Another hitch is the lack of an audience. But this is a chicken-or-egg puzzle really, and I'd bet that the more investment and attention by companies and public trusts that the arts could get--and the less government involvement, which has succeeded mostly in building up a sad bureaucracy of a few unexciting public museums--the more art lovers and artists would visit and live in Hong Kong.
The city's "if you build it they will come" strategy has hit a major setback, and once again proved the government's incompetance when it comes to shaping the art world: the developers involved recognized the financial burdens of building on the 104-acre peninsula in Kowloon, among them the establishment of a 3 billion dollar trust fund that would provide in part for future activities. The development promised to have a canopy designed by Norman Foster and to potentially include outposts of the Guggenheim and the Pompidou Center and the Museum of Modern Art--not Asian institutions and not neccessarily in touch with a local, underground art culture, but nonetheless probably capable of supporting and (hopefully) shaping such a culture, and improving the interational art dialogue. For now, we rely on the efforts of some determined, awesome individuals (word to Issac, Samantha, Adrian, et al!) and groups, but they miss the attention given to poorly-managed and -curated public museums (whose directors don't seem to play much of a role if any in the local art scene), and often lack all the resources they need to make bigger waves or capture new audiences. Whether establishment or not, whether physical or psychic, the growth of Hong Kong's art infrastructure still remains to be seen and heard.
Donald Tsang, Mr. Hui's predecessor as chief secretary and now Hong Kong's leader as chief executive, warned in an interview in December 2004 that if the original plan were not adopted then, it would be a long time before any other plan could be devised that could win broad support.
"It will require a new generation of politicians, a new generation of artists and perhaps a new generation of people to see it in a new light," he said then.
Nearly two years ago, the government put forward a plan calling for a single developer to build four large museums and several indoor and outdoor "performance venues" for everything from pop concerts to operas, in exchange for being allowed to erect commercial and residential buildings elsewhere on the government-owned peninsula.-NYT