Authority continues to strengthen senior leadership team for one of West Kowloon Cultural District’s most anticipated venues

The West Kowloon Cultural District Authority (WKCDA) today announced the appointment of Dr Louis Ng Chi-wa to the position of Museum Director of the Hong Kong Palace Museum (HKPM). Dr Ng will be responsible for developing the museum’s strategic vision, exhibitions and programming as well as managing its collections, exhibitions, educational functions, audience-building strategies, operations, fundraising and financial management. His appointment is effective 5 August 2019.

Dr Ng began his career in public museums in 1988, working in curatorial and managerial positions at several museums in Hong Kong before being promoted to the Executive Secretary of Antiquities and Monuments Office in 2002. During his time as Deputy Director (Culture) from 2014 to 2019 at the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, he was responsible for overseeing the department’s culture-related institutions such as museums, performance arts venues, visual arts centres and libraries. He was seconded to the WKCDA from the LCSD in September 2018 to help steer the museum’s development, particularly in relation to its exhibition content, curatorial functions, research and construction. As Interim Director, Dr Ng helped lay a strong foundation for the HKPM in a number of key areas, including team-building, exhibition planning and strategic marketing. 

Mr Henry Tang Ying-yen, Chairman of WKCDA Board, said, ‘The Authority is dedicated to establishing a culture of excellence in all aspects of West Kowloon Cultural District’s operations, from designing and constructing high-quality facilities, to presenting world-class content for visitors, to hiring and retaining the very best talent. Appointing a professional of Dr Ng’s calibre reflects this commitment at the highest levels of management for one of the District’s premier venues.’

Mr Bernard Charnwut Chan, Chairman of the Board of the Hong Kong Palace Museum, said, ‘Dr Ng’s keen insights into the local arts scene, combined with his experience collaborating with the Palace Museum on a number of cultural exchanges, are particularly valuable to our mission of creating an iconic museum that attracts visitors from Hong Kong and around the world. We are excited that the museum and its staff will benefit immensely from Dr Ng’s extensive background in museum planning and management as we work towards a successful opening.’

Dr Ng said, ‘I am truly honoured to be appointed the Museum Director of the Hong Kong Palace Museum. The museum will create a dynamic and innovative platform to inspire and engage the public, encourage dialogue and partnership, and promote creativity and cross-fertilisation. I am hugely excited to be leading the Hong Kong Palace Museum in the first chapter of its life and establishing it as one of the world’s leading museums committed to fostering understanding and appreciation of Chinese art and culture.’

Mr Duncan Pescod, Chief Executive Officer of the WKCDA, said, ‘The Authority conducted a thorough global search for the right candidate to fill the permanent role of Museum Director. We concluded that Dr Ng is the best qualified person for the position. He has an in-depth understanding of the Hong Kong Palace Museum project and has outstanding connections to the Palace Museum, which will be crucial to the success of this project. His leadership will ensure that the museum achieves its mission to provide a world-class arts and cultural experience for all visitors.’

The HKPM is a collaboration between the WKCDA and the Palace Museum. Scheduled to open in 2022, it will display Chinese art and culture artefacts from the imperial collection of the Palace Museum as well as Chinese and international exhibits from other leading global institutions throughout its 7,600 square metres of gallery space. It is also expected to position Hong Kong as a global centre for arts and culture by creating opportunities for research and education.

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Biography of Dr Louis Ng

Dr Louis Ng is a seasoned museum professional, historian and arts administrator with extensive background in museum planning and management. With his 30-year career in the cultural sector, Dr Ng has dedicated his life to the preservation, research and promotion of history, art and cultural heritage.

Dr Ng joined the public museum service in 1988 as an assistant curator and rose through the ranks to become a chief curator in 2002 after working in a number of curatorial and managerial positions in various museums in Hong Kong. He was the founding Director of the Hong Kong Museum of Coastal Defence which was opened in 2000. During his time as the Executive Secretary of the Antiquities and Monuments Office from 2002 to 2006, he spearheaded the establishment of the Hong Kong Heritage Discovery Centre and the Ping Shan Tang Clan Gallery for the promotion of Hong Kong’s archaeological and built heritage.

Prior to joining the Hong Kong Palace Museum (HKPM), Dr Ng was the Deputy Director of the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD), Hong Kong SAR Government, overseeing the department’s culture-related institutions including 14 public museums, 14 performance arts venues, two visual arts centres, one film archive and 82 public libraries. During his tenure of office from 2014 to 2019, he master-minded some major museum projects including the renovation of the Hong Kong Museum of Art, construction of the Heritage Conservation and Resource Centre and expansion of the Hong Kong Science Museum. He was seconded to the West Kowloon Culture District Authority from the LCSD in September 2018 to help steer the HKPM’s planning and development as its Interim Director.

A distinguished historian, he obtained his BA, MPhil and PhD in history from the Chinese University of Hong Kong and a Graduate Diploma in Museum Studies from the University of Sydney. His research and publications focus on Hong Kong history and cultural heritage management.

About the West Kowloon Cultural District

The West Kowloon Cultural District is one of the largest and most ambitious cultural projects in the world. Its vision is to create a vibrant new cultural quarter for Hong Kong on forty hectares of reclaimed land located alongside Victoria Harbour. With a varied mix of theatres, performance spaces, and museums, the West Kowloon Cultural District will produce and host world-class exhibitions, performances, and cultural events, providing twenty-three hectares of public open space, including a two-kilometre waterfront promenade.