As a Visual Art BA graduate myself; I remembered my grad show being a lovely experience. Instead of being stressed, upset and rushed; I really enjoyed every bit of it, whether its research, the development or even the final execution. For someone who likes art genuinely; grad show and final year project really just means a reason to make more art. When I got invited by two graduating students of Hong Kong Design Institute to go and see their grad show, my own heart paced as if it was my own graduation all over again.
This school, for those who are not from Hong Kong, is much like a college, like the BCIT in Vancouver but solely focused on design courses. One of the only “art” schools here in Hong Kong; students enrolled are very sure they hold the passion for such realms, and thus they also uphold an expectation to be good at what they have interest in. A majority of previous graduates now have their careers in respective fields, and so it was particularly exciting for me to go and see what these kids of 90’s are up to.
I have to admit, the first sight of their venue display at the Innocenter next to Festival Walk, Kowloon Tong looked a bit dull. Upheld by typical wires and strings, their display stalls were completely made out of card board boxes; I honestly hesitated to take a closer look. With semi clear areas for photography students, information design students, visual communication students and brand deign students; all the photography works were hung on the side walls each with a card box pedestal for their own name cards and comment pads whilst others were set against 4 in one card box “cubicles” scattered across the space.
As a Visual Arts graduate; I am no expertise in their forms of design, yet I concentrated mostly on their conceptual ideas, and found some to be surprisingly fulfilling and advanced for their age. Here are some of my picks from the show.
For the photography section, a lot of students depicted portraitures in their featured works; but my favourite is definitely the series by Kong Cheuk Ying. To be honest, it’s the dedication and hard work that really attracted my attention. Alongside two framed images, she also produced a very high quality “brochure” booklet featuring her works which are accompanied with sentences, quotes and passages that clearly builds up to a carefully planned story. The whole series was strongly linked with shades of blue, but abandons the naturalistic liveliness that the color is usually related to. Instead, Kong goes for a more mysterious and unsettling emotion that is gestured by the figure within the composition.
Another project that left me with excitement is the app design by Ng Sai Kit, Andy, titled “Where is Sports?”. Basically, it a blueprint program that allows users to find nearby individuals who are also interested in playing a game of sports but can’t find any players. The most attractive factor with his project is not only because of the relatable concept, but the details he has decided to go into with this program. With a location search function, a chat function, a venue booking function, as well as via app payment methods and photo album sharing to be hosted on the application with circles of users; I was engulfed within the virtual idea and was hands down thinking it can really happen.
A lot of the proposals were society related; including schemes that were designed to improve parent and children relationships, projects to preserve local environment and foods, ideas that concerned politic issues and voting initiatives. They are obviously very ambitious and interesting projects; but I was much more attracted to personal intimate ideas that were easy to understand and has the viability to become reality.
One of them is project cookaka, and that project left me giggling in a good way. Simply put, its an app that has shadows of the game Cooking Mama, but features real life cooking tutorials that aims to raise university student’s awareness to health and diet. Its fun, simple, pretty and very easy to get people to interact and engage with it. It has that casualty of online bloggers which a lot of teenagers can find themselves relating to, but also obtains a sense of professionalism with the video edit and graphics induced.
Some of the projects to me, are even ready to be sold in the local market. Mobbit by Molly Chan Wing Woon is one of them, a quirky cheeky character that can easily be imagined to be featured as an installation at local malls like K11 and Ocean Terminal; as well as the graphics and layout of Ho Wai Yi’s Tototro project, “an event converting tourists to travellers” is completely suitable to be placed in stores like Log- On.
It’s really nice to see the next generation have such varied thoughts on the current world, and has expressed them through their forms of art. Overall, the exhibition was a lovely experience, and I anticipate to see these future designer’s work become a reality for public enjoyment.