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2008.11.20   Speech by Director of Leisure and Cultural Services, Mr. Thomas Chow, at the Opening Ceremony of the Exhibition Looking for Antonio Mak

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It gives me great pleasure to welcome you all to the Opening Ceremony of the "Hong Kong Art: Open Dialogue" Exhibition Series III "Looking for Antonio Mak".

The "Open Dialogue" exhibition series represents a new initiative of the Hong Kong Museum of Art in exhibition programming. It aims to strengthen the strategic partnerships between the Museum and guest curators. In May this year, the "Open Dialogue" series was inaugurated with the exhibition "Digi@logue" which highlighted the local development of and new trends in digital art and culture.

Later in August, "New Ink Art: Innovation and Beyond", the second exhibition in the series, was launched and provided a discursive analysis of this unique art form in contemporary context. Both exhibitions have received very encouraging support from the art community and very positive feedback from the visitors.

The exhibition opening tonight, "Looking for Antonio Mak", is the third in the series. This exhibition, curated by Ms. Valarie Doran, focuses on the masterly works of the late Hong Kong artist Mr Antonio Mak, while the works of eight other Hong Kong artists who pay tribute to Mr. Mak in their respective forms of artistic creation are also displayed.

In Mr Mak's artistic journey, one can see many special phenomena of Hong Kong's art history. Mr. Mak is best known for his bronze sculptures and his works are powerfully appealing in their juxtaposition of wisdom and humour, sensibility and poetry, and paradox and irony.

In this exhibition, Ms. Valerie. Doran seeks to convey the eternal charming elements of the works of Mr Mak. Her in-depth research which provides a view on Mr. Mak's works from different perspectives reaffirms the artistic merits of this late artist and the importance of his works in Hong Kong's art history.

I would like to give my special thanks to the family of Mr. Antonio Mak for providing his artworks and various belongings of his for exhibition. Your generosity not only greatly enriches the exhibition, but also enhances the audience's understanding and appreciation of the art of Mr. Mak. I would also like to extend my sincere gratitude to the private collectors who have kindly lent us their valuable collections. My heartfelt thanks must also go to the Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts, Meyer Sound Laboratories, Inc. and Doran Capital Partners for their staunch support. Last but not least, I would like to thank the eight participating artists, Mr. Fung Ming Chip, Ms. Jaffa Lam, Mr. Lee Man Sang, Ms. Lo Yin-shan, Mr. Kung Chi Shing, Mr. Simon Birch, Mr. Kwan Sheung Chi and Mr. Wu Shanzhuan, for their contributions to the exhibition. I am sure all who will come to visit the exhibition will thoroughly enjoy it.

Thank you.

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