As I come to the last few months of my term as Chair, I cannot but feel very privileged to have served with such a great group. The Friends’ programme is now very diverse with a lot of different and stimulating experiences for our members as well as for our community.
2015 has been an exciting year for us. As we start planning for our 35th Anniversary year in 2016, we are working very closely with the Art Museum, the students and our community.
This May Young Friends proudly co-hosts with Le French May an exhibition on Climate Change with the support of WWF Hong Kong featuring artwork by French Illustrator Nicolas Vial and 5 young Hong Kong artists, creating a cross cultural platform for our young talents in a long established art & culture festival.
The very popular Chair’s Series continues with a conversation on the history and restoration of the Bethanie and a talk on family history dating back to the 1840s by Ruy Barretto - not to be missed.
Gallery Group is expanding from strength to strength with visits to galleries and private collectors’ homes. I am sorry some of you were not able to attend but as these are private homes, we are allowed only a limited number for these very exclusive treats.
Do not forget to check out the fun and attractive destinations for Friends tours and sign up early to avoid disappointment. Study Group remains a regular favourite.
We have a fabulous range of stunning products, ideal gifts for friends and family in the summer. Our products are now available at Asia Society, St John’s Bookstore and the Art Museum. Please contact Cynthia directly if you have any queries.
This year we approached CUHK Fine Arts student groups directly to get to know them better and nurture a closer relationship. As we offer grants and scholarships to the CUHK students, we wish to understand their needs and how we can enhance our support. We are looking into increasing our sponsorship to the summer internship programme at the Art Museum for a student outside CUHK to broaden the exposure of the museum, and a Grant for a Final Year PhD student as they may have difficulty finding funding towards the end of their research. All this is possible with the support of our members.
And I would like to ask you to come and support us on 11th June at the Re-Launch of the Collectors Circle at Asia Society. Do not miss our exciting panel discussion on C21 Challenges faced by curators and collectors with Professor Jenny So from the Art Museum, Jessica Harrison-Hall from the Brutish Museum and Cissy Pao Watari, private collector, Honorary President of the Hong Kong Arts Centre and a member of the West Kowloon committee. We are honoured to co-sponsor this with the Asia Society and Asia Week Hong Kong. We will be sharing further news on the Collectors Circle. I hope we can rely on your support.
As the Friends expand with a wider programme, we are also expanding our workforce. We have some wonderful volunteers helping us with our events and activities, without whom we are unable to run such an extensive list of activities. I wish to thank the following volunteers for their support, enthusiastic energy and time in the last year: Clementina Cardoso, , Ida Chow , Saima Chughtai, Christine Mar, Naomi Molson, Elaine Riley, Kumiko Matsushima, Peter Stuckey, Sharon Vipond, Carol Wong, Ida Yau and the Young Friends Committee members: Vickie Li, Cristine Li & Sophie Selby. As you must appreciate, without the help of all those behind the scenes, these wonderful events simply would not happen! If you are interested in helping the Friends and joining this big happy family, please do not hesitate to contact one of the Board members. We actually have a lot of fun!
As many of you have noticed, we are using Eventbrite to facilitate event booking which saves our event organisers a lot of work. We understand you may find the procedure unfamiliar but please do not hesitate to contact one of us should you encounter problems or are not sure what to do.
I am sure you will be delighted to hear news of some of our student award recipients. Our first Madeleine Tang Friends Research and Education Fund Awardee, Chan Lai Pik, is now senior curator at the Asian Civilisations Museum, National Heritage Board in Singapore. If you happen to be in Singapore, please drop by at the museum to say hello to Lai Pik! Sam Tsang recipient of our Art Radar Art Journalism and Writing Course Scholarship 2014 has scored the highest marks ever in the final test at the institute. We should be proud of the opportunities our collective efforts have created for our students!
I hope you enjoy reading this newsletter and again I would like to express our gratitude to Alisan Fine Arts for sponsoring the newsletter this year. The sponsorship allows us to share our news and fascinating articles with you as well as reach out to a larger community to expand our network. It is also an opportunity to feature the art work of our students on the front cover. We wish to thank Yick Fung Printing Company for their unfailing and invaluable support for the artistic and design layout which saves hours of labour for our editor!
May I take this opportunity to wish you all a happy summer and thank you again for your continuous support for the Friends.