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Speech by CS at launch ceremony of Harbour Arts Sculpture Park 2018

Following is the speech by the Chief Secretary for Administration, Mr Matthew Cheung Kin-chung, at the launch ceremony of Harbour Arts Sculpture Park 2018 this afternoon (February 22):

Mr Nelson Leong (Chairman of the Hong Kong Arts Centre), Mr Tim Marlow (Co-curator of Harbour Arts Sculpture Park and Artistic Director of the Royal Academy of Arts, the UK), Mr Cheung Leong (Executive Director, Charities and Community of the Hong Kong Jockey Club), Ms Kristine Li (Deputy General Manager of Henderson Land Development Company Limited), distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

Welcome to this wet afternoon extravaganza here. I am honoured to join you all to witness the launch of Hong Kong's first Harbour Arts Sculpture Park today, which bears testimony to the Hong Kong Arts Centre's mission to give access to arts to everyone.

Indeed, it is a mission shared by us all. The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government is committed to creating an environment conducive to arts and cultural development. As an important strategic investment in this respect, the West Kowloon Cultural District project now taking shape on the other side of Victoria Harbour will be developed into an integrated arts and cultural district with world-class facilities befitting Hong Kong's status as an international arts and cultural metropolis. Various major facilities will be gradually commissioned. In particular, the Xiqu Centre will open by the end of this year; Freespace, scheduled to open in 2019, has been topped out; and the M+ building will also open by late 2019. Furthermore, the Lyric Theatre Complex will be completed around 2021, while the Hong Kong Palace Museum is scheduled for completion in 2022.

Alongside the upgrade in architectural hardware, we will continue to strengthen our cultural software. To enrich people's cultural life, build audiences, nurture local talent and promote professional development, we organise a variety of quality arts and cultural programmes and activities. The Hong Kong Arts Month will return in March this year, in tandem with other major art fairs including Art Basel, Art Central and Asia Contemporary Art Show.

And today, the highlight of the action is right here on this side of the harbour. The unveiling of the Harbour Arts Sculpture Park will see the Central and Wan Chai harbourfront transformed into a gallery featuring large-scale, museum-quality works of 18 emerging and established local and international artists. The Sculpture Park offers a unique opportunity for the general public to appreciate world-class sculptures against the backdrop of Hong Kong's iconic skyline and energetic harbour. For Hong Kong people and overseas visitors alike, it will certainly be an impressive experience to rest, stroll, walk, jog along - and stop - to admire the masterpieces in this vibrant urban setting.

As part of our education and outreach efforts, the Sculpture Park features a mobile application with detailed information on each sculpture and a multilingual audio guide in Cantonese, English and Mandarin. Coupled with a spectrum of guided tours, workshops, symposiums and artist residency, the project pools together people from all walks of life to experience how art can be part of our everyday lives.

The Sculpture Park is the fruition of collaboration among government departments, the creative industry and the arts and cultural community. It would not have been possible without the staunch support from all parties. I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks to the remarkable lineup of curators, partners and sponsors for bringing out the best in creativity. I would also like to congratulate very warmly the Hong Kong Arts Centre on the 40th anniversary of its establishment and dedication to the furtherance of arts and cultural development of Hong Kong.

On this encouraging note, I wish the Harbour Arts Sculpture Park a great success and the Hong Kong Arts Centre many, many successful years ahead. Before I close, I also thank the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust Fund for also making a pitch to ensure this event is a success. Thank you so much.


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