• Achievements & Awards

Major wins at local arts development awards


Cathy Lau
ADC
(From left) Mr Wong, Dr Lai, and Mr Lee.
 

A faculty member and two alumni from the School of Creative Media (SCM) at City University of Hong Kong (CityU) were honoured at the Hong Kong Arts Development Awards 2017.

Dr Linda Lai Chiu-han, Associate Professor of SCM, received the Artist of the Year (Media Arts), while Mr Wong Chun and Mr Lee Kai-chung, alumni of SCM, took home the Artist of the Year (Film) and Award for Young Artist (Visual Arts), respectively. The awards are organised by the Hong Kong Arts Development Council.

Dr Lai has dedicated herself to promoting the development of media arts since joining SCM when it was established in 1998. She has founded a platform called “Floating Projects” with some young artists for presenting artwork and exchanging ideas to help nurture the next generation of media artists. Her experimental videos and digital/mixed-media installations have been exhibited in cities across Asia and Europe.

“It’s gratifying to be recognised by the local arts scene as Hong Kong is my hometown,” she said. “The award will encourage me to continue my work to promote the development of the arts and let more people know about media arts.”

Over the years, Dr Lai has tried to promote new media arts and the importance of arts through different channels. She encourages students to explore more resources and ways to create artwork.

She said the biggest challenge being a teacher at SCM was showing how art and science are connected. “Artwork not only offers us a sense of beauty, it also helps us to develop an open mind about the world. It is a way of thinking and an attitude for dealing with practical problems,” she said.

Mr Wong studied cinematic arts at SCM and graduated in 2011. His first movie Mad World won him the Best New Director award at the 53rd Golden Horse Awards, Best Director at the 23rd Hong Kong Film Critics Society Awards, and the Best New Director award at the 36th Hong Kong Film Awards.

He said he was surprised but honoured to receive the award as past winners had been veteran filmmakers. The award signified recognition of his work and would motivate him to continue to work hard to strive for perfection, he added.

Mr Wong said he was grateful to CityU. “SCM enlightened me. I learned about the nature of film and acquired the essential foundations for making movies. My present work is deeply influenced by my university education,” he said.

Mr Lee, who received his Master of Fine Arts in Creative Media from SCM in 2014, uses archives and history as the subject of his work, and presents it in various ways such as video recordings, sculpture, installations and photographs, provoking space for new thinking in archival arts. In 2016, he set up an arts organisation called “Archive of the People” to study the status of local art archives and stock of the raw data. Currently, he is establishing a search engine that links artists' online resources.

He said his training at SCM had helped him to create his artwork and conduct research projects. “It was a major milestone in my life to study at CityU. It was the first time I had learned about new media arts. SCM taught me about computer coding and film shooting, among others, and broadened my understanding of new media arts,” he said.

Mr Lee said recognition for his work was highly motivating. “I had never thought about winning the award. I would like to thank the Hong Kong Arts Development Council for giving me the award, which will help me with my career and enable me to implement longer art projects with other artists and researchers,” he said.