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03 Nov 2022

Hong Kong Palace Museum Launches “Bi-city Youth Cultural Leadership Programme”

With Swire Properties as lead sponsor, over 80 university students from Beijing and Hong Kong recruited for flagship

youth-learning initiative that facilitates cultural exchange via diverse arts and cultural experiences

The Hong Kong Palace Museum (HKPM), a new cultural landmark in Hong Kong with a mission to promote dialogue among world civilisations, joined hands with lead sponsor Swire Properties to officially launch today the two-year “Bi-city Youth Cultural Leadership Programme”. The Programme is supported by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the People’s Republic of China, the Palace Museum and the Office of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) in Beijing.

A kick-off ceremony was held today at the Palace Academy of the HKPM to mark the official launch of the Programme. Officiating guests at the venue included Cheuk Wing-hing, Deputy Chief Secretary for Administration of the HKSAR Government; Winnie Tam, Chairman of the Board of the HKPM; Tim Blackburn, Chief Executive of Swire Properties; Betty Fung, Chief Executive Officer of the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority and Dr Louis Ng, Museum Director of the HKPM. Joining online from Beijing were Dr Wang Xudong, Director of the Palace Museum; Kong Lun, Inspector of Department of Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan Affairs of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism; and Leung Chi-yan, Director of The Office of the Government of the HKSAR in Beijing.

Cheuk Wing-hing, Deputy Chief Secretary for Administration of the HKSAR Government, said “I am very appreciative of the collaboration effort between a private enterprise and the Hong Kong Palace Museum in launching the ‘Bi-city Youth Cultural Leadership Programme’. By arranging youth in Beijing and Hong Kong to embark on a two-year programme on arts and cultural exchange, it will greatly complement our efforts in nurturing arts and cultural talents. In developing Hong Kong into an East-meets-West centre for international cultural exchange, we have perfect timing and advantages in terms of geographic location right now. We need to boost our human capital. We eagerly look forward to seeing more youths who leverage Hong Kong, treasure our country and eye on the world to take part in Hong Kong’s arts and cultural development.

Winnie Tam, Chairman of the HKPM Board, said “The Leadership Programme testifies to the HKPM’s mission to facilitate cultural exchanges and promote the inheritance of Chinese culture to future generations. We are thrilled to have received an overwhelming response not only from students in Beijing and Hong Kong, but also from key industry stakeholders who are committed to playing a part in facilitating cultural, artistic and academic exchanges for the benefit of young people. We are confident that the programme will nurture and enlighten future cultural talents in both cities, helping to expand the cultural community across borders and strengthen Hong Kong’s position as an international hub for grooming future leaders in the arts and culture arena.”

Tim Blackburn, Chief Executive of Swire Properties, said, “Being the Lead Sponsor for this programme has been a privilege for Swire Properties. As a developer with a commitment to placemaking, we have made it part of our mission to introduce public art to our properties, as well as designing and building venues which are dedicated to supporting iconic arts and cultural events within our communities. As Hong Kong looks to the future, it’s more important than ever that we inspire the next generation of exceptional leaders across these two great cities to respect and promote their cultural heritage. We’re very proud to be supporting the city’s youth and raising Hong Kong’s profile as an international cultural centre.”

The two-year Programme, which begins in November 2022, is designed by programme partner Ednovators – a Hong Kong-based charity founded by a group of education innovators. The Programme aims to provide a platform for young people in Beijing and Hong Kong to connect, share and exchange cultural ideas. It focuses on an array of hybrid learning activities, including online master talks, virtual visits, group discussions and training sessions to promote arts and cultural knowledge, innovative thinking and cross-disciplinary capacity-building. The first year will run under the theme “Museum & City Innovation” while the second year of the Programme will include a two-month summer-learning programme and internship opportunities with leading arts and cultural institutions in Hong Kong.

Echoing the National 14th Five-Year Plan, the Programme is a testament to the HKPM’s vision to promote Chinese arts and culture both locally and globally. It will have a long-lasting impact on the cultural development of both cities, and will support Hong Kong’s transformation into an East-meets-West centre for international cultural exchange.

The Programme received an overwhelming response from universities and tertiary institutions in Hong Kong and Beijing. Around 40 university students from each city were selected to join the first year of the Programme to explore new perspectives on museums and city innovation. The students come from a variety of educational backgrounds and are majoring in disciplines such as cultural studies, creative industries, history, architecture, social sciences, arts, media design and digital technology, with an aspiration to pursue careers in the arts and cultural fields.

Besides attending the ceremony, the students from Hong Kong were also given a tour of the HKPM. Some of the students engaged in a dialogue with Louis Ng and Tim Blackburn, moderated by Ada Wong, Chair of Ednovators, on how art and culture could reshape a city’s future, with participating students from Beijing joining virtually.

Year-1 Programme (November 2022 to February 2023)

For the Year-1 Programme, over 80 university students from Beijing and Hong Kong (around 40 from each city) have been enrolled in eight online exchange events. They will interact with various arts and cultural leaders and exchange ideas with other participants from both cities to discover and shape the future of museums and cities. Participants who excel in the first year of the Programme will be given priority to join a face-to-face cultural exchange trip in 2023.


Part 1: Museum & City Innovation

Leading figures from the arts and culture scene across Hong Kong and Beijing will share their ideas and experience through a series of online master talks, virtual visits and insightful dialogue sessions.

  1. Museum culture: Learning innovations at museum
  2. Art in the city: Where art and people meet?
  3. Community culture: Placemaking & community revitalisation
  4. Digital culture: Digital enterprises and art creation in the metaverse

Part 2: Becoming a cultural prosumer

Participants will pair up and complete missions offline, which they will then upload to an online
exchange platform that will be made available for review and feedback. The aim is
to stimulate cultural exchanges, creative production and self-reflection.

  1. Cultural dialogues: Creating my digital avatar
  2. Our favourite cultural locale: Community visits
  3. Cultural envisioning: Top to-do list for our imagined future museum*
  4. A small creative gift for my city: Idea pitch*

*Items 3 & 4 will involve working in groups

Year-2 Programme (Mid-2023)

For the Year-2 Programme, a maximum of 16 university students from Beijing and Hong Kong (eight from each city) will join a two-month summer learning programme involving various visits, talks and workshops in both cities.The Programme will also include a summer internship at leading arts and cultural organisations or companies in Hong Kong.

For more details on the Bi-city Youth Cultural Leadership Programme, please visit the programme’s official website. 

.A kick-off ceremony for the “Bi-city Youth Cultural Leadership Programme” was held at the Palace Academy of the Hong Kong Palace Museum (HKPM), attended by officiating guests and student participants in Hong Kong and Beijing (the latter joining online). From left: Betty Fung, Chief Executive Officer of West Kowloon Cultural District Authority; Tim Blackburn, Chief Executive of Swire Properties; Cheuk Wing-hing, Deputy Chief Secretary for Administration of the HKSAR Government; Winnie Tam, Chairman of the Board of the HKPM and Dr Louis Ng, Museum Director of the HKPM