I don’t think people aren’t interested in learning how to create art here in Hong Kong. However, it is quite true that the dozens of commercialized so-called weekend art workshops here are rather brief, too simplistic, and a bit… expensive. I once worked as a part-time at a local art gallery where I assisted their weekend art jams. Yet, instead of actually sharing with fellow participants the ways to paint; I was simply squeezing out colors for them throughout the whole weekend. Here in Hong Kong, the idea of fostering, even basic art knowledge, has been diluted by the very need of earning enough to pay rent; which is why I can’t completely blame the hosts of these workshops, but dang do I want to see studios dedicate themselves in the sharing of creating art.
For those who share my feelings, you would be just as delighted as I was when I found out about Tung Yao Ceramics Design Studio. Founded to “unite ceramics lovers, artists across a wide range of fields, and the public, to promote ceramic arts and to facilitate collaborative projects and experience sharing”, the local studio aims to bring ceramics to life. The owner, Amber Lei, who studied ceramic arts in the UK, was “struck by the lack of opportunities in ceramics here.” Especially for ceramics, which is considered as either an expensive object or simply a daily used item, there was a lack of in between, and thus, a lack of space for those who are enthusiastic about creating professional ceramic art.
Tung Yao Ceramics Studio not only provides ceramic courses covering topics of ceramic history, technique, porcelain knowledge and more, they have also developed the first International Artist & Residence Programme in Hong Kong. In hands with their office in Jingdezhen, the “Porcelain Capital” in China, ceramic artists from all around the world are welcomed to exchange to Hong Kong or Jingdezhen for one to three months. Exhibitions and different collaborations with artists and brands are also hosted, allowing products such as tea sets, dishes and ceramic furnishings by students and these artists to be made available for sale to the public.
A great way to mingle with a small class of ceramic lovers and to relax from the busy city life, Tung Yao Ceramics studio is a great aid to not just “the shortage of studios and pottery equipment in Hong Kong”, but also a great platform in “fostering and assisting emerging ceramic artists.”
Shop B, G/F, No. 37 Tung Street, Sheung Wan