Artistic talent recognised

Artistic talent recognised

Ivan shows off some of his spectacular paintings.

This week's artist is Ivan Cheng Tak-hei, a Form Four student at Queen's College, who talks about taking part in an exhibition.

The painting exhibition held at my teacher's studio might be the most precious experience I have ever had. This was the first time my talents were recognised publicly.

I started learning painting at the age of 10. When I was 11, I took part in several competitions for teenagers. I got remarkable results and was given the chance to display my work. I took part in our studio exhibition last year. I was one of the youngest artists. Most of my classmates are much older adults, and yet my painting style and skills are so mature that most people couldn't believe the work was by a teenager.

I displayed four of my best watercolours: two of them are paintings of animals while the others are paintings of landscapes in China, the Mount East and the Mogul Grassland. My friends loved the painting with a bear standing by a stream the most. They thought it was a lively piece that really portrayed a hungry bear trying to swallow a sardine jumping out of the steam.

The exhibition was the most remarkable and unforgettable experience. Taking part in an exhibition isn't just about showing off your skills and making others admire you. I acquired an appreciation of others' artwork. Each piece of art had a unique style. What's more, the invited guests were all well-known artists from the mainland.

Sadly, teenagers in Hong Kong don't have much interest in art, especially forms other than music and visual art. Traditional art forms like xiqu and puppet shows are of no interest at all. The government has been trying to make Hong Kong an international cultural centre with a mix of activities. It has included the subject 'Other learning experience' in the new secondary school curriculum.

But this is not enough; it just creates exam-oriented students. Instead, the government should promote art culture, and put more effort into raising students' interest in all aspects of art.

The Arts Ambassadors-in-School Scheme is organised by the Hong Kong Arts Development Council. It encourages students to take their passion for the arts beyond the campus and into the wider community. The ambassadors will take part in a series of arts programmes during the school holidays.

Learn more about the Arts Ambassadors-in-School Scheme here

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