Past Activities
Embroidered Identities: Ornately Decorated Textiles and Accessories of Chinese Ethnic Minorities, Highlights from the Collection of Mei-yin Lee Exhibition Opening cum Members Day Costume Show

Please see our "Special Events" page for details plus photos of this happy and memorable occasion!!
Cuba – Art, Identity and History An Introduction to Cuban Art with Dr. Jo-Ann van Eijck

Dr. Jo-Ann van Eijck treated our members to a fantastic introduction to Cuba and Cuban Art, thus whetting our appetite for more knowledge of this part of the world. In particular, Dr. van Eijck spoke about the quest to define a sense of Cubanness in its art, given Cuba's unique history of colonization, independence movements and the Cuban socialist revolution."
Oil Portrait Painting Demonstration With Five Artists – Chen Chao Long (陳朝龍), Helen Kwok Hee Lun (郭喜倫), Lin Ming Gang (林鳴崗), Lui Pak Pui (雷伯培), Shen Ping (沈平)

It was a popular event with many participants crowded the whole gallery, including the balcony. Lin Ming Gang demonstrated oil painting method in front of Botticelli's Venus; Helen Kwok and Lui Pak Pui prepared step-by-step pictures and explained the whole process of Renaissance portraiture, Chen Chao Long and Shen Ping used life model Director Florian Knothe to show how to do life painting. A fun and educational event with requests for more!
"Indian and Burmese Silver – A Colonial Heritage" with Esmé Parish

Esmé Parish presented a history of Colonial silver and the quality and motifs of its production in India and Burma. We were further treated to a handling session of beautiful pieces from her collection - inspiring us to do a little of our own treasure hunt in the future.
"Botticelli and the Bonfire of the Vanities" with Dr. Kathryn Blair Moore

Dr. Kathryn Moore gave a very interesting perspective of Botticelli's art against the backdrop of Girolamo Svonarola's "Bonfire of the Vanities", leading to more understanding of the society at that time and deeper appreciation of this Venus displaying on the wall.
"The Collector’s Eye: Important Chinese Ceramics in the Percival David Foundation" with Colin Sheaf

Colin Sheaf presented an information packed lecture, with about 60 selected samples from Sir Percival David's Collection of over 1700 pieces of Chinese ceramics in the British Museum. They span from Tang, Song, Yuan, Ming, Qing dynasties and with a varieties of forms and styles.
Piano Recital by Rodolfo Matulich

Rodolfo Matulich mesmerized the packed audience with his musical compositions of warm and colourful melodies, expressed through highly skilled techniques and deep passion. The Italian wine, cheese and salami afterward complimented the recital perfectly.
Guangzhou Museum Duet (Conducted mainly in Cantonese and Mandarin)

On this trip to Guangzhou the highlight of the day, aside from art, was Professor Mai Yinghao who shared many back stories behind the beautiful Chinese ceramic pillows of various eras, shapes and sizes on special exhibit at the Museum of the Western Han Dynasty Mausoleum of the Nan Yue King. At the Mausoleum we were also lucky to see an exquisite collection of Ruyi. After a delicious lunch we headed off to the Guangdong Museum for part two, a special exhibition of Chinese Export Fine Art in the Qing Dynasty. The silk embroideries, intricate ivory carvings, silver vessels, porcelain and delicate fans on display were amazing. Just as impressive were the other exhibits that we managed to squeeze in including ink stones, imperial robes, Chinese calligraphy and Chui Chow wood panel carvings.
Zoroastrian Temple and Cemetery with Ervad Homyar G. Nasirabadwala and Dr. Joseph Ting

A nice Sunday morning learning about one of the oldest religions in the world. Ervad Homyar G. Nasirabadwala showed wonderful hospitality by welcoming us with coffee / tea and biscuits, before embarking on a clear and concise PowerPoint presentation on the history and origin of Zoroastrianism. He showed us the Prayer room and then walked to see the Zoroaster funeral room and cemetery. Joseph Ting complemented the lecture by telling us more about the Parsees in Hong Kong. One interesting fact is that at the first land auction in Hong Kong, several lots were bought by Parsees. The event ended with a nice Shanghainese dimsum
Zhongshan (中山) ﹣ A Quintessential Culinary Odyssey

This trip truly matched it's name - 'Culinary Odyssey'! It was a 3 full days of meal after meal of delicacies such as fish noses, roasted pigeon, crab juice sucked through a straw, sun flower seed fed chicken, a variety of local fish served in different styles and etc etc. We were also very fortunately to be invited by one of our member Loretta Lee to visit her huge factory with the most up dated machineries in the manufacturing of towels and related kitchen amenities. We had feasts galore that satiated our visual appetite as well as our 'stomachs'. Everyone had such a lot of fun, laughter and bonding between member, so much so that many already requested for a 'Second Odyssey'!!!
Pokfulam Village and the World Monuments Watch 2014

Site experts and conservators for Pokfulam Village, Nigel Ko and Steven Chui along with Henry Tzu Ng of the World Monuments led our Society members on an "insiders" tour through the village. We enjoyed meeting the villagers who passionately described their efforts to ensure the survival of their historical village, as well as to retain the legacy of their unique customs, such as the annual Fire Dragon Dance. After the village visit Henry Tzu Ng, the Executive Vice President of the World Monuments Fund, gave a sobering overview at the UMAG on some of the world's architectural heritage and cultural traditions which are at risk of disappearing forever. He discussed WMF's global advocacy work, focusing on Pokfulam Village and its inclusion in the 2014 World Monuments Fund Watch."
Royal Rainbow - Highlights of Bangkok and Chiang Mai with Geoffrey Longfellow

Our local host Geoffrey Longfellow was able to take the group to visit some restricted areas of the palaces which was a special privilege. In Bangkok, our tour bus had police car opened up traffic which saved a lot of time. The Lana architectural style temples and morning offering to the monks in Chiangmai were interesting. A relaxing and enjoyable trip with good food.
Viewing & Lecture - Sandro Botticelli's Venus

Italian Counsel General Alessandra Schiavo opened the evening with UMAG Director Dr. Florian Knothe, and Dr. Opher Mansour, who gave a very interesting lecture on Venuses of other artists of during Renaissance. This gave the audience a deeper understanding and appreciation of the masterpiece. Italian wine, cheese and salami were served after the full-house lecture.
Home Visit and Culinary Dinner at the Residence of May Fung "May 姐有請‬"

The 13 participants who attended this dinner were all dumbfounded by the array of delicious dishes, each one with delightful surprise in taste and presentation - from the 3 hors-d'oeuvres to the heavy-weight amuse bouche, from the 8 starters to the soup served in carved coconut, from the 6 main courses to the 4 signature desserts, concluding with refreshing drinks and candies galore. That was the modern version of 滿漢 to us! On top of that, May's beautiful home is like a contemporary museum. The wine pairing was just perfect too. The hostess, of course, is the ultimate star!!
Senses and Sensuality - Appreciation of Art, Music and Wine Dinner with Dr. Joseph Pang

It was a well prepared presentation. Dr. Joseph Pang posed thought provoking questions for discussion, while showing the participants a painting of two beautiful ladies. Fine cuisine was served with six kinds of wine and different music. A fun interactive experience teasing the senses, punctuated with laughter.
HSBC Asia-Pacific Archives

Helen Swinnerton greeted us and took our small group to a historical journey of HSBC. She gave a briefing about HSBC's beginnings and showed us ledgers and minutes of meetings dating from the bank's establishment. Her colleague Thomas Warren guided us to the special room containing their large collection of George Chinnery's drawings and paintings, both watercolour and oil. He also showed us works from other artists in the HSBC collection. The archive is open to researchers and scholars, and plans are underway to digitise the collection to make it accessible to the general public.
Canvas of Nature - A Brief Overview of Icelandic Art History with Jóhann Ágúst Hansen

Jóhann Ágúst Hansen is extremely knowledgeable about the Icelandic art and its history. The lecture was a perfect compliment to the exhibition of Anthony J. Hardy's eclectic collection of Icelandic art, a rare opportunity for the local community to see so many under one roof. Hansen's insights enhanced our appreciation and understanding of these dynamic artworks from an unfamiliar but beautiful distant land.
Fung Ping Shan - The Man, His Life and His Library with Nelly Fung

With the portrait of Fung Ping Shan in the backdrop, Nelly Fung brought alive the colourful life and values of the philanthropist whom the gallery is named after.
Collecting Chinese Ceramics, Japanese Cloisonné Enamels and Embroideries with Mr. Hikonobu Ise of the Ise Foundation

The passion of collecting shone through as Mr. Ise spoke on how he collected his important Chinese ceramics, most of which bought from auctions in Hong Kong in the past 20 years. Two of the large embroidery pieces exhibited at UMAG were from Princess Diana's bedroom, which he acquired from the British Royal Family after her death. The talk ended with a recital of two Japanese songs by his granddaughter, a professional singer. A bag with two books and a CD was given to all who attended, with compliments of the Ise Foundation.
Decoding the Chinese Language and Characters with Professor Sin Chow-Yiu (in Cantonese)

The Fung Ping Shan Gallery was packed with enthusiastic audience, all fully absorbed in the 2 hour talk by Professor Sin who spoke on the interesting aspect of Chinese language and characters through their origin and development, and explained how a number of commonly used words are miswritten and mispronounced.
Chinese Export Silver with Dr. Simon Kwan

Dr. Simon Kwan started with an historical and geological background of Chinese Export Silver, followed with various methods, styles and manufacturers. Images of outstanding pieces from different collections were shown.
Le French May in Macau, Fantasy World - Chinoiserie & Napoleon and the Decorative Arts: Treasures of the Imperial Palaces with Dr. Florian Knothe

An early start for a day out in Macau to view Macau's 2 exhibitions for Le French May 2013 turned out to be a day of learning and fun. Our Museum Director, Dr. Florian Knothe, gave us an informative historical background of how Chinese arts and visual images first came to the attention of the royalty and nobility in Europe and how this fashion spread and influenced the cultural scene in Europe at that time. Macao Museum's Fantasy World - Chinoiserie show various examples of art objects showing an imaginary Chinese world. Macao's Museum of Art's Napoleon and the Decorative Arts showed how Napoleon appropriated symbols to legitimise his own rule. In between the 2 museum visits was a sumptuous lunch - which ended appropriately with a Napoleon cake!
Annual General Meeting, Guest Speaker - Bernard Chan on Heritage and Conservation in a Changing Hong Kong

A wonderful evening of friendship and camaraderie - extending the warm glow of our 25th anniversary celebrations to our Annual General Meeting this year. After the AGM meeting, a cheque for HKD1,300,000 was presented to the HKU Museum, with Dr Florain Knothe, our new museum director, accepting it on behalf of the Museum. The Honourable Bernard Charnwut Chan's speech, entitled Heritage and Conservation in a Changing Hong Kong, gave members and friends food for thought - how to balance the different needs of a diverse community. We enjoyed catching up with one another over the delicious buffet spread.
Chinoiserie in Eighteenth Century France: A New Perspective on an Old Phenomenon with Professor Thibaut Wolvesperges

In a light-hearted and comprehensive manner, Professor Thibaut Wolvesperges portrayed how China was fantasized by artisans and collectors of the art world in France, resulting in the production of an array of Chinoiserie style items. He supplemented his lecture with interesting images.
Christie's 2013 Spring Exhibition with Rosemary Scott and Pola Antebi

Hardy souls who woke up early for the Christies guided tour were warmly welcomed by both Rosemary Scott and Pola Antebi. We began with bronzes and cloisonne, moved to ceramics and furniture - including a most interesting glimpse of a bundle of wood - still to be assembled into a piece of stunning furniture. Afterwards, many of us stayed to look at the other galleries. A good enough reason to wake up early Sunday morning!
Bonhams Spring Auction 2013 - Archaic Bronzes from the Sze Yuan Tang Collection with Julian King

For those of us who braved a wet rainy morning to join the guided tour of Julian King, we were rewarded with a preview of bronzes and tea ware before the crowds arrived. Julian showed us bronzes with various colours and patina, some with crystallised patterns. The beautiful Yixing tea ware were a treat to the eyes. Julian generously gave all members the auction catalogue and members stayed on to look at other treasures.
Inaugural Edition of Art Basel Show in Hong Kong 2013

Our group was welcomed with a glass of champagne by our 2 resource persons - Khadinn Khan and Charles Liu. Both are with AXA Art, the official provider of VIP tours for Art Basel. They took us through the 4 sectors: Galleries, Insights, Discoveries and Encounters, stopping by to show us the highlights. We also met some of the artists - like Stanley Wong aka Another Mountain Man. After the tour, members stayed on to visit some other galleries to see the eclectic art pieces.
Chen Chun and Wang Chong in the History of Chinese Calligraphy: The Illuminative Case of the Thousand-Character Essay in the Bei Shan Tang Collection, with Professor Harold Mok (in Cantonese)

Professor Harold Mok led the audience to view two manuscripts of the same text handwritten by two famous calligraphers Chen Chun and Wang Chong of the Ming Dynasty. With comparisons and comments from art historians and calligrphers about their different styles, we learned to appreciate the essence of calligraphy as well as the literary scenes of the ancient world.
Uzbekistan - Land of the Sogdians: Traders on the Silk Road with Dr. Joseph Ting

Dr Joseph Ting 丁新豹博士 our resource person educated and enlightened us on Sogdian history and culture in this region. Our first trip to Central Asia was indeed an eye opener - we saw many mosques, minarets, madrassahs, mausoleums, monuments and museums. These were later popularly referred to by members as the 6Ms. Aside from Islamic architecture, we also visited a Catholic and an Orthodox Church. Evidence of yet other old religions such as a Jewish synagogue and Zoroaster temples were visited. Exotic sounding places like Samarkand, Bukhara, Khiva and Tashkent were explored. All in all, an eye opening inspiring trip - with everyone ready for more!
Land of the Sogdians: Traders on the Silk Road with Dr. Joseph Ting

Dr Joseph Ting gave us a comprehensive chronology of Central Asia beginning from the Paleolithic times to 19th century when this entire Central Asia region was annexed by the Russians. In between, many ancient people have traverse and settled in the region - giving the area a rich diverse culture and history. The words 'melting pot' can aptly described what we shall see in our coming trip to the land of the Sogdians. Over 50 members and friends came to the lecture, many inspired to go and explore this area sometime in the future! Some of us travelling with Joseph promised to give a report back to those unable to join the trip. After the lecture, 21 of us went to dinner where conversation was about trips past and present and future!!
Bhutan Blessings - The Hidden Paradise

The group was blessed with perfect weather to enjoy the serene scenery, adventurous hikes and unique culture. Melodic laughter and beautiful colours weaved into the souvenir photobook designed by participant Amanda Lo.
"Caravaggio, Annibale Carracci, and the Beginnings of Baroque" with Dr. Opher Mansour

Dr Mansour shared with us a lot of information on his research into the life and times of Caravaggio and Annibale Carraci. His PowerPoint presentation showed us a lot of details on the works of both artists. After the lecture, several of us went to dinner afterwards and we were joined by certainly one of the youngest potential member of the HKU Museum Society - the cutest too! - little baby Mansour. He did not give any lecture, but kept us entertained by his keen interest in the surroundings!
Sakura Fantasia in Nagoya

Our trip to Central Japan took us to Gifu, Aichi and Mie Prefectures where we experienced the traditional handicrafts such as Shino pottery ware, Ozeki paper lanterns, Seki sword forging, Mino washi paper making as well as taking a glimpse into the industry of Toyota’s modern car manufacturing . High lights of the tour included that of meeting Mr Osamu Suzuki, who is 1 out of 100 Living National Treasure 国宝of Japan . Mr Osamu’s work in Shino pottery ware is well known and is much sort after for exhibition in major museums in Japan. The contrast of the traditional craftsmanship verses the modern industry was fascinating. Strolling through the well groomed, beautiful and tranquil ground spotted with 1000 year old trees, the Ise Jingu, a Shinto Shrine was another special treat. Mr Ishikawa, the Administrative Director explained to us in detail Shintoism, the indigenous faith of the Japanese. We all acquired a better understanding of Japan’s history, culture and tradition.
Chinese Ethnic Embroidered Baby Carriers with Lee Mei-yin (in Cantonese)

After viewing a powerpoint presentation about the historical and cultural backgrounds of various ethnic tribes, we appreciated the symbolisms, designs and creativity of these rural women all the more. Numerous pieces of beautiful baby carriers were subsequently passed through our hands for close examination with magnifying glasses.
Wandering Spirit: Lyrical Landscapes by Li Xubai (in Putonghua)

Li Xubai explained how his creativity was nourished by traditional art discipline, blossomed through close observation of nature, and took flight by free spirit and full devotion.
"Sparkling at 25" - Silver Anniversary Gala Dinner

Please see our "Special Events" page for details plus photos of this happy and memorable occasion!!
Home Visit with Artists - Hon Chi-fun & Choi Yan Chi

A wonderful day for our home visit to see some of the works of Hon Chi Fun. At 90 years old, Hon continues to find joy in his creation. Members were treated to a special viewing of some of his early landscape oil paintings. These give us a very nostalgic feeling for a disappearing rural Hong Kong. Choi Yan Chi talked about how their art works have evolved over the years, attesting to their creative spirit.
"Beyond the Old Silk Road: International Influences in Glassmaking in the 18th & 19th Centuries" with UMAG's New Director - Dr. Florian Knothe

It was an information-packed lecture on glassmaking in China under strong influences of the European missioneries. Aesthetics and technologies were well researched and explained along with beautiful visuals.
Hong Kong Maritime Museum with Director Richard Wesley and Dr. Stephen Davies

Our guide tour of the newly opened Maritime Museum (new location next to Star Ferry Terminal) drew enthusiastic response from members and friends. Museum Director Richard Wesley welcomed the group and Dr Stephen Davies, CSSC Maritime Heritage Resource Centre Research Fellow, gave us a guided tour. Members were thoroughly impressed by the knowledge and passion of Stephen for things maritime and things Hong Kong! Anthony Hardy, Chairman of the Maritime Museum Board and Catalina Chor, Executive Manager & Curator joined the group and gave us more informative comments on various exhibits. Min-Zheng Veneau, Project Officer - Marketing was also on hand to answer questions. After spending the morning looking at all the galleries, many of us plan to go back with family and friends for a more leisurely look.
Chinese Calligraphy Talk (in Cantonese) with Ou Da Wei

Ou Da Wei shared with the audience his life-long passion and creative journey in Chinese calligraphy, landscape painting and seal carving. He finished off demonstrating three pieces of calligraphy in different styles with great flair.
An Evening of Wine Tasting - chez Mrs. Elisa Barthelemy at the Official Residence of the French Consul General

Our group was welcomed by the Consulate General Arnaud Barthelemy. He gave a brief introduction of the style and history of the exquisite residence, tastefully adorned with beautiful artworks, flowers and furniture. Champagne and French wines were served with complimentary hors-d'oeuvres. A wonderful party!
Encounters and Reflections: Art and Artists of Twentieth-Century China

In the morning, five scholars - Professor Julia Andrews from Ohio State University, Dr. Kuiyi Shen from Univesity of California San Diego, Dr. Francesca Dal Lago from Centre de Recherche sur les Civilisations de l'Asie Orientale in Paris, Dr. Pedith Chan from City Univesity of Hong Kong, Dr. Chou Fang-mei from the Graduate Institute of Art Studies of National Central University in Taipei, presented academic papers, moderated by Dr. Yeewan Koon of HKU Fine Arts Department. In the afternoon, a round table discussion consisted of Professor Michael Sullivan from Oxford University, artist Liu Guosong from Taiwan, artist Chu Hing-wah from Hong Kong, Dr. Xin Chen from Ashmolean Museum of Oxford University, Pauline Jao, Contemporary Art Curator of M+ in West Kowloon Cultural District Authority, moderated by Tina Yee-wang Pang, of UMAG in HKU. Both rooms were filled with enthusiastic audience and interesting Q/A.
Twentieth-Century Chinese Art from the Khoan and Michael Sullivan Collection

The Exhibition Opening attracted many people from the art world, both locally and abroad. It was a happy gathering of old and new art professionals who either directly or indirectly knew Professor Michael Sullivan, or the artists whose works were included in this special exhibition.
Triple Treats in Macau - Macao Art Museum with Professor Jenny So, Lunch and Heritage Walk with Dr. Francisco Pinheiro

An early morning meeting at the Shun Tak terminal for our Macau day trip. Professor Jenny So began by sharing with us a poem on the importance of jade in Chinese culture. She then took us through the 2 galleries, highlighting some of the more interesting pieces by giving us their historical background and alerting us to the details of the pieces. After lunch, Dr Francisco Pinhiero took us to see both Chinese homes and Portuguese churches, and in the case of the municipal library, the building is European, but all the decorations were for the coming Chinese New Year!
The Beauty of Bhutanese Tangkas with Teresa Bartholomew

With many charming visuals in her interesting talk, Teresa Bartholomew enticed the audience to a deeper appreciation of not only thangkas of Bhutan, but also its religion and culture. A perfect prelude to our Bhutan trip!
'Lan Xang, The Kingdom of a Million Elephants' - A Tour of Laos with Catherine Maudsley

Traversing from Champasak in the south, the group went northwards via Vientiane to Luang Prabang in the north, sailing the routes of the pilgrims to the caves housing Buddha images, enchanted throughout the journey by the tranquility and unspoiled soil of this Buddhist country, the holiness of the Khmer temple complex, and the morning alms giving experience, and not the least, the art of traditional Lao weaving and textiles on which our expert Patricia Cheesman had given us a very comprehensive overview and display of her collections.
Chinese Calligraphy Talk (in Cantonese) with Wong Chai Lok on Guru Wang Xizhi

Wong Chai Lok systematically presented the life, work and achievements of Wang Xizhi, the most well known Chinese calligrapher of all time, often fondly referred to as the Sage of Calligraphy. Wong shared stories and showed images to illustrate the importance and beauty of Wang's work.
Rinpoche Neyphug on 'Gross National Happiness' at Long Men Lou Vegetarian Restaurant in Nan Lian Garden

We started the evening with a tour of Nan Lian Garden, followed by a talk by Rinpoche Neyphug on Gross National Happiness, and a delightful vegetarian meal. Rinpoche Neyphug talked about the many layers of Buddhist philosophy and beliefs, starting with the 4 Immeasurable Minds: Boundless Love, Compassion, Joy and Equanimity; which further lead to the Circle of Life and Wheel of Life. Every one benefited from food for our minds and bodies - a great start for 2013!
A Prehistoric Adventure in Dapeng Peninsula with Professor Chan Lung-sang 陳龍生教授:《石頭記》之大鵬獵奇

Prof Chan Lung Sang educated, enlightened and entertained us at the Dapeng Peninsula week-end trip. We all realised how old Shenzhen was looking at rocks millions of years old. We spent an interesting afternoon looking for fossils with Mr Kang Chengjiang, Chairman of the Shenzhen Geological Society. We had a very special morning visit to the Palaeontological Museum as the first group of visitors! This museum will only open in June/July and we are grateful to Mr Chong for his kindness in facilitating our special entry. After looking and handling rocks millions of years old, we all felt very young!
'Vision of a Civilization' with Chi Wing Lo (盧志榮)

An interesting afternoon spent with an artist who began his career as an architect, went on to become a furniture maker and then a designer and an artist. Chi Wing draws on his various careers as inspiration for his artistic works. He gives a new dimension to the term multidisciplinary! After the guided walk, long time member Catherine Kwai, owner of the Gallery served afternoon tea in a cosy room where conversation flowed, touching diverse topics - from the mundane to the spiritual - a reflection of the diverse works of Chi Wing. Before we left, Chi Wing gave everyone an autographed copy of his catalogue, 'Vision of a Civilisation'. Thank you Chi Wing and Catherine Kwai!
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