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Exhibition features valuable items of renowned Cantonese opera artist

More than 170 valuable items, including costumes and accessories, librettos, publicity material and photographs, donated by renowned Cantonese opera actress Ng Kwan Lai, will go on display tomorrow (December 22).

"A Synthesis of Lyrical Excellence and Martial Agility - The Stage Art of Ng Kwan Lai" will run at the Hong Kong Heritage Museum until August 22, 2005.

The exhibition was opened today (December 21) by the Deputy Director of Leisure and Cultural Services (Culture), Mr Chung Ling-hoi; the Chairman of Cantonese Opera Advisory Committee, Dr Stephen Chow; Chairlady of The Chinese Artists Association of Hong Kong, Ms Chan Kim Sing; Representative of Ms Ng Kwan Lai, Ms Mimi Kan; and Chief Curator of Heritage Museum, Mr Tom Ming Kay-chuen.

Speaking at today's opening ceremony, Mr Chung said Cantonese opera, with its long history, was an important cultural asset of China and had had an important influence on the international arts scene.

"Ng Kwan Lai, one of the well-known Cantonese opera actresses, has a special and valuable collection of operatic memorabilia which was donated to the Heritage Museum after her visit in 2002," Mr Chung said. "After a preparation of more than a year, this valuable collection, which reviews Ng's career development and her distinguished artistic achievements in Cantonese opera, will be shown to the public.

"The Heritage Museum has been collecting Cantonese opera-related items since the 1980s. A donation of more than 3,000 items by Ms Ng is the largest number of its kind ever received by the Heritage Museum. We thank Ms Ng again for her generous donation."

Ng has dedicated herself to Cantonese opera and film for more than 30 years and has made remarkable achievements in performing arts. Making her stage debut in 1954 and performing in many Cantonese operatic masterpieces, Ng continued exploring fresh images on stage and performed in a number of works by the renowned playwright Tong Tik Sang. These operas became her masterpieces as well as classical works in Cantonese opera in Hong Kong.

In 1955, Ng joined the silver screen and played leading roles in more than 150 films. During the 1970s and 1980s, she returned to Cantonese opera and performed in other well-known new works. Her recital in Singapore in 1991 marked her retirement from the stage.

To coincide with the exhibition, a series of activities will be held at the Heritage Museum. Five films starring Ng will be screened respectively every Thursday from December 30 to January 27, 2005 at the Heritage Museum's Theatre. In addition, educational activities such as guided tours, Cantonese operatic costume demonstrations and talks will be held from December to March 2005.

Located at 1 Man Lam Road, Shatin, the Heritage Museum opens from 10am to 6pm from Monday to Saturday, from 10am to 7pm on Sundays and public holidays and from 10am to 5pm on Christmas Eve. It is closed on Tuesdays (except public holidays) and the first two days of Lunar New Year. Admission is $10, with a half-price concession for senior citizens aged 60 or above, people with disabilities and full-time students. Admission is free on Wednesdays.

A free shuttle bus operates between the Shatin East Rail Station and the Heritage Museum from 1pm to 6pm on Saturdays and from 1pm to 7pm on Sundays and public holidays.

For enquiries, call 2180 8188. For details of the exhibition, visit the Heritage Museum's website at .

Ends/Tuesday, December 21, 2004
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