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Hong Kong’s Commitment to Remain a Global Arts Hub

Panel discussion at the Hong Kong International Cultural Summit at the Hong Kong Palace Museum on March 26. Photo: Calvin Ng/China Daily

Art Basel Hong Kong took place with a successful run from March 28 to 30. However, Western media are not optimistic about Hong Kong’s economic and political uncertainties, including the passage of the new national security law, the West Kowloon Cultural District’s (WKCD) deficit, and the closures of shops and restaurants. Hong Kong has resolutely defended itself against the allegations made by the overseas media while working to improve the situation. This year’s “Art March,” held alongside Art Basel in March, was more grandiose than ever.

During the “Art March,” numerous art and cultural events take place, including Art Basel, Art Central, the Hong Kong International Film Festival, and the Hong Kong Arts Festival. Major art events include “Art@Harbour” and the first “Hong Kong International Cultural Summit.” Art@Harbour, a government-organized public art project, is held annually on both sides of Victoria Harbour. This year, the large-scale outdoor installation “Continuous” by the global digital art collective teamLab was the highlight.

The inaugural Hong Kong International Cultural Summit (March 26-28) brought together leaders and experts from 12 international organizations, while the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority announced plans to sign 22 memorandums of understanding (MOUs) with more than 20 institutions from the mainland and overseas, including Madrid’s Prado Museum and London’s Victoria and Albert Museum. Both events were supported by the government’s Mega Arts and Cultural Events Fund.

As such, Hong Kong is committed to maintaining its status as a global arts hub. However, some overseas media have questioned how effective the government’s investment will be, whether it will only increase the burden on taxpayers and whether investing in the arts industry comes at the expense of political freedom.

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