In memory of friends lost

In memory of friends lost

King George V celebrates lives in art

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Yaron Bob makes the sculpture at KGV.
Yaron Bob makes the sculpture at KGV.
Photos: Carol Saunders
Christine Chau Chung-chi was happy when she looked at the design she had completed. It was a sculpture to celebrate the lives of King George V School students and staff who have died, including vice-principal Tim Ford, who passed away last year.

Her drawing for the memorial featured a globe surrounded by five people holding hands.

"The globe represents KGV, an international school which simulates a small community of students with different backgrounds, cultures and habits," said Christine, 12.

"The firm base holding the globe represents our knowledge and values, like the root of a tree digging deep into the ground, absorbing nutrients steadily and powerfully.

"The five people all embrace their own philosophies, high achievements, creativity and diversity. And they lived together in the sustainable and enjoyable learning environment of KGV. They are my family and friends."

Christine was one of a group of students at KGV who worked with Israeli artist Yaron Bob to build the sculpture from scratch. Bob was in Hong Kong to attend Radical Resilience Week, which was inspired by last month's TEDxHappyValley event. He also did some workshops at KGV, one of the sponsors of the event.


Designer Christine Chau with Bob.

Mike Draeger, from the school's design and technology department, said the students were invited to submit their designs to Bob, who then selected the one that best represented the message.

"We want to dedicate it to those we have lost over time at KGV, and who have made important contributions [to the school]," Draeger said.

Bob said he was amazed by Christine's design, which resembled the same spirit of his artwork Rockets Into Roses. To promote the message of peace, he created hand-sculpted roses from missile casings and sold them online. The proceeds raise funds to build bomb shelters in his hometown of Yated, a small community near the Gaza Strip.

"The human figures holding hands around the earth is a powerful image. It symbolises our mutual commitment to each other and to the Earth, despite our different characters," said Bob, 41, who shared his belief that something destructive can be turned into something good. The message inspired many, including 14-year-old student Jane Yap Ye-juin.

"I like his idea of turning something negative - like the metal from the missiles - into beautiful artwork," said Jane, who attended the workshop. "Yaron has helped us to reflect on our strong support network and remember our school is a special place."

Bob was equally grateful: "The students have a thirst for knowledge and a genuine desire to contribute to the project, and I'd like to thank them for that.

"Through the workshop and making the sculpture together, I hope they'll see that even the hardest metal can be softened by love and warmth. Together we can create amazing things in life."

Christine said she is looking forward to seeing the finished sculpture in front of the Performing Arts block when it opens in the next academic year.

"When people look at it, I hope they feel peaceful and happy. I want them to understand the importance of friendship."

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