HK museums to start global publicity campaign in Liverpool

Arts officials hope to gain exposure for city's art collections and artists, starting with UK biennial

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 22 August, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 22 August, 2012, 3:24am

Government museums hope to boost their global standing and raise local artists' profiles by participating in more global arts events abroad.

Hong Kong's drive for global exposure begins at the 7th Liverpool Biennial next month - the first time the city is taking part in the British city's festival of contemporary art.

Hong Kong's Museum of Art is curating an exhibition called All Are Guests in the "City States" section of the biennial.

"We hope to have more curatorial exposure internationally to promote Hong Kong artists as well as the brand of the Museum of Art," said Louis Ng Chi-wa, assistant director for heritage and museums in the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, which runs the city's museums.

The city's participation in the Liverpool event, which costs HK$3.2 million, is a collaboration between LCSD and the Arts Development Council.

The Arts Development Council has recently been criticised for joining forces with M+, a visual culture museum that will form part of the West Kowloon arts hub, to participate in next year's Venice Biennale without first consulting the arts community.

The LCSD says its plans for global museum promotion do not currently target M+.

Ng, though, says the LCSD has been in talks about future collaborations with M+, which is building its collection and hosting temporary exhibitions ahead of its slated opening in 2017. "We are willing to support M+ but it depends on their programming," said Ng.

Eve Tam Mei-yee, the Museum of Art's chief curator, says the Liverpool organisers invited the museum to take part in the exhibition, which involved two years of discussions.

The three-part Liverpool exhibition is based on the theme of hospitality.

Leung Mee-ping's video installation Out of Place traces the movements of people who drift aimlessly in various cities.

Artist Chow Chun-fai has created 108 paintings by reproducing images from a Hong Kong Tourism Board video in Reproducing "Hong Kong - Live it, Love it!". Chow also made a video based on the paintings.

Next month, he will be running against Ma Fung-kwok and Jimmy Siu See-kong for the sports, performing arts, culture and publication seat in the Legislative Council election.

"I'm making a work that shows how Hong Kong 'hosts' its guests," Chow said.

"There are images of the Buddha, Jackie Chan, and pandas. But why are these images chosen to represent Hong Kong?"

Author and poet Leung Ping-kwan, who writes under the pen name Ye Si, has composed a poem for each part of the exhibition, which will open on September 15.