Phase 1 (Low Zone) of the Academy was officially opened on 22 June 2012. Officiating guests of the opening ceremony included: Prof. Jao Tsung-i (world-renowned sinologist), Mr. Donald Tsang (Chief Executive of the HKSAR Government), Dr. Shan Jixiang (Director of the Palace Museum), Mrs. Carrie Lam (Secretary for Development of the HKSAR Government), Prof. Lee Chack-fan and Dr. Wong King-keung (Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Management Board of Jao Tsung-I Academy).
The theme of the opening ceremony was ‘Passing on the Heritage’. A special ceremony was held with three generations passing through the Cultural Passage, handing over a huge brush. In the end, it was passed on to Professor Jao and Mr Donald Tsang from a child, symbolising the heritage of Chinese culture passing from generation to generation.