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December
Hong Kong Art Biennial reveals vital vision of local art
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An important local art event, the Hong Kong Art Biennial Exhibition 2005, opens to the public tomorrow (December 16) and runs until March 5, 2006 at the Hong Kong Museum of Art.

The exhibition showcases 108 works by 86 Hong Kong artists, including six works that won prizes for excellence. Together with more than 20 fringe exhibitions and activities, this art event reveals the vital vision of local art.

The exhibition was officially opened today (December 15) by the Secretary for Home Affairs, Dr Patrick Ho Chi-ping, the Director of Leisure and Cultural Services (LCSD), Ms Anissa Wong Sean-yee, and Professor of the Department of Religion and Philosophy of Hong Kong Baptist University, Professor Eva Man Kit-wah.

Speaking at the ceremony, Dr Ho said that the Hong Kong Art Biennial Exhibition was a territory-wide art competition. Since its inception in 1975, the exhibition had become an important event on the Hong Kong art scene, serving as a platform for established artists as well as a nurturing ground for promising new talent.

"The biennial is also a reflection of the growing diversity in local art. Entrants and award winners participate in many international exhibitions and contribute to the promotion of Hong Kong culture," Dr Ho said. He said that since 2001, the Hong Kong Pavilion at the acclaimed Venice Biennale in Italy had enabled foreign audiences to appreciate the culture and art of Hong Kong.

The entries in the exhibition provide a full spectrum of artistic creativity, showing the diversity in Hong Kong. In recent years, a number of featured artists have been introduced to the international art biennials or triennials through exposure in this local Hong Kong art showcase, which has become a vital component of Hong Kong's artistic development.

The Hong Kong Art Biennial Exhibition 2005 received 1,544 entries from established names and budding Hong Kong artists as well as those from Mainland China and other parts of the world.

Featuring a wide range of media, the works reveal in full the creativity, artistic vocabulary, ideas and themes prevalent among Hong Kong artists. Intimate sensibilities and sensitivities of local cultural phenomena are also expressed. They offer an insight into both the stylistic diversity and the strength of recent developments in contemporary Hong Kong art.

Based on originality, creativity and technical competence, six prizes for excellence were awarded and 102 works were chosen for the exhibition. The six winning works are "Huangpu" by Cedric Maridet, "No. 6 Wai Ha Village, Tung Tsz Rd, Tai Po, NT, HK" by Ching Chin-wai, "Ode of Hai Ou in running script" by Fung Yat-fung, "Wandering" by Kan Chi-hung, "Old Building" by Yau Wan-kei and "Family history textbook" by Zheng Bo.

To expand the scope of this important local event, the Museum of Art has established partnerships with various art organisations and institutions to organise more than 20 exciting fringe programmes and activities.

They include the Hong Kong Arts Development Council, Asia Art Archive, Art Map Limited, Grotto Fine Art Limited, 1a space, Hong Kong Modern Chinese Ink Painting Association, Hong Kong International Chinese Calligraphy and Seal-carving Art Society, the Art Promotion Office of the LCSD, KCR Corporation, Hanart TZ Gallery, University Museum and Art Gallery of the University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong Arts Centre, Hong Kong Calligraphy and Seal-Carving Society, Friends of Shizhai, Artist Commune, Plum Blossoms (International) Ltd, 7A the Inkland, Alisan Fine Arts, the Alumni Association of Fine Arts Development of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, School of Professional and Continuing Education of the University of Hong Kong and the Art School of the Hong Kong Arts Centre.

One of the highlights of the fringe exhibitions, "The 2005 Venice Biennale Hong Kong Response Exhibition" is now running at the Museum of Art. It features the works and related documentaries from the exhibition "investigation of a journey to the west by micro + polo" presented at the Hong Kong Pavilion of the Venice Biennale in June this year.

For details of the programmes and exhibitions, please visit the Museum of Art's website at http://hk.art.museum or refer to the Hong Kong Art Biennial 2005 Programme Guide, which is available at the Museum of Art and all participating organisations.

The Museum of Art is at 10 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon. It opens from 10am to 6pm daily and from 10am to 5pm on Christmas Eve and Lunar New Year's Eve. It is closed on Thursdays (except public holidays) and the first two days of the Lunar New Year. Admission is $10 and a half-price concession is available to full-time students, senior citizens and people with disabilities. Admission is free on Wednesdays.

For enquiries, call 2721 0116 or visit the Museum of Art's website at http://hk.art.museum/ .

Ends/Thursday, December 15, 2005
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