Helen So
Helen So
Helen So, an avid arts advocate, is a member of the Advisory Committee on Arts Development, and the Museum Advisory Committee. She holds a masters degree in musicology and ethnomusicology from the University of Oxford, and is a cellist.

The capsizing of Jumbo Floating Restaurant and the upended fate of a timber factory with post-war roots have renewed discussion about cultural heritage. If we are to know what cultural assets we have and determine what is worth saving, documentation and digitalisation is a necessary step.

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As breakdancing and video gaming gain recognition as sports, the line between culture and sports is blurring. Other economies are overseeing the two sectors together and investing in immersive entertainment. But what is Hong Kong’s vision?

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Our administration’s vision of ‘cultural exchange’ remains confined to physical events such as museum exhibitions and arts festivals. Hong Kong needs to move with the times and align with the national vision, starting with turning from events-based to industry-based thinking.

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From AI-assisted scriptwriting to viewer analytics and big data, technology is revolutionising the creation of quality content. The Science Park and Cyberport must step up to promote this trend, particularly in the city’s creative industries.

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Economies like Britain, South Korea and Taiwan have already caught onto the trend driven by the convergence of arts and technology. Hong Kong’s new policy effort needs a team with a long-term vision for the entire arts and cultural scene.

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A long overdue move to liberalise the archaic broadcasting rules must be only the first step to more investment and innovation. Hong Kong needs an ecosystem that supports a digital lifestyle, where people can seamlessly socialise, shop and be entertained.

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Hong Kong government policies supporting the film industry are mired in nostalgia for the 1980s, even as film industries elsewhere zoom into a digital future.

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The coronavirus pandemic is accelerating the digitisation of art, making the innovation of arts tech inevitable. Hong Kong must articulate its vision and establish funding for this emerging space, or risk being left behind.

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The government should do more than fund one-off performances, and instead nurture the institutions that connect arts groups and venues, so exchanges can happen organically and more sustainably.