A BURST OF activity from artists and performers shattered the peace one tranquil Sunday morning in Chater Garden, Central. Poetry recitals, songs, music, drama, dance and art installations were presented as part of an event in protest against the September 11 terrorist attacks in the United States and the subsequent war in Afghanistan. The theme was 'Art Action for Peace'. Participants included City Contemporary Dance Company choreographer Mui Cheuk-yin, vocalist Priscilla Leung Siu-wai, former legislator Reverend Fung Chi-wood, legislator Cyd Ho Sau-lan and many other musicians and artists. Leung, also one of the co-ordinators of the event, says: 'As artists, we share similar views on many issues. However, we have seldom come across an issue that has hurt so much. The impact is so intense that we decided to do something together. 'We do not believe violence is a solution to problems.' Leung says it was painful to watch the twin towers of the World Trade Centre attacked by two hijacked planes on television. 'I was dining with friends. One of them was going to return to New York in a few days to join his wife who works in a building next to the World Trade Centre,' Leung says. Leung spent the rest of the night phoning friends and relatives across the globe, with one question on her mind: How could this happen? Within a month, more than 40 artists and performers joined forces to plan the event on December 9, the day before International Human Rights Day. They used artistic presentations to convey their anti-war message. 'We cannot say if art is always an effective tool to convey messages. However, being artists, we express ourselves best through art,' Leung says. It was estimated that more than 500 people gathered for the event in Chater Garden. Some were inspired to paint images about the war on boards near the stage. One person simply drew five white doves; another depicted the faces of George W. Bush and Osama bin Laden with a question underneath that read: 'Who is more terrible?' When the stage activities finished, a group of 50 people marched to the American Embassy in a rally against the war in Afghanistan, to deliver an empty envelope to the US ambassador. 'It was just a gesture. Last time we protested, we gave them a letter which they obviously never read, as we received no reply,' said Reverend Fung, a member of the Committee For Peace Not War, one of the organisers. Leung admits that the results of such art events are difficult to quantify. 'You cannot judge from the size of the audience. Our friends and supporters attended Art Action for Peace, but there were new faces too,' she says. 'We cannot rule out the power of words. 'The participants can help spread the message among their friends.'