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"Passion for Hong Kong: Exhibition of Works by Professor Jao Tsung-i" opens at Shanghai Expo (with photos)

"Passion for Hong Kong: Exhibition of Works by Professor Jao Tsung-i", jointly presented by the Home Affairs Bureau (HAB) of the Hong Kong SAR Government and Jao Tsung-I Petite Ecole of the University of Hong Kong opened today (August 16) at Expo 2010 Shanghai China. The exhibition will be staged until September 30 at the Atrium in the Hong Kong Pavilion.

A lasting impression of Hong Kong is provided through the striking display of Chinese paintings and calligraphy by eminent scholar Professor Jao Tsung-i for the special occasion of Shanghai Expo. On show are couplets and paintings that reveal the master's passion for the city and paintings of its extraordinary landscapes, as well as his stationery accessories and outstanding publications translated into different languages.

A spokesman for the HAB said, "This exhibition showcases Professor Jao's vast erudition and remarkable achievements while giving the visitor a deeper understanding of the breeding ground for his success – Hong Kong. Professor Jao's scholarship, artistry and cultural character are closely linked to Hong Kong's rich diversity as a multicultural community."

Professor Jao is known for his assured, self-contained, all-encompassing and harmonious cultural vision. A versatile scholar deeply knowledgeable about the ancient and modern world, and Eastern and Western cultures, his research interests span the pre-Qin to the Ming and Qing dynasties, covering 13 genres from ancient history to oracle bone inscriptions, silk scripts, palaeography, ancient musicology, religion, historiography, the history of East-West relations, Dunhuang studies, bibliographical studies, classical Chinese literature and history of Chinese fine arts. Fluent in English, French, Japanese, German, Hebrew, Hindi and Arabic, he is also well versed in oracle bone script, Sanskrit and cuneiform writing.

Born in 1917 in Chaozhou and settled in Hong Kong in his early years, Professor Jao has been honoured with a host of accolades in recognition of his exemplary accomplishments. He was awarded the Prix Stanislas Julien by the College de France, which is widely regarded as the closest equivalent to a Nobel Prize in Sinology; Academician of the Institute of Far Eastern Studies, France; Honorary Member of the Society of Asian Studies, Paris; Diploma of a Valid Member of the International Eurasian Academy of Sciences (Academician); Officier de L'order des Arts et des Lettres, Ministry of Culture of France; and Honorary Degree of Doctor of Letters, Soka University, Japan. He was the first Chinese to receive an honorary degree of Doctor of Lettres from the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes in the school's 125-year history. In Hong Kong, he was conferred the Grand Bauhinia Medal by the SAR Government. He was also the first in Hong Kong to be directly appointed Fellow of the China Central Research Institute of Culture and History by the Premier of the State Council, and served as Honorary Professor in a number of prestigious institutes at home and aboard.

To enquire about the exhibition, please call 2241 5596 (Jao Tsung-I Petite Ecole of the University of Hong Kong) or 2594 5696 (Home Affairs Bureau).

For more details on Hong Kong's participation in Shanghai Expo, please visit www.hkexpo2010.gov.hk.