5 December 2014

Trans-regional Dialogue on Community Arts Took Place in CUHK



Community arts have thrived in Hong Kong in recent years.  Many NGOs have initiated various art projects to strengthen the linkage between individuals and the community.  To facilitate an in-depth discussion on the development of community arts by arts practitioners, the MA and BA programmes in Cultural Management of The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) and its Centre for Cultural Studies co-organized ‘For the Sake of the People: Forum and Workshop on Community Arts’, with sponsorship from The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation. 

In the workshop, overseas and local speakers were invited to share their experiences in promoting community arts in their regions.  The discussion started with keynote speeches from Mr. Oscar HO, Programme Director, MA and BA in Cultural Management, CUHK; Ms. WU Mali, Head, Graduate Institute of Interdisciplinary Art, Taiwan Kaohsiung Normal University and Mr. OU Ning, Curator and Rural Reconstruction Practitioner, who introduced overall pictures of community arts in Hong Kong, Taiwan and mainland China.  Six local community arts practitioners shared their first-hand experience in organizing community art projects. These included how the ‘Art in Hospital’ project helped patients to rebuild confidence, the alternative model of heritage perseveration adopted by the ‘Blue House’ in Waichai, and how photography and arts helped to raise public awareness of social justice issues including  the controversy over North East New Territories new development plan. The speakers also reflected on the responsibility and ethics of community artists as facilitators and fund raisers. 

On the second day of the workshop, Mr. Jack BECKER, Founder and Director of Forecast Public Art, presented the development of public art in the US and other regions, and the role of public art in raising community awareness of the issue of public space. Having worked in community organizations in the US for decades, Ms. Shiree TENG, an independent consultant, spoke about her experience on the establishment and operation of an NGO. In the two-day workshop, the participants and the speakers had a fruitful discussion, exploring various issues in promoting community arts and looking into the possible problems and legal issues in running community arts organizations and NGOs.

(From 2nd left to 2nd right, front row) Ms. Shiree TENG, Independent Consultant; Ms. WONG Mei Yee, Programme Director, The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation; Mr. Jack BECKER, Founder and Director, Forecast Public Art; Mr. HO Hing Kay Oscar, Programme Director, MA and BA in Cultural Management, CUHK; and Ms. Michelle CHOW, Legal Consultant; have a group photo with participants.
(From 2nd left to 2nd right, front row) Ms. Shiree TENG, Independent Consultant; Ms. WONG Mei Yee, Programme Director, The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation; Mr. Jack BECKER, Founder and Director, Forecast Public Art; Mr. HO Hing Kay Oscar, Programme Director, MA and BA in Cultural Management, CUHK; and Ms. Michelle CHOW, Legal Consultant; have a group photo with participants.

Welcome speech by Prof. LIM Song Hwee, Director, Centre for Cultural Studies, CUHK
Welcome speech by Prof. LIM Song Hwee, Director, Centre for Cultural Studies, CUHK

Ms. WU Mali, Head, Graduate Institute of Interdisciplinary Art, Taiwan Kaohsiung Normal University.
Ms. WU Mali, Head, Graduate Institute of Interdisciplinary Art, Taiwan Kaohsiung Normal University.

Mr. OU Ning, Curator and Rural Reconstruction Practitioner.
Mr. OU Ning, Curator and Rural Reconstruction Practitioner.