Student Achievements/Campus Life
‘More than Drawing’ exhibition ends, the lessons continue
The “More than Drawing” exhibition showcasing works by students of the Understanding Drawing course may have come to an end, but the 9-23 May event at the Fu Tei Bookstore showed that the knowledge and inspiration acquired from guest instructor Rainbow Leung will continue.
“From her, we learned how to liberate ourselves from rules and limitations,” says Tam Yik-tung, a Year 4 Visual Studies student. “Rainbow helped us understand that bold imagination, detailed observation, and being true to oneself are the essence of creative art. In addition to teaching practical drawing techniques, she encouraged and inspired us. Outside the classroom, she was in touch via WhatsApp messages, trying to understand our thoughts and help us show an individual style and character in our work.”
Understanding Drawing is one of the studio courses offered by the Department of Visual Studies. It is designed to be a theoretical, historical and experiential exploration of the visual medium of drawing.
Even so, Leung’s students learned far more than they expected. “I came across this elective and thought it could be interesting,” says final-year student Anna Leung Wai-yin, who has been drawing since she was young. “In the first class, I thought I’d made a mistake. I expected my classmates would view it as an interest course, but they were very serious and already had very good skills.”
She considered quitting, but decided to continue after hearing Rainbow Leung explain that drawing is the expression of creativity, not just a platform for craftsmanship.
“The course allows students to dream, to do what they really want, even to represent love,” says Rainbow Leung, whose own artwork shows a particular interest in local history and culture. Indeed, her book Sheung Ha Wo Che, published in 2009, helped establish her name on the local art scene.
“A student once asked me very seriously if the class would be graded on bell curve,” she says. “I was a bit shocked by that because I don’t think of art like that. Instead, everyone should be encouraged to think differently and to feel proud and content about their work. We don’t need to worry about the comparisons.”
She notes that the education system tends to make students too concerned about marks and comparisons.
“Art, though, allows us to do what we want, and do it happily. You can pick up a pencil and enjoy drawing any time you like; it is a hobby for life. And that is the message of the course.”
The two-week exhibition showcased student sketches, as well as the Final Project of Zine, a book of illustrations and stories by students about the shops and people of Lam Tei, a local community in Tuen Mun.
“The stories were written with great sincerity,” says Rainbow Leung. “I took the students there for a couple of lessons to observe the streets and shops and talk to the people. It is a treasured memory for all of us.”
Jenna Fung Ka-yan, a Year 4 Visual Studies student, was the producer of the exhibition. At the opening ceremony, she had a special word of thanks for the guests from Lam Tei and, not surprisingly, for her teacher’s help and encouragement.
“Rainbow taught us that a drawing is about more than beauty,” Fung says. “It should lead us to observe the world more acutely and to know ourselves better.”