Monthly Highlights
Talking Art : Chris Ip Ngo-tung  
Chris Ip Ngo-tung, a Yau Tsim Mong District Council member newly appointed to the WKCDA Board, is not just the youngest but also the first Post-80s board member. We spoke to the energetic young man on his favourite hobby: photography and his recent cultural excursion to Germany, where he spent a year in study

He loves street art and creativity
Enews: What was your first encounter of art?

Chris: At Yaumatei Catholic Primary School, I spent a year learning violin but soon quitted because it was not my cup of tea. During my high school years, I took a few courses at Kwun Tong Vocational Training Council because my dad wanted me to take a few photos for him at the former Urban Council. I fell in love with photography, so much that I joined Wen Wei Pao as a political reporter after university. Many people mistook me as a photographer because I always took pictures.

The Little Match Girl at Deutsche Oper Berlin
Enews: Do you enjoy arts and cultural programmes?

Chris: Yes, but I didn’t have time to watch a lot, although my wife is a City Contemporary Dance Company freelance dancer. My job really was to take her photos rather than watching her performance. Until recently, I sat down for her performance which I totally enjoyed. My cultural journey really started when I returned to Germany two months ago as I spent a year there 10 years ago as an exchange student. This time I visited many museums and historic architectural buildings and could not stop thinking how it was like to be an East German. I enjoyed two opera shows at Deutsche Oper Berlin and Das Berliner Ensemble, particularly the wonderful sound effect of the “The Little Match Girl” opera at Oper Berlin. It was a coincidence, as well as a natural extension, that I was privileged to be invited to join WKCDA soon after.

Mrs Ip’s dancing rehearsal in West Kowloon
Enews: How did this cultural trip inspire you?

Chris: I think Hong Kong should really focus on software development and cultivate our artistic appreciation. I always wonder why the proportion of Chinese going to museum was less than those in our neighbourhood. Cultivating interests in culture is very important. I remember when I studied cultural management at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, one of the most fascinating courses was on Xiqu, which taught me a thing or two about not just the various performing tones, but also appreciating classics like “The Princes in Distress”. I am sure the future Xiqu Centre would arouse local interests in the traditional art form.

Chris Ip in front of Brandenburger Tor in Berlin
Enews: How does it feel to be the youngest board member here?

Chris: Although I am still only 32, I am very passionate about the overall development plan. Although there are already experts from various disciplines on the board, I am happy to offer a community perspective because I believe West Kowloon is a multi-development project that needs interactions with different stakeholders from various disciplines and experiences. As a district councillor, I hope to serve as a bridge to both organisations. People said if West Kowloon were a radiating core, I hope Yau Tsim Mong district would be an extension, generating bigger and more participation of arts and culture within the community.