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The Standard Make room for local art Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Make room for local art

Trista Yeung

KEW GREEN HOTEL in Wan Chai is get-ting into the art scene, displaying work by local students on some of its floors after organizing a competition for them in collaboration with Hong Kong Baptist University's Academy of Visual Arts.

More than 40 art students and fresh graduates joined the contest, and 10 paintings are on display until December in the hotel, which was formerly known as the Metropark.

Evan Chiu, the hotel's general manager, said: "The competition is a way for us contribute to society. It provides a platform for young artists to unleash their talents and showcase their work in an encouraging and casual environment."

Using the theme "A Closer Look at Hong Kong," the students were asked to convey their unique impressions of the SA R.

The top three students won cash prizes of HK$4,000 in total, with framing and installation of their artwork in the hotel. Seven selected students also had the opportunity to showcase their artwork in the hotel.

Peter Benz, associate professor and programme director of the university's Academy of Visual Arts, said that competitions like this helped boost confidence of the young people by providing a professional setting to showcase their work.

"It is the perfect example to showcase the possibility of arts in commercial sectors. It gives exposure to the students and a chance to show-case themselves as an artist, which encourages them to heighten their professional awareness," he said. "One problem is that many parents do not appreciate their children becoming artists. Such opportunities suggest how it can be an actual career in the future."

Year two student Qian Yinxiao won second place in the competition with her painting, Growing Up of Building, inspired by daily life.

"It is very interesting to see new and old buildings standing side by side on the street, creating Hong Kong's special urban landscape," she said.

"I wanted to focus on this commonly found but easily forgotten scenery by an ink circle, to remind city people that it is our unique identity."

Year three student Lam Man-yi portrayed different kinds of boats and ferries to look into the history of Hong Kong.

"Victoria Harbour has played an important role in the city's transformation from a fishing village into a metropolitan city. It was once a transshipment port but has now become a famous landmark of Hong Kong. Fishing boats, ferries, as well as the stunning night views from both sides ofthe harbor, are impressive sights for tourists," Lam said.

For HKBU graduate Cheng Ting-ting, the opportunity to showcase work in a hotel was fresh and exciting. "Given the casual setting of the hotel, I hope the artwork can raise tourists' interest in discovering more of our city," she said. "Young emerging artists always struggle to find a place to display their artwork so the opportunity is really precious to us." trista.yeung@singtaonewscorp.com

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