A world-class director, renowned theatre educator and veteran actor, Tang Shu-wing was the former Dean of the School of Drama of the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts. Between 1986 and 1992, Tang studied in France where he received training of acting in l’Ecole de la Belle de Mai and his Maîtrise Diplôme in Theatre Studies from the Université de la Sorbonne Nouvelle in Paris, where he later served as an assistant director and actor in Théâtre de la Main d’Or before returning to Hong Kong. He is the current Artistic Director of Tang Shu-wing Theatre Studio and also the Head of Programme of the first ever physical theatre training programme in Hong Kong.
Tang’s sources of influence are “theatre of the convention” of Meyerhold, “poor theatre” of Grotowski, Tai Chi and Yoga. For him, theatre is a way to experience life through self-discovery. He believes that physical theatre and minimalist aesthetics are the best ways to realise his vision. His is dubbed “Alchemist of Minimalist Theatre” and “one of the most talented theatre directors of Hong Kong” by the media.
Tang has directed over forty productions of drama, dance and opera. His representative works include Phaedra, Hamlet, Princess Chang Ping, The Exception and the Rule, Titus Andronicus, Titus Andronicus 2.0, Detention, Thunderstorm, Why Aren’t You Steve Jobs?. His works have been presented in many cities in the world. In 2015, he had direct an opera in Hong Kong Arts Festival in March followed by Macbeth which has been invited to perform in Globe in London with the language of Cantonese and re-run Detention in Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August. In September, he will direct the re-run Titus Andronicus 2.0 in Hong Kong. In 2016, following the premiere of Macbeth in Hong Kong Arts Festival in March, he has been invited to direct Antigone in Beijing in March.
In 2001, he published Analysis and Reflections on the Theories of Acting of Meyerhold, Life and Death Trilogy: a Theatrical Research. In 2004, The International Association of Theatre Critics (Hong Kong) published a special study on him: The Art of Synthesis: The Theatre World of Tang Shu-wing. Titus Andronicus — Approach in Minimalistic Aesthetics & Physical Theatre and Detention — Out of Curiosity are his latest writings. The former publication demonstrates how Minimalist and Physical Theatre be the artistic approach to create Titus and Titus 2.0 – two influential pieces in Asia.
He is the current Honorary Advisor of the Hong Kong Dance Company and one of the Consultation Panel Members under the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority and the Chairperson of Festival Panels of Leisure and Cultural Services Department.
Tang’s major professional awards include Distinguished Interpretative Performance in the 1993 Tashkent International Theatre Festival, Excellent Alternative Performance in the 1993 Hong Kong Drama Awards, Best Actor in a Leading Role in the 2003 Hong Kong Drama Awards, Three times Best Director (2006, 2007 and 2011) in the Hong Kong Drama Awards, Award for Arts Achievement (Drama) by the Hong Kong Arts Development Council 2008, Outstanding Production Award of the Hong Kong Dance Awards 2010. Other Awards include Jebsen Fellowship of the Asian Cultural Council 1997, Certificate of Commendation by the Secretary of the Home Affairs Bureau in 2007, l’Officier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Ministry of Culture and Communication in 2007 (the first Hong Kong theatre artist having such an honour). In 2010, he received the Next Big Thing Cultural Award of the Muse Magazine. In 2012, he receveid the Chief Executive’s Commendation for Community Service Award and also the Shenzhen-Hong Kong Life Award: Arts and Culture Figure of the Year Award by Southern Metropolis Daily of Guangzhou. In April 2013, he received the Outstanding Achievement in Direction for Dance Award of the Hong Kong Dance Awards and the Best Artist of the Year Award (Drama) of the Hong Kong Arts Development Council. In October 2013, he was awarded Honorary Fellow of Lingnan University of Hong Kong.