SIGNED magazine #29

Ms Leonie Ki, the founder and honorary director of the Hong Kong Gaudeamus Dunhuang Ensemble, is a veteran advertising creative in Hong Kong. The seasoned communicator, writer, businessperson and investor is passionate about charity works and public services. The post-retirement time of the agile advertising guru and sophisticated management expert is dedicated to promoting the art and culture of Dunhuang. Her endeavours began with a youth music ensemble, which aims to modernising, rejuvenating and enlivening the ancient music of Dunhuang. The powerful art form and its associated sentiments are channelled into playing a part in the education and dissemination of Chinese culture. 作為香港天籟敦煌樂團創辦人兼榮譽團長,紀文鳳女士不但是香港資深廣告創 意人和管理人;工作之餘也一直熱心社會公益和慈善活動,退休後又致力推廣 敦煌文化藝術。她從敦煌的文化底蘊出發,以組織「青年樂團」復興「敦煌古 樂」為手段,採取年輕化、現代化、生活化的演繹,通過潛移默化的方式,將 人們對敦煌的情感轉化為一股更具感染力的藝術力量,實踐集教育與傳播於一 身的文化傳承。 Ki is a renowned advertising professional who sees innovation as the key to success. "I began my career with creative advertising, and I believe advancements must come from innovation. Yet, I can hardly compare my work with the imagination manifested in Dunhuang murals. Creativity is a requisite in everything that we do today. Unique insight is critical in our increasingly competitive market. 'To conserve, safeguard and innovate' is a concept that I learned from preserving Dunhuang's culture. We conserve the past, safeguard the present and innovate for the future. New elements must be introduced to touch the heart of the youth. Based on this philosophy, I have positioned the ensemble as a music group with deep cultural roots. Its mission is to educate and to promote the Chinese culture through music." According to Ki, Dunhuang has much to offer about our national heritage that should be appreciated and understood by our youths. Dunhuang murals, for example, contain enriching, creative and all-encompassing contents. Classic Buddhist stories with crucial morals and ethics were drawn on them. The centuriesold dedication of its cultural guardians is also exemplary. In May 2018, she founded Hong Kong Gaudeamus Dunhuang Ensemble, which aims to rejuvenate, modernise, and enliven ancient music creatively, such that the art form can perpetuate. Ki reckoned, "Murals alone would be inadequate to reinvigorate the art and culture of Dunhuang. We hope to give a soul to the murals through music, so that people can experience the true emotions embedded. This connection can then be transformed into an inspiration to spread the art and culture of Dunhuang." Situated in the wilderness of Gobi Desert, Dunhuang is one of China's most important world heritages. It is also the cultural connection for the East with the West and a thoroughfare along the Silk Road, where the ancient Chinese, Indian, Greek and Islamic cultures converged. Dunhuang grottoes are famed for their architecture, murals, and painted sculptures. The Mogao Grottoes in Dunhuang dates back to more than 1,600 years ago. Housing the lofty art and culture of Buddhism, they have unique cultural significance and an important historic role, serving as a testimony to the religion's flourishing in China. The colourful and varied murals and sculptures in the grottoes form a shrine of Buddhist art. They do not only demonstrate unique artistic, cultural and academic values, but also show the world the beauty and profound cultural implications of Chinese art. The site was bestowed the title of a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site in 1987. It was 2010 when Ki first established a bond with Dunhuang. She visited the place for the very first time in an event that celebrated the 95th birthday of the late sinologist Professor Jao Tsung-I. During the visit, she was introduced to Ms Fan Jinshi, then director of the Dunhuang Research Academy. Fan's selfless dedication moved Ki deeply and Ki began taking part in raising funds 27