“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 duel was later expanded to include Nina Corazzo and Professor Shih Hsio-yen. In the early beginnings, the Department had a small scale studio programme and our teachers and students curated exhibitions, sometimes at the museum but often in the Fine Arts classroom. Although we were still very small, with only a handful of majors, these were indeed very lively 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)