Visual arts graduands turn flavours of life into creative art at exhibition

28 Jun 2024

Creativity is all around us. When students of the Academy of Visual Arts (AVA) were organising the Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Visual Arts Graduation Show, they found inspiration in a bowl of Borscht.

Ella Wong, a graduating student and President of the HKBU AVA BA Graduation Show 2024 Committee, explains why the theme “Opus” was selected for this year’s exhibition. “When we had our first committee meeting, one of our members brought a bowl of Borscht for dinner. We realised that every graduating student at AVA resembles the unique and condensed ingredients in the soup, making use of their originality to enrich the University’s flavours.”

The letters in “soup” were then re-arranged to form the word “Opus”, a Latin word which also happens to carry artistic connotations. The Committee hopes that the exhibition can highlight the engagement and interaction between students, and illustrate how HKBU has provided a space for creative exploration, where students inspire each other to craft unique works of art.

AVA of the School of Creative Arts at HKBU presents its BA Graduation Show on the Kai Tak Campus. The exhibition showcases the creative works of 130 AVA graduating students, reflecting their artistic achievements incubated in this ever-changing era. It invites visitors to savour the sweetness and bitterness, as well as the ups and downs experienced by the students on their artistic creative journey.

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The work But today, I am myself by Aimee Lau is a painted metal installation that uses a soft colour palette to contrast with the metal structure, thereby embodying the balance of both strength and softness. While Aimee is mostly drawn to painting, she wanted to push the boundaries and try a different medium for this piece. “Metalwork art may seem at odds with the stereotypically feminine roles, but what’s special about metal is that it can be stretched. Through polishing, cutting and welding, the hard iron rods can be transformed into my desired shapes. I hope to express my feelings through this work, and to inspire introspection,” she says.


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Kika Ko also made a new creative attempt through her work Scratch ____ , incurably insolvable, where she added Chinese paint to oxidised copper plates, creating a set of distinctive art pieces. Kika is no stranger to experimental art, and she is interested in making a connection between her art and her personal experiences. She says: “On humid days, my skin often itches, and scratching makes it easy to break the skin. When I was working on my Honours project, I discovered that copper plates start to oxidise in humid weather, and its chemical discolouration looks similar to the scars of my scratches.” She adds that broken skin will recover, therefore her work symbolises how the setbacks in life will eventually pass and may even become an opportunity for a fresh start.


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In the exhibition, Ella presents a set of four works under the title A Lump of Pure Sound, some of which were exhibited in the Hong Kong Art Basel Parallel Exhibition organised by AVA earlier this year. Adopting Chinese painting techniques on hospital duvet covers and cloth underpads, Ella depicts the everyday life of her father after he was paralysed in a car accident, and explores the relationship between father and daughter. “My dad’s accident has been a profound personal experience for me, but this series of works does not show me and my father’s face, so that the focus is on the communication and connection between people in general. In addition, I chose to employ Chinese painting techniques with the idea of merging traditional Chinese cultural values with contemporary themes,” she says.

130 graduating students. 130 unique souls. In a great variety of mediums, the art pieces mirror the artistic experiences and personal growth of the graduating students. The Graduation Show is on view until 23 June, and throughout the exhibition, AVA students will also organise talks and workshops for the public.