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Heritage Museum's "Food Culture Festival" opens today


Though it has always offered a wide variety of gourmet sensations from all over the world, Hong Kong has won a particular reputation as a paradise of Chinese cuisine.

In spite of the influence of western culture, Hong Kong has been able to preserve its local traditions where food culture is concerned.

The "dai paidong", or street-corner food stall, the "cha canting", or Hong Kong-style cafe/restaurant and basin food are still an important part of the local scene. By combining eastern and western influences, Hong Kong developed a unique food culture.

To explore the history and development of food in Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Heritage Museum has adopted "Food Culture Festival" as its theme in 2003/04. A series of art and history exhibitions, academic conferences and forums and educational activities is planned.

The inaugural event is "More Than Just Food - Ceramic Art Exhibition", which was officially opened today and will run until January 5, 2004.

Food and drink satisfies basic human needs, but as our quality of life improves, food takes on broader connotations. Sophistication has crept into such areas as choice of food, preparation, cutlery, table manners etc. Food and drink has evolved into a culture and an art.

"More Than Just Food - Ceramic Art Exhibition" has enlisted the participation of 12 ceramicists who put together a big banquet with imaginative tableware accompanying 12 special menus designed according to monthly themes.

The 12 thematic menus are:

- "A Feast of Tofu" by Yokky Wong Mei-han, using freshly made tofu (bean curd) as a metaphor for the start of a new year;

- "Union of Blissful Wares" by Jakie Leung Koon-ming, celebrating the Chinese New Year;

- "A Celebration of Spring" by Emma Chan Suet-ha, welcoming the arrival of spring;

- "A Banquet for the Future" by Lau Wai-ki, creating incredible dishes for April Fool's Day;

- "Labour Day Feast" by Ho Tai-kwan, expressing the joy that follows the hard work of harvest;

- "The Green Mill" by Ming Ma Mun-ming, offering an appetising vegetarian meal during the heat of summer;

- "Misguided Reds and Greens Amid Inconstant Blacks and Whites Entwined Within Shimmering Golds and Silvers - A Culinary Musical Extravaganza for the Reunification Dinner in Six Parts" by Terence Lee Tze-leung, celebrating the return of Hong Kong to Chinese sovereignty;

- "Banquet for Ghosts - The Bitter Cuisine" by Chris Lo Sze-lim, featuring bitter-tasting food for the month of ghosts;

- "Metal, Wood, Water, Fire and Earth (The Five Culinary Elements)" by Law Hon-wah, inspired by astrology and fine September nights;

- "All Glorious Chicken Meal (Celebration of National Day)" by Caroline Cheng Yi;

- "In and Out (Face-giving Party)" by Johnson Tsang Cheung-shing, where making friends is the object of the banquet;

- "A Gathering of Friends" by Fiona Wong Lai-ching, enjoying favourite dishes with best friends with stone-shaped ceramics.

Other exhibitions of the Food Culture Festival will be Hong Kong's Food Culture, The Art of Tea - Pu'er Tea & Teaware, Chinese Food Culture, and Hong Kong Foodscape - Texts•Images•Installations.

The Heritage Museum also plans a number of educational activities for children, including a Ceramics Fun Fair to be held this Saturday and Sunday (June 28 & 29), and a Game Stall on Food Culture on July 1. Other activities scheduled for this summer include Children's Workshop: Poetry Feast, Children's Workshop: Not Just Food, Children's Art Courses: Saturday Creative Zone, and Summer Art Camp: Super Food.

Video programmes on food culture will be screened at the Theatre of the Heritage Museum from October to March 2004. Produced by Radio Television Hong Kong, the programmes include Food and People, Archaeology and Antiquities 2002, and Healthy Eating. They enable the audience to explore the food culture of Hong Kong from different angles.

For more information, please visit the Heritage Museum's website at or obtain a copy of the museum's July-September newsletter.

Located at 1 Man Lam Road in Sha Tin, the Heritage Museum is open from 10am to 6pm from Monday to Saturday, and from 10am to 7pm on Sundays and public holidays. It is closed on Tuesdays (except public holidays).

Admission is $10, with a half-price concession for full-time students, people with disabilities and senior citizens aged 60 or above. Admission is free on Wednesdays.

As part of the Leisure and Cultural Services Department's "Arts Care" initiative, admission to the Heritage Museum will be free on July 1 and on all Sundays in July.

Moreover, visitors will also enjoy the Buy-one-get-one-free scheme when they visit the Heritage Museum in July and August. Anyone who buys an admission ticket will receive a complimentary admission coupon valid until September 30, 2003 at the following museums: the Heritage Museum, Hong Kong Museum of History, Hong Kong Museum of Art, Hong Kong Science Museum, Hong Kong Museum of Coastal Defence, and Hong Kong Space Museum (except the Space Theatre of the Hong Kong Space Museum and special exhibitions with separate admission charges).

A free shuttlebus operates between the Sha Tin KCR Station and the Heritage Museum from 1pm to 6pm on Saturdays and from 1pm to 7pm on Sundays and public holidays.

For enquiries, please call 2180 8188.

End/Tuesday, June 24, 2003

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