This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website.More info

The Power of the Arts with Swire Properties' Fiona Ma


What’s the one thing that motivates you? The Mag’s new “The Power Series” invites industry leaders to discuss the “power” of one initiative and how it’s crucial to everyday life, whether work or play. To kick-off the series, Swire Properties’ Director of Marketing & Communications Fiona Ma talks to us about the power of the arts.

Art calms me.

It’s always thought-provoking, and everyone should make time for it.

Art also has the ability to strengthen communities, which is very important to us here at Swire Properties. Sure, we build a lot of beautiful spaces, and we build a lot of hardware – but all of this hardware is for people. So we look at the “software” as well; it’s important that people are enjoying the space, and enjoying the amenities. And to me, art is the most powerful way to engage people, connect them to others, and help foster relationships. That’s why we strive to make art a part of everyday life.

Working with the arts pushes us beyond our comfort zones, and to see things for their true potential. For Swire Properties’ arts and cultural programme this year, there will be a lot of innovations introduced across our properties. Pacific Place will continue to highlight work from international artists and this month, we’re bringing in San Francisco-based art collective, FoldHaus’ “LUMENous GARDEN”. It’s interactive, it’s immersive, it’s digital – and it’s something that was first seen at Burning Man Festival. So we had to ask ourselves, how can we make it work in this context, in a shopping mall? It’s very exciting.

It’s also about finding inspiration in the least expected way. The underlining thing is that by bringing in new and different artistic events to Hong Kong, we rouse interest and provoke thoughts. It’s been great to have had world renowned photographers showcase their work at Beyond Fashion at ArtisTree. Later this month, the venue will host the Urban Playgrounds exhibition complete with visual arts in a maze, photography and performing arts – lots of surprises. Art teaches us something new every day and we have learned a lot by working with big names and museum-grade shows; it’s helping us pave the way for the future contributions to the Hong Kong art world.

Introductions to people, museums and galleries from around the world also encourages them to see Hong Kong as a gateway to Asia. So, it works both ways. We hope we have contributed to that conversation too, as art can bring the world a little closer together, transcending borders through collaborations.

Art allows people to come together through a common interest. The reception for initiatives like PROJECT AFTER 6 musicals, the popular busking events and HOMETOWN HEROES community project has been really touching. I have seen people with tears in their eyes; it’s really special. Through this shared love of performance, strangers become friends and partners. And through their collective efforts of putting together a show, they build some very special friendships and an irreplaceable network. Opportunities to share a common passion even extend beyond Hong Kong, like at the ever-popular (and very hip) Beijing Music Festival, which is in its 10th year now. By pursuing the arts, you’ll see another side of people; people are three-dimensional, after all. This is what we mean by “community”. We’re proud to support young talents with a platform on which to perform. So art is also about pushing your personal limits to pursue your dreams. To someone who’s afraid to take that step, I’d say, join in – and have fun!

Art is now more accessible than ever, so there’s no excuse not to indulge in it. It will stimulate you to come up with new ideas. It will add colours to your life. The power of the arts is actually already within us – you just have to acknowledge it. Always take those five minutes to look around; art is always a learning experience. What would you question? There’s no right or wrong answer when it comes to art. Every moment is a moment of inspiration, so long as you keep asking those questions.

Have a thirst for more inspiration? Come back soon for more from the Power Series. Meanwhile, hear what Aedas’ Greg Farrell has to say about the philosophy behind good design.

App Image