Budding artists spoilt for choice

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 05 June, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 05 June, 2010, 12:00am

Art lovers in Hong Kong are lucky to be able to benefit from numerous local and international art exhibitions that visit the city throughout the year. Add to these the ever-growing number of studios opening in the trendiest parts of town, organised evening 'art walks' and 'art jamming' events, and there's something for everyone interested in art.

'There is a growing interest in the local art scene, and we have been attracting new students recently as a result,' explains Charles Hui, owner and painting tutor at Studio 83 in Central (www.studio83.com.hk). Hui teaches painting to students of all ages and levels, giving children and adults the opportunity to 'explore their creative side in a fun environment'.

He explains that many of his students decided to take lessons after they attended one of Studio 83's PaintingDIY sessions, where anyone can turn up, stick on an apron and get painting. Painting courses start from HK$960 for four lessons (HK$860 for children), with each lesson lasting two hours and taking place on evenings and Saturdays.

'Most of my students are taking classes for the first time, and come from all sorts of backgrounds, so it's a real mix in the class,' Hui says, adding that teaching is multilingual depending on the class mix.

Jerry Ho, of Toast (www.toast.com.hk), also teaches painting to children and adults on Wednesday evenings and Sundays. He says that increased media attention on the local art scene has 'helped boost peoples' interest in learning to paint'. Like Studio 83, Toast provides all the materials students need to get started.

The Hong Kong Art School (HKAS) offers a selection of short courses for budding artists, and a number of lengthier courses leading to formal qualifications. In addition to offering short courses in drawing and painting, the school also teaches Chinese painting and calligraphy, ceramics, crafts, art appreciation, drama, and other arts programmes. 'We offer about 15 painting courses and five Chinese painting and calligraphy courses in the July to December season,' says a HKAS spokeswoman. 'Most of these last for eight to 10 weeks, with a two-hour class every week.' All courses are open to the public with many of them taught in both English and Cantonese.

The school also teaches summer courses for children and teenagers during the summer holidays.

For those looking for formal training in art leading to a qualification, the HKAS offers an award bearing curriculum, the focus of which is on four core areas: fine art, applied art, media art and drama education, and range from foundation diplomas to higher diplomas, bachelor's and master's degrees.

Students on short courses will need to bring all their own materials to class, but will be informed of exactly what they need beforehand.

'Most of our tutors are experienced, professional art practitioners in the field, and quite a large number are dedicated tutors with long-term work relationships with the school,' the spokeswoman says.