Keynote 4 Part II: Exploring the emergent role of arts, culture, and sports in bridging inequality
Part II: Exploring the emergent role of arts, culture, and sports in bridging inequality
- Ke Huy QUAN Academy Award-winner
- Flora CHAN Film producer; Director; Actress; Doctor of Education Candidate (The University of Hong Kong, specialising in Human Development)
In the closing session of this year’s PBC Forum, Mr Ke Huy Quan, Academy Award-winner, engaged in a fireside chat with Ms Flora Chan, Film Producer; Director; Actress and Doctor of Education Candidate at The University of Hong Kong (specialising in Human Development), exploring Mr Quan’s life journey and reflections on the power of art on life.
Mr Quan spoke about his experiences as a refugee in Hong Kong, and thanks to the generosity of the city, how he was able to now return 45 years later as an Academy Award-winner. Reflecting on his experience as an immigrant in the US, he explained how the virtues of working twice as hard and being kind and humble enabled him to build a niche for himself.
He also cited how his own vulnerability and that of his character in his most recent Oscar-winning film changed society’s views on masculinity. He shared anecdotes of fans coming up to him and sharing the impact his character’s portrayal had on their personal lives and how it helped them redefine what was seen as “normal”. Mr Quan also shared how he saw the power of arts early on in his life as well. Ms Chan also added that her father was a dance teacher who enabled kids with low confidence and poor academic records to use dance as a means to breakthrough and change their lives. This showed both of them how “Art motivates and inspires us”.
In reflecting on the space for minorities in the film industry, he shares how he in fact left acting after his first stint because of a lack of opportunities for Asian actors in Hollywood, but shared how he has seen a significant positive change in the last 15 years. He also shared how he grew up watching Hong Kong cinema and TVB soap operas and watching them always motivated him during his formative years.
Mr Quan closes by shining a light on a topic where he believes arts can engage more – the displacement of people around the world which has persisted over decades. He calls for the audience not to see refugees as a burden on the economy but as an opportunity to change the trajectory of lives forever, just as his was after coming to Hong Kong.