It is with great sadness to learn about Bing Thom's passing this morning. Although I never had the fortune to work with him, his lecture at CUHK four years ago, and the metro ride after was a memorable and enlightening experience that I will not forget.
He spoke about the particularity of the theatrical experience in the Cantonese opera, as the theatre of life, that the everyday experience is needed to be brought into the art form, where the subject experience is invited to immerge into the object of the play. This contrasting notion of the art form, from the European opera, set apart his design from others for the Xiqu Centre competition here in Hong Kong. In his proposal, the boundary of the architecture is meant to be porous, the everyday events of whispering, tea drinking and snacking are meant to be part of the threatre experience. All of it combined to soften the distinction between inside and out, to entangle the reality of the everyday from the fantasy of the theatre. It was a simple and clearly articulated concept.
Our thesis students were anticipating his Master Class last week, only to learn that he had fell ill during a client's meeting. What a lost.