SOTY 2016: Visual Artist candidates talk future goals and creative careers

By Tiffany Choi

Candidates for the Student of the Year - Visual Artist award need more than just creativity; they need a vision for the future

By Tiffany Choi |

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Tam Sze-ching of Good Hope School shares the meaning and inspiration behind her artwork with the SOTY judges.

It was a day to celebrate creativity, as the Student of the Year (SOTY) – Visual Artists candidates displayed their original works of art for the judges. In addition to the students’ artistic skills, the awards place a lot of emphasis on their future plans. This echoes the theme of this year’s SOTY “Future in our Hands”, which celebrates the 20th anniversary of Hong Kong’s handover.

Young Post caught up with some of the candidates to find out more about their art, and their dreams for the future.

Teri Ng Shun-yi, 17, a student from Singapore International School, has been doing art for four years. Her submission for SOTY was called Conversations.

Ng Chung-hei of Jockey Club Ti-I College interprets "Future in our Hands" with his artwork..

“It juxtaposes the communicative purpose of intercom boxes with near and distant conversations,” says Teri. “This is an adaptation from another series I recently completed. It was inspired by the beauty of old Hong Kong. The uniqueness of each intercom mirrors the individuality of every building, reflecting the diversity within Hong Kong.”

To prepare for the SOTY theme, Munsang College student Wong Ting-yan asked herself: “What will my dream home be like? What immediately sprang into mind was a place where everyone has a chance to utilise their talents.”

Ting-yan said she found a lot of inspiration in Pang Zai, a hawker market in Sham Shui Po.

“My dream home will always be a place where the culture and the hospitality of people are preserved,” she says. “Like Pang Zai: it is full of history and spirit, and people want to stay there because they want to make a living with their own hands. This is truly amazing and that’s one of the core values of Hong Kong in my eyes.”

She incorporated these ideas into a Chinese ink painting, and submitted it to the SOTY judges, which was a big step for the 17-year-old. “In the past, I kept my art pieces to myself. Instead of sharing them, I treated them as my secrets and personal keepsakes,” says Ting-yan. “But I started to see that interacting with people means a lot to an artist. Now I see the importance of visual art, and enjoy serving my community.”

Chan Long-yin, 16, from PLK Tang Yuk Tien College, also hopes to use his art to contribute to society. “It’s my dream to be an art teacher,” he says. “My mission is to teach the younger generation to understand, explore and experience art. On top of that, I want to teach them the techniques as well.”

CCC Heep Woh College's Lo Pui-ki and other finalists impressed the judges with their creativity.

Long-yin wants to share the endless possibilities of art with his future students. “But I hope I can continue to learn and create my own art,” he adds.

Unlike many of the other candidates, Tam Sze-ching, 15, from Good Hope School, hopes to use science with his art. “I want to become an architect. It involves art and science, and it is very interesting and fun to build my own design into an actual building in the real world.”

While Kevin Kwong, Cultural Editor of SCMP, and Tobias Berger, Head of Art of The Jockey Club CPS Limited, admired the candidates’ future planning and creativity, Dr Edmund Lee hopes they will be open-minded.

“All candidates have a passion for art, using different formats to express their feelings,” said the Executive Director of the Hong Kong Design Centre. “It would be very useful for them to continue to advance their skills, whether they pursue a 100 per cent art-driven career, or whether they use art to enrich a part of their future career journey.”

The Student of the Year Awards are organised by Young Post in conjunction with the South China Morning Post and sponsored by the Hong Kong Jockey Club with support from the Education Bureau.

Edited by Sam Gusway