education, outreach & heritage

2020

"Classic Craft, Modern Meaning" Tram Project

Co-presented by First Initiative Foundation (FIF) and CeeKayEllo (CKL), the exhibition “Classic Craft, Modern Meaning” is the first time that site-specific sculptural artworks and installations was showcased on a tram and made accessible to the public.

In line with FIF’s mission to proactively bring art to the public, and its commitment to help preserve Hong Kong’s unique heritage, this project aims to raise awareness to the necessity and importance in preserving our city’s fast-disappearing traditional craftsmanship and encourage the passing of treasured skills to the younger generation.

The four artworks capturing these classic crafts, organized and curated by CKL, are the result of an artist residency programme. For two months, Hong Kong’s birdcage maker Chan Lok-choi and mahjong tile carver Cheung Shun-king teamed up with young contemporary artists Amanda Tong, GoHung, Frederic Bussiere and Jun Matsumura. Together, they explored the two unique crafts’ techniques and their historical and cultural significance, and finally created artworks that pay homage to, as well as offer new insights and meanings to Hong Kong’s traditional crafts and unique artisanal heritage.

2020

FIF x Lousy's "Maus Haus"

FIF collaborated with street artist Lousy on a unique Chinese New Year pop-up space, “Maus Haus” (Mouse House) featuring the stylized “有米鼠” (Prosperous Mouse), which signifies the message of inviting prosperity to all households.  Located within the iconic Lee Tung Avenue, the Lousy pop-up breathes new life into the traditional Chinese New Year imagery with his graffiti-styled interpretation. The neon pink and energetic wall-to-wall artwork by Lousy evokes a sense of joy.

In the spirit of supporting local arts and Chinese New Year, renowned columnist and artist Benny Li Shun Yan (李純恩) help create a traditional Fai Chun on-site to mark the last day of the Year of the Pig!

2019

FIF’s Feathered Ascent Collaboration 

In 2019, FIF collaborated with international artist Nicholas Cheung, on a remarkable art installation titled Feathered Ascent. The work reflects a common goal to spread the uplifting message of hope, harmony and positivity.

Feathered Ascent is an installation of dove sculptures that embraces both lightness and light within darkness. A fitting metaphor and a symbol of peace. This new media art installation by Cheung skillfully demonstrates the use of robotics, electronics and advanced materials to create a much-needed icon for our times.

The dove’s reflective material was originally invented for scientific experiments to capture the most elusive and yet abundant particles in the universe, Dark Matter. Its gravitational properties hold our cosmos together, but the matter is almost invisible to science. The space-age material of the doves reflects 99.95% of visible light, and it is folded into origami patterns to mimic ‘feathers’ to scatter light in all directions.

Each dove has twenty-two photovoltaic panels; providing green energy to dynamically flap its wings and illuminate its LEDs, conveying beacons of hope throughout the night.

The doves are hung as a flock and are in constant communication, using an onboard computer and Wi-Fi, allowing them to fly in unison. Cheung’s studio invented a high efficiency mechanism to oscillate the dove’s 1.6m wings using only solar power which is stored in its internal batteries.

This alchemy of lightness and darkness within a flock of sixty dove mobile sculptures, hopes to spread a message of peace, light and harmony.

2018

Meet the T.Rex

Meet the T.Rex 

In the summer of 2018, First Initiative Foundation (FIF) and IFC mall presented “Meet the T-Rex”, Hong Kong’s first encounter with a real T.rex skeleton!

From 7th – 27th June, the free to the public exhibition features a full-size T.rex skeleton, a T.rex thigh bone that can be touched, a section of an Edmontosaurus spine with a bite mark and a T.rex tooth.  

To further the educational outreach of the exhibition, an Adventure Trail consisting of checkpoints filled with dinosaur facts was featured throughout the mall. Videos and AR (Augmented Reality) technology enhanced the experience and encouraged all to get up, get out and explore!

Visitors were able to pick up a complimentary Adventure Passport and collect stamps at each of the six checkpoints. Once all six stamps have been collected, visitors could redeem a small gift at the end point where there was a pop-up store.

Our pop-up merchandise included a bilingual children’s book-set "Smile with Fifi!” illustrated by Hong Kong illustrator Jeanie Leung, containing a meaningful and positive message to our young readers, in addition to “Fifi and Friends”, an educational activity book.

Through simple text and illustrations, children can learn about these ancient creatures and use the range of activities as a chance to grow their love for science and discovery. FIF’s specially created soft toy Fifi the T. rex and dinosaur t-shirts for explorers were sold at our pop-up store. All proceeds from the pop-up store were donated to FIF, and raised support for our important work in uplifting Hong Kong.

2018

Shaping the Human Body: Florentine Sculpture of the Italian Renaissance

A journey from the renaissance to the gothic periods, "Shaping the Human Body: Florentine Sculpture of the Italian Renaissance" highlights intricate pieces ranging from the 14th to the 16th century.
 
First Initiative Foundation (FIF) sponsored this 3-month exhibition at the University Museum and Art Gallery at Hong Kong University. The Giovanni Bellini exhibition offered free admission to the general public, which showcased eight traditional sculptures and two Gothic sculptures from the Bellini collection in Florence, featuring artists such as Pacio Bertini and Donatello.

2016

"My Monet" Book Set

“My Monet '' and “Colour Me Monet '', FIF's fresh approach to engaging children with art history

In conjunction with the “Monet, Monet '' fundraiser and “Spirit of Place” exhibition, First Initiative Foundation (FIF) created and supported a fantastic educational initiative – a storybook and accompanying coloring book teaching children about the artwork of Monet. 

The children’s adventure story follows the much loved character Oowa who travels in time to meet Monet and learn about his life and art. In English and Chinese, the book explains what Oowa can see in the paintings and provides an interactive section of questions to help children review what they have learned. The colouring book allows them to be their own artist as they colour Monet’s painting.

This important educational initiative gently guides and encourages children to interpret the beauty of Monet’s paintings for themselves.

2014

The Heritage and Art of Cantonese Opera: Collector’s Edition

The Reincarnation of Red Plum: rare photos of a legendary opera.
 
In this collector’s limited edition volume, rare photographs of the Cantonese Opera feature in a deluxe portfolio. First Initiative Foundation (FIF) released this collectible publication as part of a multitiered educational initiative to promote and preserve heritage arts in Hong Kong, which also included Cantonese Opera performances and a fundraising dinner. Famous stars of the opera Pak Suet Sin, Connie Chan and Mandy Mui personally provided photographs from their archive and autographed the volumes.
 
This collector’s portfolio is utterly unique and unparalleled, and with only 100 copies ever to be published, it is an important presentation of an iconic art form, to be treasured forever.

2014

“The Golden Era” Film Premiere Exhibition

FIF presents an educational exhibition spotlighting an era of important Chinese literature.
 
The exhibition complimented the First Initiative Foundation (FIF) sponsored film premiere of "The Golden Era", a portrayal of one of China’s most revered women writers Xiao Hong. Many aspects of author Xiao Hong’s life and work, as portrayed in the film "The Golden Era", were recreated in the exhibition, including furnishings, apparel and writings. The exhibition symbolized the important legacy of her writing.
 
The exhibition was held at Pacific Place and open to the public as part of FIF’s commitment to promoting educational outreach and the historical importance of the critically acclaimed film "The Golden Era".

2011

Hong Kong Girl Guides Association

Support our Hong Kong girls and young women!
 
First Initiative Foundation (FIF) supported the HKGGA’s 95th Anniversary International camp, which helped girls to develop international friendships through teamwork, community service and outdoor activities.
 
FIF strongly endorses the mission of Hong Kong Girl Guides Association to help young girls build their confidence and potential to be leaders of tomorrow.

fundraisers

2019

STARS IN HARMONY

First Initiative Foundation (FIF) celebrated its 2019 charitable outreach initiative “Stars in Harmony”, on 10 November 2019, Sunday at the Four Seasons Hotel in Hong Kong.

In celebration of the event, more than 450 guests and FIF’s Artists in Support attended including Andrew Lau, Carina Lau, Chau Yan Ting, Gin Lee, Miriam Yeung and Niu Niu.

Signature Sponsors American Express and UBS both provided important support to the event and to FIF’s charitable outreach work in keeping with their continued commitment to the Hong Kong community.

The evening's programme included exclusive performances by piano prodigy and young talent Niu Niu, star singers Gin Lee, Joyce Cheng and Leah Dou. Supporters also had the opportunity to bid on one-of-a-kind collectables and bespoke experiences auctioned on the evening to benefit FIF.

On the evening, patrons previewed FIF's exciting and unique collaboration with international artist Nicholas Cheung. Showcased among dreamlike decor, Feathered Ascent is an incredible kinetic installation and techno marvel made from one the most reflective materials in the world.

The ballroom was transformed into a wondrous experience. FIF supporters, enveloped by the remarkable Feathered Ascent, embarked on a remarkable dining experience, and enjoyed a memorable 12-Michelin starred meal. The evening's spectacular menu was designed by a stellar group of chefs with 12 Michelin stars between them; Chef Kenichi Fujimoto from Sushi Saito Hong Kong, Chef Hideaki Sato from Ta Vie, Chef Hidemichi Seki from Tenku Ryugin, Chef Guillaume Galliot from Caprice and Chef Chan Yan Tak from Lung King Heen.

2018

world before time

FIF traveled to the land before time, bringing to Hong Kong an event to celebrate our natural history.
 
“World Before Time” was held to celebrate FIF’s momentous achievement in bringing to the Hong Kong public for the very first time a complete T-rex fossil. Coinciding with the gala was the premiere of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, the highly anticipated sequel to one of the world’s most beloved natural history franchises.
 
In keeping with FIF’s educational initiative, a set of bilingual children’s book-set “Smile with Fifi!” was published, along with a specially curated educational trail where the public could learn more about the “World Before Time”. 

2017

WORLD IN TUNE

Celebrating the power of music to unite us all – this year’s initiative brings together remarkable supporters and superstars for a good cause.
 
First Initiative Foundation (FIF) held a memorable fundraising gala to benefit music in the community and celebrate music that makes the world go round. Supported by patrons, donors and international star members, the evening was filled with music. From the supporting artists who collaborated to give a truly spectacular evening of performances to the announcement of a special FIF charitable CD recording by Eason Chan, Renée Fleming, and Lang Lang, music took the spotlight.
 
Guests enjoyed a “12 star” Michelin dinner by 3 Star chefs Umberto Bombana, Alvin Leung, Chan Yan Tak, and Julien Tongourian. A fabulous charity auction rounded out the evening as patrons bid on a curated selection of unique lots to benefit FIF.

2016

MONET, MONET

First Initiative Foundation (FIF) illuminated the Hong Kong Heritage Museum in a celebratory fundraising evening focusing on FIF’s support of the Claude Monet exhibition.

Weaving international art history and community outreach together, the evening began with a viewing of the “Spirit of Place” exhibition viewing, accompanied by specially created cocktails that reflected the hues of the remarkable artist’s brushstrokes.

Later, patrons gathered for FIF’s unveiling ceremony for “My Monet”, and “Colour Me Monet”, a set of educational children’s books. To celebrate the gala introduction of our project, we invited patrons to sit down for a memorable dinner, with the exquisite exhibition remaining open to guests late into the evening.

2015

in harmony

Music, education and heritage arts work together in harmony.

After a fantastic Le French May concert featuring the extraordinary pianist Sa Chen and the Diotima Quartet, guests of First Initiative Foundation (FIF) joined together for a beautiful fundraising dinner, sponsored by Vacheron Constantin.

Michelin-starred Chef Nicolas Masse presented an incredible dinner honed to perfection with the help of the team at the Grand Hyatt.

Musical interludes from the Cantonese Youth Opera Group and Lang Lang’s Young Scholars delighted all, and the young performers worked together in harmony to show how our initiatives extend to the community of Hong Kong.

2014

The Art of Chinese opera

FIF celebrates the art and heritage of Chinese Opera with a fundraising dinner.
 
After a fantastic performance of ‘The Reincarnation of Red Plum’, First Initiative Foundation (FIF) hosted a dinner to benefit The Opera Initiative and the Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts (HKAPA) School of Chinese Opera. In cooperation with the Yam Pak Foundation, FIF’s important Chinese Opera initiative funds scholarships to help preserve a unique part of Hong Kong and Asia’s heritage and culture.
 
Held at the fantastic China Tang, the special dinner presented delicious Chinese cuisine. Patrons enjoyed Erhu, Dizi and Pipa performances by talented HKAPA students, a remarkable example of traditional arts taught and treasured at the school.

2013

AN EVENING WITH RENÉE FLEMING (CELEBRATORY DINNER)

A sparkling night with Renée Fleming, marked by a celebratory dinner.
 
After Renée Fleming’s enchanting recital, the soprano star joined First Initiative Foundation (FIF) patrons for a dinner at the InterContinental Hong Kong. The exquisite fundraising dinner, sponsored by Julius Bär, was a celebration of our important mission to support extraordinary performance, educational outreach and mentoring.
 
FIF thanks the Hong Kong Leisure and Cultural Services Department, who collaborated with us to bring the sensational Renée Fleming to local audiences for a recital and masterclass.

2013

HONG KONG! HONG KONG!

Hong Kong, Hong Kong! A celebration of our city and culture.
 
Filled with nostalgia, First Initiative Foundation (FIF) uplifted the Hong Kong community with a charitable event paying homage to our history of places, cuisine, customs, music and art.
 
Supporters and patrons enjoyed one of Hong Kong’s finest forms of art – food! Five famous chefs created a Michelin-starred dining experience in support of FIF, followed by a silent charity auction and a preview of auction items to be presented by Sotheby’s to benefit FIF.

‘HK! HK!’ concluded with a spectacular public concert ‘Eason’s Life at the Hong Kong Coliseum, starring Canto pop superstar Eason Chan with a myriad of FIF’s Artists in Support.

masterclasses

2019

PIANO MASTERCLASS BY JEAN RONDEAU

Jean Rondeau is multi-talented harpsichordist and piano virtuoso. He performs solo, chamber music and orchestral appearances internationally.

At Hong Kong University’s Yuet Ming Auditorium, Rondeau offered a first-class masterclass with four students. In partnership with Le French May, the masterclass offered students a rigorous and insightful guidance by the talented virtuoso focusing on the music of Debussy, Chopin and Ginastera.

2018

QUATUOR ZAÏDE MASTERCLASS

(Le French May)

Quatuor Zaïde, a well-established and distinguished all female string quartet, inspiring students with their very first Masterclass.

Quatuor Zaïde offered a first-class experience instructing two student string quartets to learn directly under their expertise. This unique Masterclass was held at Concert Hall, Hong Kong City Hall in partnership with Le French May and the Hong Kong Education Bureau. They offered a deep insight into the world of classical music while offering their world-class mentorship on their approach to every musical piece. 

After Quatuor Zaïde’s outstanding performance of Haydn String Quartet in F minor, Op 20 No.5, 1st movement, both string quartets, from Diocesan Girls School (DGS) and Bishop Hall Jubilee School (BHJS) played their individual pieces under the guidance of QuatuorZaïdegaining immense knowledge on how to play at a world-class level.

2017

JAZZ MASTERCLASS (LE FRENCH MAY)

French talents Geraldine Laurent and Paul Lay present a jazz masterclass!
 
First Initiative Foundation (FIF) and Le French May partnered again this year to present a jazz performance and masterclass at Hong Kong City Hall. Geraldine Laurent brought her exceptional alto saxophone talents to the stage, accompanied by Paul Lay, one of his generation’s most talented jazz pianists.
 
This outstanding educational opportunity brought two of France’s most admired jazz musicians to Hong Kong’s deserving music students and educators. FIF is happy to support the cultural festival Le French May and to engage Hong Kong students in music education of the highest quality.
 
This year, we also sponsored jazz performances by the Stephane Belmondo Trio, the Geraldine Laurent Quartet and Paul Lay.

2016

Anne Queffélec Masterclass

Anne Queffélec Masterclass focuses on Ravel, Chopin and Debussy.
 
During the FIF sponsored Masterclass, guests enjoyed Anne Queffelec’s remarkable talent, as she instructed some of Hong Kong’s most talented young musicians. Guests included educators, students and music supporters, as part of First Initiative Foundation (FIF)’s initiative to make international music education more accessible to the community.
 
This educational opportunity was presented with Le French May, FANCL and the Hong Kong Education Bureau. As part of the FIF outreach, Anne Queffélec also presented a recital open to the public in the Le French May Arts calendar.
 

2015

Sa Chen Masterclass

Sa Chen, a remarkable young pianist described as "one of the ‘brightest performers of her generation", guided students through pieces by Chopin and Brahms in a piano masterclass.
 
It was a delight to see the students enjoying insights and instruction from this award-winning pianist. This educational initiative truly benefited our deserving music students.
 
First Initiative Foundation (FIF) was pleased to support this event in cooperation with Le French May, the Hong Kong Education Bureau and Hong Kong Polytechnic University, as we were able to bring another meaningful educational opportunity to our students. Sa Chen also performed at an extraordinary FIF-sponsored concert with the Diotima Quartet.

2014

Alexandre Tharaud Masterclass

Outstanding music students and teachers in Hong Kong gathered for a masterclass with internationally renowned French pianist Alexandre Tharaud. The masterclass was held at Hong Kong Polytechnic University in cooperation with Le French May and the Hong Kong Education Bureau.
 
After Tharaud performed a beautiful piece by Chopin, he invited three students to join him on stage. One by one, they received valuable mentorship, and the audience was enthralled by Tharaud’s instruction and technique.
 
This community positive event exemplifies First Initiative Foundation’s outreach and music initiatives. The following evening, Alexandre held a recital sponsored by FIF in partnership with Le French May.

2013

RENÉE FLEMING

An enchanting vocal masterclass with Renée Fleming.
 
First Initiative Foundation (FIF) is extremely lucky to have the legendary Renée Fleming as an Honorary Advisor, and she delighted all at a fantastic masterclass. In support of educational achievement, the renowned soprano shared her expertise in the world of music and opera. Three specially chosen Hong Kong students were invited on stage for mentorship and advice, on a variety of vocal techniques as the audience benefited from Renee’s teaching.

2013

Eric Le Sage and Schumann: a masterclass in piano.

After a beautiful performance by Eric Le Sage, First Initiative Foundation (FIF) was very pleased to present a masterclass for many deserving, talented students and teachers. This unique educational opportunity was made possible with the cooperation of Le French May, the Education Bureau, and the Hong Kong Polytechnic University – a wonderful collaboration to enrich our local young musicians.
 
Selected music students took the stage to benefit from one-on-one mentoring by Eric Le Sage, who shared his expert advice in performing Schumann, Schubert and Francis Poulenc. This truly inspirational masterclass supported the music education and confidence of students in attendance.

2012

Francois Chaplin Masterclass

‘Le Mystère Debussy’, a masterclass by Francois Chaplin.
 
In keeping with our initiative to benefit local Hong Kong scholars with opportunities for education, First Initiative Foundation (FIF) sponsored and presented a François Chaplin Masterclass in cooperation with the Hong Kong Education Bureau and Le French May. More than 200 deserving Hong Kong music students and teaches enjoyed this rare glimpse into the world of Francois Chaplin and Debussy that included one-on-one mentoring and advice. Before the masterclass, François Chaplin played an inspiring piece for all attending.
 
FIF is proud to cooperate with the Hong Kong Education Bureau to enrich and educate our students through an international music initiative.

2011

Lang Lang Masterclass

Lang Lang delights with his classical and jazz expertise.
 
First Initiative Foundation (FIF) sponsored a fantastic educational opportunity for 200 students and teachers.
 
The Lang Lang masterclass took place at the Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts and delved into classical and jazz genres, with Lang Lang offering valuable mentorship and tutelage. On stage were our 2011-2013 Young Scholars Jonathan Yang and Kate Lee, two exceptional young pianists.