Hong Kong (1)

I’ve always liked Hong Kong; the sense of concentrated energy, the ever higher high-rise buildings in the folds of the hills, the way that the man at the Mandarin greets one by saying ‘Welcome back, sir’ as if he remembers the last time. It’s not been so easy this time because I arrived with a streaming cold which only got worse, but this has not prevented the usual overwhelming hospitality: lunch with David Tang in honour of Zaha Hadid who has opened a new design building earlier in the week;  a talk at the Fringe Club in which I tried to describe the history of the RA and its current interest in Hong Kong, followed by a talk on the history of art in Hong Kong by Victor Lai which I was luckily able to follow thanks to simultaneous translation;  and lunch with Adrian Cheng, our new, energetic and capable trustee who seems to own half of Hong Kong including the Grand Hyatt where we had lunch. Everyone complains about the lack of cultural activity, but every time I come I’m impressed by the sense of dedication and commitment to the arts – new galleries, the Hong Kong art fair, community arts programmes, and the soon-to-be development of the Hong Kong police station in the heart of Hollywood Road; Hong Kong already feels like the entrepot of the arts in Asia as it has been for so much else through its history.

Talk in Fringe Club

Talk in Fringe Club

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