On July 16, 2020, a simple yet solemn ceremony was held at the Library of the Hang Seng University of Hong Kong (HSUHK) – the opening of the Exhibition of Watercolour Sketches by Professor Desmond Hui in Celebration of the Establishment of the Department of Art and Design at HSUHK. Although the government re-enacted the Restriction Order because of the recent rebound of the pandemic, the gathering at HSUHK belonged to the exempted group gathering at a place of work for the purposes of work. The organizer also arranged an online platform for both local and overseas participants who could not attend the event in person.
President Simon Ho of the HSUHK introduced the vision of setting up the Department of Art and Design at the beginning of the opening, recapturing the initiative four years ago to establish the first BA in Cultural and Creative Industries Programme in Hong Kong at the University, also by Professor Desmond Hui, to provide education in the cultural and creative sector in response to government policy and industry demand and development, and with some admirable results. The Hang Seng University of Hong Kong set out in its 2018-2023 Strategic Plans its first priority of establishing an academic unit in Art and Design which was also echoed by the recent report from the Our Hong Kong Foundation Innovating Creative Cultures – Arts Tech which points out that arts tech will influence and even change people’s perception and understanding of art and culture, and is a ‘blue ocean’ with vast opportunities. The report suggests to establish more platforms of promotion and support for the development of arts tech in Hong Kong so that Hong Kong may have a greater edge on the world stage.
President Ho explained that the BA in Art and Design together with the BA in Cultural and Creative Industries will form the new Department of Art and Design under the School of Humanities and Social Science. The University will strive to develop a new building on campus as a hub of creative and innovative studies.
Professor Desmond Hui, the Founding Head of Department of Art and Design, gave his opening remarks by introducing the members of the new department. He then explained the theme and contents of the exhibition as a collection of his sketches during travels. The pandemic lockdown for the last half year has created a common longing of people to travel and his exhibition hopefully would provide an alternative escape as a spiritual journey to the viewers’ romantic destinations – whether in Barcelona, Majorca, Provence, Tuscany, Scandinavia or even Sai Kung and the outlying islands near Hong Kong.
After Professor Hui’s speech, there was a ribbon cutting ceremony by President Professor Simon Ho, Vice-President (Academic and Research) Professor Y V Hui, Vice-President (Organizational Development) Dr Tom Fong, Dean of Humanities and Social Science Professor K K Tam and Dean of Translation Professor Gilbert Fong.
Part 1 of the exhibition is now open until August 14, 2020 with Part II from August 17 to September 16, 2020. The exhibition is also viewable online at: https://library.hsu.edu.hk/Glimpses/