2022 Honorary Fellow
With more than 30 years of experience in the administration of the arts, Mr. Louis Yu Kwok-lit is a pivotal figure for the performing-arts sector in Hong Kong.
Mr. Yu is the founding Executive Director for performing arts at the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority. During his leadership from 2010 to 2019, he spearheaded the planning of six performing-arts facilities, with the Xiqu Centre and Freespace already successfully open. Mr. Yu also put together a vibrant pre-opening programme and an opening team for the operations and programming of the facilities, which laid down a solid foundation for the District. His advocacy for and emphasis on encouraging collaboration between distinguished local artists and their overseas counterparts in the programming of the District is crucial to the long-term development of local culture in Hong Kong for the next decade and beyond.
Throughout his career, Mr. Yu has advocated the nurturing of local talent, pushing to expand resources for their professional development. Serving as Executive Director of the Hong Kong Arts Centre from 2000 to 2007, he started the Hong Kong Art School, created pioneering projects like the Little Asia theater and dance exchange networks, and the resident theatre project PIP Creative Partnership. Through rigorous fundraising, he refurbished the building.
As Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Arts Development Council from 2007 to 2010, he was actively involved in the conservation project for the Jockey Club Creative Arts Centre, the first factory to be turned into an artist village in Hong Kong. Under his leadership, the council started three annual projects: the Hong Kong Arts Development Awards; the Arts Ambassadors-in-School Scheme; and the Hong Kong Annual Arts Survey. Meanwhile, Mr. Yu revamped the overall grant scheme for project and administrative funding for small-to-medium art groups, benefiting the performing-arts sector widely.
Mr. Yu’s contributions to the Academy have been significant. Numerous Academy students and graduates have been involved in many ways with the organisations that Mr. Yu has led over the last 20 years. The graduates of the School of Theatre and Entertainment Arts were deeply involved in the core team planning and designing all the theatres in the West Kowloon Cultural District. His vision for and efforts to put together a performing-arts blueprint for the West Kowloon Cultural District will surely benefit generations of Academy graduates to come.
In recent years, Mr. Yu has continued to research Hong Kong culture while serving as a board member for many performing-arts organisations. He has given lectures at multiple universities and organisations asking “What makes a city cultural?” Mr. Yu took up the position of director at the Hong Kong Art School as of 2021, to continue his efforts in nurturing young artists and the development of arts education. His first book What Makes a City Cultural? was published by Chung Hwa Book Company in 2022.