Monthly Highlights
Talking Art : Philip Tsai  
Whenever our new board member Philip Tsai, a partner at Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, can spare time, he would go to museums and concerts – be they in Hong Kong or overseas. He hopes the future West Kowloon Cultural District could make ticket prices more affordable to the mass market in Hong Kong.

Enews: What was your first arts and cultural encounter?

Philip: I liked drawing and sketching in my primary school days. Like many people of my age, I listened to Western pop music. Simon & Garfunkel, Elton John, Neil Diamond and Pink Floyd were my idols.

Enews: What about visual arts?

Philip: I love going to museums – arts, sculpture, cultural, natural history, science and even war museums – in my younger days. I still enjoy visiting museums, whenever I can find time when travelling in Europe, the States or Japan. The difference is: I used to visit two museums in a day. Now I would rather spend two days in a museum.

Philip @ Beijing 798

Enews: How was your last museum visit?

Philip: I visited the National Museum of Western Art and National Art Centre in Tokyo in April and the National Museum of Singapore in September. I am always impressed with special roving exhibitions of masterpieces from museums around the world in Ueno and Rappongi. I am sure the Japanese corporations are big in hearts when it comes to sponsoring art activities.

Enews: Does this generous culture also exist in Hong Kong?

Philip: I heard some Hong Kong people have great collections, but not many would like to show them in exhibitions. Maybe it is a cultural thing and it takes time to develop. I have seen a few masterpieces from private collection in special exhibitions at corporation headquarters and department stores in Tokyo.

Enews: Do you enjoy concerts?

Philip: Very much. Last week I went to watch Elton John. Unfortunately the tickets are very expensive here. I recall paying HK$3,000 for a ticket in the very last rows at an Andrea Bocelli concert in Hong Kong, versus 12,000 Yen for Simon and Garfunkel in Tokyo and 45 pounds for Mark Knopfler at the Royal Albert Hall.

Enews: What advice you would offer to WKCD in light of this?

Philip: Hopefully the ticket price could be more affordable to all. We could also consider more outdoor concerts at the WKCD over weekends in the fall so singers do not have to be confined to the Hong Kong Coliseum, Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre or the Asia World Expo.

Philip @ Centro De Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid
Philip @ National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo
Philip @ Tate Modern, London