The theme for the fourth annual Asia Cultural Co-operation Forum (ACCF) is Asian Arts, Culture and Modernity, and a host of speakers - from as far apart as Beijing's Palace Museum and New York's Juilliard School - will discuss topics as diverse as 'cultural ecologies' and 'media art in contemporary society'. Organised by the Home Affairs Bureau, the event will run from Wednesday to November 12 at venues such as Bethanie and the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts' drama theatre. The ACCF gives cultural ministers from around the region an opportunity to 'share experience on the trends of cultural development', but its open forum series is particularly relevant to the local arts community. Of the five symposiums, Cultural Ecologies: Communicating Contemporary Art in the 21st Century and Asian Arts, Culture and Modernity are likely to draw big crowds. (The others are Creative Education Summit; Media Arts in Contemporary Society; Experiencing Architecture; and Measuring Creativity, Happiness and Well Being). Co-organised by the Asia Art Archive and the Department of Cultural and Religious Studies of the Chinese University of Hong Kong and supported by independent arts and cultural bodies such as the Asian Cultural Council, Goethe-Institut Hongkong, Hong Kong Independent Curators' Association and Para/Site Art Space, the symposiums will explore the regional cultural scene and its outlook 'from a more holistic perspective, with a view to building a balanced and dynamic cultural ecology'. Among the overseas speakers will be Alex Beard, deputy director of the Tate in London; Anthony Calnek, deputy director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation; the artistic director of this year's Gwangju Biennale, Kim Hong-hee; and Rupert Myer, chairman of the National Gallery of Australia. Six workshops on setting up and running an art space will also be held, led by international museum and art professionals, including Ramon Lerma, curator and director of Ateneo Art Gallery in the Phillipines, and Le Zhengwei, deputy director of He Xiangning Museum in Shenzhen. For the symposium on Asian Arts, Culture and Modernity, the discussion panels will mostly comprise heads of arts academies and academics, but will include prominent artists such as Jia Zhangke, winner of this year's Golden Lion Award at this year's Venice Film Festival.