History & Heroes: Heritage Revealed—Asia Society Hong Kong
In 2012, Asia Society Hong Kong opened its new home in the heart of downtown Hong Kong on the site of the former colonial-era Explosives Magazine Compound, an abandoned military installation. Join architects Tod Williams and Billie Tsien in conversation with Alice Mong, Director of Asia Society Hong Kong, on the behind-the-scenes stories about the transformation of this unique heritage site into a cultural and intellectual hub.
Heritage Revealed explores the history of the Former Explosives Magazine Compound in the context of the military – both the army and the navy – and the shaping of the northern edge of Hong Kong Island. It also examines the fallow years of the Compound after WWII, followed by its rediscovery and ultimate transformation.
S. Alice Mong became the Executive Director of Asia Society Hong Kong Center (ASHK) in August of 2012. Prior to ASHK, she worked in New York for almost a decade in the non-profit sector in senior management position. While in New York, Ms. Mong was the Director of the Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA) from 2009 till 2011. Ms. Mong left MOCA in July 2011 after successfully transforming the museum from a New York Chinatown institution to become the leading national museum. Ms. Mong also served as the Executive Director for the Committee of 100 in the United States, a Chinese-American non-profit membership organization founded by architect, I.M. Pei and cellist, Yo-Yo Ma. Prior to New York, Ms. Mong worked in Hong Kong from 1992 to 2002.
Tod Williams and Billie Tsien founded their architectural practice in 1986. Their studio, Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects I Partners, in New York City, focuses on work for institutions - museums, schools and non-profits; organizations that value issues of aspiration and meaning, timelessness and beauty. Their buildings are carefully made and useful in ways that speak to both efficiency and the spirit. A sense of rootedness, light, texture, detail, and most of all experience are at the heart of what they build. Parallel to their practice, Williams and Tsien maintain active teaching careers and lecture worldwide.
Some of the firms’ compelling body of work includes the Neurosciences Institute in La Jolla, California, the Natatorium at the Cranbrook School, the former American Folk Art Museum in New York, two additions to the Phoenix Art Museum in Arizona, the CV Starr East Asian Library at the University of California, Berkeley, the David Rubenstein Atrium at New York City’s Lincoln Center, the Center for the Advancement of Public Action at Bennington College, the Asia Society Center in Hong Kong, the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia, the Logan Center for the Arts at the University of Chicago, the LeFrak Center for recreation in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park, a dormitory building at Haverford College, and an addition to the Savidge Library at the MacDowell Colony in Peterborough, NH.
Along with recurrent acknowledgment from the American Institute of Architects, the firm has garnered local, national, and international acclaim and press. Most recently, Williams and Tsien were awarded the National Medal of Arts from President Barack Obama, and the Firm Award from the American Institute of Architects.
Followed by a reception. Copies of Heritage Revealed will be available for purchase following the program.