A half-split pea pod 'grown' by two students from the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts (APA) and the Open Learning Institute (OLI) was selected as one of the most outstanding artworks in the Handmade Third World Exhibition at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. The glossy green clay pod, called 'The Pod of Hope', contained six brightly coloured little peas. The artwork symbolised a bright future and positive outlook for the Third World, a welcome change from the usual gloomy portrayal of underdeveloped countries. 'There will always be hope if they don't give up. They can also grow flowers and fruit if they work hard,' said OLI social sciences student Cheung Yiu-yeung. His teammate, Au Cheuk-man, a 20-year-old drama student at the APA, added: 'The peas are tightly packed together to signify co-operation and support among people in the Third World. They are capable of helping themselves.' The exhibition, with 'hands' as the theme and open to all universities and schools in the territory, was aimed at arousing concern for the development of the Third World and emphasising what our hands can achieve. 'Like the students who make use of their hands to create artworks, people in the Third World can also make a better living if they work with their hands,' said Gavin Kwok Man-kit of HKUST's House One Students' Association, the exhibition organiser. 'People in the Third World can make their own living with economic and educational assistance from developed countries. They are not just sitting passively waiting for our donations,' he said. Most students in Hong Kong are only aware of the poverty and suffering in the Third World and know little about the developments that are taking place. 'We have held two exhibitions on food and hunger and developments in Bangladesh. We even received feedback from a PhD student from Bangladesh,' Gavin said. 'He said the living standard in Bangladesh has improved. The situation is no longer as bad as most people think.' Oxfam's education officer, Chow Wing-hang, who was one of the judges, said many students lacked information on developments in the Third World. 'They only know about places in a critical condition. They have no idea that the Third World also contributes to the world. 'These countries supply us with bananas and coffee, and even textile material,' he said. 'Miracle', the work of Shiu Pui-man, Tsang Lai-fong, Ho Kit-ling, Tsang Yuen-kwan and Kwok Ka-yin, of FDRWA Szeto Ho Secondary School, featured a tree standing on top of the earth, symbolising the blossoming of life and hope.