Happy New Year to you all!
Cannot believe another year has passed and I am already well into the second year of my term as Chair. It has been a very fulfilling, fun and busy year for the Friends and I am thrilled to share with you what we have in store for you in the coming year.
In November, as part of the 50th Anniversary celebrations of the Chinese University, we were very honoured to co-host the Garden Party at home at the Vice-Chancellor’s Lodge, with the University featuring an exclusive Calligraphy Sharing with our special guests followed by a silent auction of some very special works of calligraphy.
This year we are particularly excited to work closely as partners with Prof Jenny So, our new Director, and Dr Xiadong Xu and Dr Josh Yiu, our new Associate Directors of the Art Museum, as we step into a new era of the Art Museum.
In the coming months, we are happy to continue to offer you our regular activities- Study Group, Tours, The Chair’s Series on old local history, etc but we will also be bringing to you new activities such as the Jewels of India Series, talk on Chinese Costumes and many others. Our volunteers work very hard to put together a diverse programme, hopefully with something for everyone. Please do not miss out on Mr K Y Ng’s talk on the authentication of Chinese Ceramics on 25 Feb at the Kee Club, as Mr Ng will bring genuine and fake samples for a touch and play session. Prof Anna Sohmen’s talk on her father Y K Pao on 20th February and Ms Irene Lee on the history of Hysan in Causeway Bay on 20th March are both very intriguing topics about our local history.
Our products have done exceedingly well at the Fairs this year, and I wish to say our special thanks to Ann Mary Stone for her help the last two years overseeing Products and coordinating the Fairs for us. Sadly Ann Mary will step down from Products. She has been a warm, friendly and efficient coordinator and I hope she will remain a Friend and continue to help as a volunteer. We are very lucky that new volunteer Bonnie Pinkham has offered to step in to take over Products. Some of you might have met Bonnie already as she has sat at our products table at one or two fairs in the Oct/Nov and at some of our recent events. We are delighted to have her join the workforce and Bonnie already has many ideas on how to expand Products. We thank you all for your patronage this year, and we are very grateful to our products sponsors, and I hope you have all stocked up on the beautiful Fan Calendar, new Fan folders and the Spirit of the Dragon cards. Please also look out for Collector Edwin Mok’s new book Heavenly Breeze on fans which is available at the Art Museum’s store and through the Friends. Some of you might have attended the talk in early December. Our good friend Edwin is generously donating 50% of the proceeds to benefit the Friends. The book is beautifully put together with amazing pictures- a true feast for the eyes.
As we move into a new year, we wish to invite our members to make suggestions and to give us ideas for our way forward. We are sending out a members’ survey on tours and we would be grateful if you could all participate so we get ideas and comments on how we could try to meet everyone’s interests. We are always looking for more volunteers to help us run our activities as we continue to expand our programmes, so please contact one of us should you be interested to help. We are a fun, friendly group to work with.
As one of my initiatives as Chair since 2012, Young Friends remain close to my heart and our young and energetic volunteer Alexandra Choa is working on a major exhibition for our Young Friends this May/June, so please look out for our YF news!
We are forever indebted to our sponsors, supporters and partners and I would again like to say thanks particularly to: Latham & Watkins, Pacific Harbour Group, KPMG, K Y Fine Art, Galerie Huit, Schmidt Marketing HK, Art Radar Asia, Asia Society, The Epicurean group, The Classified Group, The Kee Club, Sotheby’s, Christie’s, Bonham’s, Hong Kong Land, Dynamic Network Alliances, Hong Kong Trust Company, Yick Fung Printing Company, HK Maritime Museum, Edwin Mok, Angus Forsyth, Sharie Hatchett alias ‘Roxy’ & Virginia Yee.
I feel privileged to be working with such a dynamic team- each of us has our own unique and individual responsibilities whilst supporting each other as a group, and I want to say a big thank you to my Board and our volunteers. At the Garden Party, I was delighted to award the Chair’s Pin to our volunteer Ms Marianne Yeo who is a familiar and friendly face to many and has been a compassionate and dedicated volunteer for many years.
I also wish to thank all our members and each one of you for your support, as without it, the Friends would not be what we are today.
Lastly, may I wish you all an auspicious year of the Horse! Xin Nian Kuai Le!!