The new Arts School Learning Centre has opened, offering a comprehensive range of courses in the arts. The Hong Kong Arts Centre's (HKAC) education department was upgraded and became the Hong Kong Arts School last year. The new centre is part of the arts school and the first of its facilities to open outside the HKAC building. Chairman of the HKAC Board of Governors, Dr Dennis Sun Tai-lun, said the centre provided post-secondary courses for students who wanted to continue their arts education after leaving school. He said unlike theoretical schools, the new centre's courses were more practical. 'The centre provides more facilities for vi sual and computer design courses. It is suitable for people who are now working in the creative industry and also teachers,' Dr Sun said. Facilities at the new centre include a Macintosh laboratory, PC laboratory, painting studio, dark room, printmaking studio, sculpture studio, exhibition gallery and multi-purpose room. Dr Sun said arts was an essential means to stimulate creativity, encourage people to see things from a new perspective and a significant part of society. 'Culture, arts and education together form the soul of society . . . The three are interwoven.' He said the arts motivated cultural advancement and works of art reflected the culture, thoughts and life of the times. Dr Sun said: 'Artists are bold to challenge existing values and the majority point of view in society. They stimulate the vast majority to reassess traditional values and to explore the possibilities of cultural development.' Dr Sun added that a sophisticated society was characterised by its tolerance of plurality in society. If Hong Kong wants to be a cultural hub, room should be made for arts and cultural development. Chairman of the Culture and Heritage Commission, Professor Chang Hsin-kang, cited the impact of the Bauhaus Art School in Europe in the early 20th century. 'The story of Bauhaus shows that a successful art school is more than a cradle of new artists; it is also a laboratory for developing new ideas and a stimulator of creativity,' Professor Chang said. The opening of the new centre would be a significant impetus in nurturing the growth of local arts, he said. Detailed information on courses at the Arts School Learning Centre can be found at http://artschool.hkac.org.hk or in the course prospectus, copies of which are available from the HKAC, the Arts School Learning Centre and other outlets.