Traditional Chinese Simplified Chinese Email this article
LCQ4: Names of Taiwanese institutions containing the word "National" in publicity materials for publicly funded events

     Following is a question by the Hon Ma Fung-kwok and a reply by the Secretary for Home Affairs, Mr Lau Kong-wah, in the Legislative Council today (May 18):


     The stage drama "The Third Lie", the finale to "The Book of Lies - Twins Trilogy", which was presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) and produced by The Nonsensemakers (the drama group), was staged in mid-March this year at Tsuen Wan Town Hall. Subsequently, some members of the drama group revealed that, prior to the publication of the programme booklet for the stage drama, LCSD had requested that the brief biography of the drama group's arts administrator-cum-executive producer be amended by removing the word "National" from the name of her alma mater "Taipei National University of the Arts". Due to the fruitless negotiations between the drama group and LCSD, the drama group eventually removed the whole brief biography and replaced it with a photograph showing a graduation certificate awarded by the University. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(1) whether it has investigated if the aforesaid allegation made by members of the drama group is true; if it has investigated and the outcome is in the affirmative, why LCSD requested the removal of the word "National" from the programme booklet concerned;

(2) given that it has been reported that the names of Taiwanese academic institutions containing the word "National" have been published in the publicity materials for some events (e.g. the Hong Kong Literature Festival held in 2014) organised by LCSD in the past, whether LCSD has formulated any criteria or internal guidelines for its staff to follow regarding whether or not the names of Taiwanese institutions containing the word ¡§National¡¨ may be published in the publicity materials for various events; if LCSD has, of the details; if not, whether LCSD will consider formulating such criteria or guidelines; and

(3) based on the authorities' assessment, whether the aforesaid incident will impact on the future cultural exchange activities between Hong Kong and Taiwan; if the assessment outcome is in the affirmative, of the impact and the remedial measures to be adopted by the authorities; if the outcome is in the negative, the reasons for that?



     The Government is committed to developing Hong Kong as a cultural metropolis of Asia.  In realising this vision, the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) presents diverse and quality arts and cultural programmes from both Hong Kong and overseas throughout the year to serve the plural needs and aspirations of the community and enrich their quality of life by keeping them abreast of the arts scene.  The LCSD also actively supports artists and arts groups of various capacities and provides them with opportunities for sustainable development and performances.  Programmes staged each year comprise different art forms such as music, theatre, Chinese opera, dance and multi-disciplinary arts.

     Over the years, the LCSD has been actively supporting the local arts sector in fostering the diversified development of the arts and culture and collaborating closely with local arts groups.  To ensure the smooth staging of performing arts programmes of different genres and art forms, the LCSD maintains effective communication with arts groups based on mutual trust and respect when mapping out and co-ordinating performances.  The Government has all long been respecting the freedom of artistic creation, under the established mode of co-operation, the LCSD will render professional assistance to the arts groups in handling matters relating to the venue, staging, ticketing and publicity.  This mode of co-operation has served well over the years for promoting the vibrant development of the arts and culture in Hong Kong.

     My reply to the question raised by the Hon Ma Fung-kwok is as follows:

(1) and (2) The case mentioned in the Hon Ma Fung-kwok's question mainly involves the production of the house programme of a performance presented by the LCSD.  As pointed out above, the LCSD provides assistance in handling matters relating to the venue, staging, ticketing and publicity.  As regards the production of house programmes, the texts and pictures in the house programmes were provided by the collaborating arts groups.  The LCSD maintains communication with the arts groups concerned on the editing and production of house programmes from time to time to render professional advice and support.

     Having regard to this case, the Home Affairs Bureau (HAB) and the LCSD have reviewed the departmental procedures on the production of house programmes.  It is noted that given the different nature and scale of the programmes, there could be slight variations in the handling among different sections or staff members occasionally.  Specifically, the LCSD will assign an office or section responsible for a specific programme based on its nature and scale.  The officers concerned will liaise directly with the arts group on matters such as venue, staging, ticketing and publicity, including the production of house programmes.  Given that the process involves various work procedures and officers, and that the activities or artistic programmes vary in their nature and scale, their house programmes also have their respective characteristics and styles.

     In view of the handling of the case mentioned above and the outcome of the review, we consider that the LCSD could further enhance its communication with the arts groups.  On the basis of mutual trust, both parties should accommodate each other's concerns and viewpoints on matters such as venue, staging, publicity and the production of house programmes.  The issues should be dealt with in a negotiable manner, and both parties should collaborate to ensure smooth staging of the performance, whereby preventing similar occurrences in the future.

     Since all programmes are distinctive in nature and within the professional realm of the performing arts, we consider it appropriate for members of the professional grades in the LCSD to continue their communication with arts groups and co-ordination of related matters, including that on the production of house programmes.  Problems should be resolved according to the actual circumstances through deliberation and negotiation with the arts groups.  According to this broad principle, it is not necessary for HAB to formulate policy guidelines for this matter.  Looking forward, the Government will continue to enhance public engagement, and encourage artistic creation and exchanges.

(3) Established in 2010 as the counterparts of the Taiwan-Hong Kong Economic and Cultural Co-operation Council and Taiwan-Hong Kong Cultural Co-operation Committee (THKCCC) in Taiwan, the Hong Kong-Taiwan Economic and Cultural Cooperation and Promotion Council and the Hong Kong-Taiwan Cultural Co-operation Committee (HKTCCC) aim to foster exchanges, liaison and co-operation between the two places in the development of the arts and culture and the creative industries.  The HKTCCC and the THKCCC launched the first Cultural Co-operation Forum (the Forum) in 2011 in Hong Kong and agreed to further enhance collaboration and connection between the two places through conducting visits, taking turn in hosting the Forum, fostering the organisation of thematic exchange programmes and promoting youth exchange, etc.  Since then, the Forum has been organised for five times with the introduction of the youth cultural and creativity camps to the Forum since 2014 to strengthen exchanges between the young people of Hong Kong and Taiwan.

     The HKTCCC has also been organising the Hong Kong Week with the Government's funding support since 2012.  By staging performances and exhibitions in different art forms and extension activities, this annual event in Taipei introduces Hong Kong¡¦s distinctive and professional artistic works to the audiences in Taiwan systematically, it also supports the staging of creative works by young local artists in Taiwan and creates collaboration opportunities for arts groups and artists from the two places.  With an emphasis on artistic creation, we have brought an array of arts and cultural programmes to the audiences in Taiwan and invited collaboration among arts groups from Hong Kong and Taiwan. The operation has been very smooth.  The Hong Kong Week is warmly received by the arts and cultural sectors of the two places, cultural exchanges between Hong Kong and Taiwan in recent years have been fruitful.  We will continue our efforts in further promoting cultural exchanges between Hong Kong and Taiwan in the future.

Ends/Wednesday, May 18, 2016
Issued at HKT 16:14


Print this page