HKBU inaugurates Jao Tsung-I Academy of Sinology
21 Jan 2013
HKBU inaugurated today (21 January) its Jao Tsung-I Academy of Sinology (JAS), the first of its kind in Hong Kong. Named after Professor Jao Tsung-I, a world-renowned master in Chinese classical studies who will serve as its honorary permanent director, JAS was established for the purpose of understanding and preserving Chinese cultural heritage through focused research supplemented by teaching.
On the research front, JAS will focus on integrating the research competitiveness of traditional Chinese studies, sinology and classical Chinese studies to enhance the field of Chinese studies using innovative methods as well as exploring both ancient and modern periods. It aims to develop a system of ideas with Chinese cultural characteristics widely recognised and accepted globally as a Chinese academic concept of the world. On the teaching side, JAS aims to nurture researchers in sinology and professionals who can contribute to modern industry through sinology.
The officiating guests included Professor Jao Tsung-I, Honorary Permanent Director, HKBUJAS, and Doctor of Letters, honoris causa, HKBU; Professor Xu Jialu, Former Vice Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, Council Chairman of Beijing Normal University – HKBU United International College, and Honorary Patron of the Jao Tsung-I Petite Ecole Fan Club (JPE Fan Club); Mr. Eddie Ng, Secretary for Education, HKSAR Government; Professor Yin Xiaojing, Deputy Director, Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the HKSAR; Professor Yuan Xingpei, President, the Central Research Institute of Culture and History, and Director, Sinology Research Institute of Peking University; Mr. Wang Guohua, Counsellor, State Council of the People’s Republic of China, and Honorary President, JPE Fan Club; Ms. Guo Yurong, Director, Shenzhen Municipality Education Bureau; Mrs. Cherry Tse, Permanent Secretary for Education, HKSAR Government; Dr. Simon Suen, Founding President, Development Committee of the HKBUJAS; Founding President, JPE Fan Club, and Doctor of Social Sciences, honoris causa, HKBU; Dr. Winnie Ko, Chairman, Kingrich Asia Holdings Ltd, and President, JPE Fan Club; and Professor Albert Chan, President and Vice-Chancellor, HKBU.
Officiating guests praised Professor Jao Tsung-I in their speeches, commending his great achievements, his contributions to the study of Chinese classical studies and the international accolades he has garnered. Professor Albert Chan said the founding of JAS is a significant milestone in HKBU’s history. He hopes JAS will bring together sinologists from around the globe to compile the 5,000 years of Chinese culture into a book, like the Bible, which will influence generations to come. He said with Professor Jao as its leader, JAS would make great progress, and that he hoped the Government would support JAS.
Professor Chan also thanked the Federation of Hong Kong Chiu Chow Community Organizations for donating HK$5.4 million, Mr. and Mrs. Fung Sun-kwan for donating Hk$500,000 and Dr. Wong Kam-shing, Managing Director of Kowloon Watch Group, for donating HK$100,000 to support the development of JAS.
Professor Xu Jialu said Professor Jao is an outstanding representative of contemporary Chinese cultural research. He added that he has confidence in the development of JAS because it is backed by HKBU, the guidance of Professor Jao andHong Kong’s distinguished track record in research management drawing on its position as an international metropolis. Professor Xu said JAS is well placed to shoulder this significant historical duty.
Mr. Eddie Ng said sinology is a cultural gem of the Chinese nation and a significant part of the human civilisation. The establishment of JAS would help nurture outstanding talent with traditional and modern knowledge. He expressed the hope that JAS would create new milestones in enhancing Chinese and Western cultural research and promoting traditional Chinese culture.
Ms. Guo Yurong said Chinese people are proud of Chinese culture and that the founding of JAS would enhance research in sinology and modernise the field as well as nurture a new generation of elite individuals with both an international vision and Chinese cultural heritage. She said she hopes Shenzhen and HKBU would forge ties through collaboration and exchange.
To thank Professor Jao Tsung-I for his belief in HKBU and to commemorate the founding of JAS, Professor Chan composed a poem for Professor Jao. The poem reads:
Grand Master Jao’s talents are heaven blessed.
In history he follows Kong Zi’s noble steps.
His art of life enriched by Buddhists, Ruists and the Tao,
He lives the classics, the Chronicles, poetry and ci.
The mysteries of Mahayana, its wisdom he imparts,
With the best of Chinese culture he fills our hearts.
Excelling in scholarship and nonpareil in art,
He enlivens paper with ink dance bold and fine.
At the cheque presentation ceremony, on behalf of JAS, Professor Jao Tsung-I, Professor Albert Chan and Dr. Simon Suen received the donations from Dr. Ma Kai-cheung, Mr. Zhan Yuxiang, Mr. Wong Shu-yui, Mr. Lau Chor-tak, Mr. Cheung On-tak, Mr. Zheng Han-ming and Mr. William Xie of the Federation of Hong Kong Chiu Chow Community Organizations.
In the afternoon, JAS held its first international forum on classical Chinese studies and sinology with participants coming from Mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, US and Europe.
In addition, an exhibition of works by Professor Jao Tsung-I will be displayed at the Au Shue Hung Memorial Library on Shaw Campus from 22 January to 17 February 2013 from 10:30 am to 5:30 pm.
Please click here to view the ceremony photos.