Exchanges with the International Community
The LCSD's arts managers, curators and librarians regularly attend international conferences and festivals to keep abreast of new developments in arts and culture, and to scout for quality programmes for presentation in Hong Kong.
In 2015-16, overseas exchange programmes and international conferences that were attended by representatives of the department included the 17th China Shanghai International Arts Festival and the 6th China's kunqu opera art festival (the Mainland); the Annual Conference 2015 of the Association of Asia Pacific Performing Arts Centres, the Annual General Meeting of the Association of Asian Performing Arts Festivals in Tongyeong, and the International Modern Dance Festival in Seoul (Korea); the 19th Southeast Asia-Pacific Audiovisual Archive Association Conference (Singapore); the Fall for Dance Festival in New York (US); the 71st International Federation of Film Archives Congress in Sydney and Canberra (Australia); the Stage/Set/Scenery – International Trade Show and Conference in Berlin (Germany); the 13th edition of the Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design and Space (Czech Republic); the International Society for the Performing Arts Congress and the BUSTER Copenhagen International Film Festival for Children & Youth (Denmark); Il Cinema Ritrovato Film Festival in Bologna (Italy); and the 5th Hong Kong-Taiwan Cultural Co-operation Forum in Hong Kong.
The Hong Kong Museum of Art loaned three works by Wu Guanzhong (The Two Swallows, Trashilungpo Monastery and The Former Residence of Qiu Jin) to the National Gallery Singapore for display at the Wu Guanzhong: Beauty Beyond Form exhibition. This exhibition introduced the profound beauty of Wu's art to audiences in Singapore, and ran from November 2015 to February 2016.
To foster international cultural exchange and to widen the horizon of local young musicians, the Music Office organised music exchange concerts for visiting youth music groups from around the world, and sent its advanced level orchestras, bands, or choirs on concert tours. In 2015, the National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America and the Pasir Ris Secondary School Choir from Singapore visited Hong Kong and took part in music exchange programmes arranged by the Music Office. In October 2015, the Hong Kong Youth Symphony Orchestra of the Music Office visited Russia and gave performances at the International Music Festival EURASIA in Yekaterinburg. In December 2015, the Hong Kong Youth Symphonic Band of the Music Office visited Taiwan and participated in the 2015 Chiayi City International Band Festival.
The Hong Kong Public Libraries (HKPL) continued to strengthen ties with counterparts elsewhere in the world. In November 2015, library professionals from the Mainland, Taiwan and Macao attended a library forum on the sharing of Chinese digital resources held at the Hong Kong Central Library.
Exchanges with Mainland China and Macao
To enhance opportunities for cultural exchange, co-operation and networking, the department organised visits with cultural bodies on the Mainland and Macao. Among cultural exchange visitors to Hong Kong during the year were delegates from the Office for Cultural Affairs with the Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan Regions of the Ministry of Culture of the People's Republic of China; the Shenzhen Municipal Bureau of Culture, Sport and Tourism; the Jiangsu Provincial Department of Culture; the Department of Fund Management of China National Arts Fund; the Guangzhou City People's Congress Standing Committee; the Shanghai Municipal People's Government; the Gansu Provincial Department of Culture; the Gansu Provincial People's Government; and the Tianshui Municipal People's Government.
The LCSD collaborated with Art Exhibitions China in presenting the exhibition The Rise of the Celestial Empire: Consolidation and Cultural Exchange during the Han Dynasty, which ran from June to October 2015 at the Hong Kong Museum of History. The exhibition explored the rise to maturity of the Han dynasty by displaying 162 sets of precious Han relics taken from more than 40 cultural institutes and museums on the Mainland. The exhibition provided visitors with an in-depth view of political and day-to-day life in the period, and also focused on the cultural exchanges that resulted from the opening up of the Silk Road.
In April 2015, the 300 Families exhibition was staged at the Palace 66 Shopping Complex in Shenyang, presented by the Office of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region in Beijing, organised by the Art Promotion Office of the LCSD, and supported by the Hong Kong International Photo Festival. The exhibition featured photographic works by 14 Hong Kong artists, portraying the life stories of a number of Hong Kong families.
In September 2015, the Hong Kong Youth Symphonic Band of the Music Office was invited to give performances at the Shenzhen-Hong Kong Band Festival, held at the Longgang Cultural Center.
In October 2015, the Audience Building Office collaborated with the China Shanghai International Arts Festival in supporting a young local arts group from the Community Cultural Ambassador Scheme to stage two performances of the Circus in the Dark at the Festival's platform for young artists, R.A.W! Land.
In November 2015, the Fujian Liaison Unit of the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in Guangdong, under the Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Bureau, invited the Hong Kong Heritage Museum to take its display Bring Me Home – The Story of Hong Kong Culture, Art & Design to Quanzhou for the “Meet Hong Kong” Exhibition held there. The display featured seven sets of museum souvenirs designed by renowned Hong Kong designers. This event was an opportunity for Quanzhou audiences to learn more about both our museum collections and the creativity of Hong Kong designers.
The 16th edition of the annual Greater Pearl River Delta (GPRD) Cultural Co-operation Meeting, jointly presented by the Home Affairs Bureau of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, the Department of Culture of Guangdong Province, and the Cultural Affairs Bureau of the Macao Special Administrative Region, was hosted in Hong Kong in June 2015. Topics discussed during the two-day meeting included the development and exchange of performing arts talent, programme collaboration and the interflow of cultural information, heritage and museum co-operation, library co-operation and exchanges, and intangible cultural heritage.
Major initiatives on the performing arts front held under the GPRD Cultural Co-operation framework included the annual Cantonese Opera Day in November 2015, held in the Foyer and Piazza of the Hong Kong Cultural Centre, and the Showcase of Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao Cantonese Opera Masters, staged in December 2015 in the Auditorium of the Sha Tin Town Hall.
The year saw a number of events involving museum and exhibition collaborations. In May 2015, the third edition of the annual GPRD Museums Professionals Forum was held in Macao. From April to August, a collaborative historical exhibition entitled With the Passage of Time – Artefacts of Sun Wan, Dr Sun Yat-sen's Second Daughter, and her Husband, Tai Ensai, was held at the Dr Sun Yat-sen Museum, after which it went on tour to the Macao Museum from September 2015 to January 2016. The exhibition Fighting as One: Reminders of the Eight Years' War of Resistance in Guangdong and Hong Kong was held at the Hong Kong Museum of Coastal Defence from May to November 2015, while the travelling exhibition Pride of Lingnan: In Commemoration of the 110th Birthday of Chao Shao-an ran in Hong Kong from May to September 2015 and then moved on to the Guangzhou Museum of Art from September to January 2016.
In August 2015, the LCSD signed a Letter of Intent on Co-operation with the Dunhuang Academy to further strengthen cultural exchange and collaboration between the two sides and to promote Dunhuang culture, in order to enhance Hong Kong people's understanding of Chinese history and culture.
On the library front, GPRD cultural co-operation initiatives held in 2015-16 included a creative writing competition jointly organised by the HKPL, the Macao Public Library, the Sun Yat-sen Library of Guangdong Province, the Shenzhen Library and the Shenzhen Children's Library, on the theme Read the World. This was in celebration of 4.23 World Book Day. Winning entries were put on display in the libraries of the three regions.
Another GPRD cultural co-operation initiative in 2015-16 was the launching of a mobile app providing users with a cultural map of Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao. This has expanded the mobile functions of the GPRD Information Website. Using the map as interface, the app provides convenient positioning and search services, and includes a transportation guide and a ticketing platform. It has enabled mobile users to browse cultural information relating to the three regions with ease.
Hong Kong Week 2015@Taipei – Arts through Time
The fourth edition of Hong Kong Week in Taipei, presented by the Hong Kong–Taiwan Cultural Co-operation Committee, was held from September 10 to October 11, 2015. With Arts through Time as its central theme, Hong Kong Week 2015 featured a total of seven programmes in various arts and creative disciplines, which were held at major exhibition and performance venues in Taipei and together captured the spirit of Hong Kong culture. Along with 26 extension activities, they attracted over 77 000 visitors.
The 2015 edition opened with In the Name of Art – Hong Kong Contemporary Art Exhibition, followed by two other exhibitions, titled The Hong Kong Author of the Year, and Past · Present · Future – Tracking Hong Kong Architecture. Performing arts activities at the event included the atmospheric music theatre When Petals Fall in Serenity by Law Wing-fai, the contemporary dance performance As If To Nothing by the City Contemporary Dance Company, the drama production Tuesdays with Morrie by the Chung Ying Theatre Company, and a performing arts forum.
Hong Kong International Poster Triennial @ 2015 Kaohsiung Design Festival
In November 2015, the Bureau of Cultural Affairs of the Kaohsiung City Government invited the Hong Kong Heritage Museum to send nearly 200 reproductions of poster exhibits at the Hong Kong International Poster Triennial 2014 for exhibition at the Kaohsiung Design Festival, held at the Pier-2 Art Center. The title of the exhibition was Design Ho Yeh!, and it aimed at presenting new horizons in international contemporary graphic design. Besides giving Kaohsiung audiences new insights into the unique cultures and design characteristics of different countries and regions, the exhibition also represented a good example of cultural exchange and collaboration between the two cities.