Now autumn has arrived and the weather is getting colder, it’s the time for cosy indoor activities like arts and crafts. Whether you’re a busy parent looking for a class for your child to attend, or if you’d like to take up a creative hobby for yourself, there are lots of options available in Hong Kong. Here are some of the festivals, exhibitions and workshops where you can learn about and take part in arts and crafts this autumn.
New Vision Arts Festival
The New Vision Arts Festival is a city-wide biennial event which runs from the 21st October to the 20th November 2016. The aim is to bring together different artistic genres and cultural influences to create a joint creative platform which provides new viewing experiences for audiences. The lineup includes dance performances such as the dance opera Matsukaze, which is an innovative collaboration between German choreographer Sasha Waltz and Japanese composer Toshio Hosokawa and theatre pieces such as famous theatre director Li Liuyi’s comedic take on the ancient Greek tragedy Prometheus Bound.
But the festival isn’t only somewhere you can see creative pieces from afar – you can also get involved in the creativity yourself at the ArtSnap mini festival. This includes interactive events like MatchAtria, a multimedia dance work by Yui Kawaguchi and Yoshimasa Ishibashi which uses 3D glasses and headphones for an immersive audience experience, or The Missing Link by Intuition Kobo, an interactive murder mystery in which the choices of the audience effect the outcome of the story.
The festival also hosts exhibitions, masterclasses, workshops, and lots more.
Find the full program on the New Vision Arts Festival website at http://www.newvisionfestival.gov.hk/.
If you’re looking for an arts-themed workshop for your kids, then take a look at the CreativeKids workshops. The CreativeKids organization aims to advance creative develop in children, by encouraging creativity and teaching the technical skills to go with children’s passion for art. They organize regular programs of workshops for different age groups which are held throughout the school year, one per week from September to August. However, children can join at any time, so you can still enroll your kids now if you like. As well as the aged-based workshops for under 5s, they have specialist courses for older children which cover oil painting, architecture, and portfolio building.
If you’re an adult and you’re feeling jealous of these fun workshops, no need to worry! You can join the adult workshops which CreativeKids offer too. These include a three-day introductory course on drawing, which consists of three single-day workshops which are held once a week. Or for the advanced artist there is a oil painting workshop, which consists of five single-day sessions. In both courses, all material is supplied so all you need to bring is yourself and you can get working on your artistic skills.
Find the details of workshops for both children and adults on the CreativeKids website at http://creativekids.com.hk/children-and-adult-workshops/ and http://creativekids.com.hk/regular-programs/
Artistic workshop and courses for adults
Is there a particular artistic skill which you’ve always wanted to learn? Are you looking to challenge yourself and to make new friends? Then you should consider taking a creative class or workshop. You could try a classic life drawing class, to learn about drawing the human body and the complexity of anatomy. You can find specialist courses for artists at North Point’s Hong Kong Art Tutoring service (www.hkarttutoring.com) or for more casual drop-in classes, try HKStudio (www.facebook.com/groups/lifedrawinghk), where course leader Philippe Charmes introduces a weekly model to pose for the students.
If you’re keen to pick up other classical art skills, you could try a painting course. For friendly classes or one-on-one tuition in classical oil painting or acrylics, you can go to Studio 83 (www.studio83.com.hk), or you can find both short-term and longer-term courses at the Hong Kong Arts Centre (www.hkac.org.hk). The Hong Kong Arts Centre even offers courses in combining Western art styles with traditional Chinese styles such as “Watercolor and Chinese Ink”, which is a great way to learn about how to use these techniques in your own art.
If the mention of Chinese Ink has piqued your interest, you might want to try an ink painting workshop. Ink wash painting is a tradition dating back thousands of years and has been regarded as the very highest form of art in China, and it aims not merely to capture the appearance of its subject but to capture its spirit. It is thus a philosophy and a way of looking at the world as much as it is a technique, and it is one which people spend years trying to master. If you’re interested and wondering how to get started in ink painting, try taking a course at the Chinese University (www.cuhk.edu.hk). Or if you can get onto the wait list, the courses of Danny Liu (www.facebook.com/dannyliuwinghung) are greatly beloved as an introduction to the art form by a real master.
*Editor’s note: the images in this article are conceptual and are not actual images of the events described herein.