Interviewed May 19, 2020

Meet Josephine Wai, Director of ACC Hong Kong, as she reports from ACC's Hong Kong office. Designed by ACC alumni and Young Architect Award recipients Billy Tam 譚漢華 (2006), Benjamin Tsang 曾本治 (2012), and Yip Chun Hang 葉晉亨 (2011), the renovations from five years prior altered the physical space into an open concept with textured, wooden partitions. The more recent changes of the past five months, in turn, have altered the use of those 600 square feet. “Hong Kong was one of the very first places that was affected by the virus,” says Josephine, “We have been wearing face masks since early February, even though there are just four of us in the office...we protect ourselves and protect others by wearing a face mask.”

While she admits, “I miss the smiling, young and lovely faces of my colleagues!” Josephine and her team have kept calm and positive. “We learn new things almost every day,” she says, “We learn how to manage changes and uncertainty, and we learn how to uphold the values and elements that we treasure most, that we think are most important.”


As Hong Kong begins to open up and individuals return to work, she notes a number of arts organizations have been fortunate to be supported through the government. At the same time independent and freelance artists have emerged as the most vulnerable. Without regular income, many artists have had to find other jobs. “But all of them say that once the art scene gets going again, ‘I’m going to return to continue what I am passionate about.’” Josephine adds, “In Chinese, we have a saying that whenever there are any difficulties...there’s always an opportunity. What our grantees are doing right now is staying safe and healthy, but at the same time, they are trying to make the best use of their time and try to find new opportunities to prepare themselves for the future.”