Sir David Tang 鄧永鏘 2 August 1954 – 29 August 2017
With heavy hearts, we share that Sir David Tang, our founder and Chairman, has died. Possessor of a fierce intellect, an accomplished pianist (he played at Wigmore Hall and occasionally treated the China Exchange team to impromptu recitals), a skilled linguist (translating Charlie and the Chocolate Factory into Chinese), and the owner of a much-admired address book, husband, father, grandfather, and friend. We will miss his irreverence, his energy, and his unwavering commitment to China Exchange.
David was born and educated in Hong Kong until the age of 13 when he attended boarding school in Britain. After attending Cambridge and teaching at Peking University, Sir David launched the China Tang restaurant in London’s Dorchester Hotel and the Island Tang restaurant in Hong Kong as well as the China Clubs in Hong Kong, Singapore and Beijing and the successful brands, Shanghai Tang and Tang Tang Tang Tang.
He became passionately involved with the arts and was a trustee of the Royal Academy of Arts for 15 years. Sir David worked with HRH The Prince of Wales to conceive the idea for China Exchange – a place in Chinatown to bring a wide range of people to feed their minds as well as their bodies and experience excellence in all its forms. He was adamant that the charity makes its work as accessible as possible and supported our approach to keep the majority of tickets under £13.
Known for his extensive network, Sir David put it to great use in developing the 60 Minutes With programme at China Exchange. Under his curation, the Prudential Series welcomed 114 exceptional people who have led extraordinary lives. The audience became familiar with his call for only “intelligent questions” and his tactic of being extremely rude to one member of the audience in order to make the rest of the audience laugh (a tactic he learned from Barry Humphries).