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"Genesis and Spirit: A Showcase of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Gansu" opens at Hong Kong Central Library (with photos)

     The opening ceremony of the large-scale cultural programme "Genesis and Spirit: A Showcase of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Gansu" was held today (June 11) at the Exhibition Gallery of the Hong Kong Central Library.

     The programme is presented by the Ministry of Culture and the Home Affairs Bureau, organised by the Department of Culture of Gansu Province and the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD), and held in association with Hong Kong United Arts Cultural Exchange Centre Co Ltd. Highlight programmes include an exhibition and song and dance performances.

     Officiating guests at the opening ceremony included the Vice-Minister of Culture, Mr Wang Tie; the Secretary for Home Affairs, Mr Tsang Tak-sing; the Deputy Director of the Department of Culture of Gansu Province, Mr Zhou Fengzhen; the Deputy Director-General of the Department of Intangible Cultural Heritage, Ministry of Culture, Mr Wang Fuzhou; the Assistant Director-General of the Office of Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan Affairs, Ministry of Culture, Mr Li Baozong; and the Director of Leisure and Cultural Services, Ms Michelle Li.

     Speaking at the ceremony, Mr Tsang remarked that the "Genesis and Spirit" programme is an important example of co-operation for the protection of intangible cultural heritage (ICH) by the Ministry of Culture and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government. Since 2011, the Government has introduced work being conducted on the Mainland for the protection of ICH, and has invited Sichuan and Guizhou Provinces to showcase their ICH items in Hong Kong. This year Hong Kong is introducing the ICH items of Gansu Province through various programmes.

     He said, "Our country is pressing ahead with the 'One Belt, One Road' initiative, which includes exploration of cultural exchange opportunities in the regions concerned. Gansu is located at the core of the Silk Road Economic Belt. We can gain a better understanding of the origin and development of cultural exchange through the theme of 'Stylistic Silk Road' in this exhibition."

     Running from now until June 21 at the Exhibition Gallery of the Hong Kong Central Library, the "Intangible Cultural Heritage of Gansu" exhibition is arranged into 46 components under four themes, namely "Exploitation of the Works of Nature", "The Beginning of Civilisation", "Stylistic Silk Road" and "The Heritage of Gansu".

     A number of representatives of ICH with national and provincial listing have been invited to take part in the exhibition and to perform live demonstrations in Hong Kong. These include representatives of the production techniques of tao yan (inkstones), luminous goblet carving, Linxia brick carving, embroidery and needlework of Qingyang fragrance pouches, the arts of the suona horn, Qingyang paper cutting, Yugur ethnic costumes, Snow Mountain Mongolian costumes, Tibetan thangkas of Gannan, Lanzhou gourd carving, Longdong folk songs, Zhulan Zhai Village clay modelling techniques, paper woven pictures and paper cutting of Pingliang.

     The demonstrations will enable the public to deepen their knowledge of the ICH of Gansu. Exhibits reflecting the rich regional cultural character of Gansu are also on display, including tao yan, pottery, silk rug weaving, kiln cave construction skills, medicinal herbs, lacquers, embroidery works, ethnic costumes and weapons.

     At the opening ceremony, the Ministry of Culture also presented plaques to the bearer organisations of the four Hong Kong ICH items that had been successfully inscribed onto the fourth national list of ICH earlier. These four inscribed ICH items are the Arts of the Guqin, Quanzhen Temples Taoist Ritual Music, the Sai Kung Hang Hau Hakka Unicorn Dance and Wong Tai Sin Belief and Customs. The items are in the categories of "performing arts", "social practices, rituals and festive events" and "traditional craftsmanship" defined by the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage promulgated by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. With outstanding historical and cultural value, these four items are representative of their kind.

     To tie in with the exhibition, two thematic talks will be held at 2.15pm in Activity Room 1 of the Hong Kong Central Library on June 20 and 21. Entitled "A Carnival of Poetry and Songs - Delving into the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Gansu" and "The Cultural Traditions and Lives of the Ethnic Groups of Dongxiang, Bao'an and Yugur", the talks will reveal more about the conservation of ICH in Gansu. The talks will be conducted in Putonghua with free admission. A maximum of 80 seats will be available for each session on a first-come, first-served basis. To register, please call 3691 8650. The application form can be downloaded from the Hong Kong Heritage Museum's website or submitted online. For details of the exhibition and talks, please visit the website of the Hong Kong Heritage Museum at

     The Hong Kong Central Library is located at 66 Causeway Road, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong. The Exhibition Gallery is open from 9am to 8pm daily. Admission to the exhibition is free.

     Another highlight of this cultural event is the song and dance performances on the ICH of Gansu, bringing together outstanding Gansu songs and dances that are rarely performed in Hong Kong. The programme will include narrative xianxiao singing in "About Liangzhou", Jiezi dance in "Liqian the Ancient Style", suona performance in "Longdong Rhythm", the dance work "Apsaras", the singing showcase of "Folk Song of Hezhou" and the performance of "Labrang Folk Dance and Song". It will be staged at 8pm on June 13 at the Concert Hall of the Hong Kong City Hall and at 5pm on June 14 at the Auditorium of Sha Tin Town Hall. For details of the performances, please visit the website of the LCSD at

Ends/Thursday, June 11, 2015
Issued at HKT 20:41


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