2022 Honorary Doctorate
Regarded as one of the most influential theatre directors in Hong Kong, Mr. Tang Shu-wing is a highly respected artist and educator who has served the theatre industry for more than 30 years, working in drama, dance and opera. Mr. Tang graduated from the School of Law at The University of Hong Kong in the 1980s and then pursued theatre studies at the Université de la Sorbonne Nouvelle in France.
In 2004, Mr. Tang joined the Academy’s School of Drama, and became Dean of Drama in 2009. He directed major student productions including Phaedra (2005), Hamlet (2006) and Princess Chang Ping (2007), training many new performing artists along the way and won many awards for the Academy. Mr. Tang is a staunch supporter of the Academy and helped direct two recent operas from the Academy’s School of Music: Les Contes d'Hoffmann in 2018, and Idomeneo in 2021.
To promote Hong Kong’s theatre productions on the international stage, Mr. Tang founded the Tang Shu-wing Theatre Studio in 2011. The studio’s works have strong cross-disciplinary and cross-cultural elements, and have been staged in cities across Europe and Asia. For instance, the studio presented Titus Andronicus and Macbeth in Cantonese at Shakespeare’s Globe in London in 2012 and 2015 respectively. Macbeth also toured six European cities in 2017 and five cities in the Greater China Region in 2019. Under the able leadership of Mr. Tang, the studio was declared an Eminent Arts Group by the Hong Kong Arts Development Council (HKADC) in 2019.
A firm believer in education, Mr. Tang is committed to serving the community through nurturing future artists. The Professional Physical Theatre Youth Training Programme that Mr. Tang established in 2014 has trained more than 250 students.
Mr. Tang also directed the opera Datong for the Hong Kong Arts Festival in 2015, which was selected for the highlights programme in London as part of the 20th anniversary of the establishment of HKSAR. In collaboration with Beijing’s Baiguang Theatre Studio, Mr. Tang directed the Greek tragedy Antigone by Sophocles in 2016 and U.S. playwright Sarah Ruhl’s play Dead Man’s Cell Phone in 2018.
During the pandemic, Mr. Tang’s creativity has extended to documentary and interactive online films, demonstrating his continuous innovative adventures.
In recognition of Mr. Tang’s contributions to the performing arts, he has won many international and local awards such as the Distinguished Interpretative Performance at the Tashkent International Theatre Festival (1993), three times Best Director (2006, 2007 and 2011) at the Hong Kong Drama Awards, the Award for Arts Achievement in Drama from the HKADC (2008), the Arts and Cultural Figure of the Year at the Shenzhen and Hong Kong Lifestyle Awards presented by the Southern Metropolis Daily in Guangzhou (2012), the Outstanding Achievement in Direction for Dance Award at the Hong Kong Dance Awards (2013), the Best Artist of the Year Award for Drama from the HKADC (2013), the “Next Big Thing” Award by Muse magazine (2010), and the Excellence Award at the Undercloud Festival in Romania (2018).
He was named a Jebsen Fellow at the Asian Cultural Council (1997), an Honorary Fellow of Lingnan University (2013), an Honorary Fellow of the Academy (2017), and an Honorary Fellow of the Hong Kong Arts Centre (2019). He has also been dubbed an Officier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Ministry of Culture and Communication (2007). The Hong Kong SAR government has awarded him a Certificate of Commendation from the Home Affairs Bureau (2007), the Chief Executive’s Commendation for Community Service Award (2012), and the Medal of Honour (2020).
More recent awards include Director of the Year of the IATC (HK) Critics’ Awards 2021, and Art and Culture Award of the first edition of the Grand Prix France-Hong Kong 2022.
In 2021, Mr. Tang received an award for his Outstanding Contribution in Arts from the HKADC, to acknowledge his remarkable accomplishments over the past decades.