By Paul Kay
An integral part of Hong Kong’s arts and culture landscape since it opened its doors in 2008, ArtisTree is lifting the curtain on an innovative new multi-purpose space this June as part of Swire Properties’ ongoing HK$15 billion redevelopment of the Taikoo Place area. For everything you need to know about the new and improved ArtisTree, read on…
The new multi-purpose ArtisTree space in Cambridge House, Taikoo Place is 7,000 square foot in size including a 3,200 square foot main performance area with ceilings that are 5 metres in height. The space can be configured with a catwalk stage that seats 104, an end stage that can seat 111, or for up to 300 people standing. The professional audio system includes 10 d&b automatic loudspeakers. There’s also 400 loose lighting components and 18 Martin programmable stage lights.
Designed by Hong Kong-based interior architecture firm Via., the new ArtisTree was conceived to be a sophisticated take on the black box theatre concept, offering a versatile space for a wide variety of productions. Featuring an advanced lighting system, professional stage equipment and retractable theatre seating, the space can accommodate live music, drama and dance productions, but also fashion shows, exhibitions, seminars and product launches.
A Design For Life
The design of ArtisTree’s entranceway and foyer has been crafted to reflect the space’s role as a multi-use performance space. The timber-wrapped aluminium gates at the entrance are shaped to resemble a ripple of water, but also represent the wave of applause that spreads through the auditorium after a performance. Inside the foyer, meanwhile, there is a feature wall with a façade made from 1000 aluminium boxes placed at different angles, a reference to the versatile black box theatre concept of ArtisTree.
The Light Fantastic
Lighting is an important element of the new ArtisTree, both inside and out. The performance space is fitted with professional theatre lighting that can be adapted for a wide variety of productions. In the foyer, the boxes that comprise the feature wall are linked to an intelligent lighting system that can be used to create different colours and moods to enhance the atmosphere or subtly communicate information, such as indicating that the show is about to commence. Even the columns at the entrance have a hidden lighting element; crafted from ultra-thin slate, they are capable of emitting light when desired and also feature an ArtisTree logo that lights up only when there is a performance.
ArtisTree has a well-earned reputation for presenting world-class exhibitions, having hosted more than 130 events and over 800,000 visitors at its former location in Cornwall House. These have included the inaugural exhibition Vivienne Westwood A Life in Fashion, The World of Tim Burton, Outside the Box | Frank Gehry, Building M+: The Museum and Architecture Collection, and most recently, ZAHA HADID: There Should Be No End To Experimentation.
Ready for Liftoff
The new space is launching with a quartet of unique productions developed by both homegrown and international artists from 9-25 June. First up is ContempoLion
(9-10 June), a multimedia performance created by veteran Hong Kong choreographer Daniel Yeung that offers a modern take on Cantonese culture by combining lion dance techniques, aerial arts and contemporary dance with live and electronic musical arrangements. This is followed by More Than Musical’s production of La Traviata
(17-18 June), a stripped-down version of Verdi’s most famous opera with an all-Asian cast, then Animatorium
(24-25 June), a pair of contemporary dance works presented by the renowned National Dance Company Wales that are being performed in Asia for the first time.