Jointly organised by Tung Wah Group of Hospitals (TWGHs) and the Chinese Culture Foundation of San Francisco, the “Episode: Requiem” Exhibition is open to the public from 26 October (US time) to 23 December, at the Chinese Culture Center in San Francisco. Contemporary artist Ms. Summer LEE highlights the story of the mass migration of Chinese diaspora and the history of TWGHs’ bone repatriation service through an artistic approach, with an aim to promote the historic role and philanthropic spirit of TWGHs. The press conference and the opening ceremony of the Exhibition was held on 24 and 26 October respectively to debut this meaningful exhibition. Furthermore, to broaden the horizons of TWGHs students, 24 student ambassadors were selected from TWGHs affiliated secondary schools to join the education tour and visited San Francisco, a city with significant importance in the history of the development of overseas Chinese, and experienced the benevolent and caring spirit of the Group.
Dr. LEE Yuk Lun, JP, the Chairman, said during the press conference of the Exhibition that, the bonding between China and America was established since the 19th century, during which many Chinese left their home towns and travelled aboard to a number of American cities like San Francisco for job opportunities, in hopes of bolstering their families in China. Since the Chinese had a very strong belief in “returning home” after passing away, TWGHs played a key role as the hub in the history of overseas Chinese by providing bone repatriation service for them, especially when transportation and communication were not well developed at that time. At the Opening Ceremony, Mr. Phil TING, California State Assemblymember, together with Mr. Aaron PESKIN, Mr. Norman YEE and Ms. Sandra LEE, members of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, presented certificates to TWGHs in recognition of its charity work and contributions to overseas Chinese.
He added that the Exhibition adopted a contemporary art approach to showcase TWGHs’ prominent role as the bridge between China and America, as well as the historical and cultural significance of bone repatriation and TWGHs services. Meanwhile, the Exhibition also highlighted TWGHs’ respect for traditional Chinese culture and the love and care to the Chinese diaspora. TWGHs hoped that the Exhibition could spread the seeds of philanthropy within and outside the territories while passing on the traditional Chinese culture to the next generation and would allow more people to learn about it.
Unlike common historic exhibitions, diversified art installations and media have been used in the “Episode: Requiem” Exhibition, such as wall murals, sheer curtains and projections, to provide visitors with a multi-sensory experience. The “bird” images on the wall murals symbolise “migration” and ‘diaspora”. At the end of the gallery, there sits an old suitcase which had carried bones before that tells the story of the Chinese diaspora travelling across vast oceans, passing away aboard and had their bones being repatriated to their home towns after death for burial.
Being the first and the largest charitable group in Hong Kong, TWGHs has been upholding for 147 years the mission “to heal the sick and to relieve the distressed, to care for the elderly and to rehabilitate the disabled, to promote education and to nurture the youngsters, and to raise the infant and to guide the youth”. To meet with the ever-changing needs of the society, TWGHs has marked a significant and innovative development in Chinese and Western medical, education and community services, and established 2 records and heritage service units, namely, Tung Wah Museum and TWGHs Maisy Ho Archives and Relics Centre, aiming to protect and preserve local history and culture.
In order to pass on such valuable history and the charity spirit to the younger generation, and promote “all-round education”, TWGHs specially organised a student education tour under the theme of “The Spread of Chinese Culture – Becoming a Global Citizen” and selected 24 student ambassadors from TWGHs secondary schools to join the tour to San Francisco. By participating in the Exhibition, visiting different historical sites and relics related to overseas Chinese, and schools in San Francisco, as well as joining various exchange activities, the TWGHs student ambassadors had enhanced their understanding to the history of Chinese diaspora travelling to America and broaden their horizons. Since the education tour was one of the accredited events celebrating the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the HKSAR, TWGHs had particularly arranged students to pay courtesy visits to the Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China and the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in San Francisco. Through these opportunities, students were encouraged to learn more about the Chinese and Hong Kong governments’ work overseas, and reflect on their own roles as a Hong Kong citizen, a Chinese as well as a global citizen, so as to make more contributions to the society. Alongside, a professional development training tour consisting of 16 TWGHs secondary school principals was also conducted, offering them invaluable opportunities to visit and interact with local educational institutions.
TWGHs “Episode: Requiem” Exhibition is open to the public from 26 October 2017 to 23 December 2017 at the Chinese Culture Center (CCC) in San Francisco. For more details, please visit TWGHs webpage (https://www.tungwah.org.hk/) and CCC website (https://www.cccsf.us/).
Since its establishment in 1870, TWGHs has been all along upholding its mission “To heal the sick and to relieve the distressed; to care for the elderly and to rehabilitate the disabled; to promote education and to nurture youngsters; and to raise the infants and to guide the children.” Nowadays, TWGHs has become the largest charitable organisation in Hong Kong. For over a hundred years, TWGHs’ medical and health, education and community services have developed rapidly to fulfill the needs of the society and to provide high quality services at low rates or for free. Today, TWGHs operates over 309 services centres, including 5 hospitals and 29 Chinese and Western medicine services centres, 54 education services centres, 219 community services centres that cover elderly, youth and family, rehabilitation and traditional services, as well as the Tung Wah Museum and TWGHs Maisy Ho Archives and Relics Centre, which were established to promote, restore and preserve the heritage and relics of TWGHs, with an aim to protect and preserve local traditional culture.
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For media inquiries, please contact the Corporate Communications Branch of TWGHs at 2859 7488
Student ambassadors paid a visit to the Hoy Sun Ning Yung Benevolent Association and received a warm welcome from Mr. Ding LEE (sitting row, left 2), vice president of the Hoy Sun Ning Yung Benevolent Association, and Mr. Sherman TANG (sitting row, left 1), former president of Hop Wo Benevolent Association.
Dr. LEE Yuk Lun, JP (last row, right 5), the Chairman, and the students visited Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association of San Francisco. The visit allowed the students to learn about the functions and contribution of the local Chinese organisations over the years.
A group photo of Ms. Mabel TENG (left 1), Executive Director of the Chinese Culture Foundation of San Francisco, Artist Ms. Summer LEE (left 2), Mr. Albert Y.O. SU (left 3), Chief Executive, Dr. LEE Yuk Lun, JP (right 3), the Chairman, Mr. Ivanhoe CHANG (right 1), Director of the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, San Francisco, and Ms. DUAN Ziying (right 2), Assistant Curator of the Chinese Culture Center of San Francisco, at the press conference of the Exhibition
Dr. LEE Yuk Lun, JP (left 1), the Chairman, led student ambassadors to visit the Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China, and had conversation with Mr. LUO Linquan (left 2), the Consul General.
Mr. Phil TING (front row, right 4), California State Assemblymember, Mr. Aaron PESKIN (front row, left 5), Mr. Norman YEE (front row left 6) and Ms. Sandra LEE (front row, left 4), members of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, presented certificates to TWGHs in recognition of its charity work and contributions to overseas Chinese.