Museum of Art staff joins pilot training scheme in London

A senior government museum employee has been picked to join a pilot training scheme in London intended to raise the profile and international exposure of government arts administrators.

Ng Ka-lun, the Museum of Art's modern art curator, will next month work alongside experts at the 227-year-old Royal Academy of Arts on the latest ideas in buildings and estate management and exhibition installation.

The programme, according to the academy's secretary and chief executive Charles Saumarez Smith, was developed after a meeting with Chief Secretary Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor in London last November.

"She came to a lunch … talking about developing cultural links," he said. The academy was working on cultivating a relationship with Asia, he said, and some of its trustees - such as collectors Richard Chang and David Tang - had a strong commitment to Hong Kong's cultural development, so it was natural to launch the programme in the city.

Ng said he hoped to learn more about installing exhibitions and managing a historic building. The latter would come in especially handy as the Museum of Art would be closed for a major revamp after securing funding from the Legislative Council.

Ng said he had high expectations of the programme, as it would expose him to a different approach on curating.


"Government museums have a system very different from the outside," said Ng, who curated Hong Kong's debut pavilion at last year's Liverpool Biennial. "Today, it's important for museums to collaborate with different parties … I hope there can be more exchange."

Strengthening training of the city's arts administrators was made a key issue in this year's policy address, with the government setting aside HK$150 million, some of which will go into funding the London exchange.

Cynthia Liu Chiu-fun, Leisure and Cultural Services Department's deputy director looking after culture, said staff training was an ongoing initiative and sending senior staff overseas was an important aspect of training.

She said the development of the West Kowloon Cultural District had encouraged more people who were interested in dedicating their career to the arts to do so.



This article appeared in the South China Morning Post print edition as: Museum of Art curator joins London training scheme