Monthly Highlights
When Lung Ying-tai met Michael Lynch  
They had a lot to talk about when the new Taiwan Minister of Culture Lung Ying-tai, invited her Hong Kong acquaintance, West Kowloon Cultural District Authority Chief Executive Officer Michael Lynch, to share his cultural centre experiences on May 5th, two weeks before her official role as the first ever Minister of Culture in Taiwan.

The thought provoking dialogue on “Is there culture in a cultural centre?” lasted for two hours that covered a wide ranging topic on the challenging role of Taiwan and Hong Kong in promoting culture.

Lung Ying-tai and Michael Lynch spent two hours talking about culture.
Lynch noted the cultural district would be a major impetus to improvement and development of local art organisations, not just providing an important opportunity to bring the best of international works into Hong Kong but also providing a major catalyst for change within the cultural life of people of Hong Kong, Pearl River Delta, and more importantly the greater part of Asia.

“I always admire the contemporary and very innovative contribution of Taiwanese, Taipei organisations in contemporary art balanced against the traditional and great things that exist in this city,” said Lynch.

“We look forward - particularly because of the connections between Taiwan and Hong Kong - to be able to build some of the connections.”

At one point, Lung Ying-tai quizzed Lynch if Taiwan should adopt a more commercial, or traditional way of running culture policy given a tight government budget.

Lung: If you were me, what would you do?

A few hundred culture lovers discussed the art and culture scene in Taipei.
Lynch: I always want to be cultural minister. (laugh!) But choices are never easy one. Hong Kong is in a fortunate situation, because the finances of Hong Kong government could commit to a level.

Lung: Michael, I always thought HK and Taiwan should become one nation. (all laugh).

Lynch said his team would focus on engaging community and artists, starting activities on or around the site and building capacity and audience of arts organisations.

“So by the time we actually build the buildings people would think spending that amount of government money would be worthwhile,” he said.

Lynch said he would like to see more outdoor events such as music festivals, classical concerts, visual arts events because he believed outdoor would be the way to break down individual barrier of different art forms, and an attraction for new audiences.
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