February 07, 2006

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Silk Road Artefacts in Hong Kong

There is an article in the unlinkable SCMP today, entitled History Lessened, which asks why Hong Kong people have not turned out in droves for a major show of artefacts from China's Silk Road at the Hong Kong Cultural Museum:

The three-month show is a world-class event. It cost about $3 million to assemble and includes some of the world's oldest treasures from one of the most inhospitable regions on Earth to represent, under one roof, one of the greatest eras in history: the world's first international trade route which involved the world's greatest civilisations - China, Egypt, Mesopotamia, India and Rome.

But, despite all this, the exhibition has received little publicity.

The problem lies in the promotion, or lack of it. The Hong Kong Heritage Museum insists it has utilised almost every promotional channel available: a TV commercial, billboards in MTR and KCR stations, the Airport Express, Star Ferry, Cross Harbour Tunnel and Eastern Cross Harbour Tunnel. The Hong Kong Tourism Board and Information Services Department are also promoting the exhibition to foreign tourists and journalists.

So why isn't there more buzz?

Claire Hsu, executive director of non-profit research centre Asia Art Archive, believes presentation is the problem.

"Museums in Hong Kong seem to use the same design or packaging when promoting their exhibitions," says Hsu. "I don't see these as a creative way of promoting exhibitions, especially when you compare them with other major museums around the world. It's all very generic."

That's all very well, of course, and true. But let's face it, the government has not been able to sell the Hong Kong people very much lately, be it new rules on chickens, a West Kowloon Cultural development or harbour reclamations.

While cultural options often do get short shrift in Hong Kong, I think one major factor is that people here are very busy and work extremely hard. Frankly, putting such a major show in a Museum in Sha Tin was a mistake as it is perceived as inaccessible for many Hong Kong islanders. Having said that, please do visit, because it is very worthwhile. If you know how to get to Tsim Sha Tsui, it's not too hard from there - just take the KCR to Sha Tin station, and take a cab or a museum shuttle bus just outside the station. Details below the jump.

The Silk Road: Treasures from Xinjiang, Hong Kong Heritage Museum, 1 Man Lam Rd, Sha Tin. Mon, Wed to Sat 10am to 6pm, Sun and public holidays 10am to 7am. From Thur to Mon, $20 for adults, $10 for full-time students, disabled and senior citizens. For Wed, $10 for adult, $5 for full-time students, disabled and senior citizens. Ends Mar 19. Inquiries: 2180 8188 (Via SCMP)

posted by HK Dave on 02.07.06 at 06:04 PM in the Hong Kong people category.


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Interesting indeed.... I have been cruising around town a fair bit.....can't recall seeing any references to the exhibition though....

Will keep it in mind!

posted by: Marcel on 02.08.06 at 03:40 AM [permalink]

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