'Just waking up in the morning gotta thank god
I don't know but today seems kinda odd....'
Well, this has probably been one of the most surreal weeks of my life.
For nearly a year I have been try to get support for the Hope and Glory project. From the moment of it's conception, many many people have jumped on to help out for no reward other than the adventure of being involved.
Hong Kong's people are clearly hungry for art, with no contemporary art museum or non-commercial galleries or substantial arts support.
So, though I've had all the independent support, people giving their time and energy, I hadn't secured any financial support whatsoever for a year. Both myself, and friends in high places (Di, Lisa, Francesco and Mae, thank you all), went about town mentioning the project to the rich and famous with no luck.
Of course, no-one is obliged to support me and I knew that would be a possibility and was getting to the stage a week ago, where I was ready to empty all my credit cards and sell the car. I am not exagerating but at the same time quite happy with this possibility even though, as you may know. there is absolutely no income for us at all. Money isn't everything. No guts no glory.
I got a call from the government today. I had applied for a grant through an organisation called Mega Fund.
It was a long shot but the main guy, Vincent, seemed very keen on the project, was always very decent, reasonable and courteous, and asked us many times to supply more information to assist in their assessment. And I mean a lot, the government don't mess when it comes to details.
And today he called up and invited our team to his office where he offered us 50% of the cost of the production. Amazing. We were all pretty much speechless.
So, a week ago I was broke and struggling to make the show work but today everything is possible.
It's an exceptional endorsement to the efforts of so many involved and a responsibility we all take very seriously. We continue to cut costs, so as to take as little money from the Mega Fund as possible.
I cannot state how truly exceptional in Hong Kong this is. For a government body to back a HK art project even partially is a huge step forward in the territories cultural development. It sends out a strong message to the arts community that things are changing here, that there is a way out of the cultural wasteland that HK is often described at.
For myself, The Birch Foundation (Valerie, Robert and I) and the 100 artists, curators, consultants, educators, architects, production teams, carpenters, filmmakers and even for the show's accountant, in the words of Ice Cube....'today was a good day'.