Exhibit trains critical eye on education

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 22 January, 2002, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 22 January, 2002, 12:00am

A new exhibition at the Hong Kong Arts Centre has criticised local education policies for being superficial and failing to leave teachers and students enough space to think, learn and create.

Staged by veteran art educator Evelyna Liang Kan Yee-woo, Te[x]a[m]ch is an installation that questions both the education system as well as the artist's 25-year teaching career.

'I am reaching retirement age now,' explained Liang. 'And I want to turn the page. I am still involved in art education assessment and I want to take this opportunity to question myself . . . what have I learned and achieved?'

One of the questions posed by the exhibition was whether we suffer or benefit from our education system.

'Students and teachers need space to learn and [that space] doesn't exist in Hong Kong,' said Liang. 'When I ask students what do they want from their teachers the answer was often 'More [exam] tips!' The big question is whether that is healthy.'

The Government's education policies also come in for critical appraisal. One piece shows 200 books in beautiful wrappings.

'These new education policies have attractive packaging, but what about the content?' Liang asked.

Then there is a colourful journal wrapped in leaf after leaf of colourless textbook pages, suggesting that local education is both boring and suffocating.

The show opens today at the Arts Centre's Experimental Gallery and Atrium and features some funky graffiti; visitors are encouraged to make their own interpretations.

'One of the installation pieces is an open book with blank pages. Every day should be a fresh start, with all the [previous day's] negative energy erased,' said Liang.

'I have created an empty space to learn and create . . . I am not going to spoon-feed the visitors.'

Te[x]a[m]ch runs until February 10.