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Creativity Shines in Art Works by Disabled Children

During these days, laughter penetrated every corner of Hong Kong Arts Center's Pao Gallery where students from various special schools learnt how to make portraits by using different materials.


The Jockey Club Arts for the Disabled Scheme -- Joint Special Schools Music and Arts Festival is now holding an exhibition showcasing paintings, drawings, Chinese calligraphy, ceramic pieces created by students with physical or mental disabilities during the scheme's art projects conducted in 80 special schools and special child care centers.


The festival aims at providing a platform for students with a disability to showcase their achievements in the learning process, including their very first steps.


The exhibition is open to public from Jan. 21 to 30 at Hong Kong Arts Center where guided tours and workshops led by tutors of the school-based art projects are held during the exhibition to enhance the visitors' interest.


"At this arts festival, we work our best to help disabled students to arouse their interest in art, develop creativity and build up self-confidence," said Chris Chan, one of the art tutors of the festival.


The festival encourages public appreciation of the art work created by disabled children and sharing of their creative aspiration, as Chan said, this empowering experience will help the students' future development in a more mature, fruitful and well-developed path.


Chan's knapsack was tucked with many lovely props which, he said, were very useful in inspiring students' imagination during classes and leading them into the world of art.


"We tend not to judge whether students' works are beautiful or not at the early stage of teaching, but we encourage them to express their feelings and to enjoy the process of art works creation," Chan said, "Once they became used to express themselves through art, we will then emphasize more on skills training."


Tutors see assisting disabled students to explore their own good qualities as a great mission during the festival. Chan said, "Students should be proud of and focus on the ability they possess rather than to only look at their limitation," which is an important message that tutors wanted to bring to the society.


The festival is the first major effort in Hong Kong to empower disabled people of all ages to develop their creative and artistic potential in different art forms to elite levels, while the community has the opportunity to appreciate their artistic talents.


Apart from the exhibition, the festival will also stage a performance on Jan. 28 to 30 at Hong Kong Arts Center. The multi-media theater performance featuring creative drama, dance, music, puppet show and Chinese opera will be presented by various special schools.



(Xinhua News Agency January 29, 2005)

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