Asia Society is a leading educational organization dedicated to promoting mutual understanding and strengthening partnerships between Asia and the United States. Founded in 1956 by John D. Rockefeller 3rd in New York as a not-for-profit, non-government educational organization, The Asia Society is a leading educational organization dedicated to promoting mutual understanding and strengthening partnerships among peoples, leaders, and institutions of Asia and the United States in a global context.
As one of the eleven centers of The Asia Society, The Asia Society Hong Kong Center (the “Hong Kong Center”) was established in 1990 by a group of Hong Kong community leaders, led by Sir Q.W. Lee, the honorary chairman of Hang Seng Bank. In February 2012, the Hong Kong Center established its new permanent home in Admiralty, Hong Kong. Through conservation, rehabilitation and adaptive re-use of a group of historic structures on a former British military site, the new center premises combines heritage conservation with a distinctive modern aesthetic, complete with world-class arts, performance and conference facilities. These facilities enable Hong Kong Center to offer an even broader selection of programs in the form of lectures, performances, film screenings and gallery exhibitions to members of the public.
As the leading regional knowledge-based platform for furthering the understanding of the countries and cultures of Asia and global issues that impact the region, Asia Society Hong Kong Center boasts extensive regional and international networks of leaders and scholars, and recognized expertise in business and policy, arts and culture, and educational programming for a wide range of audiences. Since the opening of the new building in Hong Kong close to 300 business and policy, art and culture, education and leadership programmes for the public have been hosted, including lectures, forums and debates, exhibitions, performances, film screenings, conferences, school and university programmes and family days. Speakers have included ambassadors, prime ministers, politicians, artists and royalty from across Asia and the world. Those hosted in the past year include Shan Jixiang, Director of The Palace Museum in Beijing, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, Cui Tiankai, China’s Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, and the Congressional Black Caucus from the US House of Representatives.
Built between 1863 and 1868, Asia Society Gallery is the oldest building in the Former Explosives Magazine, the historic fabric and features of this imposing structure have been thoughtfully restored and adapted for use as a modern exhibition space of international museum standard. A series of dynamic exhibitions have been brought to live since its inception including Transforming Minds: Buddhism in Art, a display of masterpieces from the world-renowned Rockefeller Collection of Asian Art presented alongside contemporary works by the leading Asian and Asian-American artists Montien Boonma, Zhang Huan, Mariko Mori and Michael Joo. Subsequent exhibitions have focused on Indian jewellery, Hong Kong design and recently, Chinese modern art from the Wuming (No Name), Xingxing (Star), and Caocao (Grass Society) artistic groups, in Light before Dawn: Unofficial Chinese Art 1974-1985, No Country: Contemporary Art for South and Southeast Asia, a joint collaboration with UBS and Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, and The Hong Kong Jockey Club Presents: Light and Shadows – Caravaggio•The Italian Baroque Master, featuring Supper at Emmaus, an Italian Baroque masterpiece by Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio. The upcoming exhibition is It Begins with Metamorphosis: Xu Bing, which will be on display from May 8 to August 31, 2014.
Asia Society Hong Kong Center was established entirely with local funding and is supported through membership dues, fundraising events, and contributions from individuals, corporations and foundations that work together to support and advance its mission.