Speech by CS at opening ceremony of "Paris•Chinese Painting: Legacy of the 20th Century Chinese Masters" exhibition (English only) (with photos/video)

     Following is the speech by the Chief Secretary for Administration, Mrs Carrie Lam, at the opening ceremony of the "Paris•Chinese Painting: Legacy of the 20th Century Chinese Masters" exhibition today (June 19):

Arnaud (Barthélemy), Mrs (Christine) Shimizu, Mr He (Guangbei), Dr (Eric) Lefebvre, ladies and gentlemen,

     I am honoured to be here this afternoon with you today at the opening ceremony of the "Paris•Chinese Painting: Legacy of the 20th Century Chinese Masters" exhibition. On behalf of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, I would like to extend a very warm welcome to our guests and friends from the arts and cultural sector and media representatives.

     Entering its 22nd edition this year, Le French May has been a most prominent and long-standing international cultural exchange programme in Asia. The Festival, which features a dazzling array of cultural events, has always been well received by the Hong Kong community. To mark the 50th anniversary of the establishment of Sino-French diplomatic relations, the Hong Kong Museum of Art is most delighted to organise this large-scale Chinese painting exhibition in collaboration with the renowned arts institutions in France, and they are the Musée Cernuschi, the Musée Guimet, the Musée d'Orsay and the Centre Pompidou. The exhibition is one of the major events commemorating the artistic exchange between China and France and the artworks on display bear excellent witness to the close relations between the two nations dating back to the early 20th century.

     I would like to thank the distinguished curators from the museums in France and Hong Kong for putting together this mega exhibition, which presents the exquisite works of world-renowned Chinese painters who furthered their studies in France in the last century from a unique and innovative perspective. These renowned artists included Xu Beihong, Lin Fengmian, Pan Yuliang, Sanyu, Pang Xunqin, Zao Wou-ki, Chu Teh-chun and Wu Guanzhong. As pioneers of the artistic and cultural exchanges between the two countries, the artists have contributed enormously to the blending of Eastern and Western painting skills in their artworks and showcased the distinctive beauty and charm of the two cultures. Their creativity and achievements have made profound impact on the Chinese art scene, adding tremendous vitality to the development of contemporary Chinese art.  

     This exhibition would not have been possible without the full support of the major art collectors in France, especially the Musée Cernuschi and the Musée Guimet, in loaning us the valuable artworks for display. My heartfelt thanks also go to the Consulate General of France in Hong Kong and Macau for their support. I look forward to more opportunities for arts collaboration and cultural exchanges as well as even closer partnership between Hong Kong and France in future.

     Lastly, may I wish the exhibition every success.  Thank you very much.

Ends/Thursday, June 19, 2014
Issued at HKT 21:56