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Heritage Museum receives Roman Tam collection

The Hong Kong Heritage Museum today (October 18) held a donation ceremony to express gratitude for the generous donation of a rich collection of the late Roman Tam memorabilia by Tam's sisters, Tam Man-yuk and Tam Ming-yuk.

Officiating guests of the "Donation Ceremony of Roman Tam Collection" were the Director of the Leisure and Cultural Services, Mr Thomas Chow, and Tam's sisters. Meanwhile, Roman Tam's students, Joey Yung and Ekin Cheng, as well as his good friends, Liza Wang, Sandy Lam, Cheng Kok Kong, Poon Wai Yuen, Eddie Chiu and Florence Chan were also present to show their support for this event.

Speaking at the ceremony, Mr Chow said that when Roman Tam passed away in 2002, his sisters approached the Heritage Museum to express their wish to donate the memorabilia of Roman's long career. Finally, more than 3,000 items of Roman's collection were donated to the museum.

"The Roman Tam collection is the museum's first complete collection focusing on a local pop music artiste, and plays a significant meaningful role in the preservation of local popular culture. Because of the comprehensiveness of the collection, it also has considerable value as a reference source for research into Roman's life and career as well as the development of pop music in Hong Kong," Mr Chow said.

The Roman Tam collection features costumes, materials pertaining to his stage performances, awards, news clippings, photo albums, posters and many other mementos from his life. Not only does it reflect Roman's achievements in the local pop music industry, the collection also shows his persistence, both in the choice of profession and in the pursuit of arts. It is a wonderful testimony to his career as a singer, a performer and an artiste.

Roman Tam was well known for wearing eye-catching, trend-setting fashions on stage, and the collection includes costumes he wore when performing at nightclubs, at the Academy Community Hall and during the "Vivid Stage" concert in 1996 as well as those he wore for magazine photo shoots and album covers. Roman placed a great deal of emphasis on matching his clothes to his performances and liked to reveal pioneering new styles in his shows by using different types of props such as glasses and microphones, which were included in the collection.

Using his own funds, Roman produced two classic Chinese stories for the stage, "Tale of White Snake" in 1982 and "A Letter from Liuyi" in 1984. The collection includes the script, photos and music tapes from "Tale of White Snake" and the stage costumes, props and stage design from "A Letter from Liuyi". Roman was very fond of ethnic arts. At the Artist Guild Awards presentation ceremony in 1992, he performed Mei Lanfang's classic "Drunken Princess", and the costume he wore for that performance is also included in the collection.

Roman enjoyed a high reputation in the music industry and received countless awards. The collection includes the Japan Champion Singers Award that he, the first non-Japanese winner, received in 1975, the Radio Television Hong Kong Golden Needle Award, the honorary prize received at the 20th Anniversary of the TVB Jade Solid Gold Awards as well as Gold and Platinum Discs from the IFPI (Hong Kong). In addition to the awards presented by the pop music industry, the collection includes trophies celebrating Roman's personal achievements, such as the Ten Outstanding Young Persons Award.

Roman was a keen archivist of material related to his own performances, which have become part of the rich collection. They are news clippings that he preserved from the very start of his artistic career, photo albums that he compiled and slides from the "Farewell Lee Theatre Concert by Roman Tam" in 1991.

The collection also features promotional posters for Roman Tam's concerts and albums, as well as invitation cards and house programmes from music award ceremonies.

To coincide the donation event, the Heritage Museum has selected 60 items from the collection to put on display from tomorrow (October 19) to April 21, 2008, while some others will be showcased in the "Riding a Melodic Tide: The Development of Cantopop in Hong Kong" exhibition to be held from November 11.

Located at 1 Man Lam Road, Sha Tin, the Heritage Museum opens 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 senior citizens aged 60 or above, people with disabilities and full-time students. Admission is free on Wednesdays.

Car parking is available at the Heritage Museum. Those who prefer to use public transport may take the KCR Ma On Shan line to the Che Kung Temple station, which is within five minutes' walk of the museum.

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

Ends/Thursday, October 18, 2007

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