Press Releases in Hong Kong

Officials, experts say cross-border art exchange to scale new heights

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor speaks at the Summit on the Development of Chinese and Foreign Cultural and Arts Exchange Center in Hong Kong on July 21, 2021. (CALVIN NG / CHINA DAILY)

Art and culture heavyweights on Wednesday said they expect cross-border art exchanges to sharply increase as Hong Kong vies to become a hub for art and cultural exchanges between China and the rest of the world.

In a keynote speech at a high-level forum on promoting the city’s role as a culture hub, Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor highlighted the city’s huge advantages in its new role as outlined in the nation’s 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25) — the latest set of national social and economic development initiatives, which was released in March.

According to the Five-Year Plan, Hong Kong is expected to leverage a bridge role that connects China and the rest of the world, in addition to maintaining its traditional regional leadership in finance, trade, and aviation.

Lam said to achieve this goal, it will be necessary to enhance Hong Kong people’s national identity, especially that of the young people, and their aspirations for traditional Chinese culture.

Zhang Xu, deputy minister of culture and tourism, delivers a speech at the Summit on the Development of Chinese and Foreign Cultural and Arts Exchange Center in Hong Kong on July 21, 2021. (CALVIN NG / CHINA DAILY)

According to the Five-Year Plan, Hong Kong is expected to leverage a bridge role that connects China and the rest of the world, in addition to maintaining its traditional regional leadership in finance, trade, and aviation

“This is not only the mission of art institutions and artists but also a shared responsibility of the public and the media,” Lam said.

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A booming cultural industry will create quality job opportunities for young artists and professionals in Hong Kong, she said. For example, a large number of the art and cultural events are expected to spring up in Hong Kong in the coming years on the world-class platforms provided by the city’s West Kowloon Cultural District, where a number of top museums, art galleries, and performing arts theaters are under construction.

The other notable speakers at the forum included Zhang Xu, vice-minister of China’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism; Lu Xinning, deputy director of the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region; and Ma Fung-kwok, legislator and chairman of the China Federation of Literary and Art Circles Hong Kong Member Association.

Lu Xinning, deputy director of the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the HKSAR, delivers a speech at the Summit on the Development of Chinese and Foreign Cultural and Arts Exchange Center in Hong Kong on July 21, 2021. (CALVIN NG / CHINA DAILY)

Renowned Hong Kong scholars and artists then participated in a panel discussion. They included Cheng Pei-kai, former president of Chinese Culture Institute; Yao Jue, founder and artistic director of the Hong Kong String Orchestra; and Kenneth Fok Kai-kong, a member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference’s National Committee and a member of the Hong Kong Art Development Council.

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From second left to right: Kenneth Fok Kai-kong, Vice President of Art Circles Hong Kong Member Association; Fredric Mao, Artistic Director at the Hong Kong Repertory Theatre (HKRT) from 2001 to 2008, “Director Laureate” of HKRT; Yao Jue, – Founder and Artistic Director of Hong Kong String Orchestra; Pei-Kai Cheng, Former President of Chinese Culture Institute and Chairman of Hong Kong SAR Intangible Cultural Heritage Committee from 2017 to 2020; and Freeman Lau, Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Hong Kong Design Centre and the Secretary General of the Hong Kong Federation of Design Associations, join the discussion panel at the Summit on the Development of Chinese and Foreign Cultural and Arts Exchange Center in Hong Kong on July 21, 2021. (CALVIN NG / CHINA DAILY)

The forum was jointly organized by the SAR government’s Home Affairs Bureau, the Liaison Office, and the China Federation of Literary and Art Circles Hong Kong Member Association, a local organization composed of writers and artists that was formed in November.