Grand opening of Jao Tsung-I Academy
Professor Jao Tsung-i, a worldwide renowned sinologist who has been undertaking scholarly and artistic pursuits for a long time, is a specialist concurrently in literature, arts and academics, and a rare master of the arts in Macao, Hong Kong and Mainland China of the century. He has close ties with Macao and has always been highly supportive of Macao’s cultural arena by donating paintings and calligraphies to the city’s cultural organizations. The establishment of the Jao Tsung-I Academy is to present to the public Professor Jao’s academic and artistic achievements, to promote traditional Chinese culture and arts, as well as to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the inscription of “The Historic Centre of Macao” onto the World Heritage List. Organized by the Cultural Affairs Bureau (IC), the opening ceremony of the Academy that counted on the presence of Professor Jao himself was held on 9 August, at 5:00pm, also featuring a birthday cake and handprint ceremony to celebrate the professor’s 100th birthday.
The opening ceremony was officiated jointly by the Chief Executive of the Macao SAR Government, Fernando, Chui Sai On; by the Vice-Chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, Edmund, Ho Hau Wah; by the Director of the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the Macao S.A.R., Li Gang; by the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China in the Macao S.A.R., Hu Zhengyue; and by the Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture of the Macao S.A.R. Government, Alexis, Tam Chon Weng. Among the special guests present were O Lam; Lam Wan Nei; Ambrose So; Tong Chi Kin; Hoi Sai Iun; Lao Ngai Leong; Lei Loi Tak; Suen Siu Man e Wong King Keung, etc. Several of Professor Jao’s relatives, members of the Jao Tsung-I Petite École Fan Club of the University of Hong Kong and guests from Macau academic, artistic and cultural sectors gathered to witness the opening of the Jao Tsung-I Academy.
Professor Jao’s achievements are made by hands, literally, with each and every stroke on his art pieces of calligraphies and paintings. Thus, IC invited the sinologist to leave a handprint on a bronze mould, which will become a part of the Academy’s collection, serving as an example of learning spirit for future generations.
The rundown of the opening ceremony also included unveiling a bronze statue of Professor Jao, which symbolized not only the opening of the Academy but also the bequeathing of the professor’s spirit of learning. The day of the opening ceremony also marked Professor Jao’s 100th birthday, for which IC arranged the professor, accompanied by all officiating guests, to cut a birthday cake, which stimulated a festive atmosphere on the scene. Following the opening ceremony, President of IC, Ung Vai Meng led the guests on a tour to the permanent exhibition “Calligraphies and Paintings Donated by Jao Tsung-I”, allowing them to enjoy the professor’s remarkable and refined paintings and calligraphies.
The Academy will officially open to the general public on 11 August. With exhibition rooms, a library, an auditorium and courtyard, it holds the permanent exhibition “Calligraphies and Paintings Donated by Jao Tsung-I”, and collects the works and catalogues related to Professor Jao in the library. All these are open to the public. The Academy opens daily from 10:00am to 6:00pm, and remains open on public holidays. It is closed on Mondays and admission is free. Address: Avenida do Conselheiro Ferreira de Almeida, n.º 95 C-D. For more information, please call 2852 2523 during office hours.