Heritage Exhibitions

Tai Kwun Conversations: Prison Series – Transcending the Walls of Separation

Date & Time

4 Dec 2023 7pm-8:30pm


JC Cube


Exclusive to Tai Kwun Fan, Free of charge


A new series of Tai Kwun Conversations devoted to the prison themes accompanies the opening of two permanent exhibitions about the complex histories and heritage values of Victoria Prison.

The prison walls separate inmates from the outside world. Isolation, loneliness, fear, guilt, self-abasement, yearning . . . and so on—inmates suffer from emotional stress and psychological pain. How do they cope? How to build hope and overcome sorrow?

Rev. Prof. Tobias Brandner and renowned pianist Nancy Loo share their respective experiences as a chaplain and a volunteer working in the prison context. Their interactions with inmates offer insight into how social support, love, care, spirituality, and creativity impact the emotional wellbeing of inmates.

The conversations will be conducted in Cantonese, with Chinese-English simultaneous interpretation.


Rev. Prof. Tobias Brandner

Nancy Loo

7:00pm – 8:00pm


8:00pm – 8:30pm



Photos and videos will be taken during the Event for marketing and promotional purposes. Photos and videos may be used in newspapers, magazines, radio and television broadcasts, websites, apps, emails and outdoor advertisements, etc. All photos, films, videos, records and/or the likenesses of the participants (if applicable) captured during the Event by Tai Kwun (the “Organiser”) or their respective affiliated entities or contractors, are the sole property of the Organiser. Participants agree that the Organiser may use, present, publish or disseminate in any and all media worldwide for any legitimate purpose the photos or videos taken during the Event or the portraits of the participants as appear in any official documentary, commercial, television coverage, and all multimedia platforms, without any remuneration to any participant. The Organiser has the absolute right to use any photos, films, videos and records of the Event. Participants may also be invited to give written, audio, and video feedback.

Speakers Bio

Rev. Prof. Tobias Brandner
Nancy Loo

Tobias Brandner, a Swiss native and an ordained pastor of the reformed church, has lived in Hong Kong since 1996 and has served as a local prison chaplain since 1998, mostly visiting convicted male prisoners. He is a Professor of Theology at the Divinity School of Chung Chi College, Chinese University of Hong Kong, teaching Global Christianity, mission studies, and ecumenism. Among his publications are a monograph on Christianity in the context of prison, Beyond the Walls of Separation:  Christian Faith and Ministry in Prison (Eugene, Oregon: Cascade, 2014), and his most recent publication a monograph on local Christianity, Christians in the City of Hong Kong: Chinese Christianity in Asia’s World City (Bloomsbury Academics).

Nancy Loo is one of the most versatile artists in Hong Kong, being pianist, radio programme host, actress, writer and educator all in one.  She currently teaches at The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, Hong Kong Baptist University, The Chinese University of Hong Kong and The University of Hong Kong.  She attended the Juilliard School and The Royal Northern College of Music.  Her teachers included Mieczyslaw Munz, Adele Marcus, Vlado Perlemuter, Guido Agosti, Ryszard Bakst and Derek Wyndham.  In 1976, she won first prize at the 4th Rina Sala Gallo International Competition in Monza, and has since won awards in many other international competitions, including the Marguerite Long International Competition in Paris.

Loo has performed in concerts in Europe, North America and Asia.  She has appeared as a soloist with The Juilliard Orchestra, Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Zagreb Radio Symphony Orchestra, Thessaloniki State Orchestra, Singapore Symphony Orchestra and National Philharmonic of the Philippines.  In Hong Kong, she has played with the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, Hong Kong Sinfonietta and Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra.  She appears frequently in festivals and events on the local music scene.   She was the founder of the piano and woodwind sextet “Les Six” and is currently a member of the “LENK Quartet”.

Apart from stage performances, Loo is active in the recording studio. Her notable recordings include Nai Chung Kuan’s Ambush from All Sides with the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra; Doming Lam’s Moonlight Over the Spring River; a piano hymns collection; Schoenberg’s Lieder with soprano Jasmine Law and Brahms’ 21 Hungarian Dances with violinist Leung Kin Fung. Loo has also contributed to the soundtracks of films The Map of Sex and Love (2001), The Source of Love (2002) and more.

Loo is the host of the music programmes “Cantilena” and “Children’s Corner” at Radio Television Hong Kong.  She was one of the Ten Outstanding Young Persons, a recipient of the Medal of Honour by the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and was named Artist of the Year (Music) by the Hong Kong Arts Development Council. She has been a volunteer to inmate rehabilitation since 2012, where she pays frequent visits and teaches music in the prisons.