For Immediate Release
Greater Bay Area Cultural Heritage and Creative Innovation Conference gathers experts and industry leaders to examine establishing the cultural and creative nexus for the Greater Bay Area
HONG KONG, From May 31, 2021, to June 1, 2021 — Co-organized by the Department of Art and Design and the Centre for Greater China Studies of The Hang Seng University of Hong Kong and China Daily, the Greater Bay Area Cultural Heritage and Creative Innovation Conference, themed “Establishing the Cultural and Creative Nexus for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area”, was held on May 31 and June 1 at The Hang Seng University of Hong Kong, with a simultaneous online participation and broadcast. About 150 industry gurus, business leaders, academics and media professionals joined the event onsite and online.
The objective of this conference was to discuss how Hong Kong may position itself in promoting the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area as the world’s cultural and creative nexus in the context of rapid growth and development in China and the Greater China region.
On the first day of the conference, Mr. Jack Chan Jick-chi, under secretary for home affairs in the government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, delivered the special remarks.
The first day of the conference featured seven presenters after an international call for academic papers, with two well-known scholars from Hong Kong and Australia, Professor Lau Chi Pang and Professor Tim Winter, delivering keynote addresses.
On the second day of the conference, Professor Simon Shun-Man Ho, president, The Hang Seng University of Hong Kong; Professor Kwok-kan Tam, dean, School of Humanities and Social Science, The Hang Seng University of Hong Kong; and Mr. Zhou Li, deputy editor-in-chief, China Daily Group, and publisher and editor-in-chief, China Daily Asia Pacific, delivered the welcoming remarks.
Professor Ho said: “As a cultural hub in Asia, Hong Kong has many cultural institutions and cultures from all over the world converge here to participate in local cultural activities. Therefore, I hope that the cultural industry in Hong Kong will cherish the advantages of the development of the Greater Bay Area and follow up on the planning and opportunities of the Greater Bay Area to give full play to Hong Kong's own strengths. I believe that there will be great potential for cooperation among the three regions of Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao. The government, the private sector, schools and the cultural industry can all take this opportunity to strengthen cooperation and unleash our potential.”
Professor Tam said: “There are many opportunities and chances in traditional culture. The key is how we can re-create and reapply the cultural heritage, discover the artistic elements in between and then apply a new application. Our industry is now focusing on proposing new disciplinary developments to complement the development of cultural entrepreneurship in China and across Asia.”
Mr. Zhou said, “Cultural construction includes both inheritance and innovation, but innovation is even more important as the expression of the vitality of culture. Cultural creation should be oriented toward three things: firstly, toward the world, absorbing the best of civilization from all over the world, so that it can have deep roots and flourish. The second is oriented toward science and technology, and the construction of how to avoid harm and profit is a problem we must consider as cultural builders. Thirdly, we must gain the support among the people. If culture is a sum of spiritual values and lifestyles, then it will ultimately reflect the collective personality. In terms of traditional Chinese Confucianism, this means putting oneself in the shoes of others. Only in this way can our cultural construction have a centripetal force and increase the sense of identity. Aiming to be a world-class Bay Area, the Guangdong-HK-Macao Greater Bay Area is expected to boast ethos on the spiritual and cultural level, to substantiate its robust infrastructure and hard power. Cultural cultivation in their Greater Bay Area could be a long expedition, compared to the time and efforts invested in its basic infrastructure and technology development. Therefore, a sustained endeavor is needed.”
Dr. Bernard Chan Pak-li, under secretary for commerce and economic development in the government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, delivered the special remarks.
Dr. Chan said innovation is the source engine of societal transformation as well as fertile ground for the societal development. Hong Kong possesses a tremendous potential and advantages in the cultural innovation sphere, with a large pool of professionals and creative minds in fields such as film, TV, advertising, animation, and production. There are over 40,000 cultural innovation-related companies in the city, involving 200,000 creative practitioners, which contributes added value worth of HK$200,000, accounting for about 4 percent of the city’s GDP. To support and propel the industry, and encourage cross-discipline collaboration, the government has introduced programs such as the Film Development Fund and CreateSmart Initiative.
The special remarks were followed by the panel discussion with the theme “Unlocking the Potential of Cultural Heritage and Creative Innovation in the Greater Bay Area”. Dr. Han Wangxi, director, Shenzhen Innovation and Creative Design Development Office; Mr. Freeman Lau Siu Hong, secretary-general, Hong Kong Federation of Design Associations; Mr. Frankie Lui, founder, Atelier Global Ltd; Dr. Patrick Mok Kin Wai, assistant professor, Department of Art and Design, The Hang Seng University of Hong Kong; Dr. Chin-Ee Ong, associate professor, School of Tourism Management, Sun Yat-Sen University; and Ms. Xing Lili, founder, JANCHO, joined the discussion and shared their insights.
Dr. Han said a good plan is the prerequisite for the transformation of the city. Researching culture before constructing is needed, he said. “It’s of utmost importance to contemplate how to establish a cultural nexus within the 6+2 (Greater Bay Area) cities. Living in the same culture, we have something in common in senses and aesthetic appreciation. It’s also true that our hearts are connected by the similarities and empathy. So we must revere the Chinese culture that bonds us together. The cultural management in the Greater Bay Area should be innovative and fluid, open-minded and inclusive, and rich and versatile. As an emerging city, Shenzhen is employing its advantages in design innovation to enhance its cultural sophistication, pivoting on design and embracing a world vision. Hong Kong is the top capital of innovation in the world, which provides the groundwork for a promising bi-city collaboration in the cultural innovation.” he added.
Mr. Lau said Shenzhen is a city of immigrants who often have limited knowledge of the city’s history. Cultural events organized by the government have had a positive impact on the renovation of the old city, but the influence is declining. The Nantou Ancient City project represents its history, enhances the vitality of the urban village, and promotes the future of creative design. Besides, it can reconnect Shenzhen and Hong Kong in a cultural approach, instigate cultural cooperation between Shenzhen and Hong Kong, and promote regional and international cultural and creative industry development as well as establish Nantou’s voice in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.
Mr. Lui said architecture is a special cultural form — it’s both culture itself and a carrier of culture. “The inheritance of culture should have the touch of innovation. We hope to bring people closer to each other through traditional culture. Shenzhen Long Hua Book City is not only a cultural carrier, but also a part of life. I want to suggest Hong Kong architects explore the abundant opportunities in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and combine our native Hong Kong culture with the traditional culture of the Chinese mainland,” he said.
Dr. Mok said, “When people speak of cultural inheritance, they often overemphasize the importance of authenticity. However, it’s acknowledged by the industry and encouraged by the UNESCO to decrease the importance of it because it could mean that only one form of the inheritance is valid, and thus could hinder an inclusive development.”
Dr. Ong said that in recent years, cultural heritage projects have sprung up, but many new heritage sites still lack support and facilities for tourist experience, and are under the threat of unsuitable commercial activities. After the pandemic, cultural heritage tourism has its potential.
Ms. Xing said that to protect the cultural inheritance and sustainable development is to cherish and safeguard the future.
About The Hang Seng University of Hong Kong
The Hang Seng University of Hong Kong (HSUHK) is a non-profit private liberal-arts-oriented university with five Schools (Business, Communication, Decision Sciences, Humanities and Social Science, and Translation and Foreign Languages) and more than 6,000 full-time students. Adopting the unique “Liberal + Professional” education model, HSUHK is a residential institution which puts quality teaching and students’ all-round development as its highest priorities.
Aspiring to be a leading private university in the region, HSUHK features a primary focus on undergraduate education, top-quality faculty members, award-winning green campus facilities, innovative degree programs, a unique residential college system combining living and learning, interactive small class teaching, very close student-teacher relationship, RGC-funded impactful research, and excellent student development/support services. The University aims to nurture young talents with critical thinking, innovative minds, human caring, moral values and social responsibilities.
About China Daily
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About the China Daily Asia Leadership Roundtable
The China Daily Asia Leadership Roundtable is a by-invitation network of movers and shakers in Asia, providing platforms for focused dialogue, issue investigation and possible collective action on strategic issues relating to Asia’s economic, business and social development. Our aim is to enhance communication and increase mutual understanding between China, Asian and Western countries. Roundtable events are held in major cities across Asia.