A visitor takes picture of an artwork at Art Hong Kong, a four-day international gala aiming to enhance cultural exchanges between China and the rest of the world, on Nov 16, 2022. [Photo/chinanews.com]
Hong Kong Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu has vowed to introduce more world-class cultural and art exhibitions and activities to the special administrative region to create a more vibrant metropolis that can further bridge the gap between East and West.
Lee made the remarks on Wednesday at the opening ceremony of the inaugural Art Hong Kong, a four-day international gala aiming to enhance cultural exchanges between China and the rest of the world.
Organized by Bauhinia Culture Group and presented by various Hong Kong cultural organizations, the event comprises a large-scale art exhibition, an inspiring series of forums focusing on cross-border cultural communication, and an array of workshops, master classes and educational guided tours to inspire the public's interest in culture and the arts.
The main exhibition features 40 representative works by six masters of modern Chinese arts, namely Wu Guanzhong, Lin Fengmian, Xu Beihong, Chen Shuren, Fu Baoshi and Qi Baishi. Accompanying the masterpieces are creative works by eight contemporary Chinese artists.
In his speech at the opening ceremony, Lee said Hong Kong is well placed to develop into a hub for arts and cultural exchanges between China and the rest of the world given its cross-cultural background, rich cultural resources and facilities, and the unique strength of connecting the Chinese mainland and overseas regions under "one country, two systems".
He said the government is ramping up efforts to boost the cultural, arts and creative industries.
Lee proposed formulating a 10-year blueprint for the development of these industries, and pledged to improve the related ecosystem and set up a designated fund to hold more international arts and cultural events in the city.
Also speaking at the event, Lu Xinning, deputy director of the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, noted that Hong Kong's cultural development has made many new breakthroughs recently. She took note of the excitement at the opening of the Hong Kong Palace Museum, and the record high local box offices for homemade films like Warriors of Future and Table For Six.
Hailing such developments as an important sign of the society's transformation from prosperity toward thriving, Lu encouraged Hong Kong to continue to leverage its cultural strengths to enhance its international competitiveness.
Echoing Lu, Deputy Chief Secretary for Administration Warner Cheuk Wing-hing also highlighted Hong Kong's latest cultural and art achievements, noting that the city has become one of the world's top three auction markets for art and has established many new cultural landmarks.
With the nation's firm support, together with the Hong Kong government's fresh multipronged initiatives, he is confident that the city's cultural and art development will scale new heights.
Mao Chaofeng, chairman of Bauhinia Culture Group, said that with a variety of intriguing activities, Art Hong Kong is an ideal platform to help the city become an East-meets-West center for international cultural exchange.