當年今日

TheworldinwhichIlive一人世界 - 鄧永鏘

蘋果日報 2007/09/22 00:00


鄧永鏘(DavidTang)中國會、上海灘創辦人
Thisweek,areaderwrotemealonge-mailchastisingmeforsettingmyculturalquizlastweekonWesterncivilization.Naturally,IrespondedbypointingoutthatwhatisregardedintheworldasculturallyimportanthappenstobeoccupiedlargelybyWesternachievements-justastheWesternindustrializationoftheworldbroughtusallintothe20thcentury.Thisisnottosaythatotherculturesareirrelevant.Iwouldbebothstupidandmadtothinkso.Withouthesitationorashadowofdoubt,IamanardentchampionofChineseculture,andwouldneverregarditasinferiororsubordinatetoWesternculture.Butwecan'tclawbackhistory.ThefactofthematteristhatChinaenduredinthe20thcenturyatumultuoustimeinpolitics,anditsculturewassadlysavagedbywarsandburiedbyMao'sculturalrevolution.Nodoubtweareemergingfromthatabyss,andalsonodoubt,wewillonceagain,soonIhope,bringbacksomerealglorytoourculturalheritage.Butmeanwhile,ifpeoplearenotabletoanswerthesimplestquestionsonculturalgiantssuchasShakespeareorMichelangeloorWagner,theywouldevenbemoreunlikelytoknowanythingaboutChineseculture.IwillbetyouanythingthatanyonewhowascultivatedinChineseculturewoulddefinitelyknowagreatdealaboutWesternculture,orIshouldsayworldculture.So,forexample,bypromotingtheglobaluseofEnglishinHongKongdoesnotnecessarilymeanthesuppressionofChinese-theyarenotmutuallyexclusive.
AsfarastheWestKowloonprojectisconcerned,itissurelynobadthingthatweshouldidentifythebestWesternartistachievementsandtrytobringthemtoourterritoryinorderforthemtoeducateandinspireourown.Thereseemstobe,however,astrongparochialbias-thosewhothinkthatweshouldnotthumbdownourowneffortsinHongKong.Butthefactisthatthereain'tmuchHongKongculturalachievementstospeakof.Ofcoursethisdoesnotmeanweshan'texcelintime.Thereiseveryhopeweshall.Butifwearetocatchupwiththerestoftheworld,wemustatleastbecognizantofadecentcross-sectionofwhatisgenerallyregardedasincontrovertibleartisticexcellence.Wemustbecarefulnottofermentaridiculoussenseofinsecurityanddefensiveness.Webangonaboutbeinginternational,yetwhatwouldbethepointofitallifthemajorityofourpopulationhavenoideawhoMichelangeloorBeethovenwere,orwhattheydid.Bythesametoken,Ihavebeenshoutingontopofmyvoiceforthegovernmentortheadvisoryboardorcommitteeorwhateverthegroupcallsitself,todesistfromthinkingthatwecansomehowrelyonourselvestobuildthisculturalnucleus.Wehavenothadthebenefitofexperience.Atleastfromaninternationalpointofview,weneedtolearnfromothersfirst.WeneedaGuggenheimoraTateoraPompidoutohelpuslearnalltheropesofhowtorunandsustainasuperbmuseumorasuperbgallery.Theworksarehighlycomplexandinvolvenotonlyartitself,butinevitablythemarketatlarge,whichmeansbusiness-andbigbusinessesatthat.Wewouldrunahugeriskofgettingeverythingwrongifwemistakenlythinkthatwecandoitourselveswithoutourhandbeingheld,atleastinitiallyfor,say,5years.
Ihavealsoadvocatedusingourhuge,andImeanhuge,reserveswithwhichtobuildthisculturalcentreofgravitysoastoliftculturalawarenessperse.Wehavealreadyseenthemiserablesenseofcultureinrecenttimesandthekindofpitifulignoranceandarrogantgreedthatrideroughshodoverculturalheritage.WhoeverthenewownerofthatmansiononStubbsRoadismustbeanutterphilistineandvandalinbringingdestructiontowhatismanifestlysomethingparticularlybeautifulandhistoricinHongKong.Wesimplyhavetostartdilutingourwantondisregardtoculturethatseemstohavedeeplyinfestedthegovernmentandourpopulationatlarge.That'swhyevenifweactuallygettothepointofagreeingtobuildsomethingmagnificentinwhichtoemphasizeourculturalsense,nothingmuchwillcomeofitifourownpeopleremainblindandunmovedbyculturaldispositions.
Solet'sgetoffourbacksideanduseourmoneytoplanaculturaldestinationthatwouldharanguenotonlyusinHongKong,butalsotheregionandtheworldatlarge.Wemustonceandforallcarryoutthisseminaltaskandmakeareal,realdifferencetoHongKong.

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