Art attack and appreciation

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 03 December, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 03 December, 2011, 12:00am


Master of Arts - Contemporary Studio Art and Criticism
Hong Kong Institute of Education

At school, students might be taught the techniques of drawing, painting and sculpting, but how often are they asked to appreciate or comment on an art piece?

Many believe that art criticism is a crucial part of a student's armoury that Hong Kong's art curriculum has, nevertheless, ignored. The department of cultural and creative arts at the Hong Kong Institute of Education (HKIEd) aims to remedy this, with its master of arts in contemporary studio art and criticism in education.

The programme is designed for art teachers, artists, designers, as well as art and culture-related employees, who have an interest in art criticism or studio art, in a contemporary visual, cultural and educational context. Students can be admitted into either the art criticism or studio art stream.

The programme provides an in-depth study of art and enables students to apply the theory that they are taught into practice.

'We are the first programme in Hong Kong that emphasises and integrates important elements of contemporary visual culture. We might have fabulous infrastructures such as the West Kowloon Cultural District [in the future], but if the public doesn't have the knowledge to appreciate art, there is no point in promoting it. The programme leads art educators, artists and curators to understand the importance of art criticism, which is an important soft skill in promoting art,' says Dr Lau Chung-yim, programme coordinator.

The delivery of the course adopts a variety of instructional methods including lectures, tutorials, case studies, professional seminars, group discussions, critical analyses, e-learning and museum visits.

'Through the programme, students will obtain specialised pedagogical knowledge and skills in contemporary studio art and criticism,' says Lau. 'They will acquire the ability to interpret art and make informed judgments concerning the development of art, cultural and educational policy.

'The programme attracts a good mix of students, with art teachers from primary and secondary schools, artists and curators and art students from the mainland. It is a platform for students from different backgrounds to learn and interact,' Lau adds.

Students can choose to study one year full-time or two years part-time, and can take a maximum of four years to complete the course. Classes are held at the institute's Town Centre and Tai Po campuses on weekday evenings.

Applicants should have a recognised bachelor's degree and relevant work experience in the visual arts and cultural sector.