Art for its own sake

Art for its own sake

It's one thing to just look at a work of art, but when you actually have to make one, it's a whole different experience, as YP's junior reporters found out at K11


(From left, sitting) Jade Chan, Henry Lui, Kent de Jesus, Tacye Hong and Janet Tam try to get the delicate details of making a clay photo frame right.
(From left, sitting) Jade Chan, Henry Lui, Kent de Jesus, Tacye Hong and Janet Tam try to get the delicate details of making a clay photo frame right.
Photos: Edward Wong/SCMP
Community art is different from traditional - often high-brow - art. Instead of looking at a piece of artwork from 10 metres away - with no touching or photographing - community art encourages people to take part and practise doing arts on a daily basis.

Our junior reporters attended one of the open-space art jamming sessions at K11 mall, in Tsim Sha Tsui. They learned how to make a clay photo frame and got a taste of what doing arts in an open space feels like. Let's see what they learned.

Art jamming

There is always art around us, and it's there for everyone to enjoy. But a lot of people probably don't realise that many ordinary things in our lives are influenced by what happens in the contemporary art scene.

K11 wants to bring the experience of a peaceful art gallery or museum in to the heart of our hectic city, blending the world of art with a fast-paced financial centre.

One of the ideas is to turn the mall's open space into a studio and host workshops. Our photo-frame workshop took place in a random corridor on the first floor.

The mall also has a permanent location to display artwork, called the "Kollection". So far, more than 75 pieces of art are on display, including work by local artists such as Man Fung-yi and Kum Chi-keung, and international masters including Damien Hirst, Olafur Eliasson, Teppei Kaneuji and Yinka Shonibare.

Janet Tam

No room for error

I have always been a fan of clay projects, but I've never learned how to make anything more complex than simple spheres and cylinders. This workshop taught me more about the different techniques needed to make clay more versatile. We learned how to turn a ball of clay into pretty roses and teacups.

What makes shaping clay difficult is that a minor mistake can mean you have to start from scratch. So, a massive amount of patience is needed. If you have a full set of tools, it will help enormously and make the job far easier.

Kent De Jesus

Personal experience

Tacye Hong (left) and Janet Tam concentrate on their work.

I found it hard to focus completely on the clay in my hands. Sometimes I'd drift off and stop working. Then the trouble came: the clay would dry out and crack when I tried to shape it.

For example, as I was creating a clay heart, I was trying to make the curves better, so I reshaped it over and over again. But the process took a long time, and I realised, too, that the clay had already dried out.

Learning from my mistake, I came up with the shape in my mind first before I actually started making it. It turned out better than my first clay heart, and the result encouraged me to work in the same way for the rest of my designs.

To complete my own photo frame, the last step was to mark it with my name. While this task seems stress-free, it was surprisingly challenging. My hands were shaking as my pen slowly moved across the nameplate. It would have been disastrous if I made any mistakes after all the effort I'd put in. But in the end, I was able to finish my own flawless photo frame.

Tacye Hong

During the workshop, two junior reporters, Henry Lui and Jade Chan, took out their cameras to document the clay-making process. They share how they use photography to record memorable moments in their daily lives.

It's all about the process

Junior reporter Henry Lui's photo of the photo frame he made at the K11 Mall.

When creating a piece of artwork, the creator always has the product to look forward to. But we shouldn't forget the most important aspect of an art experience - the process.

Taking photographs during the clay art-making process was a way to document my experience and leave a lasting image of what I accomplished.

As technology gets more advanced, it would be easy to get distracted by a camera's functions and forget about the true meaning of photography. I use photographs to record my life moments. In this workshop, I think our cameras captured the essence of art, and passed on the beauty and the ideas that my artwork tries to communicate.

Henry Lui

Freezing moments in time

Throughout this session, many spectators commented on my photo taking - the camera I used, the angles I chose, and apparently the "seriousness" of my expression. I was taken aback by their comments. My camera is a staple in my life, something I take with me everywhere, from holidays to running errands.

Cameras hold a special power - to freeze moments. They keep details crisp, clear and distinct. I have this unexplainable fear of forgetting. I simply cannot bear the feeling of a slipping memory or hazy thought. I hate blurred memories, or thinking about a brilliant idea that never came to be.

Jade Chan

Young Post's Junior Reporters' club organises regular activities for our members, including arts-and-crafts workshops, writing workshops and meet-and-greet opportunities with well-known people. To sign up, send your name, age, school and contact details to now, with "jun rep application" in the subject field.



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