Introduction of the Jao Tsung-I Academy
Jao Tsung-I Academy is one of the first projects under the Hong Kong Government’s Revitalizing Historic Buildings through Partnership Scheme of the Development Bureau of the HKSAR Government. The Government funded the initial restoration in partnership with the Hong Kong Institute for Promotion of Chinese Culture (HKIPCC), HKIPCC, a non-governmental organization (NGO), is directly solely responsible for the daily operation of the Academy on a self-financed basis. It is named in honour of Professor Jao Tsung-I, a renowned scholar of Chinese culture.
The Academy is located on a leafy hillside in Lai Chi Kok, an oasis nestled between the buildings of modern Hong Kong. It’s most recent life was as a psychiatric rehabilitation centre. Further back in the past, before the reclamation of the area around Mei Foo and Lai Chi Kok, the site was right next to the sea. In the late 19th century, the government of the Qing dynasty set up a customs station at this location. In the early 20th century, the British built dwellings for Chinese Labourers, leaving behind the earliest buildings on the site. Subsequently, the passage of time meant that the compound went through many phases of repair work and renovation, having successively served as a quarantine station, a prison, a hospital for infectious diseases, and a psychiatric rehabilitation centre. Though it has served different roles and performed different functions at different times, the complex has been able to adapt to whatever society needed at that time.