The seven major museums managed by the Department are the Hong Kong Museum of Art, the Hong Kong Museum of History, the Hong Kong Museum of Coastal Defence, the Hong Kong Science Museum, the Hong Kong Space Museum, the Hong Kong Heritage Museum and the Dr Sun Yat-sen Museum. In the interests of study, education and enjoyment, these museums acquire, conserve, research, exhibit and interpret Hong Kong's tangible and intangible cultural heritage.
The Department also manages the Hong Kong Film Archive, the Art Promotion Office, the Hong Kong Heritage Discovery Centre, the Ping Shan Tang Clan Gallery cum Heritage Trail Visitors Centre and seven smaller museums, including the Flagstaff House Museum of Tea Ware, the Lei Cheng Uk Han Tomb Museum, the Law Uk Folk Museum, the Sheung Yiu Folk Museum, the Sam Tung Uk Museum, the Hong Kong Railway Museum and the Fireboat Alexander Grantham Exhibition Gallery.
Committee on Museums
The Committee on Museums, which was established in November 2004 to advise the Secretary for Home Affairs on the provision of public museum services, submitted a Recommendation Report to the Government in May 2007. This Report sets out long-term plans for the development of public museum facilities and services, and its recommendations cover the following areas: (a) a development strategy for public museum services; (b) performance enhancement and the promotion of patronage; (c) community involvement and partnership; (d) public museum funding; (e) public museum governance; and (f) public museum staff development. The Government has accepted the Committee's recommendations in principle and has set up a Home Affairs Bureau task force to further study and formulate an implementation plan.
Hong Kong Museum of Art
The mission of the Hong Kong Museum of Art is to bring to Hong Kong a multicultural vision of the world's arts and culture through exhibition programmes with an international perspective. The major exhibitions organised in 2008-09 included Paris 1730-1930: A Taste for China and Otium Ludens Leisure and Play: Ancient Relics of the Roman Empire. The former introduced art inspired by Chinese aesthetics, which flourished in Paris from the eighteenth to the twentieth century, whilst the latter illustrated the power and luxurious lifestyle enjoyed by the Roman Empire's elite 2 000 years ago. These exhibitions were followed by a touring exhibition entitled Strolling in the Fragrant Garden: Paintings of Ju Chao and Ju Lian, which featured the finest selections of the two Jus from museums in Hong Kong and Guangdong. To celebrate the Beijing 2008 Olympic and Paralympic Games, an exhibition entitled Made in Hong Kong ------- Contemporary Art was organised by the Hong Kong Museum of Art and displayed at the Beijing World Art Museum. The Story of the Horse at the Hong Kong Museum of Art celebrated Hong Kong's hosting of the Equestrian Events of the Beijing 2008 Olympics and Paralympic Games.
|The Paris 1730-1930: A Taste for China exhibition introduces art inspired by Chinese aesthetic taste, which flourished in Paris from the 18th to the 20th century.|
|The Otium Ludens Leisure and Play: Ancient Relics of the Roman Empire exhibition illustrates well the power and luxurious lifestyle enjoyed by the elite of the Roman Empire 2000 years ago.|
|A museum docent conducts a special guided tour on the exhibition Story of the Horse for school groups. This exhibition celebrates Hong Kong's hosting of the Equestrian Events of the Beijing 2008 Olympic and Paralympic Games.|
The Hong Kong Art: Open Dialogue exhibition series, which included Digit@logue, New Ink Art: Innovation and Beyond, Looking for Antonio Mak and Charming Experience, marked a new curatorial direction in Hong Kong by exploring new partnerships with guest curators. Other thematic exhibitions held during the year included A Eulogy of Hong Kong Landscape in Painting: The Art of Huang Bore, In Salute to Tong King Sum and No Frontiers: The Art of Ding Yanyong.
|The New Ink Art: Innovation and Beyond exhibition illustrates the evolution and development of the new ink art movement, as well as its latest incarnation as a contemporary art form.|
|Featuring sculptures, paintings and drawings, the Hong Kong Art: Open Dialogue ------- Looking for Antonio Mak exhibition provides viewers with different perspectives on Mak's work.|
|Visitors' senses are enlivened by the works of art and messages conveyed by the participating artists in the Hong Kong Art: Open Dialogue ------- Charming Experience exhibition.|
|No Frontiers: The Art of Ding Yanyong exhibition provides visitors with the opportunity to review how Ding forged his own artistic path, blending elements of East and West.|
The Museum also organised and participated in a wide range of educational activities, some of which were co-organised with charity groups and cultural organisations. They included The Summer Art Cadets training programme and exhibition, Hong Kong Art: Open Dialogue open forums, the School Cultural Day Scheme and various in-house educational activities. The Hong Kong Museum of Art attracted 294 727 visitors during the year.
Flagstaff House Museum of Tea Ware
Situated in Hong Kong Park, the Flagstaff House Museum of Tea Ware is a branch of the Hong Kong Museum of Art that is devoted to the study and promotion of tea culture.
|Tea demonstrations held to promote Chinese tea culture during the International Museum Day 2008 at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Piazza.|
A special exhibition, The History of Tea: The K.S. Lo Collection of the Flagstaff House Museum of Tea Ware, was held in 2008-09, during which more than 110 artefacts of refined Chinese tea utensils and export tea ware from the Tang Dynasty (618-907) to the twentieth century were on display. The Museum attracted more than 167 000 visitors during the year.
Hong Kong Museum of History
The Hong Kong Museum of History makes a concerted effort to collect, preserve and display cultural objects that are closely related to the history of Hong Kong and the South China area. Its mission is to enrich cultural life, strengthen social cohesion and nurture national identity.
In addition to its permanent exhibition, The Hong Kong Story, the Museum presents various thematic exhibitions in conjunction with other museums and cultural organisations in Hong Kong, the Mainland China and cities throughout the world. Three major exhibitions were organised during the year, namely, Heavenly Horse ------- The Horse in Chinese Art and Culture, which was staged to coincide with the Beijing 2008 Olympic and Paralympic Games, Cultural Relics from Chuxiong Yi Autonomous Prefecture and The French Revolutions. The Museum also collaborated with government departments and non-profit-making institutions to present exhibitions on Hong Kong, including Hong Kong Observatory ------- Weathering the Storms for 125 Years, Women of Hong Kong ------- A Century of Contribution and Development, and 80 Years of Broadcasting in Hong Kong.
|This entirely gilt, well-carved, realistic bronze model of a Ferghana horse from the Han Dynasty is one of the highlights of the Heavenly Horse ------- The Horse in Chinese Art and Culture exhibition.|
|In a lively programme of Yi music and dance, costumed performers mark the opening of the Cultural Relics of Chuxiong Yi Autonomous Prefecture exhibition.|
To foster the public's interest in local history and cultural heritage, the Museum organised a rich variety of education and extension activities. The year's highlights include the International Conference on Madame Chiang Soong Mayling and Her Times (jointly organised with the Centre for Asian Studies at Chu Hai College), a seminar on the Hong Kong Experience (jointly organised with the Centre of Asian Studies at the University of Hong Kong) and the Yu Ying-shih Lecture in History 2008 (co-organised with the Chinese University of Hong Kong).
The Hong Kong Museum of History attracted 688 743 visitors during the year.
The Hong Kong Museum of Coastal Defence, which is a branch of the Hong Kong Museum of History, was converted from the old Lei Yue Mun Fort in Shau Kei Wan. In addition to its permanent exhibition entitled 600 Years of Coastal Defence in Hong Kong, the Museum hosted two thematic exhibitions, Military Relics in Hong Kong and History of Island East, during the year. A total of 130 925 visitors patronised the Museum in 2008-09.
|Parents and children participating in the Warship Model Making Workshop, one of the family activities organised at the
Hong Kong Museum of Coastal Defence on weekends and public holidays.
The Dr Sun Yat-sen Museum, which is housed in a historic residence named Kom Tong Hall and presents exhibitions on Dr Sun, attracted 87 717 visitors during the year.
The Hong Kong Museum of History also manages three small branch museums, namely, the Fireboat Alexander Grantham Exhibition Gallery at Quarry Bay Park, the Lei Cheng Uk Han Tomb Museum in Sham Shui Po and the Law Uk Folk Museum in Chai Wan, which attracted 188 063, 38 416 and 18 095 visitors, respectively, during the year.
Hong Kong Science Museum
The mission of the Hong Kong Science Museum is to promote the public's interest in science and technology and to become a science centre of international standards. The Museum has also strived to establish a good collection of artefacts on science and technology for research, education and appreciation by the general public.
To tie in with the Beijing 2008 Olympic and Paralympic Games, the Hong Kong Science Museum presented a Sports Arena exhibition in 2008-09, which enabled its more than 260 000 visitors to experience the enjoyment of different sports and understand the principles behind them. From December 6-15, 2008, the Museum also organised, in collaboration with the Chinese Manned Space Engineering Office, an Exhibition on China's First Spacewalk Mission, which attracted about 50 000 visitors.
|A visitor trying out the balance beam during the Sports Arena exhibition at the Hong Kong Science Museum. This exhibition promotes physical wellness through participation in sports, a better understanding of nutrition and practising a healthy lifestyle.|
|Visitors engaged by a display of the spacesuits worn by the astronauts of China's first spacewalk mission, the Shenzhou-7 manned space mission.|
In June 2008, the Government of Yunnan Province generously donated a Lufengosaur skeleton to the HKSAR. This gift of a precious dinosaur fossil, the first to be made to a jurisdiction outside the Mainland, was displayed in the main lobby of the Museum for free viewing by the public as part of the Treasure from Chuxiong ------- Lufengosaur exhibition. Other special exhibitions held during the year included Wildlife Photographers of the Year, The Deep, which was sponsored by The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust, and Exploration of Time.
|Donated by the Government of Yunnan Province to the HKSAR, this precious Lufengosaur fossil, which possesses both scientific and historical significance, is now on permanent display at the Hong Kong Science Museum.|
The Museum's Science News Corner staged a number of thematic exhibitions, including Artificial Intelligence and Railway Engineering Works Scheduling and Unlocking the Mysteries of the Brain. These exhibitions were developed jointly with universities to introduce research achievements and technological applications that benefit society.
Five renowned scientists from the Mainland and Hong Kong delivered a series of lectures as part of the Distinguished Chinese Scientists Lecture Series 2008, which was jointly organised with the China Association for Science and Technology, the Beijing-Hong Kong Academic Exchange Centre and the China Association (Hong Kong) for Science and Society.
Science Alive 2008, which was sponsored by the Croucher Foundation and jointly presented with the British Council and the Education Bureau, provided various educational and extension activities such as exhibitions, lecture series, workshops and science drama performances to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin's birth.
|Songs, limericks and interactive physical games engaged visitors in a 'walkabout show', one of the Science Alive 2008 programmes organised to teach the public more about Darwin's theory of evolution and his life, times and legacy.|
To promote the public's interest in science at the community level, a Secondary School Science Quiz Competition was held in early 2009, with the participation of 78 schools.
|Students working in groups to figure out the answers to problem-solving questions in the final round of the Secondary School Science Quiz Competition organised by the Hong Kong Science Museum.|
The Hong Kong Science Museum attracted 1 045 431 visitors during the year.
Hong Kong Space Museum
Officially opened in 1980, the Hong Kong Space Museum is the major local institution dedicated to popularising astronomy and space science. Its main facilities include the Stanley Ho Space Theatre and two exhibition halls. The Museum features 59 groups of predominantly interactive exhibits, 23-metre hemispherical dome screens for educational planetarium shows and OMNIMAX films with stunning visual impact.
A temporary exhibition entitled Shenzhou-7 was presented in honour of China's first spacewalk mission last year. In addition, the Sai Kung iObservatory at the Lady MacLehose Holiday Village was opened in 2008 to facilitate public enjoyment of stargazing through its 60-centimetre professional telescope. The Atropark, a theme park with stargazing facilities, is currently being constructed at the Chong Hing Water Sports Centre. Funding for renovating the two exhibition halls was secured and new exhibits will be designed and installed in an immersive environment to simulate the experience of space travel. The Museum's website (http://hk.space.museum), with its wealth of information and educational resources on astronomy, remains as popular as ever. The Astro e-calendar 2009 was released via the website in late 2008.
|Members of the public flock to the Space Museum to watch a live broadcast of the launch of the Shenzhou-7 manned spacecraft on September 25, 2008.|
|The portable planetarium at the Sai Kung iObservatory depicts spectacular astronomical scenes.|
From April 1 to November 16, 2008, the Museum presented two Sky Shows, three OMNIMAX Shows and four School Shows, together attracting 209 388 viewers. The Space Theatre has been closed for renovation since November 17, 2008 for the installation of a state-of-the-art star projection system and was reopened on July 1, 2009. A novel monthly programme, the Astronomy Carnival, enables participants to enjoy stargazing, study the solar system and tour the universe through computer simulations. The monthly observation activities at the iObservatory were also well received in 2008-09. In total, 23 523 members of the public participated in 210 extension activities, and 570 613 visited the Hall of Astronomy, the Hall of Space Science, the Space Theatre and the 18 temporary special exhibitions during the year.
|This six-metre inflatable dome is one of the attractions of the Astronomy Carnival observation programme at the Hong Kong Space Museum.|
|A public observation programme was conducted on the evening of December 1, 2008 to observe the fascinating Celestial Smiling Face.|
Hong Kong Heritage Museum
The Hong Kong Heritage Museum is committed to providing comprehensive exhibitions on history, art and culture and, through its diverse range of dynamic and interactive exhibitions and programmes, to engaging visitors in enjoyable and educational experiences as they appreciate the valuable artefacts on display.
The major exhibitions held during the year include Children's Paradise: The Art of Lo Koon Chiu, which showcased Lo's rich and multifaceted comic works for children; Hong Kong Design Series 6: Jewellery for Life, curated by jewellery designer Ms Lo Kai-yin with the participation of renowned local jeweller brands and designers; and The Verve of Light and Shadow: Master Photographers Tchan Fou-li, Kan Hing-fook and Leo K.K. Wong, which highlighted the lifelong achievements of three master pictorial photographers. To tie in with the Beijing 2008 Olympic and Paralympic Games, The Ancient Olympic Games exhibition displayed more than 110 valuable exhibits from the British Museum to feature the story of the ancient Olympic Games. An exhibition entitled The Majestic Stage: The Story of Cantonese Opera Theatres reconstructed the grandeur of these theatres. The Exhibition of Intangible Cultural Heritage in China presented China's rich and diversified cultural heritage.
|The Hong Kong Design Series 6: Jewellery for Life exhibition explores the cultural and historical value of jewellery from different perspectives.|
|Dr Ian Jenkins, Senior Curator of the British Museum, offers guests a special tour during the opening ceremony of The Ancient Olympic Games exhibition.|
A variety of educational and extension activities were offered throughout the year. To complement The Ancient Olympic Games, the Museum organised special educational programmes for schools and the public, including audio-guide services, educational kits, English fun tours, Children's Olympic Games and talks. With a view to attracting a new audience, a brand new series entitled M-Lives in the City was launched in autumn 2008. It incorporates eclectic elements of art and culture into an array of innovative programmes.
|Taking the ancient Olympic Games and Greek culture as its theme, a group of native English-speaking dramatic actors presents an entertaining short play to a group of students who are also clad in ancient Greek costumes and armed with replicas of Games' instruments.|
The Museum, which attracted 393 535 visitors during the year, also manages three branch museums, the Sam Tung Uk Museum, the Hong Kong Railway Museum and the Sheung Yiu Folk Museum. These three branch museums attracted 162 214, 252 820 and 63 640 visitors, respectively.
Hong Kong Film Archive
The Hong Kong Film Archive's major functions are to acquire, preserve, catalogue and document Hong Kong films and related materials. Its major facilities include a cinema, an exhibition hall, a resource centre and four temperature-controlled collection stores. It has already acquired 8 039 films and 897 819 related items, mainly through donations and loans. Major donations during the year include 162 (8 385 reels) Shaw Studio film titles from Celestial Pictures Limited, film-related materials and trophies from director Johnnie To, and a collection of photos, film-related materials and artefacts from actress Linda Lin Dai.
The Film Archive continued its film research efforts and carried out oral history interviews with film veterans. Several publications, including Zhu Shilin: A Filmmaker of His Times and Oral History Series (5): An Emerging Modernity: Hong Kong Cinema of the 1960s (In Chinese), were released during the year. Major exhibitions included Epic Times, Simple Stories: The World of Zhu Shilin, An Emerging Modernity: Looking Back on the Cinema of the 1960s and Movies on the Mind: Psychology and Film since Sigmund Freud. The Archive attracted 244 305 visitors during the year.
|Poster of a Hong Kong Film Archive exhibition entitled An Emerging Modernity: Looking Back on the Cinema of the 1960s.|
|The Hong Kong Film Archive's exhibition Movies on The Mind ------- Psychology and Film since Sigmund Freud investigates the relationship between film and psychology through special sets.|
Art Promotion Office
The Art Promotion Office promotes local visual arts through wide-ranging activities that focus on public and community art. It places emphasis on undertaking projects with different partners, which helps to further enhance art appreciation and participation amongst members of the public.
|A sculptor demonstrates how he works with his material during a workshop at the Oasis Mirage: Hong Kong International Sculpture Symposium 2009 exhibition at the West Kowloon Waterfront Promenade.|
To celebrate the Beijing 2008 Olympic and Paralympic Games, the Office and the Sports Federation & Olympic Committee of Hong Kong, China (SF&OC) jointly organised the Olympic Sport and Art Contest 2008. This contest was launched in December 2007 and issued an open call for sculptural and graphical works. Two selected entries were delivered to Switzerland to compete in the international phase of the contest in mid-April 2008. The Artist in the Neighbourhood Scheme entered its fourth round in 2008-09, with a total of eight art units selected. A series of travelling exhibitions of the latest works produced by these art units will be held until 2010. An exhibition launching the Scheme and four solo exhibitions by four selected art units were held in 2008. In addition, the Mobile Art Gallery 2008, a partnership project with the Hong Kong Arts Development Council and two outside organisations, was held in summer 2008. Following an open competition, graphic artwork reproductions of 21 selected entries by local artists were displayed on public buses and bus shelters from June to December 2008.
|An artist and children giving a joyful performance during the Art Fair, part of the Artist in the Neighbourhood Scheme.|
Hong Kong Visual Arts Centre
The Hong Kong Visual Arts Centre, with nine art studios, a lecture theatre, an exhibition hall and a multi-purpose room, focuses on visual arts training and promotion and provides facilities for hire to professionals. The Art Specialist Course 2008-09 has now been completed, with a graduation exhibition held at the Centre in January 2009. To promote the development of Hong Kong art, the Centre has also organised a series of New Media Art workshops and video screenings.
|Participants practising throwing techniques at a ceramic workshop organised by the Hong Kong
Visual Arts Centre.
|Calligraphy and ink paintings created by students of the Art Specialist Course 2008-09 on display at the Hong Kong Visual Arts Centre during a graduation celebration.|