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Exhibition showcases the pageantry of Asian art

"Mapping Asia - The 18th Asian International Art Exhibition", featuring some 180 works of art from across East Asia, will run at the Hong Kong Heritage Museum from tomorrow (December 10) to March 8, 2004.

The exhibition is jointly presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department and the Federation of Asian Artists Hong Kong Committee, and organised by the Heritage Museum.

Mapping Asia is a comprehensive overview of the colourful contemporary artistic developments in Asia Pacific.

While globalisation may encourage the development of a single world art with an international audience, it should never be forgotten that local history and traditions are the unique legacies which contribute to the advancement of the world.

"Mapping Asia" thus offers an opportunity to appreciate the pluralism of the region's artistic scene, while considering the role of Asian art and the space it has come to occupy in the global art world.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the exhibition today (December 9), the Director of Leisure and Cultural Services, Ms Anissa Wong Sean-yee, noted that by bringing together representative pieces of contemporary art, the exhibition aims to reflect current artistic developments in Asia, to illustrate Asian ways of life and to foster better understanding and friendship among people in the region.

Mapping Asia showcases some 180 works by about 190 artists from Japan, Korea, China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, Macau and Hong Kong. They include installations, photography, video and digital art, ceramics, sculpture, and Chinese as well as Western painting.

Rapid economic development and advances in communications technology have had a profound influence on the traditional arts of the region, creating new and profound meanings in the process. This is evidenced by the colour choices and the composition of the works on display.

These works also reveal that artistic creation in Asia is inseparable from local individuality and aesthetic uniqueness and reflects the dimensions of society, politics and economy. Works from Indonesia and Malaysia, for example, reflect the social and political issues in those nations. Meanwhile, the impact of hundreds of years of colonialism is evident in the religious flavour present in works from the Philippines.

The work from other parts of Asia also have distinct features. Korea's two-dimensional paintings illustrate the historical viewpoint of Korean contemporary art and the diversity of individualistic styles. The Chinese works selected focus on the exploration of the Eastern perspectives of the conceptual world through the use of various media, whereas Taiwanese art showcases a new sensibility in a new era.

Apart from the exhibition, scholars from Japan, Korea, Indonesia, China and Hong Kong will take part in the Mapping Asia - The 18th Asian International Art Exhibition Symposium to be held at the Theatre of the Heritage Museum tomorrow (December 10) from 4.30pm to 7pm. The symposium will introduce Asian contemporary artistic movements. It will be conducted in Cantonese, Putonghua and English, with simultaneous interpretation. Seats are limited to 200 on a first-come-first-served basis. Admission is free. For enquiries, please call 2180 8260.

An exhibition catalogue comprising 10 booklets has also been produced. It contains conference papers of the symposium and features the exhibits and the participating artists. Schools which make use of the museum's docent service for this exhibition will be offered two complimentary copies of the catalogue while stocks last.

For more details on the exhibition, please visit the Heritage Museum's website at .

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) and the first two days of the Lunar New Year. It is closed at 5pm on the Christmas Eve and the Lunar New Year's Eve.

Admission fee 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.

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.

Ends/Tuesday, December 9, 2003
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