Expo Programmes
Multidisciplinary Arts
Time in a Bottle
HKPAX x Ishikawa Ongakudo
The Box, Freespace, West Kowloon Cultural District
Google Map
Date and time (HKT)
14 Oct (Mon) - 17 Oct (Thu) 20:00, 15 Oct (Tue) - 17 Oct (Thu) 16:00
Pass holder
Full pass holders are eligible to reserve a seat
Co-created by the Hong Kong Performing Arts Expo and Ishikawa Ongakudo

A theatrical exhibition capturing the scented trail of our human history from through Music, Dance, Perfume and Bottle

Time in a Bottle is a theatrical presentation through music, scents and perfume bottles to map out the human experience. Part performance, part exhibition, it is a unique journey for an audience member to walk through different episodes of our existence, captured by various scenes made up of perfume bottles and accompanied by music. Each scene is contained in a specially designed room, where perfume bottles form a setting or even play a character in a display case. Specially composed music denotes each room, and guides the audience to experience the fantasies and follies of our world, from antiquity to eternity.

An oboe, a string quartet, and a piano will systematically perform the underscore to accompany the visual journey. The soundtrack will be played in each room corresponding to that particular scene. A scent clock may be installed to tell time on the hour at every hour so the audience will be able to keep time when the scent changes in the atmosphere.

Leon Ko

Artistic Director

Leon received a Master’s degree in Musical Theatre Writing from New York University.  He is the composer of the musicals Heading East (Richard Rodgers Development Award in the US), Takeaway (London), I Am What I Am (Guangzhou).  He has received ten Hong Kong Drama Awards for his musicals in Hong Kong — The Good Person of Szechwan, The Legend of the White Snake, Field of Dreams, The Passage Beyond, Our Immortal Cantata, Sing Out, The Woman in Kenzo and The Impossible Trial.  He was the musical director of pop legend Jacky Cheung’s mandarin edition of the musical Snow. Wolf. Lake.


For his film music, Ko won a Golden Horse Award, a Hong Kong Film Award, an Asia-Pacific Film Festival award and a Golden Bauhinia Award for the movie Perhaps Love.  His theme song for The Last Tycoon also earned him another Hong Kong Film Award.  He was nominated for another Golden Horse Award and a Hong Kong Film Award for his work in the movie The Warlords.  He received an ASCAP Screen Music Award in the US for Monster Hunt 2


Other works include new music for the Yam Kim Fai and Pak Suet Sin Charitable Foundation Chinese opera productions such as the classic Princess Chang-ping, and music for the plays The Liaisons and Tonnochy.  Leon collaborated with Ms. Yip Wing-sie and Hong Kong Sinfonietta on The Passage Beyond In Concert, The Amazing Filmphony and was the Sinfonietta’s Artist Associate from 2018-2019.  He organised and musical directed The Originals, a concert to celebrate the original musicals of Hong Kong.  He was artistic and musical director of Le French May’s Cities of Light in 2022. 


Besides music, he launched Time in a Bottle, the first-ever perfume bottle exhibition in Hong Kong in 2010, showcasing the artistry of vintage bottles in the context of theatre.

Hiroko Matsuo

Set Designer

Hiroko completed her BA in theatre design at Osaka University of Art and joined Shiki Theatre Company. In 2009, she moved to the UK and studied at Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in London, and she assisted Antony McDonald and Simon Holdsworth for many opera productions including Glyndebourne Festival Opera and Royal Welsh Opara.


After her return to Japan in 2015, Hiroko began her career as a freelance set designer. She has designed over three hundred theatrical productions such as musical, play, opera, ballet, and concert. Hiroko won awards including Kisaku Ito Memorial Award.


Her set designs include Musical SPY×FAMILY (Imperial Theater), Lucia di Lammermoor (Nissei Theater), Madama Butterfly (Hitaru), The Marriage of Figaro (Nikikai Nagoya), Der Freischütz (Nikikai Kansai), ZEN (Kanazawa Kagekiza), The Nutcracker (Hitaru Ballet project), Hamlet, The Moon Cinema (PARCO Theatre).

  • Approximately 60 minutes in duration.
  • You are recommended to arrive 15 minutes before the event starts. No admission for latecomers.
  • Programmes are subject to change without prior notice. HKPAX reserves the right to make the final decision regarding the arrangements.