If Hong Kong has to become Asia’s top art and culture Hub, policies on developing art museums and opera houses must be prioritized. If workers from non-art related industries such as developers, who see money as the most instant source of profit, were involved in running the district, their mindset would not match completely when developing the cultural industry. Additionally, with the absence of creating connections with people and handling cultural projects from the past, we are afraid there won’t be any outstanding performances on developing particularly on West Kowloon Cultural District.
The soul of Hong Kong culture actually comes from local artists and art collectives, it is necessary to include such individuals into the process. Naturally, there should be a representative from the art community involved in both approvals of relevant designs/ documentation, and as a panel of judges. In order to achieve full transparency, the representative is essential to be included in every progress.
As a suggestion, the government could set aside 5% of profits from land-selling or developer’s investments into West Kowloon Cultural District’s art foundation, while duties like establishing policies and operating guidelines can be done by workers from the field, i.e. artists, art collectives, art educators and scholars. As mentioned before, developers are unsuitable stepping into the business of arts and culture; so does the government, as a response to prevent art intervened by politics, and bureaucratic management deceiving the spirit of art development.
As another suggestion, the government can look into overseas art policies. In order to support local art practitioners and culture, 1% of construction fees or providing grants has been utilised to support artists showcasing works in public spaces.
Although West Kowloon Cultural District is said to be a hub of arts and culture, most of the area has functioned as properties, it doesn’t match what’s on the paper. We wish to stop expanding the ratio of property-used regions.
In 1991, since the establishment of the Hong Kong Museum of Art, workers from the art sector have strongly requested to construct a separate Hong Kong Contemporary Art Museum, enhancing art promotion from local art communities. Now, the government has proposed to build the Hong Kong Contemporary Art Museum inside West Kowloon Cultural District and we strongly agree with it.
Para Site Art Space
More materials are available to view on site at Para Site.
The Archive Project is financially supported by the Project Grant of the Hong Kong Arts Development Council.