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Old May 25th, 2006, 12:51 PM   #301
Sexas
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so...are they going to build this thing anytime soon or not?!
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Old May 26th, 2006, 06:43 PM   #302
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The plan is back on the drawing board.
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Old May 26th, 2006, 08:33 PM   #303
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Local flavour urged to lurevisitors to West Kowloon
22 May 2006
South China Morning Post

Snack shops, fortune-telling counters and jade markets should be featured alongside world-class arts facilities at the West Kowloon Cultural District to attract overseas visitors, the tourism sector says.

Michael Wu Siu-ieng, chairman of the Hong Kong Association of Travel Agents, said street performances in open spaces would be insufficient.

This is contrary to views of the arts and culture sector, which has been pushing for open spaces and small venues for experimental arts groups to add vibrancy to the district.

"If they only arrange for local artists to sing or dance on the roads, it is not likely to lengthen the stay of tourists" Mr Wu said. "Long-haul tourists have seen loads of street art back at home, while short-haul tourists are not much interested in local art and culture.

"West Kowloon should not feature local arts groups in open spaces. Instead, they should incorporate elements of tourist spots which bear local characteristics, like goldfish markets, fortune telling, snack shops or other small businesses of local character."

He said the project should be aware of existing cultural tourist attractions in the Pearl River Delta region, as tourists from Southeast Asia and further afield tended to view Hong Kong as part of delta trips also taking in Macau, Shenzhen and Zhuhai .

Hong Kong's edge still lay in its international appeal and mix of eastern and western cultures, said Mr Wu. Hong Kong should focus on its own culture, such as the film industry, which was renowned worldwide.

Joseph Tung Yiu-chung, executive director of the Travel Industry Council, said the sector was also looking for regular night-time arts and cultural performances. Mr Tung sits on the advisory group for tourism and performing arts facilities for the West Kowloon project. The group, with Hong Kong Tourism Board chairwoman Selina Chow Liang Shuk-yee as its convenor, forms part of the consultative committee for the project.

Danny Yung Ning-tsun, founder of experimental theatre group Zuni Icosahedron, who also sits on the consultative committee, said the government should not only develop the project from a business point of view.

Mr Yung said the government should approach international art and cultural organisations, like Unesco and the British Council, to persuade them to move their Asian headquarters to Hong Kong.

"Once we have the best brains in Hong Kong, things will follow," he said.

Representatives from the tourism sector will meet Mrs Chow today to exchange views on the tourism and performing arts facilities for the West Kowloon project.
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Old May 27th, 2006, 04:57 PM   #304
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Group to hold consultation sessions on cultural hub
Joseph Li
17 May 2006
China Daily - Hong Kong Edition

A subgroup under the Consultative Committee on the Core Arts and Cultural Facilities of the West Kowloon Cultural District project will conduct two consultation sessions next month to assess public opinion.

Members of the public are welcomed but some interested parties will also be invited to attend the sessions, said Selina Chow, convener of the performing Arts and Tourism Advisory Group.

Speaking after the second advisory group meeting yesterday, she said two public consultation sessions have been scheduled for June 1 and June 2.

"At the consultation forums, we will provide an update for the participants on the opinions we have collected and discussed at our meetings by that time.

"By putting forth the views, we can let the public know what has been discussed and ask for their opinions, which may help us consider the matter in a wider and varied perspective," she told the press yesterday.

Following a focus group meeting with the Cantonese opera industry last week, Chow said she would convene a tourism focus group meeting on May 22 to collect more views.

She also hoped to have the opportunity to exchange views with the Museums Advisory Group, which also held two meetings so far under the chairmanship of fellow Executive Councillor Victor Lo.

Advisory group member Cantopop singer Anthony Wong Yiu-ming yesterday attended the meeting for the first time.

Asked if he had any ideas of bringing Cantopop and singing to the cultural hub project, he said it was still at the preparatory stage.

He would, however, consult a lot of people at small, informal meetings before inputting their ideas into the formal advisory group meetings.

Learning that the Cantonese opera actors were unhappy for not being invited to the consultative and advisory committees, Wong said it was important to listen to their views.

"Cantonese opera is a very important tradition of the Chinese arts," he said. "But I don't know if representatives from each and every sector could sit on all the advisory committees?"
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Old May 28th, 2006, 05:31 AM   #305
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Public invited to West Kowloon Cultural District open consultative forums
Monday, May 22, 2006
Government Press Release

Two Advisory Groups under the Consultative Committee on the Core Arts and Cultural Facilities of the West Kowloon Cultural District (WKCD) are inviting members of the public to attend four consultative forums to be held later this month and early June.

The consultative forums aim to seek public views on the core and other types of arts and cultural facilities considered necessary for the WKCD, and that can turn it to a world-class arts and cultural district comprising local, traditional and international elements, enrich arts and cultural life for the people in Hong Kong and neighbouring areas, create job opportunities and benefit the tourism industry.

A spokesman for the Consultative Committee said, "Through the forums, the Museum Advisory Group will solicit public views on the need for and major specifications of the museums facilities at the WKCD while the Performing Arts and Tourism Advisory Group will collect public views on the need for and major specifications of the performing arts facilities at the WKCD.

"The gauging of views from the public, particularly views from the arts and cultural sector as well as the tourism industry is necessary for the Advisory Groups to come up with their recommendations to the Consultative Committee to re-examine and re-confirm the arts and cultural facilities to be provided at the WKCD," the spokesman said.

"A number of focus group meetings have also been scheduled in the coming weeks by the two Advisory Groups to gauge views from relevant sectors," he said.

Details of the consultative forums are as follows:

Museums Advisory Group

1. Date: Monday, May 29, 2006
Time: 5pm
Venue: Lecture Hall, Hong Kong Heritage Discovery Centre,
Kowloon Park, Haiphong Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon.

2. Date: Tuesday, May 30, 2006
Time: 5pm
Venue: Fringe Club Theatre, G/F, Fringe Club,
2 Lower Albert Road, Central, Hong Kong.

Performing Arts and Tourism Advisory Group

1. Date: Thursday, June 1, 2006
Time: 5.30pm
Venue: Lecture Hall, Sheung Wan Civic Centre,
5/F Sheung Wan Municipal Services Building,
345 Queen's Road Central, Hong Kong.

2. Date: Friday, June 2, 2006
Time: 5.30pm
Venue: Lecture Hall, Hong Kong Heritage Discovery Centre,
Kowloon Park, Haiphong Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon.

Simultaneous interpretation services will be provided in the four forums.

To register, call the Secretariat of the Consultative Committee on 3102 5993, fax 3102 5997 or email [email protected] by Thursday (May 25).

Written submissions of views are also welcome. They should reach the Secretariat by June 16, 2006 by post (25/F Wanchai Tower, 12 Harbour Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong), by fax 3102 5997, or email [email protected].

More information is available at the WKCD website, www.hplb.gov.hk/wkcd.
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Old May 30th, 2006, 06:01 PM   #306
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Adviser warns over museums quality
30 May 2006
South China Morning Post

The West Kowloon Cultural District should not have too many museums as it would be hard to ensure their quality, the head of the project's advisory group said yesterday.

The comments, by Victor Lo Chung-wing, chairman of the West Kowloon consultative committee on museum facilities, came after participants at a two-day public forum called for more than the four museum themes proposed by the government.

About 50 people attended the first day of public consultation on the site's museum facilities, with some expressing strong opinions against the idea of having only four themes - moving images, modern art, ink and design.

But Mr Lo said he disagreed with the idea of having more than 20 museums on the site because their quality would be difficult to guarantee.

Some of those who attended the forum questioned why the government insisted on a museum of ink, while others proposed other themes such as Hong Kong transport, stamps and currencies.

Mr Lo, while saying the committee was still open-minded on the number, themes and size of the museums, said the West Kowloon project "cannot be a museum of everything".

"Unlike property developers, we cannot divide the place into 10 or 20 sections, build the site like a shopping mall and run the museums as small shops," he said.

Mr Lo said that, of the ideas he had heard, themes relating to the popular culture in Hong Kong were a favourite.

Principal assistant secretary for home affairs Vincent Fung Hao-yin said the most important thing was to first decide the themes.

Although there were suggestions to build a centre to incorporate different themes, like the Louvre in Paris, the committee had not reached any conclusions.

The group will meet the public again today at the Fringe Club.
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Old May 30th, 2006, 06:10 PM   #307
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline
The plan is back on the drawing board.
What?

Sorry, i haven't been reading all these news articles, what is going on?
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Old May 30th, 2006, 06:24 PM   #308
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Qazaq
What?

Sorry, i haven't been reading all these news articles, what is going on?
The concept of a cultural district is still alive, but the development model (how to construct and tender the project) fell apart, and the feasibility of Norman Foster's canopy came into question, so it is now back to the drawing board. The theme will be unchanged, but it may take a little while more to figure out how to build all of this and what to put in it before the shovels get into the ground.
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Old May 30th, 2006, 06:28 PM   #309
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline
The concept of a cultural district is still alive, but the development model (how to construct and tender the project) fell apart, and the feasibility of Norman Foster's canopy came into question, so it is now back to the drawing board. The theme will be unchanged, but it may take a little while more to figure out how to build all of this and what to put in it before the shovels get into the ground.
O ok, shame, Foster's winning design was a very good proposal, so i was pretty sure they was going to build it.
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Old May 31st, 2006, 02:06 AM   #310
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline
The concept of a cultural district is still alive, but the development model (how to construct and tender the project) fell apart, and the feasibility of Norman Foster's canopy came into question, so it is now back to the drawing board. The theme will be unchanged, but it may take a little while more to figure out how to build all of this and what to put in it before the shovels get into the ground.
Let me try to understand this- Forster design a canopy but it can't be build!! ...so it was a fantasy design on the first place.
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Old May 31st, 2006, 12:21 PM   #311
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gawd. seeing those skyline shots of HongKong made me want to go back. Anyway, i think its awesome that the authorities are conducting public consultation for WK. Although it draws out the process, at least you know its a design the majority is happy with, and that everyone has a stake in their city's architecture. Its hardly the same case in Singapore. Where the public has been dismissed as "laymen" unqualified to influence the design outcome of the casino.
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Old May 31st, 2006, 02:12 PM   #312
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sexas
Let me try to understand this- Forster design a canopy but it can't be build!! ...so it was a fantasy design on the first place.
HK has the engineers to building it that can withstand the strongest typhoon ever recorded in HK, but the biggest concern for us is that this canopy makes up about 40% of the whole west kowloon expense cost.
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Old May 31st, 2006, 11:11 PM   #313
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The space invaders
One man's mission to open a contemporary museum in the city is the start of an ambitious scheme to change the face of art in China

31 May 2006
South China Morning Post

JEFFREY DU VALLIER d'Aragon Aranita is on a mission: armed only with seed money from his own pocket, the award-winning artist is on a drive to establish a museum of contemporary art in Hong Kong. It's part of an even more ambitious long-term plan to establish a network of independently run private museums across China.

Aranita faces a host of sceptics, but the winner of the first Sovereign Asia art prize in 2004 says his idea is for museums that are inexpensive to build and operate.

He created the Moca (Museums of Contemporary Art) China two years ago as his vehicle and has contributed US$300,000 of his own funds to kick start the scheme, with another US$125,000 earmarked for the Hong Kong project. The organisation, which has a management team of 12, is being registered in the city this week as an education foundation to start soliciting funds and donations from around the globe.

"The museum will celebrate the work of local artists, build scholarships and a collection of their work, part of which may find its way into one of the museums to emerge in the West Kowloon Cultural District," Aranita says.

The 52-year-old sees his museum as an alternative space that would complement the Hong Kong Museum of Art in the way the PS1 art centre serves as a foil for the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York.

But although many agree Hong Kong needs a museum to reflect the active local visual art scene and an even more vibrant one in southern China, how it will translate into reality is another matter.

Veteran curator Oscar Ho Hing-kay says that while setting up a private museum in Hong Kong is less restrictive than on the mainland, securing a suitable venue and sufficient funding remain major hurdles.

"If you're approaching the government for space, your organisation will have to be very professional," says Ho, who served briefly as the director of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Shanghai last year. "It's the duty of the government to ensure that the venue is professionally run by experienced staff. The application process can be very complicated."

Of the local supporters of the project, only Tony Sin Sing-kung has experience in museum design and curating. The 56-year-old professional-in-residence at Hong Kong Baptist University was a founding curator of the Hong Kong Science Museum.

And even if a space is granted, Ho says the operational and maintenance costs and expenses such as insurance can add up. "Running a contemporary art museum is by definition loss-making because contemporary art is very expensive. One has to rely heavily on private funds," he says. Citing the case of MoMA in New York, Ho notes that every member of its powerful board has had to make hefty donations.

Aranita has made a good start on the mainland, despite a tangle of red tape. Moca China is financing the construction of a venue in Beijing's Changdi An district, with work due to begin next month. Opening is scheduled for next spring. The construction, together with provisions for an endowment fund and operational costs over the next three years, are expected to cost at least 80 million yuan.

Born in French Polynesia and raised in Japan, Aranita is a renaissance man. Trained as an architect, he worked variously as a writer and photographer as well as a private banker in New York. He hopes to raise most of that sum in the form of contributions from US investors keen to have a presence on the mainland.

Eventually, he hopes to open a museum of contemporary art in every major Chinese city that has an established fine art academy - such as Chengdu in Sichuan and Hangzhou in Zhejiang. These museums would share a collection of work that would circulate within the mainland as well as shows brought in from overseas.

Aranita says these museums could also serve as a training ground for art administrators and curators, who are expected to be in great demand in the wake of the museum-building boom sweeping the mainland.

In Hong Kong, the biggest hurdle Moca China faces is securing a venue and long-term funding. Aranita and his team have set their sights on the Central Market as the venue.

The Bauhaus-style structure is likely to be demolished following the Antiquities Advisory Board's recent decision that the building isn't worth saving. But Aranita says his organisation only wants to lease the site for 10 years. Even if the government were to press ahead a proposal to redevelop the site, it would have to go through a long bidding process, he says. So why not use that empty premises for a museum?

"We are not talking about a very expensive project," says Aranita. "We are not talking about a landmark building. We are talking about renovating a space, and using it to its best capacity until it is used for another purpose.

"In the meantime, you obtain maybe 10 years of opportunity to educate children in Hong Kong and their parents and their grandparents about what art is.

"It would be an incubator for the arts in the very real sense. You are introducing new artists to the world, giving them their first solo exhibition in a museum. Once you see something like this, you can easily get art writers to help fill out the picture, about how important Hong Kong, Chinese and Asian art is to the world."

To support its daytime programmes, which would mostly be free or charge nominal sums, he plans to run a "nighttime museum", which would also feature live performances and a bar. "Fringe Club Hong Kong is an excellent example of what can be achieved," he says.

Aranita will find it tough to get hold of his preferred venue. Although he has broached his ideas to senior government officials at social functions, he has yet to set up any formal meetings.

Fringe Club director Benny Chia Chun-heng, who serves on the museum advisory group of the West Kowloon project, says there is no consensus within the government on what to do with Central Market. The Moca proposal would involve a number of sections, including the Urban Renewal Authority, Leisure and Cultural Services Department and the Home Affairs Bureau. "Each department which has an interest in the building, whether it's Urban Renewal or Government Property Agency, has its own agenda and building a museum may not be their priority," says Chia.

Over the years, he says, the Fringe Club had made more than 20 proposals to the government to extend its art and cultural activities to public venues. Most, however, were rejected.

Meanwhile, Aranita's team is preparing for the foundation's first fund-raising initiative, an exhibition called New China Art, Hong Kong, tentatively scheduled for July. They are in negotiations to hold the show at the Hong Kong Museum of Art.

Artists confirmed for the exhibition include Chow Chun-fai, Christopher Ku Ming-chiu, Caroline Chiu Yu-yin, Fung Ming-chip, Ha Bik-chuen, Evangelo Costadimas, Kwok Meng-ho, Freeman Lau Siu-hong, Teddy Lo and Aranita. Their works - and a pictorial book based on the exhibition - will be sold to raise money for the proposed museum.

"We don't have a target {hellip} we just want to raise as much money as we can," Aranita says. He has set a six-month deadline for his organisation to secure sufficient long-term backing - from both private and public sectors - for his Hong Kong museum. "If we cannot do it by the end of this year, then I've misread the consensus that Hong Kong needs a museum of contemporary art."

Despite its improbability, Chia lauds the Moca project. "The more initiatives there are from people within the art and cultural sector the bigger the chance some will pave the way for something on the scale of West Kowloon. It's like small winds gathering into a storm."
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Old June 1st, 2006, 05:25 PM   #314
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RTHK News:
Committee considers one museum proposal 2006-06-01 HKT 18:09

The convenor of the West Kowloon consultative committee on museum facilities, Victor Lo, says they're now looking at whether one large museum should be built at the West Kowloon cultural hub, instead of four smaller facilities - as proposed by the government. Mr Lo said this would make the distribution of resources more flexible. The museums proposed by the government would focus on modern art, ink, design and the moving image.




Convenor of West Kowloon consultative committee on museum facilities, Victor Lo. Photo: Elsa Chung
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Old June 2nd, 2006, 06:12 PM   #315
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Museum mega-complex, phased development floated for arts hub
2 June 2006
South China Morning Post

Four museums featuring individual themes in the West Kowloon Cultural District could be integrated into a mega-complex, an adviser to the government said yesterday.

Victor Lo Chung-wing, chairman of the West Kowloon consultative committee on museum facilities, said the size, themes and number of museums were open to options. The government has suggested contemporary art, ink, film and design themes.

"The construction of museums may come in phases," he said. "It is difficult to predict the development of museums in 10 or 20 years' time. The group is also studying the possibility of an integrated approach, which will allow more flexibility in the deployment of manpower and resources."

Other themes, including pop culture and late pop culture icons Leslie Cheung Kwok-wing and Anita Miu Yim-fong, have been proposed in the meetings and public consultative forums, Mr Lo said.

But Ada Wong Ying-kay, a member of the consultative committee, said there was no indication among the group on the preferred theme or approach.

"We have only met twice," she said. "Views are much divided."

She also criticised the government for failing to make sound arguments or conduct research to back up its selection of themes.

Mr Lo has said selection criteria included a theme's relevance to Hong Kong's culture and existing museums.

He added that the committee had agreed that complementary facilities, including research centres, studios and shops, along with residential development, should go together with the museums.

It was also looking into how the West Kowloon project should co-operate with existing museums, he said, but there was no implication existing museums might be phased out.

The committee will submit an interim report to Chief Secretary Rafael Hui Si-yan and the advisory group on financial arrangements by September.

Meanwhile, Selina Chow Liang Shuk-yee, an Exco member and convenor of the performing arts and tourism advisory group on West Kowloon, said its members had agreed to adopt an integrated approach on cultural facilities.

"We have more agreements than disagreements," she said last night on a West Kowloon open forum. "We should adopt an integrated and mixed approach. This is a single area and we should not separate one facility from the other, or arts facilities from commercial ones.

"We should attract as many visitors as possible and our prime targets are locals. Tourists will go to wherever local people go to. By mixing the facilities together, people can do a lot of things in one go. They can shop, dine, visit a museum or see a show, and they can stay there for a much longer time."

She said the committee's consensus was much the same as the opinions expressed in the public forum last night.
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Old June 3rd, 2006, 03:09 AM   #316
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Artists need to be nurtured, West Kowloon advisers told
3 June 2006
South China Morning Post

An advisory group on West Kowloon should think more about nurturing artistic talent and audiences than on how many buildings the cultural focal point should have, arts groups said yesterday.

They were speaking at a forum organised by the Performing Arts and Tourism Advisory Group, which is helping the government formulate its plans for the West Kowloon Cultural District.

The advisory group was seeking the arts groups' opinions about the centre's facilities, but speakers reminded it of the importance of having the appropriate "software".

Renowned Cantonese opera performer Law Ka-ying said that by the time the West Kowloon centre was completed in 10 years' time it would be too late for his generation of performers.

"What we have to do now is to set up a Chinese opera company to help develop talents so they could use the facilities to showcase their talents and compete with performers from the mainland and the world when the facilities are completed," said Mr Law.

Other people raised the need for a specialist art school to be set up for young people with potential so that they could be ready when the centre materialises.

Some members of the advisory group agreed. Philip Soden said that students with potential in fine arts in countries such as Russia and on the mainland spent as much as half their school life developing their skills at specialist schools.

But fellow group member Edward Lam Yik-wah said the public's perception of art and artists would have to change before such schools could fulfil their potential. Parents would be reluctant to send their children to such schools when they could be lawyers or other professionals.
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Old June 4th, 2006, 04:52 PM   #317
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The cultural district is the bottom part of the West Kowloon Reclamation which was created as part of the new airport project at Chek Lap Kok.

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Old June 7th, 2006, 02:41 AM   #318
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Source : http://www.pbase.com/zf5hp700/w_kln































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Old June 18th, 2006, 07:36 AM   #319
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Level playing field urged for arts funding
Leslie Kwoh
17 June 2006
Hong Kong Standard

The government must impose stricter standards for large performing arts groups while increasing financial support for smaller groups to ensure the proposed West Kowloon cultural district boasts diversified "cultural software,'' according to the Committee on Performing Arts.

"West Kowloon will take years to complete, so we need to start cultivating talents now, not wait until the completion of the facilities,'' said committee chairman Darwin Chen Tak-man on Friday. "We hope in eight to 10 years West Kowloon will showcase many small and mid-sized talent groups.''

Committee vice chairman Clarence Chang Ching-po added that West Kowloon should be regarded as only a "complementary part'' of the city's cultural scene, not a separate entity. He suggested building at the site a large- scale venue that could transform into a number of several smaller venues, depending on the event.

After completing a one-year public consultation, the government-advisory committee on Friday submitted to the Home Affairs Bureau a 60-page report outlining a number of recommendations, with an emphasis on widening the spectrum of performing arts in Hong Kong.

One of the committee's recommendations is to set up a governing board which would use a set of assessment criteria to evaluate the 10 government-funded performing arts groups. This would ensure "a level playing field for [groups] to compete for public funding,'' the report stated.

Assessment would focus on measurable indicators of productivity _ such as the number of performances and the size of the audiences _ but also on the group's "social impact,'' Chen said. For example, if a group commissions a number of influential works, or receives praise from overseas critics, it would be regarded as having high social impact. To ensure a fair and open environment, the board would be granted the authority to adjust funding for a group based on its performance. An "exit and entry'' system would weed out under- performers and allow new groups to join.

As art is subjective, however, not all of the groups would be evaluated by the board in the same manner. "It's not about comparing A to B, but about whether each individual group reaches its own goals,'' Chen said. As such, the board would meet with each group individually to discuss its particular history, size and character before setting corresponding goals.

There are an estimated 1,000 performing arts groups in Hong Kong, the majority of which are small-scale and amateur. The government only funds 10 major groups - including the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, the Hong Kong Ballet, and the Hong Kong Repertory Theatre - amounting to about HK$230 million in public expenditure last year. The committee said it hoped with more funding from the community, up to 20 smaller groups could join the program.

Chen emphasized that the aim was not to threaten the groups, but rather to ensure high standards and the effective allocation of public funds.
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Old June 19th, 2006, 05:06 AM   #320
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Diversity will guide arts policy, says culture chief
19 June 2006
South China Morning Post

The government will emphasise diversity rather than seek to impose a direction on arts and cultural policy, Home Affairs Secretary Patrick Ho Chi-ping said.

Speaking on RTHK's Letter to Hong Kong, Dr Ho said Hong Kong took pride in its heritage from the east and west.

The minister has come under fire recently for failing to address concerns of the Cantonese opera community when reconsidering the controversial West Kowloon cultural district.

Without mentioning the row, Dr Ho stressed the importance of catholic tastes.

"Virtually every branch of the arts finds its champions in our community. But our task in the administration must be to ensure that none are so overshadowed as to be overlooked," he said.

"We take pride in the fact that we enjoy the best of both worlds, east and west, in Hong Kong.

"We believe it is the role of the government to provide the means, the venues, the infrastructure and the subsidies to stimulate that growth, but never to impose upon or dictate its content or direction.

"Our objective is to continue exercising that catholicism and eclecticism of taste that defines who we are."

The government, he said, would carefully consider the recommendations submitted by a performing arts advisory committee.

He stressed the principles of partnership and the respect of freedom of expression when improving the implementation of arts and cultural policy.

Among the suggestions of the committee are a new grants system to help develop budding artists and smaller arts groups.
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