HK Endeavors to Foster Artistic Partnerships

The Hong Kong Arts Development Council (ADC) said Friday it will endeavor to enhance its artistic partnerships with the foreign and local arts communities in Hong Kong to make the Special Administrative Region a better world-class city.

Patrick Ho, chairman of the ADC, told Xinhua that "Investment in the arts is investment in citizens' creativity and cultural capital, which includes creativity, imagination, effective communication and the ability to embrace differences."

He added that all world-class cities in the world possess the characteristics of rich artistic creativity.

In order to enhance mutual communication with arts groups, the ADC held two forums recently for senior representatives of recipient art groups of the Three-Year and One-Year Grants on the future funding policy of ADC, Ho said.

"We believe that if the council continued to be simply a funding agency, it would be failing the arts at a fundamental level: supporting more and more people but increasingly inadequately, and with no eye to the wider and longer-term developmental needs of the arts," Ho said.

During the forums, participants raised questions and eagerly discussed issues like the timetable for consultation and implementation.

On the whole, the participants appeared satisfied with the response from the ADC and commented that the discussion was very useful and had helped enhance communication between ADC and the art sector.

Ho said that it is good to start to open up effective communication channels with the art sector, to collect their views and suggestions when formulating art-related policies in future.

Some of the arts groups that have attended the forums included, inter alia, the Chung Ying Theater Company, Hong Kong Ballet, Hong Kong Sinfonietta, Actors' Family, Hong Kong Society for Education in Art and the Hong Kong Film Critics Association.

Ho said the council has planned proactive projects in terms of arts education, research and planning, large-scale arts promotion projects, arts exchanges and community promotion and advocacy programs.

The aim of the council is to promote the citizens' active community life, a sense of solidarity, cultural identity, domestic confidence and a pluralistic society.

The current policy is an improvement on Hong Kong's arts policy, as Horace Chin, a researcher of the Hong Kong Policy Research Institute has remarked.

He said cultural policies in Hong Kong's pre-handover past had failed to make Hong Kong a cultural metropolis.

"Imported high arts lacked local flavor, commercial popular arts and the cultural industry were usually imitative and without depth, while grass-root avant-garde arts were still at their budding stage or very often tamed by the government through funding control."

(Xinhua News Agency June 1, 2002)

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