Welcome to the Department of Art History at the University of Hong Kong. For over forty years we have been offering classes examining arts from diverse cultures at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. The mission of the department is to provide rigorous art history training that crosses geopolitical, chronological and disciplinary boundaries. Our students learn how to look, contextualize and question arts in order to understand how visual forms make tangible the social, political and privates aspects of human existence. We also encourage intellectual curiosity, critical thinking, and bold imagination that go beyond our classrooms.
Our students have since gone on to pursue careers in academia, museums, cultural media, commercial and non-profit art spaces, and even as artists. They have become leaders in their field, lifelong learners exploring arts in different parts of the world and advocates for the appreciation of human creativity.
“We, the Fine Arts Department, enter into our 40th decade by celebrating our history, our legacy, and our future. Welcome to our Fine Arts Department. In 1965, Dr. Peter Lee put forward to the Senate the motion that, quote, “in view of the increasing number of young students in Hong Kong going aboard for the study of music and other art subjects, and to meet the demands of the community, the University of Hong Kong should consider the establishment of a Department of Music and Fine Arts.”
However, it was not until 1978 when the Department of Fine Arts was finally established at the University of Hong Kong. It was headed by Professor Chuang Shen, a Chinese arts specialist, who is later joined by Carolyn Muir, of bringing Western Art History. This dynamic drove was later expanded to include Nina Corazzo and Professor Shih Tsio-yen. In the early beginnings, the Department had a small scale studio programme and our teachers and students curated exhibitions, sometimes at the museum and often in the Fine Arts classroom. Although we were still very small, with only a handful of majors, these were indeed very likely times. We were determined to expand, and like the little engine, who could, we could and did indeed grow.
We are now a strong team of eight, but we have not forgotten the many teachers who were here before, Wan Qingli, Richard Stanley Baker, Rajeshwari Ghose, and Opher Mansour. Although some of our former teachers can’t be here today, we salute their contributions.”
— Fine Arts 40th Anniversary Dinner (28 September 2019)
Room 10.33, Run Run Shaw Tower
The University of Hong Kong
Pokfulam, Hong Kong