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SHA's speech at the grand opening of China-Hong Kong Exhibition at the 52nd Venice Biennale (English only)

    Following is the speech delivered by the Secretary for Home Affairs, Dr Patrick Ho, at the grand opening of China-Hong Kong Exhibition at the 52nd Venice Biennale today (June 8):(English only)

Ladies and Gentlemen,

     It is my great pleasure to be here today to declare the Hong Kong Pavilion open and to present you with some fine works of our visual artists.

     Titled "Star Fairy" and curated by Norman Jackson Ford, the exhibition in the Hong Kong Pavilion features the works of three international artists - Map Office, Amy Cheung and Hiram To.   Being the fourth year that Hong Kong visual artists participate in the Venice Biennale, this exhibition is also first time that we engaged a non-Chinese curator to represent Hong Kong in Venice.  Mr. Ford, an American sojourning in Hong Kong for over 10 years, puts together a very special collection of works and interprets Hong Kong from an outside-insider perspective.  Amy Cheung and Hiram To are two Hong Kong-born Chinese while Map Office is constituted by two French architects now based in Hong Kong.

     The composition of the exhibition reflects the diversity of cultural identity and heritage of Hong Kong as an international city.  International artists of different background found their space of expression in Hong Kong in a liberal environment.  At the same time, they expressed their thoughts and feelings with a critical and inquisitive attitude.  This playful yet critical exhibition demonstrates how our artists think and feel for the city, and at the same time also speak to the world for the city.  

     "Think with the Senses - Feel with the Mind.  Art in the Present Tense", a wonderful theme of the Biennale this year, encourages all participating artists and countries to reflect on human's contemporary situations through art.  Our participation is, therefore, an important opportunity of exchange and communication between Hong Kong and the international communities about current issues that are affecting global cultural well-being.  Hong Kong, as Asia's world city, continues to establish its distinctive characteristics for the world to know.  

     I would like to express my gratitude to the Venice Biennale for providing an excellent platform for Hong Kong artists to widen their vision and knowledge as well as to exchange valuable experience with other participators.  This certainly helps us explore more co-operative opportunities in the future and promote arts of Hong Kong to the world citizens.  Thank you.

Ends/Friday, June 8, 2007
Issued at HKT 19:00


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