An exhibition that showcases more than 500 pieces of ceramic art by primary students from Yuen Long and Tin Shui Wai is now on outside the Hong Kong Wetland Park to promote social harmony and environmental values. The exhibition is part of a community arts project jointly organised by The Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department, Hong Kong Wetland Park, Hong Kong Arts Centre and Public Art Hong Kong. The project, My Soil, My Land, began in October last year when graduates of the Hong Kong Art School (HKAS) conducted ceramic art workshops in schools. Then, the more than 500 students created their artworks outside the park, using 400kg of soil collected on site. A documentary on the project is being screened at the park, and a book is set to be published later this year. The theme of the exhibition revolves around Hong Kong's wild animals, such as the black-faced spoonbill, fiddler crabs and the city's celebrity crocodile Pui Pui. Fiona Wong Lai-ching, a lecturer at HKAS, said the event was the first of its kind in Hong Kong. 'We think it's less meaningful just to create an art piece and then place it in an exhibition. Public art is more concerned with its contribution to the community and how it can inspire people,' said Ms Wong. Creating the artworks at the Wetland Park gave the students the opportunity to think about their relationship with nature. 'It's a very different experience for the children to create their ceramic pieces in nature rather than in the classroom,' said Ms Wong. 'Children are heavily influenced by the spaces around them, and a natural environment makes them more creative.' This kind of project also helps children to realise that creating art is as much a community effort as an individual endeavour. 'It helps them realise that art comes from life and is not limited to drawing in the studio with pen and paper,' said Tang Sui-ying, an arts teacher at Tin Shui Wai Catholic Primary School. Ms Tang's students have created figures of black-faced spoonbills for the exhibition. Each piece represents how the children see the animal, which in turn reflects how they see the world and nature. The artwork by Jonathan Lee Tin-long, 10, includes other wild animals in addition to the spoonbill. He has created a happy community. 'I want the bird to make friends with fish, crabs and starfish. I don't want the animals to be lonely.' The beauty of the bird - an endangered species due to widespread destruction of its habitat - also reminds children of the need to protect the environment. 'I hope people can protect the environment - otherwise there won't be any beautiful animals left,' said Lui Hoi-yi, 10. 'Without them, the world would be very boring.' Sally Hon Man-ni, 11, said using soil from the Wetland Park to create art was a novel experience. 'I never knew that a lump of soil could be transformed into so many art pieces. It's not necessary to use [non-environmentally friendly] materials, such as plastic, to create art,' she said. The project also aims to teach children to respect nature, according to Ms Wong. 'The soil which we step on every day and see as dirt is the source of life,' she said. 'Ceramics are inseparable from nature. Physically, its raw materials come from the ground, and spiritually when we use these materials, they teach us to respect nature. 'When you begin to respect nature, the way you see the world changes.' The My Soil, My Land Ceramic Works Exhibition runs until May 21.