|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.
“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?
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.