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'Open Dialogue' exhibition series offers new artistic horizons

Artists in this era of new technology are not only freed from traditional media but can also better express ideas by using digital technology, which opens up new horizons for the audience.

To give art lovers an opportunity to explore the use of media technology in artistic creation, the Hong Kong Museum of Art launches its "Hong Kong Art: Open Dialogue" exhibition series with "Digit@logue", which will be on display from tomorrow (May 16) to July 20.

The exhibition series "Hong Kong Art: Open Dialogue" organised by the Museum of Art has gained wide support from art circles since its launch in 2006. In that year, it attracted 20 exhibition proposals from local guest curators featuring a variety of styles and approaches in appreciating Hong Kong art. After deliberation with 10 guest art professionals, the Museum of Art selected four proposals to be implemented between 2008 and 2009. The selected proposals include "Digit@logue" by Miss Ellen Pau, "New Ink Art: Innovation and Beyond" by Ms Alice King, "Looking for Antonio Mak" by Ms Valerie C Doran and "Charming Experience" by Ms Grace Cheng.

Media art combines the infinite possibilities of imagination with the rationality of technology to construct a whole new creative realm. Media art has revolutionised the cultural dialogue of the public: a dialogue that is not only a memory or an invention, but an exchange that is participatory and forward moving. The exhibition "Digit@logue" has been conceived on the basis of the digital works collected by the Museum of Art as well as new works by artists from Hong Kong, Taiwan and Shanghai. This exhibition aims to scrutinise local media art by establishing an inquiry into the interpretation and appreciation of art in the technological age. It also aims to provoke a greater discussion and studies of the contemporary inter-relationship between technology and daily visual experiences.

Ellen Pau, a well known media artist and curator, has been active in the field locally and internationally. Since 1985, her video works have travelled to numerous international festivals and biennials, including the Kwangju Biennial, Video Brazil, City On the Move, Johannesburg Biennial, Venice Biennale and Shanghai Biennial. After 20 years of participating in roadshows, her monograph "Dye-a-dia-logue with Ellen Pau" was published in New York and Hong Kong in 2004. She lectures at universities while working as a full-time medical imaging technologist.

Apart from its cutting-edge approach to forward-looking traditions, the exhibition "New Ink Art: Innovation and Beyond" by Alice King strikes a perfect balance with "Digit@logue" through venturing into various temporal and spatial dimensions of local traditions. The exhibition continues to expand the Museum of Art's regional role in developing new ink art. Based on the museum's collection of works of ink art and some of the very latest artworks by contemporary ink artists, this exhibition seeks to define a new horizon for the interpretation of traditional ink art, in terms of the medium itself as well as in terms of its aesthetic application.

In shaping the meta-narratives in the interpretation of art and culture, the development of individual artists is also crucial to this discourse. In this respect, "Looking for Antonio Mak" by Valerie C Doran takes a unique perspective. As a point of departure, she utilises the work of the significant Hong Kong artist, Antonio Mak (1951-1994), and then launches a multi-layered approach towards the examination of Hong Kong art and its distinct history.

Last but not least, "Charming Experience" by Grace Cheng sets itself apart from the other proposals with its strong mission to curate for the people. The works in this exhibition will be created by artists through their interaction with several special-needs community groups. The exhibition aims to give the audience an appreciation of art using senses o
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