Bulletin Spring‧Summer, 2008

D r. Gao Xingjian, the first Chinese Nobel Laureate i n L i t e r a t u r e , p r e s e n t e d a Distinguished Public Lecture at Shaw College Lecture Theatre on 23 May. The event marked the opening of the Gao Xingjian Arts Festival, which was co-presented by CUHK and the Consulate General of France in Hong Kong and Macao as one of the events of 'Le French May'. In a lecture titled 'The Finite and the Infinite: the Aesthetics of Creation', Dr. Gao shared his approach to artistic creation with a 500-strong audience. Dr. Gao believes that one can raise fresh perspectives on art without premising one's ideas on the subversion of one's predecessors. In painting, for instance, one can find a fresh pictorial language and create fresh images without opposing two-dimensionality or getting rid of the frame and canvas— abstract painting is a case in point. He himself has found a new form of expression outside figurative and abstract painting that is neither a faithful representation of reality nor an expression of the artist's sentiments. It is something he terms 'suggestion' or 'revelation'. It carries an image that is completed by the spectator's own experience and imagination. Dr. Gao also pointed out that creativity finds its source in the lifetime accumulation of knowledge, instead of a single book or one writer. He said, 'If you ask me to make a list of writers from whom I have benefited, I would say, it is the entire collection of a library, or all the books that constitute the history of literature.' In addition, Dr. Gao's play Of Mountains and Seas, had its world premiere at the New Asia Amphitheatre from 26 May to 1 June. The drama was directed by Hardy S. C. Tsoi, Arts Administrator of the University. Finished in 1993, the play is, as Dr. Gao described, 'an attempt to find a modern form of drama by returning to the ancient Chinese theatrical tradition.' Gao Xingjian on Freedom within Limitations   37