Donald Tsang

Donald Tsang seeks co-operation between art and commercial life

PUBLISHED : Monday, 18 February, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 18 February, 2008, 12:00am

Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen has asked for closer co-operation between the art and commercial sectors to achieve what he believes the ideal stage of art in life.

Mr Tsang, in an article entitled 'Art Re-visited' posted on his blog yesterday, urged private enterprise to play a more active role in integrating elements of art into daily life.

'That is not only about donations by enterprises, but also about deeper co-operation. Artists can co-operate with the commercial sector and inject artistic elements into products and services,' Mr Tsang wrote in his blog.

Mr Tsang also said Hong Kong could model itself on the Factory 798 Art District development in Beijing. On the fringe of the capital, the fashionable art precinct used to be a military complex and was converted into a warren of contemporary art galleries, studios and cafes, luring artists and visitors, students and collectors from all over the world.

But there have been concerns over the rapid commercialisation of the art district. Rising rents have made it increasingly difficult for some galleries to survive, forcing them to turn to more lucrative activities, like using their sites to promote the launches of big brands.

In his blog article, Mr Tsang said art could not avoid the issues of financing and promotion if one wanted to see it grow.

Quoting contemporary Japanese artist Takashi Murakami, Mr Tsang said the costs of art creation were high and artistic creation could become unsustainable if there was no money or time.

Meanwhile, the artistic director of the Chung Ying Theatre Company, Ko Tin-lung, said art was also important for childhood development.

Speaking on Commercial Radio yesterday, Mr Ko urged the government to offer more facilities in districts such as Tin Shui Wai. He said the facilities had mostly been built in Central, Tsim Sha Tsui, and Wan Chai.

He said: 'I heard that many students living in Tuen Mun had never gone downtown to watch performances because they could not afford the high transport costs.'