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Visit to bamboo-art exhibition helps IFTM students explore links between cultural heritage and tourism

中文摘要 / Summary in Chinese

A group of IFTM students from the Heritage Management Bachelor’s Degree Programme visited on 12 April the exhibition “The Art of Bamboo: From Qilin to Contemporary Art”. The visit was organised as part of the course on Principles of Conservation, led by IFTM Lecturer Dr. Vicky Chen Zhaoyu. It allowed the Year 2 students to advance their understanding of the links between cultural heritage and tourism, while exploring contemporary applications of cultural heritage elements, and creative ways of interpreting heritage.

The exhibition, running until 15 May, is at the GalaxyArt Gallery. The venue is under the Galaxy Entertainment Group Foundation, and is located at the Galaxy Macau integrated resort. The showcase features contemporary bamboo artwork by Hong Kong-based Mr. Louis To.

The IFTM delegation was welcomed to the gallery by Ms. Florence Lam, Manager of GalaxyArt. The group was then taken on a tour of the exhibition by some IFTM alumni now working at the venue.

The visitors were given an explanation of the creative process involved in realising artwork in bamboo, from design to production. They were also provided with information about the artist, Mr. To.

Through a heritage interpretation exercise, students learned about the symbolic value in Chinese tradition of mythological sacred animals such as the Qilin – a dragon-like creature – and how such heritage could creatively be used in art. In addition, students got to know more about the use of bamboo products in modern-day life and the integration of bamboo artwork into contemporary art.

The tour was followed by an exchange session, moderated by Ms. Lam. She explained to students the goal and purposes for organising this kind of cultural exhibition. According to her, the Galaxy Entertainment Group Foundation aims, through the GalaxyArt Gallery initiative, to offer a platform to educate locals and visitors about local culture and art. Ms. Lam added that, as the gallery is located inside an integrated resort, it could reach different types of audience, having an important role in promoting cultural heritage to the general public, through themed exhibitions.

Students taking part in the activity said it had helped advance their knowledge of local traditional culture, namely of bamboo artwork as a manifestation of intangible cultural heritage. In addition, the field trip opened their minds to new avenues for contemporary use and development of cultural heritage, the students added.

In addition to specialised courses on cultural and heritage management, the Heritage Management programme provides undergraduates with access to off-campus activities designed to broaden their horizons. Examples include field trips and lectures with industry experts, giving students precious insights to prepare a career in the field of cultural heritage.