Today is Mid-Autumn Festival. For the single guys out there, may the space rabbit grant you a ticket to moon and meet the immortal maiden, Chang’e. As for me, I have waited long enough and have decided that someone from Earth would do. Talking about the moon, today Cynthia and I have visited the Hong Kong Space Museum and have watched the ultra realistic space video clip called “Cosmic Collisions” at the huge dome shaped Sky Theater. Inside this documentary clip, it is said that when Earth was at its infancy, a rock smashed onto its surface and sent billions and millions of small pieces into space. Within a month, these small pieces consolidated into one huge rock. That rock has become our Moon. Incredible! And the Moon in turn gives the Earth tidal waves. Such a romantic notion. Perhaps that was where Italo Calvino drew his inspiration from, when he wrote that fascinating “Cosmicomics” and a few others.
The last time I have visited the Space Museum, I was a small kid. The museum seems to have shrunk in size as I grow bigger. Wednesday is a good day for museum crawling in Hong Kong. Free admission for all the museums.
We have visited the Hong Kong Museum of Art next door too. There are ancient Chinese drawings that are painted on a thin horizontal stripe of paper that seems to extend indefinitely. Landscape drawings with paths and stationary objects and people that lead your eyes from one end of the painting to another end. There are vertical drawings too. The same concept that leads our attention from the bottom to the top, which is often the mountain top and the cloud. During our visit, there is a special exhibition of the late Wu Guanzhong. The theme is “Lofty Integrity”. It is eye opening to see Chinese culture incorporated into modern art. Each painting comes with a poetic short description, which I appreciate a great deal. The title of the painting illustrated above is “Leaving Youth Behind”, courtesy of Hong Kong Museum of Art. The translated description is as follows. If you come across an exhibition of Wu Guanzhong, don’t miss it.
When a tree is old, its roots are exposed. When a lotus is old, its stalks break. It is better to break than to submit, leaving no regrets even when youth is gone.
On a lighter note, there is an exhibition called “The Ultimate South China Travel Guide” that attempts to recreate the history of Canton after the First Opium War (1839) in an entertaining manner. I felt as though I was transported back to that era. There is even a phrase book that translates the “Chinese Pidgin English” (a distorted form of English frequently spoken by the locals back then). From the obvious ones such as I no know and I no understand, to the obscure ones such as give dog chow-chow (give it to the dog) and my hap sick (I am sick). One day, if there is a phrase book for Singlish (a distorted form of English frequently spoken by the Singaporeans I suppose?), I wonder what would people think of cannot also can?