Does Hong Kong have an icon shortage?

chow yun fat hk hong kong actor icon billoboard

A 5-story billboard featuring actor Chow Yun Fat hangs in Elements Mall

It’s hard to think of any contemporary Hong Kong entertainment figure that can match the star power of previous generations.

Over the last twenty years the fortune of the city’s film and music industries has declined considerably both domestically and abroad.

Take a moment to reflect, do any of the characters in recent Hong Kong films carry any weight? Now contrast this with memorable roles played by artists like Chow Yun Fat in the 90′s.

Though there are plenty of pseudo celebrities to make up fodder for the gossip magazines, there are few real stars that can deliver notable performances and withstand the test of time.

Hong Kong’s industry needs to step up its game or face a future dominated by Mainland stars, who have already begun to pop up on billboards around town.

Looking towards the future

Despite all the negatives, there are new opportunities as well. Now, more than ever before, Hong Kong’s film industry has a greater ability to reach into China.

Over the past twenty years there has been a huge increase in the number of cinemas in the Mainland, and China’s box office now represents an enviable source of profits.

Likewise, where Hong Kong films were once considered foreign movies and subject to a strict quota, they now have an easier time due to C.E.P.A. (the ‘Closer Economic Partnership Act’,) to tap China’s audiences.

If the Hong Kong industry can come up with compelling stories and solid direction, as it did in the past, and its actors spend time honing their craft, rather than delivering mediocre performances, the future may instead be a bright one.

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