ozu, viewers are provoked to think on their own, without a brief moment of induced persuasion. “Loving father, pious son” has been an oriental ideal, but many a time, even though the father loves, it is difficult for the son to be pious. How about in the West? Do they also practice this “virtue”? Or, do they have another more practicable norm: “the father may love, the son need not be pious”? Yamada remakes the black & white “Tokyo Story” into the coloured “Tokyo Family”; although the village where the parents come has been relocated from Hiroshima to Setonaikai, there still exists the parent-children problem, after sixty years. It leads one to wonder--Is it only a problem in the oriental society?

BEYOND TRAVEL (10) - BLACK FOREST IN WHITE; 15 June 2013 -- The Black Forest (Schwarzwald), an approximately 60 km by 160 km mountainous, densely wooded region in the southwest of Germany, is noted for its Black Forest Ham and Black Forest Cake. But it has more. Although due to logging in the past, the forest is now only a fraction of its original size, still we can see forests everywhere. Nature is Black Forest’s most valuable asset. In fact, Germany is represented by the Black Forest in its application for the New7Wonders of Nature (2011). Trees, including pine, fir, and spruce, are tall and deep green -- so dense that sunlight could scarcely penetrate, hence “black”. In such a vast stretch of mountains and forests we find a total of 23000 km of footpaths, a haven for hiking. Wanderers can easily lose their way in such a complex, dark, mysterious environment. It is therefore a perfect setting for colourful folklore, and could have inspired the Brothers Grimm to write their many fairy tales. The "Black" Forest does turn "white" every year, to protect its trees and everything within from the harsh coldness of Winter. Covered by blankets of snow, the "Black Forest in White" gives an unusually enchanting atmosphere. This travel picture slideshow/sharing will let you have a glimpse of its majestic nature, one that is at the heart of the German culture.

TALK ON 'SHI' (6) - Song of Eternal Regret (2) : 6 July 2013

EXPLORING PSYCHOLOGY (1) - Blessed are the introverts - talk by Alex Wong : 20 July 2013

TALK ON 'SHI' (7) - The Song of Righteous Spirit : 3 August 2013

THE ART OF THINKING (1) - Happiness - : 24 August 2013

INTRODUCTION TO ENGLISH POETRY - talk by Cee Cee Biddlecombe : 7 September 2013 -- Poetry is a world of beauty as words are transformed into lines that dance and inspire. This session aims to introduce people to the world of poetry and share some insights in poetic form, techniques, and the way they merge into stanzas that move its readers. This is an introductory session, and we shall assume that you know little about English poetry, but that you have always wanted to find out more about it. What do the English poets write on? Love? Nature? Religion? Meaning of life? Most of us have come across the Chinese translation of "To see a world in a grain of sand, And a heaven in a wild flower;" Do you know what are the next two lines: what are the two pairs of words following world / sand, heaven / flower? We shall propose reading some simple and interesting English poems to introduce you to the fascinating world of English poetry.

THE CULTURE OF CHIVALRY IN CHINA - talk by K F Chor : 21 September 2013

YUSHIHOUSE (CHINESE) BOOK CLUB (7) : "Celestial Rain on the Empty Mountains" by Xu Di Shan ; 12 October 2013

THE NOBEL PEACE PRIZE - talk by K F Chor : 26 October 2013

EXPLORING PSYCHOLOGY (2) - ENNEAGRAM - talk by Alex Wong : 2 November 2013

The POEMS of CHOU MENG-TIEH (1) : 16 November 2013

VEGETARIAN DISHES, Hong Kong and Taipei - talk by Gwendolyn Wong : 30 November 2013

TALK ON 'SHI' (8) - The LOVE POEMS of LI SHANG YIN (1) : 14 December 2013

SIX POEMS OF LIANG QI CHAO - talk by K F Chor : 28 December 2013

MOZI (1) - UNIVERSAL LOVE : 18 January 2014

The POEMS of CHOU MENG-TIEH (2) : 8 February 2014

BEYOND TRAVEL (11) - NAKASENDO - from Magome to Tsumago; 22 February 2014

ZHUANGZI (1) - happy excursion : 8 March 2014

AN ENGLISH LADY CAPTURED - talk by K F Chor : 22 March 2014

The ART of JOSEPH LEE (1) -- the early years - a guided tour by Gwen Wong : 10 May 2014

Rereading "HAPPY EXCURSION" today, a discussion session; moderators Helen Yau and Joseph Lee : 24 May 2014

TOLSTOY, THE CHRISTIAN - talk by Katherine Lee : 7 June 2014

SOULSTEALERS : THE CHINESE SORCERY OF 1768 - talk by K F Chor : 21 June 2014

MOZI (2) - AGAINST WAR : 12 July 2014


ZHUANGZI (2) - autumn water : 9 August 2014

The ART of JOSEPH LEE (2) -- the 1990's - a guided tour by Gwen Wong : 23 August 2014

THE LEGEND OF MARCO POLO - talk by K F Chor : 13 September 2014

TALK ON 'SHI' (9) - The LOVE POEMS of LI SHANG YIN (2) : 18 October 2014

ABELARD and HELOISE : 1 November 2014

THE LUTE: performance and sharing - artist: Franklin Lei : 15 November 2014 -- The sixteenth century is without doubt the golden age of lute music. The instrument had the full support of every European court. Supported by the courts of kings, queens and popes, there was money to be made, and illustrious careers to be had, in performing, teaching, or manufacturing the lute. Lute music of the sixteenth century was artistically the equal of harpsichord or organ music of the same era. Born in Hong Kong, Franklin Lei took a degree in electrical engineering at MIT before embarking on his musical odyssey to Cologne, Basel and London, studying Renaissance and Baroque lutes. He taught music for nine years as lute instructor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, before returning to Berkeley and working for the University Library. Franklin will give a performance at the gallery, followed by a sharing session of his vast and unique experience in the lute music.

The ART of JOSEPH LEE (3) -- recent paintings - a guided tour by Gwen Wong : 29 November 2014

the HEART SUTRA: 13 December 2014

OLD CHINESE GASTRONOMY - talk by K F Chor : 10 January 2015

NIETZSCHE: GOD IS DEAD - talk by Shine Kong and Yan Wong : 24 January 2015

SANDBANK UNIVERSE: a photography talk - by Eddie Cheung : 7 February 2015

A GREEN WORLD (1): environmental protection, past and present - talk by Gwendolyn Wong : 28 February 2015

A GREEN WORLD (2): energy — demand and politics - talk by Gwendolyn Wong : 21 March 2015

BEYOND TRAVEL (13) - KAMIKOCHI : 18 April 2015

A GREEN WORLD (3): food — survival and equity - talk by Gwendolyn Wong : 25 April 2015

THE ARABIAN NIGHTS — a story of stories - talk by K F Chor : 9 May 2015

A GREEN WORLD (4): garbage and recycling — why be wasteful? - talk by Gwendolyn Wong : 23 May 2015

QIGONG and HEALTH - talk by Patrick Fung : 6 June 2015

A GREEN WORLD (5): reusing waste: a workshop - talk by Gwendolyn Wong : 27 June 2015

REMARKABLE WOMEN in Tang romance novels: 11 July 2015

GU CHENG: beautiful poems, grieved life: 25 July 2015

DOWNGRADING CANTONESE, what a shame!: 22 August 2015

THE WORLD OF ISLAM: talk by Professor Essy Baniassad : 12 September 2015 -- When one walks through the Alhambra Palace, or watches a dance of “whirling dervishes”, one cannot but admire how deep and intricate Islamic art is. But we know so little about Islamic art, history, and culture, and now we are puzzled by the dichotomy between “Islamic Art” and Islamic fundamentalist beliefs. Architect Professor Baniassad will discuss this dichotomy, give us a short introduction to the history and development of Islam, and discuss on current issues involving the religion, people and culture.

REMARKABLE WOMEN in Tang romance novels (2): 26 September 2015

The WUCHANG Uprising - talk by K F Chor : 10 October 2015

talk on CHESS (1) - talk by Fung Yee Wang : 24 October 2015

EARLY GUITAR: performance and sharing - artist: Franklin Lei : 14 November 2015 -- The Early Viennese guitar resembles its predecessor, the Baroque Lute, in its sounds and spirits. Since the early 19th century, the Viennese guitar underwent periods of development and refinement. Mauro Giuliani (1781–1829), an Italian guitarist, cellist, singer, and composer, was then the world’s virtuoso on this instrument. Born in Hong Kong, Franklin Lei took a degree in electrical engineering at MIT before embarking on his musical odyssey to Cologne, Basel and London, studying Renaissance and Baroque lutes. Franklin will perform the music of Giuliani and others in a 1811 Rudert guitar, followed by a sharing session of his vast and unique experience in lute and early classical guitar music.

talk on CHESS (2) - talk by Fung Yee Wang : 21 November 2015

Life of SUSHI (1) : 12 December 2015

Life of SUSHI (2) : 9 January 2016

the GREAT LEARNING : 23 January 2016

WANG TAO, reformer in late Qing - talk by K F Chor : 27 February 2016

ZENG GUO FAN, cultivation and parenting - talk by W. K. Lee : 19 March 2016

Doctrine of the MEAN : 23 April 2016

ART OF LEAF-WHISTLING, workshop by Larry Lai : 7 May 2016

XI SHI and WANG ZHAO JUN : 21 May 2016

Beyond TRAVEL (14) — the SAKUHACHI and the GUQIN, talk by Larry Lai : 18 June 2016

THE PRACTICE OF MINDFULNESS: talk by Lily Yan : 9 July 2016 -- “Mindfulness” is one of the significant elements of Buddhism. It is now defined as “paying purposely attention to the internal and external experience occurring at the present moment, with a Non-judgmental attitude” by Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn who initiated the popular mindfulness movement in the West. Large population-based research studies have indicated that the practice of mindfulness is strongly correlated with well-being and perceived health. Miss Lily Yan is a practitioner of mindfulness; she completed the Master program of Buddhist Studies at the University of Hong Kong in 2012. It is her wish to share with all some of the teachings of mindfulness and its practice. Throughout the talk, Miss Yan will focus on the key elements of mindfulness and its practice in real life situation. Besides, she will also lead a short mindfulness walking. Those attending the talk can join the walk freely. The ancient way of mindfulness is as practicable today as it was 2,500 years ago. It is applicable in the lands of the West as in the East; in the midst of life’s turmoil as well as in the peace of the monk’s cell. ------ Nyanaponika Thera

HUMOUR IN CHINESE LITERATURE - talk by K F Chor : 23 July 2016

BEYOND TRAVEL (15) - ZUGSPITZE, the highest peak of Germany : 6 August 2016

Photos of our past activities are found in   Facebook

top of page