2015 Honorary Fellow
In an extensive and distinguished career, Dr David Jiang, former Dean of Drama at The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, has worked as a theatre practitioner, educator and researcher in mainland China, the United Kingdom, Taiwan, the United States and Hong Kong. He has directed over 40 productions including classic and contemporary plays, musicals and music theatre, traditional Chinese operas, and TV films, winning a number of accolades and awards. He is in demand at international conferences to present keynote speeches and papers, is active in international connections and exchange activities, and has published a number of theatre academic works in both Chinese and English.
Dr Jiang’s artistic choices were very much influenced by his family. His parents were lovers of both Western music and Peking opera, therefore when he was a child he used to listen to music quite often and go to the theatre and to Hollywood movies with them. Dr Jiang began his working life in China and from the mid-1960s to 1989 he was a professional actor and director in both theatre and television, and during the 1980s taught at the Shanghai Theatre Academy.
Dr Jiang won a prestigious Asian Cultural Council grant to observe theatre activities in the United States, in particular drama education at Yale University and New York University, where he was a Visiting Scholar in Performance Studies at the Tisch School of the Arts, New York University from 1989 to 1991. As recipient of the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation Fellowship, he was a Research Fellow at the University of Leeds in England from 1992 to 1995, receiving his doctorate in 1997.
From 1997 to 1998, Dr Jiang taught at the Theatre Department of National Taipei University of the Arts, followed by a period of teaching at the Theatre Department of Barnard College of Columbia University in New York from 1998 to 2000.
Coming to Hong Kong in 2001, Dr Jiang served as Dean of the School of Drama at the Academy until his retirement in 2009. Among his outstanding contributions to the School were his productions as director of Cao Yu’s Thunderstorm and Romeo and Juliet (with Dr Sam Lam). Dean Jiang was and still is regarded with great affection by the School of Drama. Instead of calling some teachers they respected as “Sir” (like “King Sir”, “Mao Sir”, “Poon Sir”, etc.), students endearingly addressed their Dean as “ah-Jiang”, a very common Hong Kong way to call a familiar friend. Dean Jiang was most pleased and touched to hear this term of affection.
Dr Jiang holds a number of visiting and honorary professorships including Visiting Professor of the Central Academy of Drama in Beijing, Visiting Professor of the Shanghai Theatre Academy, Honorary Professor of The University of Hong Kong, and Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Leeds.
Up to present, Dr Jiang continues to enjoy a busy professional life in China and the United Kingdom working for academies and theatre companies.