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Old July 19th, 2006, 10:21 PM   #321
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童軍百周年 西九辦露營 4000人面對維港除夕倒數
7月 17日 星期一 05:05 更新

【明報專訊】西九龍文娛藝術區興建無期,一大片閒置草地正好供童軍舉行周年大露營,4000名童軍及來自世界各地青年,將對璀璨維多利亞港夜景一同除夕倒數,迎接2007年及世界童軍百周年,掀起廣 告

全球慶祝童軍百周年的序幕。

2007年是世界童軍100周年紀念,世界各地童軍組織將舉行連串慶祝活動。本港童軍「重頭活動」是假西九龍文娛區地皮舉行「2006年香港童軍95周年暨2007年世界童軍100周年紀念大露營」,露營將於今年12月26日至明年1月1日舉行。香港童軍總會總監鮑紹雄指,自童軍成立以來,首次於市區舉行大露營,露營亦稱為「大都會露營」,預計可達場地最高容量,吸引4000名童軍參加。

市區營地 接駁水電方便

鮑紹雄說﹕「於市區舉行露營的另一優點是開放營地給公眾參觀,家長、市民都可知道童軍露營是怎麼一回事,增加對童軍活動的認識。營地難得又是將發展區域,不愁水、電設備,接駁相當方便。

營區位於西九龍文娛藝術區地皮,分開營區及活動區,接近西區海底隧道入口,面積約40公頃。營區位於岸邊,面對維港「無敵海景」。今屆大露營主題為「和平獻禮」,世界各地青年團體將派600名代表出席,與本地童軍一同對維港美景倒數,迎接2007年。鮑紹雄說﹕「2007年1月1日香港舉行大型童軍活動,作為全球慶祝的啟動儀式。」

大露營每10周年1次

香港童軍總會南區童軍會主席李少鶴表示,行政長官曾蔭權是香港童軍總領袖,目前仍未確定特首會否出席開幕禮。他說﹕「大露營是童軍界盛事,今年童軍100周年更會隆重其事。」以往每10周年的大露營均是重頭戲,1986年75周年於科大原址舉行,吸引逾5000名童軍參與,當時該處仍是荒地一片,食水和衛生設施均獲相關政府機構協助臨時搭建。

營費500元 12至20歲童軍可報名

是次營費500元,包括膳食、保險等費用,年齡介乎12至20歲童軍均可報名參加。詳情可見www.scout.org.hk。

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Old July 19th, 2006, 10:22 PM   #322
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盛智文倡西九規劃兩區制
7月 17日 星期一 03:30 更新

( 星島日報報道 ) 盛智文 (Allan Zeman) 的兩個 「babies」──海洋公園和蘭桂坊,前者狀態大勇,屢挫迪士尼,後者繼續愈夜愈美麗。近期,盛智文也頻頻為他的第三個「baby」──西九龍文娛藝術區出謀獻策。他雖然只是西九諮詢委員會其中一員,但不脫滿肚「鬼主意」本色,提出在西九設立「本地區」和「殖民區」,前者培育本地藝術家,後者則靠國際級歌劇和展品賺大錢。

  身兼海洋公園和蘭桂坊控股主席的盛智文,今年初被委任為西九諮詢委員會成員之一。他說,理想中的西九,應該分成兩部分﹕第一部分由幾條街道組成,讓本地青年藝術家以平租單位進駐,附近自然會衍生售賣他們作品的店鋪、藝術學校、酒吧和餐廳等,是為「本地藝術區」 (local side)。

  始終是靠蘭桂坊在香港打響名堂,盛智文不忘把蘭桂坊的成功之道應用在西九,「在香港,藝術家都因為經濟問題,被逼分散在不同地區,如果西九日後設立一條街讓他們進駐,地方細細,好像蘭桂坊一樣,反而不用那麼多人去填滿,這個地方很快就會出現屬於自己的個性、自己的靈魂,遊客可以一站式了解本地藝術。你知道嗎﹖沒有人願意去一個冷清清的地方。」

  第二部分則是政府一直倡導興建的大型博物館和歌劇院等,展出大師級作品和上演外國大型音樂劇作,主攻中高階層市民,盛智文戲言是「殖民藝術區」 (colonial side)。

  「殖民區」賺得的錢則撥出某個百分比資助「本地區」,「如果財政上壓力太大,就不應太大野心,工程應分期進行,第一期先建一條藝術街和一兩所博物館或歌劇院,行得通,才繼續第二期」。

  盛智文說,一旦有了西九藍圖,港府就應派員到世界各地,找尋最好的建築師,為西九的劇院和博物館設計,「博物館的內容當然緊要,但漂亮的建築本身也是一種藝術……我不想再看見多幾幢中央圖書館,把西九建成石屎森林的話,是一種罪行。」
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Old July 21st, 2006, 03:44 PM   #323
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西九發展趨勢須配合內地
7月 10日 星期一 03:30 更新

( 星島日報報道 ) 西九發展重新上馬,香港藝術節前行政總監吳球指出,近年內地的文化藝術發展十分迅速,軟硬件全面追貼香港,呼籲西九小組於進行規劃時,充分考慮本港與內地在人才及節目等元素上的交流及競爭,積極締造互利共贏。

香港藝術節前行政總監吳球接受訪問時指出,西九項目的討論反覆經已超過十年,而亞太區區內其他地方期間的文藝發展異常迅速,甚至已有追貼香港水平的情況,作為本港的文化重鎮,西九項目對本港整體文藝水平的提升,以及其後多年的可持續發展也具有不可取代的重要性。

「近年各地都興建硬件,好似內地各個省市,近年都有很多全新劇院及音樂廳,全都已達專業水平,國內人才亦已全面進步,甚至不少港人也到內地發展」,吳球指出,內地的文藝事業近年正在「全速前進」,作為其鄰近的一個夥伴,香港的確需要作出配合協調。

「未來西九的表演要看看如何同時也到內地上演,兩地的演者又要看看如何自由交流,西九不應僅為本港的一項設施,反而應該主動走向其他體系,取長補短,這樣才會有所成長。」

吳球認為,正如其他經濟發展一樣,內地市場的影響力也不容忽視的,否則西九最終只會淪為一頭故步自封的文化大白象。

「近年內地積極邀請本地藝術行政人員到內地發展,不少本地藝團亦常常到內地演出,當中已可看到有關需求,如果兩地不能好好配合,就有可能出現掏空效應,兩地互相爭奪觀眾及藝術家的情況亦很難避免。」

對於有意見指本港嚴重缺乏藝術行政人員,擔心西九將來的發展將會出現「有器材、無人才」的情況。

本身亦為香港藝術行政人員協會主席的吳球則不太認同,指出本港的藝術行政人員多屬「實戰型」,大多隱沒在本港公私營的藝術機構之中,但供應還是足夠的,「包括康文署、藝發局,以至藝術中心、藝穗會等,當中就有不少專業人才,另外亦有不少機構定期舉辦藝術行政人員課程,人手將不是一個太大問題。」

吳球補充,雖然本地藝術行政人員的供應尚算充足,但相信當局未來亦會邀請一些外地人才來港合作營運西九,對未來發展也是百利而無害的。
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Old July 31st, 2006, 08:54 PM   #324
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曾蔭權:西九項目在任內向前推進,秋天將重提新發展方案
經濟通
07月 27日 星期四 04:43PM

行政長官曾蔭權出席電視台訪問時表示,西九龍文娛藝術區的工程並無停頓,可以在他任內向前推進,而政務司司長許仕仁正重組計劃,今年秋天將重新提出發展方案,現時仍需努力達至共識。

對於在他任期內,西九計劃及政改方案也不能如期推進。曾蔭權認為,一個開放社會,要在短期內做很多事情,是不設實際的,但現時政府已能做到一些政績,例如公共交通設立「可加可減」機制、兩鐵合併及興建添馬艦政府總部計劃。
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Old September 1st, 2006, 03:33 PM   #325
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Temporary cruise ship terminal on the horizon
Leslie Kwoh and Carrie Chan
24 August 2006
Hong Kong Standard

Despite ongoing public consultation for the Kai Tak development project, the government will go ahead and seek up to HK$1 billion to build a provisional cruise terminal at the site, according to the Federation of Trade Unions.

In a move that will effectively bypass the town planning process, officials will submit a funding proposal to the Legislative Council when sessions resume in October, requesting between HK$800 million and HK$1 billion for the immediate construction of a
two- berth cruise terminal, FTU legislator Chan Yuen-han revealed Wednesday.

The temporary terminal will help serve heavy industry demand while the rest of the site undergoes consultation and approval, a long and drawn-out process that could take two to three years.

The terminal will continue to function as the territory's main docking point for cruises until the permanent terminal, expected to begin construction in 2008, is completed in 2011.

A senior government official confirmed the decision to request funding, saying the territory's pressing need for a terminal "justifies not following traditional rules and procedures."

But for local civic groups, who have long called for the relocation of the proposed terminal, the news came as a slap in the face. "The basic question of location hasn't even been answered, and now the government is short- circuiting the process," said Designing Hong Kong Harbour District convenor Paul Zimmerman. "The planning process should be duly completed first, before we go to funding."

Zimmerman recommended expanding existing facilities at Ocean Terminal in Tsim Sha Tsui _ an idea shared by terminal operator Wharf _ and adding two more berths to the waterfront at the West Kowloon cultural district. The alternative proposal would dismiss the need for dredging, he said.

"Overall we'll have fewer costs. At West Kowloon we won't have to add transport infrastructure, but at Kai Tak we'll need to build new roads. We'd be clogging the already congested highways with even more traffic," he said.

Chan also said that while the government will foot the bill for the provisional terminal, it will put the permanent terminal up for tender. That terminal will be 20 stories in total _ 10 above ground and 10 below _ complete with passenger halls, a shopping mall and a car park.

The government has also agreed with the FTU's proposal to create four pedestrian access routes through the site's Sha Tin-Central railway depot.
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Old September 3rd, 2006, 03:37 AM   #326
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Hong Kong theatres draw little applause from critics
Production companies complain there are not enough affordable venues for the city's performance artists
19 August 2006
Michael Taylor
South China Morning Post

DOES HONG KONG have the potential to be the Times Square of Asia, or China's West End? The answers vary.

According to Stanley Shen, spokesman for New Icon, which produces and presents live shows, there is a "huge following for live theatre - both in Cantonese and English". The only downside is a lack of performance venues available at a reasonable price.

Mr Shen said about 10,000 people worked in the field of live theatre in Hong Kong - about a third of the number in New York and half that of London. He conceded that the city lacked "the depth of talent" of Broadway or the West End, adding that young performers wanting to polish their acts usually ended up going abroad or working for touring companies.

"There are lots of enthusiastic people working in all aspects of the theatre industry here, from scriptwriters and composers to stage designers, set designers, singers and dancers," Mr Shen said.

"There are also people on the production side who know how to manage and budget. There is a fine array of talented people - the only thing that is missing is a place to perform."

Ko Chi-sum, chief executive of Spring-Time Stage Productions, shared the same concern. "The lack of venues is a big problem," he said. "If we don't have enough hardware it will be very difficult for us to develop the software."

The government's proposed West Kowloon Cultural District is at the top of both Mr Shen and Mr Ko's wish list. In addition to museums and an art exhibition centre, the new district will include a theatre complex with space for 400, 800 and 2,000 people, a performance venue with at least 10,000 seats, a water amphitheatre and four piazzas.

"West Kowloon is key to the future of live theatre and other performing arts in the city," said David Quah, a voice teacher and coach at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts (APA). "Hopefully it will bring in more and more people to Hong Kong, as well as more locals who are willing to take part in musical theatre and opera and hopefully more sponsors as well, since there are so many big businesses here."

While the government, arts groups and developers in Hong Kong argue over the controversial cultural district along the Kowloon waterfront, Shanghai has taken concrete action, completely refurbishing the old Nanking Theatre and turning it into a world-class performance venue.

Originally built in 1930, it has been renamed the Shanghai Concert Hall. Plans have also been announced for the construction of three theatres - to be known as Culture Corner - which will target Broadway-type musicals.

No wonder the likes of London-based Cameron Mackintosh, a producer of such blockbusters as Phantom of the Opera and Miss Saigon, have set up shop in the city.

New York-based Broadway Asia Entertainment has also established its first overseas office in Shanghai. It plans to present at least 12 bilingual musicals on the mainland over the next three years, touring more than 20 cities. Included will be such perennial favourites as 42nd Street and West Side Story.

According to Australian actor, singer and writer Robert Vicencio, who toured the world playing Thuy in Miss Saigon, Hong Kong - thanks to its legal system, low taxes and large number of English speakers - continues to make the perfect launch pad into China and the region. However, he doubted that it has what it takes to be the Far East's Broadway.

"There are some great theatres in Shanghai," he said. "The Shanghai Concert Hall feels like a West End theatre, except that everything looks brand new. But there is more to it than the theatres. It is also the city itself. Shanghai has the right buzz."

But Hong Kong's reviews were not all negative. The city might not have an adequate number of performance venues, let alone such stylish sites such as the Shanghai Concert Hall, but it does have an ace up its sleeve.

"There is no censorship here and no restrictions," Mr Ko said. "This is Hong Kong's strong point. Here we enjoy artistic freedom."

For those aspiring to a career in live theatre, the going can be tough. Mr Ko estimated that fewer than 20 per cent of the graduates of APA's drama department had been able to pursue full-time careers in the field.

But for some - such as Angela Lam Ho-ka, who undertook a three-year advanced diploma in musical theatre (dance) after finishing Form Five - it all boils down to following your heart.

"It is a good career as long as you like to perform," she said. "There aren't many full-time opportunities, but you can work as a freelancer on stage or do television commercials. If you like teaching you can also teach at children's centres or schools."
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Old September 5th, 2006, 06:45 PM   #327
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New appointments related to West Kowloon Cultural District
Tuesday, September 5, 2006
Government Press Release

The Chief Executive has appointed the Hon Ronald Arculli as a member of the Consultative Committee on the Core Arts and Cultural Facilities of the West Kowloon Cultural District and the Convenor of the Financial Matters Advisory Group (FMAG) under the committee, following the resignation of the Hon Marvin Cheung from the committee and the FMAG for personal reasons. The Chief Executive has at the same time appointed Dr Peter Kwok and Mr Kevin Westley as members of the FMAG. The appointments came into effect today (September 5) and will last until the end of 2006.

Mr Arculli has much experience in public service. He has a keen interest in the arts and is an ardent promoter of the arts. "Mr Arculli possesses extensive experience in public service, as well as in arts and cultural organisations. He is an excellent candidate to take up the position of the Convenor of the FMAG," the Chief Secretary for Administration and Chairman of the consultative committee, Mr Rafael Hui said.

Dr Peter Kwok is experienced in corporate management. He is also a member of the Committee on Museums and the Founding Chairman of a private museum in Xian. Mr Kevin Westley has served many years in the finance sector and is the Deputy Chairman of the Board of Ocean Park Corporation.

"Dr Peter Kwok and Mr Kevin Westley have extensive financial knowledge. They have had considerable experience in arts and culture, as well as in corporate management. Their appointments will contribute to the work of the FMAG," Mr Hui said.

"We would like to thank Mr Cheung for his contribution to the consultative committee and the FMAG. He has provided very useful advice to the committee and made a valuable contribution in steering the work of the FMAG,” Mr Hui said.

The consultative committee and its three Advisory Groups, namely, the Performing Arts and Tourism Advisory Group (PATAG), the Museums Advisory Group (MAG) and the FMAG, have already held a number of meetings since their establishment in April 2006 to re-examine the need for the core arts and cultural facilities in the West Kowloon Cultural District.

The FMAG will advise the committee on the financial implications of developing and operating the core arts and cultural facilities as recommended by the PATAG and the MAG. To support the work of the FMAG, the Government has appointed a financial adviser to conduct relevant financial studies.
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Old September 7th, 2006, 06:57 AM   #328
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Marvin Cheung resigns from West Kowloon panel
6 September 2006
South China Morning Post

Executive councillor Marvin Cheung Kin-tung has resigned from the consultative committee on West Kowloon cultural district for personal reasons, the government announced yesterday.

A source familiar with the situation said that Mr Cheung was in the United States recuperating after receiving treatment for an illness and that he may not return to work for some time.

Chinese-language newspapers have reported that Mr Cheung, who had been scheduled to return to Hong Kong on September 10, had been diagnosed with leukaemia.

Mr Cheung has also stepped down as convenor of the committee's Financial Matters Advisory Group, the government said, adding that executive councillor Ronald Arculli would take over the posts.

Chief Secretary Rafael Hui Si-yan, who chairs the consultative committee, said: "Mr Arculli possesses extensive experience in public service, as well as in arts and cultural organisations. He is an excellent candidate to take up the post of convenor of the advisory group."

It was also announced that Peter Kwok and Kevin Westley had been appointed members of the Financial Matters Advisory Group.
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Old September 8th, 2006, 04:57 AM   #329
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西九文娛區取消建海天劇場
09月 08日 星期五 03:00AM

【東方日報專訊】西九龍文娛藝術區的表演場地設施已落實初步方案,由行政會議成員周梁淑怡出任召集人的表演藝術與旅遊小組建議,西九要發展成世界級綜合文藝旅遊區,區內設有中國戲曲中心,音樂演奏廳,一個容納一萬五千人的大型表演場地,及七個擁有不同座位數目的劇院。不過,小組取消了政府原先提倡興建的大型海天劇場,但建議應設有至少三萬平方米的廣場。

由政務司司長許仕仁出任主席的西九核心文化藝術設施諮詢委員會昨召開第三次會議,審視轄下三個小組的工作進度,表演藝術與旅遊小組完成西九表演場地報告,並交予諮委會審議,該報告稍後提交財務小組研究,預期今年底有結果。

七劇院分散不同角落

報告建議在西九興建的七個劇院,會分散在文娛區內不同角落,包括一個有二千二百個座位的大劇院、兩個五百至八百個座位的中型劇院,四個予新進藝團演出的「黑盒劇場」,但原先提倡的海天劇場未被小組接納。其實,類似海天劇場的概念早於九九年,本港著名建築師何弢為香港旅遊協會就表演場地進行可行性研究時,已建議在西九興建一個以維港作為背景的表演場地。

周梁淑怡昨於會後指,表演場地收費應為一般藝團與觀眾所能負擔,並盡量以「自負盈虧」的形式運作;她又指,報告積極回應市民、演藝界和旅遊界所表達的意見,而建議的表演藝術設施,足以配合本港文化藝術的長遠發展需要。
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Old September 8th, 2006, 04:52 PM   #330
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WKCD Consultative Committee discusses advisory group recommendations
Thursday, September 7, 2006
Government Press Release

The Consultative Committee on the Core Arts and Cultural Facilities of the West Kowloon Cultural District (WKCD) held its third meeting today (September 7). The work progress of its Performing Arts and Tourism Advisory Group (PATAG), Museums Advisory Group (MAG) and Financial Matters Advisory Group (FMAG) was set out and discussed.

The Consultative Committee discussed the report submitted by the PATAG on the performance venues, and related arts, cultural and tourism facilities in the WKCD.

The Chief Secretary for Administration, Mr Rafael Hui, said: "We are very grateful to the Hon Selina Chow, Convenor of PATAG, and members of the group, for their efforts in drafting the report in the last few months."

The Consultative Committee agreed that the PATAG report would be forwarded to the FMAG for the purpose of assessing the financial implications. The FMAG will later submit its findings to the Consultative Committee for consideration.

Mrs Chow said the vision behind the recommendations made by the Advisory Group was to develop the WKCD into an integrated world-class arts and cultural, entertainment and tourism district with a must-visit appeal to both local residents and visitors.

"The Advisory Group has looked at the specifications of the various performance venues defined as Core Arts and Cultural Facilities in the Invitation for Proposals, and has thoroughly considered various factors, including the existing cultural policy, the current performing arts scene and performance venues, and views collected from sector-specific focus group meetings as well as consultative forums," she said.

"On the whole, the recommendations in the report have actively responded to the views expressed by the public, the performing arts and tourism sectors. The Advisory Group believes the performing arts facilities should be capable of meeting the long-term development needs of arts and culture, as well as promoting diversity and vibrancy in the development of the performing arts sector in Hong Kong. Synergy will be produced if the performing arts venues and facilities can be suitably clustered together and integrated with the commercial facilities. Moreover, when all sectors actively promote the nurture of creative talents and arts education, excellence can be achieved by the arts and cultural facilities in WKCD."

As for the MAG, after a thorough discussion of the various themes received in previous consultation exercises, members agreed that one cultural institution with museum functions which focuses on several specialised areas falling within the broad field of "visual culture" in the 20th to 21st century, including "modern/contemporary arts" (which should cover "ink art"), "design", "film" and "popular culture" should be developed in WKCD. The MAG will further deliberate on the major specifications and planning requirements.

The Consultative Committee and its three Advisory Groups, namely, the PATAG, MAG and FMAG, have already held a number of meetings since their establishment in April 2006 to re-examine the need for the core arts and cultural facilities in the WKCD.

The Consultative Committee aims to submit proposals, based on the recommendations made by the three Advisory Groups, to the Government by the end of this year.

The main recommendations made in the PATAG report are set out in the annex.

Annex : http://gia.info.gov.hk/general/20060...0214_18955.doc
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Old September 9th, 2006, 04:07 AM   #331
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西九四博物館集同一建築物
09/09/2006

【本報訊】西九龍文娛藝術區的博物館主題經過五個月諮詢終見雛形。消息指,博物館小組建議興建四個博物館,主題分別為當代藝術(包括水墨)、設計、電影及普及文化,並將四主題綜合在同一所建築物發展,又倣效法國龐比度中心,把建築物稱為「機構」(Institution)而非「博物館」,亦會取消興建備受外界爭議的大型天幕。

被批不三不四
博物館小組昨召開第八次會議,由於表演藝術與旅遊小組建議增建中國戲曲中心和劇院,故預留興建博物館的面積將較原來建議為低。

消息指出,博物館小組為打破各主題界限和推動藝術媒體交流,建議把四主題的展品放置在同一所建築物展出,但小組尚未就機構營運模式、佔地多少等詳情達成共識。

香港博物館館長協會主席陳己雄認為,博物館主題太偏重視覺藝術,忽略歷史、科學及兒童等元素,又說:「將四種南轅北轍東西放同一間建築物,是否顯得不三不四?」陳又反對將博物館改名為機構,擔心營運者會違背博物館原有精神,變相牟利發展。
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Old September 9th, 2006, 05:38 PM   #332
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You know what I still like the old Foster canopy design...
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Old September 10th, 2006, 04:45 AM   #333
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'Must-visit' status vital for cultural district
8 September 2006
South China Morning Post

The West Kowloon Cultural District should be developed into an integrated world-class arts, cultural, entertainment and tourism district with a must-visit appeal to both residents and visitors, a committee advising the government on facilities for the site said yesterday. The performing arts and tourism advisory group under the consultative committee on core arts and cultural facilities said its proposal reflected the views of the public and the performing arts and tourism sectors. The group believed the facilities should be capable of meeting the long-term development needs of arts and culture, as well as promoting diversity and vibrancy in the development of performing arts.
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Old September 10th, 2006, 04:48 AM   #334
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Time to refine the business of culture
9 September 2006
South China Morning Post

The exhibition of works from the Centre Pompidou in Paris, beginning later this month, will mark the second year running that the Hong Kong Museum of Art has splashed out on a display of French collections. Happily for art lovers, this means more is likely to be spent on delivering artworks to the public than on overheads such as electricity, cleaning and security, not to mention salaries - which is the usual case in our government-run museums.

Last year's Impressionism exhibition from the National Collection of Treasures of France cost more than HK$10 million to stage. The Pompidou paintings, sculptures and installations will cost no less. This is a significant investment in a vision of a cultural life fitting for an international business centre. The sad likelihood, however, is that many will see it as dubious and elitist. The Impressionism exhibition drew 95,000 visitors in two months. That falls well short of crowds at the science and space museums.

The government is to be commended for such high-profile support for the arts, but it is not an investment that will pay off without fundamental reform of the culture of government-run museums. Generally speaking they do not give the highest priority to acquisitions and displays that will attract crowds. Not surprisingly, they lose money.

The West Kowloon cultural hub project has focused attention on the arts sector and the way museums are funded and run. Wherever they thrive elsewhere, private or corporate philanthropy plays a significant role. Hong Kong's super rich have a tradition of giving to the needy or the worthy - such as medical research - but giving to the arts generally is in its infancy. A recent HK$36 million donation by Swire Pacific to the Hong Kong Philharmonic is an exceptional corporate gift rather than the rule. One aim of the government's original plan for the West Kowloon cultural complex was to encourage business investment in the arts. The plan has gone back to the drawing board, but a new model should include features to promote business sponsorship, such as matching grants and tax breaks.

More funding is no guarantee that exhibitions will succeed financially. But it should lead to planning and promotion of exhibitions that attract fee-paying crowds. Printed programmes and merchandise based on exhibitions or collections could be other sources of revenue.

The West Kowloon project still offers a commercially successful city the opportunity to show it can manage its own cultural venues without depending on a drip feed of public money or management by overseas institutions, and to showcase the cultural achievements of our own and the wider Chinese society.

A mix of private, corporate and public support could eventually liberate our cultural organisations, subject to scrutiny by official audit and through annual reporting to the Legislative Council.
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Old September 11th, 2006, 07:13 AM   #335
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四主題同放一處 西九設四博物館
09月 09日 星期六 03:00AM



【東方日報專訊】經過近五個月的諮詢,西九龍文娛藝術區的博物館主題已見雛形,政府消息指,博物館小組建議區內興建四個博物館,主題分別為當代藝術(包括水墨)、設計、電影和普及文化,並將四主題綜合在同一所建築物發展,又倣效法國龐比度中心,放棄以博物館命名,把建築物改稱為機構(institution)。香港博物館館長協會對建議有保留,質疑合併發展令各主題和建築物外觀失去獨特個性。

政府消息又指,為順應民意,當局會取消興建備受外界爭議、造價高達數百億元的大型天幕。西九博物館小組昨召開第八次會議,由於表演藝術與旅遊小組向當局建議,在區內增建中國戲曲中心和劇院,故預留興建博物館的面積將「大縮水」,較原來建議最少七萬五千米為低。

團體批做法不三不四

消息人士解釋,博物館小組考慮到水墨是當代藝術一種,為打破各主題界限和推動藝術媒體交流,建議把四主題的展品放置在同一所建築物展出。不過,小組尚未就機構營運模式、佔地多少、設計詳情達成共識。

香港博物館館長協會主席陳己雄對建議感失望,認為主題太偏重視覺藝術,忽略歷史、科學及兒童等元素,他說:「將四種南轅北轍東西放同一間建築物,是否顯得不三不四?」他又反對將博物館改名為機構,擔心營運者會違背博物館原有精神,變相牟利發展。
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Old September 22nd, 2006, 05:25 AM   #336
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戲曲中心西九焦點 粵劇接班人貴價學藝
09月 20日 星期三 03:30AM
星島日報報道

西九龍文娛區雛形日前曝光,戲曲中心成為核心設施,隨即引來粵劇界人士的熱烈回響,指出接班人不繼,令粵劇發展面對挑戰。其實對粵劇有興趣的原來大有人在,高昂的學費和置裝費仍無阻他們醉心粵劇,出錢出力把粵劇藝術傳承下去。

文︰Angel
部分圖片︰陳鐵剛
場地鳴謝︰X' Cafe
小學員﹕
為興趣日練四小時

雖然很多人都以為粵劇古舊又老套,然而坊間亦不乏專門培訓新一代的粵劇班。好像小紅船粵劇團就是近年經常舉行大型演出的粵劇團體,主力召集年輕一輩及小朋友作粵劇培訓,在成立短短五年間,已多次在葵青劇院演出。班內主要學員都是小學生,年紀最小的只有五歲半,最大的亦不過十四歲,他們逢星期日都會訓練唱曲及舞刀等動作,練習聲之餘,亦同時鍛煉身體,每次一練就花上四小時。

在練習的時候,有人表現得精力充沛,有的則比較吃力,然而當中沒有一個是家長逼他們學習的,全部都是自覺有興趣而來,所以雖然有辛苦的時候,但大家都是帶笑臉來上課。有學生看過粵劇演出,就要求父母帶他們來學習,有些一學便五年,從無間斷。

■小紅船劇團每星期的訓練包括唱曲和舞術鍛煉,對小朋友來說非常有益身心。

年輕導師﹕

■上課的學生,年紀輕輕已經功架十足。

■記者詢問小朋友可否穿戲服拍攝,導師說借戲服每套租金要$500,平日就是穿「開襠褲」練習。

不理目光自組劇團

負責粵劇訓練的導師其實亦相當年輕,好像御東昇只有二十一歲,自十四歲學習粵劇至今。他講述當年學習粵劇的情景亦帶點欷歔︰「起初學粵劇時父母都反對,他們覺得影響學業,而同學亦會投以奇怪的目光,不過我還是堅持自己所愛,最後父母都終於被感動,中學畢業後就考入演藝學院。」現在她是八和弟子,還於 2000年自組東昇粵劇團,新劇下月將在新光戲院公演。她說每次演出的置裝費不少,每套需數千元,而且每次有不同劇目,所以演出的成本很高。

至於另一位導師區淑儀,以前是雜誌社編輯,學粵劇只是業餘興趣,她說︰「當時報讀了演藝學院的夜校課程,那四年間放工便跑去上課,很吃力但很開心,後來有朋友邀請在小學任教粵劇,才辭去編輯一職。」區淑儀除了在小紅船任教,主要工作是在小學當粵劇班導師,她試過同時期任教十間學校,可見有興趣學粵劇的年輕人,仍然不少。然而剛從民政事務處批出的粵劇發展基金卻非常有限,這對於小劇團來說,確是多了一重辦學挑戰。

■體能訓練亦是重要一環,因為在表演中經常有翻觔斗等動作。

■區淑儀為堅持理想,工作時仍堅持修讀戲劇。

■兩位劇團導師很有耐心,然而對學員的要求亦非常高。

業餘愛好者﹕

衡量金錢投資

從事演藝事業的萬斯敏和黃翠儀,皆是粵劇愛好者,在她們眼中學習粵劇需要一定的金錢投資,因為置裝和學費實在不菲,他們認為現代人學習粵劇,大都是因為全心喜歡才會學。在亞洲電視工作了九年時間,現全情投入舞台及教會工作的萬斯敏,原來早於就讀中二時已接觸粵劇︰「當時見到《紫釵記》的詞很優美,於是便開始了解,覺得這是一種結合文學與中國藝術的情操。」

而現職廣告演員、舞台劇演員及配音員等多棲工作的黃翠儀,早在十多年前已開始學習粵劇,覺得粵劇容易令人投入和感動。她說有心學習的可選擇演藝學院舉辦的課程,內容比較全面。而想欣賞粵劇節目,新光戲院及高山劇場的節目選擇就會比較多。

■黃翠儀(左)和萬斯敏(右)均認為,粵劇是領略中國文學的途徑之一。

■黃翠儀曾在荃灣大會堂演出。

■萬斯敏原來早在就讀中二時,已開始接觸粵劇這種中國藝術。

■萬斯敏早年在亞洲電視綜合晚會上演出《再世紅梅記》。

學 習 粵 劇 門 徑

香港演藝學院演藝深造文憑(中國戲曲)

學費︰一年制課程/$31,570

查詢︰2584 8500

小紅船粵劇班

學費︰每堂$60

查詢︰9638 8884
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Old October 5th, 2006, 05:44 AM   #337
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Lawmaker warns of West Kowloon arts venue glut
Michael Ng
Hong Kong Standard
Thursday, October 05, 2006

A pro-democracy legislator has warned that the government might allocate too many venues for arts performances at the future West Kowloon cultural district project to win the support of arts and cultural groups but waste public money in the process.

Albert Chan Wai-yip told a Legislative Council subcommittee meeting Wednesday that although possible collusion between the government and big business in the project through a single tender system has now been set aside, he is worried the government might be forced to provide too many arts venues in the district to secure the backing of arts groups for the project.

The performing arts sub-group under the WKCD consultation committee has proposed building a 1,400-seat Cantonese opera theater, a 2,000-seat concert hall, two 2,000-seat Great Theaters, four medium-sized theaters with 800 seats each, and four Black Box Theaters with 250 seats each.

"To enlist the support of arts and cultural groups for the project, the government may propose creating a lot more cultural venues than necessary. It may gradually become a sort of political tradeoff," Chan said. "As the public is not authorized to endorse such expenditures, our fiscal reserves could eventually be drained out."

Accusing government officials of keeping legislators in the dark as no new proposals or ideas have been included in the government's latest documents on the project, Chan feared the government's failure to state which arts, cultural or music groups could perform at these facilities would result in a low utilization rate at the venues and revenue wastage.

Michael Chiang Hong-man, chairman of the Planning and Lands Committee of the Hong Kong Institute of Architects, said it would be vital for the government to revisit its cultural blueprint before deciding to build museums and cultural venues in the area.

He said the government should regard boosting tourism as merely a by- product of museum, arts and exhibition venue development rather than its main aim. "Like the Louvre museum in Paris, the French government has never intended to designate it as a tourism area although it later became a famous scenic spot," Chiang said.

People's Panel on West Kowloon spokeswoman Cyd Ho Sau-lan urged the government not to focus just on modern cultural development and neglect the inclusion of local traditional culture in the WKCD project.

Responding to Chan's remarks, Deputy Secretary for Home Affairs Esther Leung Yuet-yin said the government would always adhere to its basic principles - promoting arts groups to allow them to freely present their creations, ensuring public participation and producing a balanced development. "We'll initiate interaction and exchange opinions with cultural groups to see how these resources can be appropriately allocated," Leung said.

Principal Assistant Secretary for Home Affairs Vincent Fung Hao-yin noted that both the government and arts performance groups recognized the growing demand for performance venues as the supply of arts performance facilities at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre and City Hall has run dry, forcing the Leisure and Cultural Services Department to reject applications by some arts groups to lease these venues.

"We'll continue to ensure that the process will be open and not masterminded by the administration," he said, adding that the extra performance venues proposed by the performing arts subgroup under the WKCD consultation committee could increase the number of seats in local arts performance venues by 37 percent.

As the work of three advisory groups affiliated to the WKCD consultative committee is already behind schedule and they are due to hand in their proposals to the committee by the end of this year, Leung expected the committee to submit its recommendations to Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen early next year.

She said the government would increase participation by the private sector, particularly the arts and cultural groups, in venue management in future.
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Old October 9th, 2006, 05:01 PM   #338
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議員批西九藝團分贓
10月 05日 星期四 05:05AM

【明報專訊】西九龍文娛藝術區表演藝術與旅遊小組報告建議,在西九區內增加更多劇場,包括粵劇劇院、黑盒劇場等。立法會議員陳偉業批評,政府由向單一發展商輸送利益,變成讓藝團政治分贓,為爭取藝團支持而興建場館,沒有顧及文化發展的藍圖。

立法會西九龍文娛藝術區發展計劃小組委員會昨討論西九項目的進展,表演藝術與旅遊小組召集人周梁淑怡表示,表演場地會有商業元素,如精品店、餐廳等,故大型的場館可以自付盈虧,對於一些較小型、不能靠市場運作的藝團,就可能要提供資助。

多個發言團體如香港建築師學會均質疑,政府的西九發展計劃欠缺藍圖,陳偉業更批評政府「好大喜功」,為爭取藝團支持而計劃在西九興建很多場館,令到資源出現重疊和浪費,他說﹕「我很擔心現在由單一利益輸送,變成藝團政治分贓。」

民政事務局副秘書長梁悅賢表示,現時的表演場地並不足夠,有數據顯示有需要在西九興建更多場地。她又指出,會跟現有博物館等商討,研究在西九落成後,這些現有場地如何調校定位。
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Old October 24th, 2006, 07:26 AM   #339
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西九文娛區明年重新上馬
10月 15日 星期日 03:30AM
星島日報報道

回歸以來,香港走國際化或是與內地融合,一直被視為互相排斥的兩條道路,特首曾蔭權昨日在《香港家書》,卻引用十九世紀末港督卜公的預言,指香港與內地已成為命運共同體,香港走向國際化與內地融合並不排斥,而是相輔相成,呼籲「我們心中的鴻溝不應該存在」。他又指,港府會致力發展創意產業,西九文娛區在明年完成研究後會立即重新上馬。

特首曾蔭權在《香港家書》,引述第十二任港督卜力爵士在任期對中國觀感的著作——《港督話神州》,指卜公面對中國當時陷入辛亥革命前夕混亂,仍對中國抱有信心,百多年前已預言中國會走進世界市場取得應得份額,認為卜公視香港和中國是命運共同體有遠見。

他表示,過往不少人抗拒香港與內地融合,擔心變成社會主義和計畫經濟,心理上劃下鴻溝。但他說,中國已成為全球經濟的重要成分,要令香港的物流、金融及航運更上一層樓,就要懂得把握國家發展脈搏,「香港走向國際化與內地融合,已不再是互相排斥的方向,反而是相輔相成,二而為一,我們只要在國家發展中找到清晰定位,才能為自己在全球化經濟中定位,我們心中的鴻溝不應存在」。香港應繼續爭取國企民企來港上市集資,準備擔當人民幣交易中心。

在本土經濟發展方面,曾蔭權認為應走高增值方向,包括創新科技應用、產品設計、自主品牌開發及推廣。香港亦具備發展創意經濟的條件,因此《施政報告》特別撥款給香港設計中心,又成立電影發展局,扶助創意工業,西九龍文娛藝術區亦在明年完成研究後立即重新上馬。

對於外界批評《施政報告》缺乏長遠政策,曾蔭權則說﹕「說得一丈,不如行取一尺。」他是以務實做法,提出可以在任內開展或完成的工作,「對香港人來說,政府最重要是用行動,而非用說話去服務巿民。」他說,「我們不能忽略香港面對的長遠挑戰,《施政報告》亦已勾畫出香港面臨的挑戰,以實事求是作風,建立共識。」
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Old November 25th, 2006, 03:43 PM   #340
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Single super museum urged for West Kowloon
24 November 2006
Hong Kong Standard

The government should build one ``must-visit super museum'' on the site of the West Kowloon cultural project instead of four separate museums as suggested in the original plan that has now been scrapped, an advisory group suggested.

Comprising a floor area of 75,000 square meters, the venue would not only be a museum and organize exhibitions in four different artistic areas _ design, moving image, popular culture and visual art _ but would also present visual culture from a Hong Kong and contemporary perspective.

Advisory group chairman Victor Lo Chung-wing hoped that by grouping various art forms under one roof, Museum Plus as the group has dubbed it, could become a must-visit attraction for art lovers around the world.

``I am confident that with the talent and elements Hong Kong possesses in these four areas, and with an injection of fiscal resources, we could create a world-class cultural institution in the district,'' Lo said Thursday after submitting a report to the consultative committee on the core arts and cultural facilities which will be in the West Kowloon cultural district.

While the advisory group suggested Museum Plus be managed by a statutory body with an independent board of trustees, Lo said an advisory committee should also be set up to offer recommendations on the museum's promotion plans, implementation, collection strategy and public education.

He said the government should also identify an interim venue for Museum Plus to help gather momentum for the project and to provide a platform for training professional staff and nurturing a sizable audience for the institution. They could also start acquiring and building up collections as soon as practicable. However, Lo dodged the question of financing, saying his advisory group was not in the position to make any comment on the subject.

``We are only responsible for making conceptual recommendations. These matters should be left to the Finance Committee and architectural and museum management professionals,'' Lo said.

But he hinted regular funding by the government would be likely.

``Very few of the established and successful institutions overseas, whose visitor numbers reach three to five million a year, are self-sustaining and need the support of their respective government administrations,'' Lo said.

``For a brand new body, it would take us a considerable period of time before reaching that admission figure and I believe it would be very difficult for the museum to achieve it [a balanced book] in the short term.''
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