ENG
動態
2017  |  2016  |  2015  |  2014  |  2013  |  2012  |  2011  |  E-newsletter

2016-12
Preparations for “Good Nature”tour display workshop
12-12-2016

Ranging from wooden tables, handmade ceramics to stone paperweights, many daily objects also come from the nature.  With careful observation, we should able to see there are various kinds of natural element existing in our urban lives.

The education team will launch a new educational activity called “Good Nature” tour display workshop leading the children to rediscover and experience the nature. Meanwhile, via exploring the most common elements including “soil”, “tree”, “stone” and “water” ,  the workshop is not only to reveal the linkage between the nature and our “home and garden” but also to display the cultural delights hidden behind each element. In order to arouse students’ interest, the team has especially designed a certain installations to encourage observation and creativity through different sensual experiences. 

During the brainstorming session, all tutors agreed “soil”, “tree”, “stone” and “water” are the key elements to bring well-being to people’s lives. We cannot survive without any of them. By learning knowledge, history and culture, we hope students will think the connection between those elements and daily life, and discover more from their surroundings. For example, “water” can nurture every single life on the earth and is easily obtained in the city nowadays. However, if the water supply is limited for 1 hour per day, what can we do then?

In the '60s, Hong Kong was facing the issue of water scarcity. In June 1963, the government of Hong Kong announced that water was delivered only once every 4 days in a year. Since then, people decreased the use of water, paid attention on the storage of water at home and helped each other among the neighborhood. Later on, the issue was gradually solved by building more reservoirs such as Plover Cove Reservoir, High Island Reservoir and arranging water From Dongjiang at Guangdong.

Through the interactions with natural elements, people learn how to treasure and stick together to solve problems with the spirit of solidarity. The “Good Nature” tour display workshop aims to guide students to get inspired and discover values by observing and understanding the relationship between people and the natural elements.


<p>During the preparation, the tutors are investigating how to display the most valuable elements from the &ldquo;nature&rdquo;.</p>

During the preparation, the tutors are investigating how to display the most valuable elements from the “nature”.





Visited the exhibition “Ceremony and Celebration – The Grand Weddings of the Qing Emperors” at Hong Kong Heritage Museum
01-12-2016

From the very beginning, Chinese people have highly attached importance to marriage which was not simply an agreement between 2 people but a matter related to the whole family. Comparing to commoners, emperor’s wedding has become the ceremony of the country. The rituals were complicated and grand, and there were a lot of symbolic meanings about good wishes embedded in the decorations and manners of the ceremony. Recently, the education team has visited the exhibition “Ceremony and Celebration – The Grand Weddings of the Qing Emperors” held at Hong Kong Heritage Museum exploring more of the hidden meanings behind in the practices and objects used in the emperor’s wedding ceremony.

On the theme of grand weddings, the exhibition included an interactive education zone and two exhibiting areas displaying the wedding related artefacts of imperial family and commoners respectively. The exhibits of the Qing emperors’ weddings including various kinds of dowry and wedding ritual object were selected from the rare and unique collections of The Palace Museum.

As the leader of the country, the Qing emperors often expressed their thoughts and wishes about cultural integration between Manchu and Han Chinese in their weddings. In the exhibition, one can see that their ritual objects were still embedded with the traditional symbolic patterns such as “Double Happiness”, “Butterfly” and “Bat” which were commonly used in the previous dynasties governed by Han people; moreover, their wedding robes also came with the imperial symbols - “Dragon” and “Phoenix”, showing not only the highest authority but also the quest on getting themselves into the culture of Han Chinese. Nevertheless, they still looked for retaining the traditional culture of Manchu. One can find that the wedding gifts of empress also included a certain military equipment, for example, one of the exhibits called “Iron helmet with gold filigree” which was only for ritual use in the wedding strongly revealed the spirit of military of Manchu.

Besides emperors, commoners also looked for being blessed. The exhibition displayed a series of wedding artefacts from different collections of local museums including bridal sedan, embroidered suits, décor of wedding banquet, etc. Without expensive materials and delicate crafts, all of these wedding objects were filled with different symbolic patterns showing not only the spirit of wedding traditions but also different characteristics of the local culture.

To enhance audiences’ understanding on the traditional weddings, an interactive zone was designed for different age groups of the public experiencing the process of “Qing Emperors’ wedding ceremony” and learning the common symbolic patterns used in commoners’ weddings. Meanwhile, an activity called “Come on! Let’s weave happiness!” encouraged children and parents to enjoy the delights of the traditional culture through making crafts together.

For both imperial family and local families, the traditional patterns and objects used in the weddings have been retained or altered in accordance to different circumstances and time. However, people’s belief in well-being has never changed.  It would become different forms of wish sharing to the ones we care of.

 


<p>Without expensive d&eacute;cors, one of the local artefacts called &ldquo;Hakka bridal sedan&rdquo; is consisted of many traditional symbolic patterns representing different commoners&rsquo; expectations and wishes towards marriage.</p>

Without expensive décors, one of the local artefacts called “Hakka bridal sedan” is consisted of many traditional symbolic patterns representing different commoners’ expectations and wishes towards marriage.



<p>Our tutors are trying to make &ldquo;love knots&rdquo; in order to experience how much effort the ancient people spent on their weddings.</p>

Our tutors are trying to make “love knots” in order to experience how much effort the ancient people spent on their weddings.





Visited “Across the Oceans: the Local Connections and Global Dimensions of China’s Maritime Silk Road” Exhibition at Hong Kong Museum of History
01-12-2016

Hong Kong has been substantially related to the sea since the historical period. Recently, the education team has visited “Across the Oceans: the Local Connections and Global Dimensions of China’s Maritime Silk Road” at  Hong Kong Museum of History. The exhibition is about “Maritime Silk Road”. Besides eight cities including Penglai, Yangzhou, Ningbo, Fuzhou, Quanzhou, Guangzhou and Beihai, it also involves the content about the role of Hong Kong amidst maritime transportation.

Nevertheless, what was the connection between Hong Kong and the Maritime Silk Road? Geographically, Hong Kong is located at the periphery of the Pearl River Delta, surrounded by South China Sea enabling to access the countries in East Asia, and positioned on China’s south coast becoming an outer port of Guangzhou. During Tang Dynasty, Tuen Mun was the necessary stop from South Asia to Guangzhou. By the late Qing dynasty, the foreign commercial vessels would first anchored at Shek Pai Wan in Aberdeen for replenishment, then setting out to Guangzhou.

Among the collections, there is a remnant of an ancient boat excavated from Sha Tsui, Sai Kung in Hong Kong. Some Ming dynasty blue-and-whites were found inside the cabin, and South Asian pottery sherds, glass beads and agate beads from the Middle East were also unearthed in the site, which reflects the intensive trade between Hong Kong and these regions. “The granite mined in Hong Kong was used as ballast by the foreign commercial vessels, preventing the boats from overturning caused by the large waves. Such rocks could become construction materials after they arrived home countries,” the docent said. Except for stones, the merchants also used blue and white porcelains for the same purpose. It is positive to believe that these techniques of shipping enhanced the exchange from materials, crafts, to economy.

The ancients had never ceased their curiosity about the sea. Taken an example of the Tang dynasty monk Jianzhen, he was already over the age of 60 when travelling east to Japan, and did not give up even turning blind. After five times of failure, he arrived in Japan in the sixth voyage ultimately. And more innumerable people could not be mentioned in detail such as travelers, adventurers, ambassadors, missionaries, merchants, no-name workers and etc.

“Maritime Silk Road”, being a significant conduit for trading and cultural exchange in ancient China, was attributed to the efforts of people in the past to explore and develop. Therefore, civilizations in various places, from tangible to intangible, could have impacts and development subsequently. So does Hong Kong. From opening for trade to becoming a cosmopolitan city, the miraculous change of Hong Kong has highly relied on the light of the sea and the hard works of different “envoys”.


<p>A remnant of an Ming ancient boat(Left) was recovered from Sha Tsui, Kai Kung, Hong Kong. Blue and white porcelain bowls(Right) were recovered from Penny&rsquo;s Bay, Lantau Island, Hong Kong. Both artefacts demonstrate the connection between Hong Kong and sea trade route.</p>

A remnant of an Ming ancient boat(Left) was recovered from Sha Tsui, Kai Kung, Hong Kong. Blue and white porcelain bowls(Right) were recovered from Penny’s Bay, Lantau Island, Hong Kong. Both artefacts demonstrate the connection between Hong Kong and sea trade route.



<p>It is tough to preserve a complete ancient boat; however, the audience can learn about different types of commercial boat or vessels through &quot;My merchant ship&quot; interactive installation</p>

It is tough to preserve a complete ancient boat; however, the audience can learn about different types of commercial boat or vessels through "My merchant ship" interactive installation





2016-11
The trial lesson of “Educational Kit for Primary Schools” kicks off again!
14-11-2016

The trial lesson of “Educational Kit for Primary Schools” has taken place in schools again. The education team luckily invited A.D.&F.D. of Pok Oi Hospital Mrs. Cheng Yam On Millennium School to participate in the corporation programme leading the P.1 to P.3 students to explore the stories and delights of traditional culture via the topic “Emperor ­- Freedom and Constraint”. 

Before the lesson, the education team has met up with the school teachers discussing about the details of the activity. The vice principal, Ms Helen Ha, mentioned that the programme was suitable for junior primary students and suggested to include more visual elements for students in different levels of learning.

The education team also attended one of the P.1 trial lessons arranged by the school. In accordance with the learning levels of the students, the teacher added a certain photos and images into the lesson guiding the students step by step learning the ideas of “Freedom and Constraint” from the stories of emperors. Through the interactive game, “Emperor Says” the students learned not only the power of emperor but also the request and expectation from commoners. The emperor has to make decisions carefully for the well-being of his commoners. On the other side, when playing the animation of “The Growth of Little Prince”, to help students further understand the idea of cherishing the freedom, the teacher explained to the students about the strict life of “little prince” in which he had no choice in career and needed to well equip himself for being a good leader in the future. 

After an hour activity, the tutors found that leading students for cultural learning was not an easy task. Besides the proper content, the educators have to build up a close rapport to the audience. Since the school teachers have strong experience in teaching, full understanding of the class and good relationship with the students, they are the ideal people to promote culture among children. It’s just like what the principal mentioned in the trial lesson: “The learning performance of students in class is the result of the relationship built between teachers and students”.


<p>&ldquo;The emperor says: all the commoners dismiss!&rdquo; The teacher plays the role of emperor in the interactive game &ldquo;Emperor Says&rdquo;. Through the activity, the students will learn the emperor, even with the strong power, has to make proper decisions considering the feelings of his commoners.</p>

“The emperor says: all the commoners dismiss!” The teacher plays the role of emperor in the interactive game “Emperor Says”. Through the activity, the students will learn the emperor, even with the strong power, has to make proper decisions considering the feelings of his commoners.



<p>&ldquo;I hope emperors will help everyone have&nbsp;food&hellip; I hope commoners can learn writing&hellip;&rdquo;the students tell the teachers. To enhance the logic and analytical skills, the teacher encourages students to express their expectations and comments on both &ldquo;Emperor&rdquo; and &ldquo;Commoners&rdquo;.</p>

“I hope emperors will help everyone have food… I hope commoners can learn writing…”the students tell the teachers. To enhance the logic and analytical skills, the teacher encourages students to express their expectations and comments on both “Emperor” and “Commoners”.





The extended workshop of " Educational Kit for Primary Schools – Culture at a Glance " kicks off!
11-11-2016

“Culture at a glance" Interactive Workshop, which is the extended workshop of "Primary School Learning Kit”, has finally launched in local primary schools for both junior and senior primary school students. The team is grateful to have various local primary schools participating in the workshops. In pursuit of offering a brand-new learning experience, the workshop is designed in a new form blending dramas and talks, hoping to share the Chinese culture and virtues via a relaxed yet interesting way.

The first junior workshop – “A Bowl of Rice” was held early this month. Rice is essential for human beings. Nevertheless, do we have any in-depth understanding on such food? In fact, the growth of rice often relied on the hard work and genuine effort of farmers. In the ancient China, farmers had to spend a whole year to achieve the harvest. Just like the ancient sayings, “Rising with sunrise, resting with sunset”, their work was routine and restless.

In a section of the workshop called “A Year of the Farmer”, students would learn how a seed of rice becomes thousands of rice and how much time and effort the farmers have spent in different seasons due to the climate and nature. Not only did this process embody the representative of relentless effort and progressiveness, but also illustrated the harmony between nature and human beings.

A few days later, the senior workshop – “Chinese Brush and Paper” has also started since then. The tutors introduced the ancient recording tools and media to students at the beginning and brought up the theme “Chinese Brush and Paper”. Chinese Brush is more than a tool of recording. It is delicate and sensitive, catching movements and subtle emotions easily; moreover, its brushstrokes reveal ones’ strength, posture, feelings and even personalities. As for Chinese paper, its whiteness, lightness and inexpensiveness enable people to forget its existence encouraging the gaze focusing on the black ink. Those papers are low-cost but absolutely treasurable in the light of popularizing and sharing knowledge.

In the last activity of the workshop, the tutors invited students to write down some encouraging words at that moment for their junior schoolmates in the future. All of them took it very seriously and even shared the wordings to the others immediately.

 


<p>Students could see diverse sorts of rice from the &ldquo;Big Bowl of Rice&rdquo;. Despite its tiny size, it is still splendid, providing energy for thousands of people. (P.L.K. Siu Hon Sum Primary School)</p>

Students could see diverse sorts of rice from the “Big Bowl of Rice”. Despite its tiny size, it is still splendid, providing energy for thousands of people. (P.L.K. Siu Hon Sum Primary School)



<p>&ldquo;Spring is the best startup of a whole year&rdquo;&nbsp;is a common saying among Chinese society. Some inspiration could also be found in the rice-growing process. (AD &amp; FD POHL Mrs Cheng Yam On Millennium School)</p>

“Spring is the best startup of a whole year” is a common saying among Chinese society. Some inspiration could also be found in the rice-growing process. (AD & FD POHL Mrs Cheng Yam On Millennium School)



<p>How did people record important stuff in the past? There were plenty methods of record with distinguishing features such as tying knots, craving rocks, etc. (P.L.K. Siu Hon Sum Primary School)</p>

How did people record important stuff in the past? There were plenty methods of record with distinguishing features such as tying knots, craving rocks, etc. (P.L.K. Siu Hon Sum Primary School)



<p>Students were required to finish writing in the limited time. How were their feelings? Look! Different emotions were exposed on the paper! (AD &amp; FD POHL Mrs Cheng Yam On Millennium School)</p>

Students were required to finish writing in the limited time. How were their feelings? Look! Different emotions were exposed on the paper! (AD & FD POHL Mrs Cheng Yam On Millennium School)





Participating in “Living with Bamboo: Museum of Art is Here” Workshop
03-11-2016

Education team took part in “Living with Bamboo: Museum of Art is Here” Workshop in Saint Louis School (Primary Section). Based on the theme of bamboo, the workshop allows people to think more about how bamboo connects with art and daily lives, digging the indefinite possibilities of ordinary things through the implication of bamboo in traditional Chinese art and culture.

This workshop was a part of the education programme“Living with Bamboo: Museum of Art is Here”, in which the exhibition was already launched at the Exhibition Gallery of the Hong Kong Central Library from September to October. Meanwhile, the outreach workshops have been being held in local primary and secondary schools for four months. This education programme was presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, and organized by the Hong Kong Museum of Art in partnership with the Academy of Visual Arts of Hong Kong Baptist University and the Design and Cultural Studies Workshop.

There were over a hundred students as participants of the workshop, which was different from the small-class workshops. By this opportunity, the education team has also learned how to interact with a big class of audience. 

During the workshop, the tutors showed consideration for students in different classes via plenty of interactive activities such as  inviting students to join, instructing the whole class to think and even walking to the audience seats in order to raise the interests and excitements about bamboo.

Bamboo is a material being easy to modify. It can become many useful daily objects like chopsticks, sleeping mats, toys…… and more. In fact, people can solve problems once using their imagination and creativity. Via diverse tangible teaching materials, students could experience and feel the connection between bamboo and our daily lives immediately.

In the workshop, the tutors invited students to guess the functions of various bamboo-made products seeing how people put their imagination and creativity into practice through bamboo for satisfying the necessity of living.

In order to share the delight of the traditional culture with students in the future, education team looks forwards to intergrating the experience from this activity into the workshops.  


<p>The tutor walked close to the student and encouraged him expressing his views.</p>

The tutor walked close to the student and encouraged him expressing his views.



<p>By showing a bamboo stick, the tutor&nbsp;lets the students&nbsp;see, touch and feel in order to know more about it.</p>

By showing a bamboo stick, the tutor lets the students see, touch and feel in order to know more about it.



<p>Bamboo pole is endurable, and becomes flexible and soft when it is cut as bamboo batten.</p>

Bamboo pole is endurable, and becomes flexible and soft when it is cut as bamboo batten.



<p>The students guessed the function of&nbsp; products creatively. For example, people supposed the bamboo-made holding cage is made for sleeping; however, a student suggested it could be used for exercising.</p>

The students guessed the function of  products creatively. For example, people supposed the bamboo-made holding cage is made for sleeping; however, a student suggested it could be used for exercising.





2016-10
Preparing the trial lesson of “Educational Kit for Primary Schools: Growing in good relationship”
14-10-2016

The education programme always looks forward to cooperating with local schools for a series of education activities catering the needs of students. After the “1001 Chinese Objects” workshop, the education team gladly invited the FSFTF Fong Shu Chuen Primary School again for the trial lesson programme of “Primary School Learning Kit”. The school teachers will conduct an “architecture” themed lesson -- “Growing in good relationship” with P.4 students in early November.

In the middle of October, based on the teaching content, a briefing meeting were especially arranged with the teacher Ms. Wong Wai-yee for exchanging comments. Ms. Wong mentioned the lesson had rich and interesting contents with some inspiring thoughts, such as human relations and the spirit of inheritance, in which topics the students seldom learned in class before. On the other side, to uplift the overall quality of the workshop, she offered her precise suggestions. For example, she advised to conduct the interactive game, “Little Architect”, in groups to enable all students being engaged in the activity; moreover, she also expected to see more explanation of the traditional building structures like mortise-tenon joint for enhancing students’ knowledge about Chinese architecture.

Teachers’ experiences and comments are always the key reference for the development of the programme. The education team would keep improving the content of “Primary School Learning Kit”, helping increase students’ interest in the Chinese culture and adjust the materials and messages for the needs of teachers in the future.

 


<p>Some traditional thoughts about family were hidden in the Chinese architecture. Through some simple models of Chinese building, the Interactive game, &ldquo;Little Architect&rdquo;, aims to reveal the values behind the Chinese courtyard.</p>

Some traditional thoughts about family were hidden in the Chinese architecture. Through some simple models of Chinese building, the Interactive game, “Little Architect”, aims to reveal the values behind the Chinese courtyard.





Pre-school Education Workshop
12-10-2016

Starting from early this year, the education team has been preparing the Educational Kit for Pre-schools “Hugging Nature”.  The curriculum, which consists of four thematic sessions: “water”, “rock”, “soil” and “wood”, aims to initiate young children being fond of both nature and Chinese culture.

The team gladly invited several Nursery Schools of Tung Wah Group of Hospitals (TWGHs), including Hung Wong Kar Gee Kindergarten, Ng Sheung Lan Memorial Nursery School and Fong Tam Yuen Leung Nursery School to join in a collaborative programme in order to put the educational kit into practice.  

In  October,  the trial lessons of the educational kit have officially launched in kindergartens leading young children to explore the nature.

From sound-clip playing, storytelling to visual display, the workshop made use of various kinds of teaching format to inspire young children to experience the delights of nature.

When seeing the character “Little Water-drop” (which is a part of the teaching materials), the young children instantly imagined various forms of water and said:

“The waterfall looks just like ‘Little Water-drops’ are playing on the slide!”

“The lake looks like a lot of ‘Little Water-drops’ are gathering at the same place!”

“The river is like we are lining up one by one at school!”

According to the response in class, it is no doubt that the young children are full of imagination and creativity on “water”.

During the class, the teacher tried to integrate “water” to children’s daily lives. “Do you see it when you sitting on the bus?” she asked and introduced a waterfall nearby the school. Through the interactions in class, the students gradually understood that the good nature is actually close to them and can be found in their daily lives.

After the trial lesson, the team held a review meeting with teachers for exchange.  The valuable comments from schools would definitely help the team further understand the needs of our target audience and improve the teaching content accordingly.


<p>To cater for the development of young children, the teaching materials are designed in various formats such as three-dimensional display, interactive game and multi-sensory experience.</p>

To cater for the development of young children, the teaching materials are designed in various formats such as three-dimensional display, interactive game and multi-sensory experience.



<p>The teacher Ms. Wong especially considers the learning of pronunciation.&nbsp; She slowly spells out the word &ldquo;waterfall&rdquo;in Chinese in order to deepen the students &rsquo;impression on the subject. (TWGHs Hung Wong Kar Gee Kindergarten)</p>

The teacher Ms. Wong especially considers the learning of pronunciation.  She slowly spells out the word “waterfall”in Chinese in order to deepen the students ’impression on the subject. (TWGHs Hung Wong Kar Gee Kindergarten)



<p>The teacher Ms. To is conducting the game, &ldquo;Garden Designer&rdquo;. In order to inspire the young children to appreciate nature, the game allows the participants to create their own garden with different kinds of water. (TWGHs Ng Sheung Lan Memorial Nursery School)</p>

The teacher Ms. To is conducting the game, “Garden Designer”. In order to inspire the young children to appreciate nature, the game allows the participants to create their own garden with different kinds of water. (TWGHs Ng Sheung Lan Memorial Nursery School)





“1001 Chinese Objects”workshop launched in Beijing
11-10-2016

Following by the first and second curriculums, “The Best Palace” and “Strolling in the Imperial Garden”, “The Forbidden City Children's Programme” in Beijing has launched a new thematic curriculum -- “1001 Chinese Objects”in the new semester this year. The curriculum aims to lead students to discover the cultural meanings especially the traditional ways of interpersonal communication behind the ancient ordinary objects: tea, chair, bowl and chopsticks. The education partner, Beijing Xinxian Hutong Elementary School, has already included it into the school-based curriculum development and officially launched the first workshop in the early October.

When it comes to Chinese beverage, tea must be one of the all-time favorites.  Chinese people have discovered that tea consists of many good values from rich ingredients, long historical background to the way of feeling the nature. Therefore, the content of the curriculum also includes those topics like “growing conditions of tea”, “tea-making production”, “historical stories of tea”, etc. The curriculum also made use of different formats to gear up the learning interest of the students. Meanwhile, the session of animation especially drew attentions in class. The teacher, Ms. Gao Xiang-yu mentioned that it helped not only uplift the interest of the class but also deepen the impression to the students via a series of interesting display of tea making.

Each cup of tea also comes from the nature and man-made process. The birth of tea involves not only a lot of natural elements such as sunlight, rain, soil but also the additional process by people. Through the chapter of tea, the team hopes the students will experience the nature, discover themselves and share with others afterwards.


<p>The curriculum &ldquo;1001 Chinese Objects&rdquo; has been included in the school programme and started running at the P.4 students. Before the lesson, the education team in Beijing met up with the school teachers for exchanging comments in pursuit of adopting the content to line up with the school programme.&nbsp;</p>

The curriculum “1001 Chinese Objects” has been included in the school programme and started running at the P.4 students. Before the lesson, the education team in Beijing met up with the school teachers for exchanging comments in pursuit of adopting the content to line up with the school programme. 



<p>The activity design aims at enhancing the interactivity between teachers and students for boosting students&rsquo; interest in the topic of the curriculum.</p>

The activity design aims at enhancing the interactivity between teachers and students for boosting students’ interest in the topic of the curriculum.





2016-9
Visited the exhibition – "Legend of Hong Kong Ware: Yuet Tung China Works" at Sun Museum
14-09-2016

For preparing “Primary School Learning Kit”, the team is currently exploring different traditional patterns and their related stories. To investigate the subject, Chinese ornamentation, our tutors has visited the exhibition – “Legend of Hong Kong Ware: Yuet Tung China Works” at Sun Museum learning more about the local ware's historical background and decorative painting style.

The birth of “Yuet Tung China Works” factory was highly associated to the early industrial development of Hong Kong. The infamous Canton porcelain was originally produced in Guangzhou. During the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), the foreign merchants mostly gathered in Guangzhou for business and had demands on porcelains for overseas market. The local porcelain merchants especially ordered the plain white porcelain bodies from Jingdezhen in Jiangxi Province and finished with add-on decorative images and firing process in Guangzhou. This new polychrome porcelain was called “guangcai ware”. At the beginning of the 20th century, due to the political instability in Guangzhou, the porcelain merchants relocated their business to Hong Kong, which was even more influenced by western culture, boosting the development of guangcai ware in Hong Kong.

Since the early Hong Kong guangcai ware was produced for foreign merchants, the decorative patterns on the ware highly represented the interest and social status of the end purchasers. In order to give an impression of elegance and prestige to the foreign buyers, the themes of the main visual on the ware were usually related to the traditional Chinese symbols such as floral, birds and butterflies, etc. and the decorative patterns were filled with different glaze in a range of vivid colours like pinkish rose, sky blue, grass green, metal gold, etc. The Hong Kong guangcai ware was treated as a status symbol at the time.

The production of guangcai ware was a complicated yet technical process. At first, similar to the idea of printmaking, the artisans would create a pattern layout on plates and then transfer those images on the porcelain body by printing technique. Furthermore, the artisans would play the role as a painter filling colours and creating thick and thin lines on the ware by using various sizes of paintbrush. The process demanded the artisans focusing on the work and handling every step with care in order to maintain the high quality of guangcai ware. The artisans’ serious and precise attitude toward the porcelain production reminded us to pay attention on the detail of what we encounter every day.

In the exhibition, besides learning something about porcelain painting techniques such as composition, colour tone and line drawing, our tutors also found that the traditional Chinese patterns were able to record people’s interest and background, and to tell stories about the patterns’ origin. One can imagine the past artisans painted the gorgeous ornamentation and have already helped in raising the popularity of our local culture. Today, the production of porcelain emphasizes on efficiency. “Guangcai ware” and other traditional crafts have hardly been seen; however, the cultural values behind them still remain just like the caring thought of artisans which becomes very precious today.


<p>To gather more local examples of the traditional pattern and to enrich the content of the education activities, our tutors visited the &ldquo;Legend of Hong Kong Ware: Yuet Tung China Works&rdquo; exhibition at Sun Museum.</p>

To gather more local examples of the traditional pattern and to enrich the content of the education activities, our tutors visited the “Legend of Hong Kong Ware: Yuet Tung China Works” exhibition at Sun Museum.





Visited "Living with Bamboo: Museum of Art is Here" exhibition
12-09-2016

The education team has joined the guided tour  of "Living with Bamboo: Museum of Art is Here" exhibition at Hong Kong Central Library on September 12.

This exhibition is a groundbreaking education activity held by Hong Kong Museum of Art during the recent renovation period. Through the topic of bamboo, it displays a series of linkage between our daily lives and arts. The co-organizers include Design and Cultural Studies Workshop and Hong Kong Baptist University (Academy of Visual Arts).

Bamboo is strong, elastic and easy to modify. As a material for making daily utensils, it can be everything. From sweaters, brush holders, writing scripts, cooking food, houses to toothpicks, one can also find the use of bamboo.

Bamboo looks simple, hollow and straight. As a symbol of the traditional culture, it represents simplicity, humility and integrity. The literati appreciated these characters so much. Via the calligraphies, paintings and crafts, they often expressed their feeling and interest in bamboo.

On the other side, a huge display of Bamboo Theatre in the exhibition is also impressive. Indeed, scaffolding with local materials was once popular in China. The scaffolding masters in the northern China mainly used wood; however, the ones in the southern area preferred using bamboo. According to the historical record, on January 16, 1889, the Gate of Supreme Harmony in the Forbidden City was burned, but the marriage ceremony of Guangxu Emperor was coming. In accordance to the tradition of Qing Dynasty, the Emperor and Empress were required to walk through the gate during the ceremony. Since the repairment took time, the imperial officers immediately arranged a group of the scaffolding masters to build a decorated tent of the Gate of Supreme Harmony. It has been told the tent was strong and people were hard to identify if it was real.

Fortunately, the bamboo-scaffolding technique remains in Hong Kong. Every year during different festive and seasonal ceremonies, scaffolding masters will make use over 10 thousands of bamboo stick to create a theatre and disassemble it right after the ceremony.  Through such magical technique, one can see how brilliant and charming the Chinese crafts can be.


<p>Today, people still make use of bamboo to create something innovative. The students from Hong Kong Baptist University (Academy of Visual Arts) used bamboo as raw material to design different daily products.</p>

Today, people still make use of bamboo to create something innovative. The students from Hong Kong Baptist University (Academy of Visual Arts) used bamboo as raw material to design different daily products.



<p>Bamboo can be made as artworks, utensils and food.</p>

Bamboo can be made as artworks, utensils and food.



<p>The ancient Chinese literati appreciated the symbolic virtue of bamboo a lot. They expressed their feeling and understanding of bamboo by writing and painting.</p>

The ancient Chinese literati appreciated the symbolic virtue of bamboo a lot. They expressed their feeling and understanding of bamboo by writing and painting.



<p>We can still find decorated tents in Hong Kong today, especially during the festive seasons, there are many bamboo provisional theatres built and some of them can even accommodate over a thousand audience.</p>

We can still find decorated tents in Hong Kong today, especially during the festive seasons, there are many bamboo provisional theatres built and some of them can even accommodate over a thousand audience.





Sharing about Good Nature newspaper column writing contest
12-09-2016

From April to June, the newspaper column Good Nature held a writing contest encouraging the young readers in Singapore to discover the beauty of the nature and share their findings with the other readers.

At the beginning of the year, the education team has continued the corporation with Thumbs Up, a youth publication under Lianhe Zaobao, publishing column called Good Nature for this year. Initiating with the natural elements such as rocks, soils and trees, the column leads the readers to an exploring journey of the nature. From April to June, the column has invited readers to join a writing contest by submitting a short essay about “The most beautiful tree in my life”. Through the event, the team looks forward to seeing the readers paying more attention on trees and sharing more about trees in their community.

Singapore is praised as a garden city.  One can see different kinds of trees planted everywhere making the city be more beautiful and cooler. Meanwhile, a young participant of the contest, Tan I-an, has observed a special plant called the 5-Dollar Tembusu Tree (which is depicted as the symbol on the Singaporean 5-dollar note) which can survive in the harsh condition. He treasures this tree so much as it is a part of the natural heritage and just like Singapore, which has experienced a lot of tough time but never gives in.

People always mention the root of plants represents “hometown”. In fact, the relationship between “trees”and “home”is also inseparable. Trees can be used to build not only our house and garden but also the bonding among people. We appreciate the participating students for their hard work and creativity; at the same time, we would like to give a big thank to the team of Thumbs Up for providing us the platform to promote the Chinese culture and making the writing contest go well. The outstanding articles have been posted in the column - Little Writer of Thumbs Up. 3 winners including Yeong Shi-xuan, Xu Han-wen and Tan I-an will receive the book Chinese Architecture: A Suite Inspired by Nature as a reward respectively. We hope that the students will further understand the traditional Chinese culture via the perspective of the nature.

 




2016-8
Attended “Envision Hong Kong” exhibition and workshop
11-08-2016

In the recent 100 years, transforming from fishing-port to metropolis, Hong Kong has undergone a rigid development. Today, even Hong Kong’s outlook is highly urbanized, we can still trace back many significant people and things in the past. Organized by CnC, Joint Publishing (H.K.) and City University of Hong Kong (CityU), an old photos related exhibition, called as “Envision Hong Kong”, has been launched at public libraries and bookstores to recall our collective memory of Hong Kong.

The exhibition consists of 5 historical photos in various subject contents including: health, sport, transportation, livelihood and construction. Based on the subjects taken, a group of CityU students have further interpreted and studies the forgotten issues at the time. During the interview, the participated students mentioned the preparation was a difficult yet meaningful task to them. For example, in the session of “Construction”, the students made use of a historical photo taken in quarry, together with different newspaper clips related to mining industry, revealing the different aspects of the workers that moment. The special arrangement gave audience not only a deeper understanding of the declining industry but also an opportunity to think from different perspectives encouraging a mindset of inquiring.

At the beginning of the workshop, through using photos of Chai Wan landmark, the student tutors tended to lead audience being more concerned about their community. They especially designed a broad game, called “Picking Your Chai Wan Landmark” to enhance the interaction and discussion among the group. Since some of the participants have lived in the Chai Wan for long time, they ended up being an advising team and telling the others about the lifestyle and culture of Chai Wan district. The interactive discussion provided an opportunity for everyone in the workshops to know more about the functions and meanings of the landmarks in Chai Wan. Via this workshop, we found that this education activity is not like a traditional one-way teaching format; instead, to gear up more sharing and interpretation from the topic, tutors should alter the content and lesson flow for the needs of different participants.


<p>&ldquo;Envision Hong Kong&rdquo; includes several topics related to the life issues in the 19th and 20th centuries, leading audience to review different aspects of &ldquo;old Hong Kong&rdquo; through photos, illustrations and newspaper-clips.</p>

“Envision Hong Kong” includes several topics related to the life issues in the 19th and 20th centuries, leading audience to review different aspects of “old Hong Kong” through photos, illustrations and newspaper-clips.



<p>To cater for the location of the exhibition, the CityU students especially prepared a workshop related to the landmarks of Chai Wan. Everyone in the workshop enjoyed participating and sharing with each other.</p>

To cater for the location of the exhibition, the CityU students especially prepared a workshop related to the landmarks of Chai Wan. Everyone in the workshop enjoyed participating and sharing with each other.





Visited “Giuseppe Castiglione – Lang Shining New Media Art Exhibition”
05-08-2016

In August, the education team visited the“Giuseppe Castiglione – Lang Shining New Media Art Exhibition” co-organized by City University of Hong Kong and National Palace Museum. The exhibition displayed a series of masterpieces from the Qing court Italian painter, Giuseppe Castiglione (1688-1766), with new digital technologies presenting a brand-new experience to audience.

It’s said that the traditional Chinese art emphasizes on “freehand” style in which a certain details of subject are often less emphasized. Instead, the western artists in the 17th century rather pursued a realistic approach especially on depicting light and shadow, flesh tones, etc.

Milan, a leading city with strengths in the western arts, was the birthplace of Giuseppe Castiglione. When Castiglione was young, he studied painting in Milan; however, ended up contributing the most to the Chinese imperial court painting scene for the rest of his life. His experience in art reveals a unique blend of European and Chinese themes and techniques.

In the early Qing dynasty, as one of Jesuits, Castiglione initially failed to start missionary work due to Kangix’s prohibition on religion in China; however, through his talented painting skills, he became a court artist serving 3 generations of Chinese Emperor including: Kangxi, Yongzheng and Qianlong. At the beginning of work in the court, he faced a lot of difficulties. For example, he was requested by Kangxi Emperor to do portrait paintings in front view without shading effects; on the other side, the western oil-base painting medium he used to use didn't work well with the common painting surface, Chinese silk, in China. In order to cater for the needs, Castiglione developed his own style in painting via using front light instead of high side light to suggest the sense of three dimensions, white colours to highlight the shiny surfaces especially on animal hairs and focus perspective to enhance the effects of depth. As a result, his attempts finally geared up the new mix of Eastern and Western arts.

Extended from Castiglione’s innovative spirit, the exhibition highly utilized new media to re-interpret some of his masterpieces. For instance, one of his famous works One Hundred Horses was a long scroll in which depicted various kinds of horse in different lively postures. In the session of “Discover the Painting in Castiglione's Drawing”, through using interactive augmented-reality installation, the audience was able to compare the original draft of One Hundred Horses with the final artwork and see not only the development of the painting but also the precise craftsmanship of the artist. On the other side, in the session of “Everyone can paint One Hundred Horses”, just like working with Castiglione, the audience was able to participate in colouring the horses on the digital painting scroll via stylus pens.

From Castiglione’s interpretations on traditional Chinese art in the Qing period to the exhibition’s new presentation on Castiglione’s masterpieces today, we have learnt that a deep understanding on our current interpreting methods and core values, and a quest for the best solutions of work are the keys to help us revitalize the valuable matters.


<p>Sheep represents &ldquo;meekness&rdquo;. Besides the meaning of &ldquo;Three Yang (Sheep) for a Peaceful Start&rdquo; in Chinese, it also symbolizes as disciple in the <em>Bible</em>. After seeing the fine hairs drawn in this painting, one can imagine how careful Castiglione had observed his painting objects in the past.</p>

Sheep represents “meekness”. Besides the meaning of “Three Yang (Sheep) for a Peaceful Start” in Chinese, it also symbolizes as disciple in the Bible. After seeing the fine hairs drawn in this painting, one can imagine how careful Castiglione had observed his painting objects in the past.



<p>Some Castiglione&rsquo;s masterpieces done with the other Chinese court artists are named &ldquo;collaborative painting&rdquo;. The painting <em>Peacock Spreading Its Tail Feathers</em> is one of them. In the exhibition, it was re-interpreted into another art-piece called <em>Reflections of the Peacock </em>in which different elements in the painting are displayed in separate layouts in order to highlight the focus perspective drawing practice by western artists at the time.</p>

Some Castiglione’s masterpieces done with the other Chinese court artists are named “collaborative painting”. The painting Peacock Spreading Its Tail Feathers is one of them. In the exhibition, it was re-interpreted into another art-piece called Reflections of the Peacock in which different elements in the painting are displayed in separate layouts in order to highlight the focus perspective drawing practice by western artists at the time.



<p>The original work of <em>One Hundred Horses</em> (on iPad screen) is in the collection of National Palace Museum in Taipei and its draft (on backdrop) is at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Through using new media application, the audience was able to compare the details of work between them instantly.</p>

The original work of One Hundred Horses (on iPad screen) is in the collection of National Palace Museum in Taipei and its draft (on backdrop) is at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Through using new media application, the audience was able to compare the details of work between them instantly.



<p>Since the original design of <em>Chinese chess board painted with flowers of the four seasons </em>was not handy for display, in order to present a realistic chessboard, the exhibitors made use of 3D computer graphic projection and interactive application enabling audience to flip each of the board&rsquo;s sixteen segments.</p>

Since the original design of Chinese chess board painted with flowers of the four seasons was not handy for display, in order to present a realistic chessboard, the exhibitors made use of 3D computer graphic projection and interactive application enabling audience to flip each of the board’s sixteen segments.





New development of Educational Kit for Pre-schools “Hugging Nature”
01-08-2016

Gently flowing water can come together to form a sea carrying large wheels; at the same time, rough stone can also become pebble with shiny and smooth surface through erosion.

The education team is currently developing the Educational Kit for Pre-schools “Hugging Nature”aimed at discovering the cultural connotations from the characteristics of natural elements in our surrounding. The educational kit which consists of 4 topics: “water”, “stone”, “soil”and “wood” will include storybook and workshop combining different medium, such as story-telling, artwork-making, interactive game, physical experience and digital media, to get students into an exploring journey of nature.

In the developing process, the team looks forward to presenting the interesting yet thoughtful contents to users through a lot of learning and thinking. For example, while discussing about the topic of “stone”, we found that many unique stones like stalactite, Taihu stone, diamond, jade, etc., are always treated as treasures. However, how those stones are being formed? In fact, before discovered by humans, the stones have undergone long-term surging by natural force in order to transform into different shapes and looks. Besides learning about the attributes of stone, we hope that students will recognize that just like stones, people are also able to become better through a long period of solid training.

Stone, which is difficult to be mined and moved, has been largely replaced by the other raw materials for manufacturing or constructing today. Nevertheless, it is said that the human civilization might initially start from a piece of stone. 2.5 million years ago, human ancestors began to use stone implements for cutting wood, digging holes, hunting animals, etc., to improve their living conditions. Until 4,000 to 3,000 B.C., bronze (metal), had gradually replaced stone for making implements; however, stone still remained as an usable material for humans in the longest period of time so far. On the other side, someone said that, in order to handle stone implements, humans evolved dexterous fingers; therefore, our ability to write today may also relate to the needs of ancestors: holding stones in hand. Apart from stone (which influenced the human development), there are still a lot of things looked ordinary but worked remarkable in our daily lives. Via the study of natural elements, we encourage students to observe, experience and explore more possibilities from the nature.


<p>Stone can be rough, smooth, colourful, etc. Through observing different stones, the tutors found that each piece of stones, just like human beings, also has its own characteristics.</p>

Stone can be rough, smooth, colourful, etc. Through observing different stones, the tutors found that each piece of stones, just like human beings, also has its own characteristics.





2016-7
Visited the exhibition “Claude Monet: The Spirit of Place” at Hong Kong Heritage Museum
04-07-2016

During the hot summer days, would you find any different color in the cloudless sky? In fact, the nature is always with us. Once observing it carefully, not only can you feel something different but also draw something unique.

In early July, to learn more about the landscape paintings of the Impressionist master Claude Monet (1840-1926), the education team attended the exhibition, “Claude Monet: The Spirit of Place” at Hong Kong Heritage Museum.

In the exhibition, the team experienced different seasonal atmosphere via the presentation of color, light and shadow in Monet’s paintings. Monet used various warm tones of Spring sky to present the cheerful feeling and cool colors of Winter to depict the chilly impression. In his eyes, the sky was like a palette for mixing colors with time.

Monet was also an artist who was willing to break the rules. Different from the realistic painting style of the other artists in the same period, he projected his impression and feelings of different scenes on the canvas through using color tones and brushstrokes.  His artworks looked messy in close-up view but showed lively and natural from far view. His new way of painting altered the aesthetic notion of the people at the time.

Via studying Monet’s life, one can easily find he did painting anytime and anywhere; moreover, he would especially plant a garden for painting his controlled nature: water lilies, pond, and bridge.  It is appreciated and worth learning that Monet spent a lot of time on observing and practicing in order to reveal the uniqueness of every single scene.


<p>&ldquo;Water Lilies&rdquo;, one of the painting series from Monet, was picked as the key visual element of the exhibition.&nbsp; Monet had created 181 pieces of &ldquo;Water Lilies&rdquo;. Each piece has depicted a unique moment of the lotus pond in his garden.</p>

“Water Lilies”, one of the painting series from Monet, was picked as the key visual element of the exhibition.  Monet had created 181 pieces of “Water Lilies”. Each piece has depicted a unique moment of the lotus pond in his garden.





Trial run of “Educational Kit for Primary Schools” programme in Hong Kong
01-07-2016

In order to share the delights of traditional Chinese culture with more students, from the beginning of 2016, the education team has started preparing the“Educational Kit for Primary Schools” and expected that the teachers will make use of the content and conduct education workshops in schools. Meanwhile, the team invited Sha Tin Wai Dr. Catherine F. Woo Memorial School (STWCFMS) as an education partner co-organizing the trial-lessons at school in June.

Different from the previous workshops, the trial lessons were held by teachers instead of education team’s tutors catering for both junior and senior primary school students. In case of the trial lessons at STWCFMS, a specific topic, Emperor, has been chosen.  The educational kit emphasized on a series of interactive contents including an action game, “Emperor says”, a group discussion session about emperor’s life and an animation related to “The Growth of Little Prince”, etc., making the students focus on the process of learning in a rather relaxed atmosphere.

In the lesson, due to the rich experience in teaching, the teachers were able to integrate the content of the “Educational Kit for Primary Schools” into what the students have learnt. For example, the teachers made use of a familiar story about First emperor of Qin, as an introduction to arouse students’ interest in the topic “Emperor”before getting into the content of the trial lesson.  This special arrangement effectively combined the content of the kit with different academic subjects.

During the preparation of the kit, the team has encountered different issues, especially related to the level of learning and the suitability of the content.  Via the trial lesson, not only did the team observe the whole teaching process handled by teachers and the reactions from students but also gather more comments from teachers afterwards, helping further consolidate the content for their needs. 


<p>This is a digital game, called &ldquo;Emperor&rsquo;s Wardrobe&rdquo;, newly developed by the team.&nbsp; Students can select various apparels for the emperor based on different settings. The game mainly introduces the classification and characteristics of Emperor&rsquo;s robe to students and let them realize that, behinds the practical and decorative functions, clothing can symbolize different kinds of duty and virtue as well.</p>

This is a digital game, called “Emperor’s Wardrobe”, newly developed by the team.  Students can select various apparels for the emperor based on different settings. The game mainly introduces the classification and characteristics of Emperor’s robe to students and let them realize that, behinds the practical and decorative functions, clothing can symbolize different kinds of duty and virtue as well.



<p>The students were paying attention on discussing the incidents and policies of Emperor Yongzheng through different points of view.</p>

The students were paying attention on discussing the incidents and policies of Emperor Yongzheng through different points of view.



<p>&ldquo;Educational Kit for Primary Schools&rdquo; aims to encourage more interactions between students and teachers. In the session of &ldquo;12 Design Symbols (Virtues)&rdquo;, the student who got the design symbol thanked for the votes and supports from the other students. The team looks forward to seeing all students set those virtues as their learning achievement in the future.</p>

“Educational Kit for Primary Schools” aims to encourage more interactions between students and teachers. In the session of “12 Design Symbols (Virtues)”, the student who got the design symbol thanked for the votes and supports from the other students. The team looks forward to seeing all students set those virtues as their learning achievement in the future.



<p>The students were thinking about if the expectations of both Emperors and commoners are rational or not.&nbsp; Emperor was a position of power. Does it mean he/she could do anything wanted? &ldquo;Educational Kit for Primary Schools&rdquo;, via games and discussion, aims at inspiring students to identify the power and duty of leader and to think more about history, culture and value sets.</p>

The students were thinking about if the expectations of both Emperors and commoners are rational or not.  Emperor was a position of power. Does it mean he/she could do anything wanted? “Educational Kit for Primary Schools”, via games and discussion, aims at inspiring students to identify the power and duty of leader and to think more about history, culture and value sets.





Bowls of Happiness and What Was It Like, Mr. Emperor? honored with 2016 Parents’ Choice Gold Award and Recommended Award
01-07-2016

Followed with the honors for In the Forbidden City and This is the Greatest Place! The Forbidden City and the World of Small Animals, the books, Bowls of Happiness and What Was It Like, Mr. Emperor? Life in China's Forbidden City have won the Parents’ Choice Gold Award and Recommended Award respectively this year.

In every year, the Parent's Choice Foundation honors the best material for children from books, movies to toys, etc. According to the book reviews, Bowls of Happiness is praised about the storybook design concepts, fine-lined illustrations and photos of beautiful porcelain bowls. On the other side, What Was It Like, Mr. Emperor? is also credited with the details of the life of China's emperors in history and colorful cartoon-style illustrations. If interested in the complete book reviews, please visit the following websites:

Bowls of Happiness

http://www.parents-choice.org/product.cfm?product_id=34391&StepNum=1&award=aw

What Was It Like, Mr. Emperor? Life in China's Forbidden City

http://www.parents-choice.org/product.cfm?product_id=34390&StepNum=1&award=aw




2016-6
“Mali Mali Palace” launched at schools in Zhuhai
02-06-2016

At the end of May, the education team went for a field study and conducted a series of “Mali Mali Palace”educational activity at the local primary schools in Zhuhai. Not only did the team adjust the layout displays from content to design but also enhanced the workshop with more interactive sessions to cater for the needs of students in Zhuhai. Through meeting with the local teachers in schools, the team learned more about the education aspects in Zhuhai and exchanged the experiences in promoting the traditional Chinese culture.

At the beginning of the workshop, when the tutors asked about which role in the Palace the students would like to play, most of the students felt excited and promptly replied some popular characters such as emperor and soldier. After an interactive drama played by the tutors, the students realized that each role in the Palace was equally important and it’s just similar to that in classroom: students need to cooperate each other to complete different duties for the whole class.  In short, the responses to the activity from schools were quite positive. Most of the teachers believed that the format of “Mali Mali Palace” educational activity was able to lead students learning through play.

Our tutors will be grateful to see if students enjoy the activity and practice integrating traditional values in everyday life. Through a series of flexible displays and lively educational activities, the team look forwards to creating an interesting, caring “little Palace” to bridge the gaps between our new generation and traditional culture.


<p>During the workshop in Yang Pao An Memorial School, two students put on the props and let the others guess if they look like either civil officer or military officer. In fact, different positions of imperial officers can be identified by the unique patterns placed on the front side of their uniform.</p>

During the workshop in Yang Pao An Memorial School, two students put on the props and let the others guess if they look like either civil officer or military officer. In fact, different positions of imperial officers can be identified by the unique patterns placed on the front side of their uniform.



<p>In the session of &ldquo;One Day of the Emperor&rdquo;, the students in Zhenxian Primary School are enthusiastic to become the helpers keeping different officers&rsquo; tools for the needs of the Emperor.</p>

In the session of “One Day of the Emperor”, the students in Zhenxian Primary School are enthusiastic to become the helpers keeping different officers’ tools for the needs of the Emperor.



<p>The tutors are explaining the display of &ldquo;Writing&rdquo; to the students in Fengming Primary School. The display depicts the similarity between Chinese architecture and Chinese character: the former one is built by columns and beams, and the latter one is written by stokes.</p>

The tutors are explaining the display of “Writing” to the students in Fengming Primary School. The display depicts the similarity between Chinese architecture and Chinese character: the former one is built by columns and beams, and the latter one is written by stokes.





Visited Stone Exposition Park and Huitong Village in Zhuhai
01-06-2016

Lingnan is a geographic area mixed with lands and mountains. It is formed by various kinds of rocks and the weather is relatively warm and humid. Hong Kong and Zhuhai are also the cities in Lingnan area; however, what is the difference between them?

During the field trip to Zhuhai, the team visited Stone Exposition Park and Huitong Village exploring the interesting linkages among “natural elements”, “architecture” and “Chinese people”.

Stone Exposition Park is a theme park of stone culture by using a variety of ways to present the relationships between stone and human life. During the visit, our tutors were especially interested in studying the famous stones from different provinces of China such as Jiangsu Taihu-stone, Liaoning Tsuiwen-stone and Guangdong Limestone. Those individual stones were unique in shape and texture. Some of them looked like lively animals, beautiful landscapes or other things that we can imagine. With imagination and fondness for stones, each stone could have its own emotions and stories.

Architecture is not simply a shelter to protect people from environmental threats but a place to record people’s stories and emotions.

Huitong Village has been established for 280 years. Today, the village still preserves the characteristics of Lingnan residential architecture such as grey tiles, black bricks and cornices. At the south-west side of the village, a western building complex, called Xixia Celestial Hall, was built as a memorial to dedicate to the owner’s wife. One could see that the architectural elements of the complex such as high towers, spacious terraces and corridors together with the garden essentials like a water pond, winding trials and fruit trees create an elegant, quiet yet exotic environment to the visitors.

In fact, the Huitong Village also has a special connection with Hong Kong as three main ancestral halls and two watch towers were built by the clan relatives from Hong Kong. The exhibition in the Mok ’s Ancestral Hall introduced the outstanding village people in the past encouraging the new generation of the village to pass down the objectives of the family.  One of the most famous people in the village, Mr. Mok See Yeng, together with his two lower generations, were hired as the comprador of Butterfield & Swire (HK). At that time, besides the Mok’s family, many villagers also went to other cities for career development. Once got wealthy, they would contribute to the re-construction of the village.

Architecture could create bonding among clan and family members. For example, Xixia Celestial Hall, watch towers and ancestral halls were used for remembering the family member, protecting the villagers and worshipping the ancestors respectively. Even the people moved out from the village, they still thought of their hometown.


<p>The tutors are observing the famous stones, which are rare and unique in shape and texture.</p>

<p>&nbsp;</p>

The tutors are observing the famous stones, which are rare and unique in shape and texture.

 



<p>Even the columns and beams were built by stone instead of wood, the ancestral hall in Huitong Village still retains the structure of traditional Chinese architecture.</p>

Even the columns and beams were built by stone instead of wood, the ancestral hall in Huitong Village still retains the structure of traditional Chinese architecture.



<p>The watch tower looks like a huge guard protecting the village.&nbsp; However, do you know what the object extended from the middle of the tower is? It&rsquo;s a three faced time signal clock from England.</p>

The watch tower looks like a huge guard protecting the village.  However, do you know what the object extended from the middle of the tower is? It’s a three faced time signal clock from England.





Attended the "Re-encountering Confucius” Exhibition — Master Confucius and ACG: Have Fun!
01-06-2016

Confucius has been honored as the “Grand Master of all Ages” in the Chinese history.  He was not only the pioneer of education but also an excellent learning model.

The education team visited “Re-encountering Confucius” Exhibition — Master Confucius and ACG: Have Fun! in Hong Kong Museum of Education on May 20. The exhibition consisted of several thematic zones including: “Here and Now: Confucius Among Us”, “Back to the Origin: Re-encountering Confucius 2,500 Years Ago”, “Confucian Heritage in Hong Kong: Then and Now” etc,.  With a new perspective inspired from our daily lives, the exhibition aimed to lead the audience to discover more about Confucius’s life, philosophy and the development of Confucianism.

In order to create a connection between Confucius and today’s audience, the exhibition made use of a series of everyday objects such as local comic books, school badges, school mottos, etc., recalling the audience that Confucianism still remains as an influential part of our culture today. The exhibition was comprehensive and interesting in terms of contents and display methods. It showcased not only physical exhibits like old school textbooks and prints, but also multimedia technology such as sound recordings, animations and games.  In addition, the exhibition especially arranged a series of educational workshops catering for students in different ages.  According to the stage of learning, the context of the workshop was flexible to change in order to fit students’ needs. For example, for pre-school and primary-school students, the workshop would more focus on moral education, on the other side, for high-school students, it would provide more contents related to history and language instead. Different teaching props and extended learning materials would be applied to help people in different ages learning about Confucius from his life, education and philosophy. In short, their sophisticated arrangement of the exhibition from visual displays to educational activities, was worth for learning.

In the exhibition, the team learned that Confucius established the first private school in China. He spent 14 years to travel around different countries to promote education among people regardless of hierarchy and geographical boundary.  On the other side, Confucius’s teaching is inspiring and interesting. He believed that the key of learning is to enjoy learning.  This is also the educational objective our team is targeting to.  There was a movie, Fei Mu's Confucius, featured in the exhibition to introduce the characteristics of an ancient utensil  “warning vessel”: it turned over when it was full; it leaned at an angle when it was empty ; it stood straight when it was half full. Confucius used to use it to explain the rule of moderation.  This teaching metaphor is like a simple experiment, which looks easy but actually consists of profound wisdom and knowledge behind.  Instead of verbal explanation, the lively examples can help a lot to explain abstract notions and give strong impressions to the audience.

Thanks so much to the curator of HKME Ms Patricia Lui Shi Mun ,  the assistant curator of HKME Mr Iven Cheung to share about the content of the exhibition, and the experience of culture promotion to us. From now on, we treat Confucius as a role model in education promotion and look forward to discovering more interesting teaching methods for our audience in the future.


<p>Confucius often encouraged students to renew themselves everyday.&nbsp; Nowadays, in order to promote the traditional culture, we also have to keep updating ourselves with the new media technology.&nbsp; This exhibition is a good example to suggest how to arouse audience&rsquo;s interest in Confucius and his philosophy via digital games.</p>

Confucius often encouraged students to renew themselves everyday.  Nowadays, in order to promote the traditional culture, we also have to keep updating ourselves with the new media technology.  This exhibition is a good example to suggest how to arouse audience’s interest in Confucius and his philosophy via digital games.



<p>Group photo: the curator of HKME Ms Patricia Lui Shi Mun (the 4th from left), the assistant curator of HKME Mr Iven Cheung (the 5th from left), the team of CnC and the education team</p>

Group photo: the curator of HKME Ms Patricia Lui Shi Mun (the 4th from left), the assistant curator of HKME Mr Iven Cheung (the 5th from left), the team of CnC and the education team





2016-5
Attended a talk – Stone and Chinese Culture at Sun Museum
07-05-2016

The team has often discussed and sought for proper topics related to Chinese culture during the brainstorming sessions of the curriculum development. Meanwhile, we found that “stone”, a natural element, can be a significant topic for investigation. To find out more interesting stories of “stone” in the Chinese culture, the team decided to attend a talk – Stone and Chinese Culture held by the Museum Director Mr. Yeung Chun-tong at Sun Museum on May 7.

The followings are the interesting findings from the activity:

In ancient times, Chinese people considered that “stone” is the hardest and the most durable object on earth. It was an ideal material to build shelters for both living people and people after death. Besides making houses and scriptures, the ancient nobles would make use of stones to construct large-scaled graves decorated with many splendorous wall paintings and motifs. They believed they would enjoy eternal life there after death.

The ancient Chinese used to express their emotions and thoughts via stone carving which imposed a certain new meanings to stone. For example, they would create some stone statues with the image of tomb guardian, Bi Xie (which is a creature mixed of lion and tiger) for the function of protecting the graves of imperial family. On the other side, in order to create some quiet environments for religion practice and meditation, they would also build up huge grottoes together with Buddha statues inside. The relationship between the daily lives of Chinese people and stones has been tied in together for a long time. Different stones have preserved different life stories and precious memories of ancient people. Through studying them, one would recognize more about the ancient people’s worldview and pursuit.

Via the talk, our tutors have obtained a lot in terms of the significance of stone in the Chinese culture. The team learned not only how the ancient Chinese made use of stones to create comfort environment for various purposes but also what kinds of spirits they have imposed in stones. We all look forwards to sharing those interesting stories about stones in our coming education activities and exhibitions with the audience soon.


<p>The Director of Sun Museum Mr. Yeung Chun-tong is explaining the story about the stone statue of Bi Xie during the talk.</p>

<p>&nbsp;</p>

The Director of Sun Museum Mr. Yeung Chun-tong is explaining the story about the stone statue of Bi Xie during the talk.

 





Preparations for the curriculum of pre-school workshop
04-05-2016

In order to promote the Chinese culture to younger generations, the team has been preparing a new curriculum targeting pre-school children.  Based on several successful curriculums and the previous teaching experience, together with 3 key learning objectives: “knowledge”, “skills” and “attitudes”, the team expects to initiate the topics about the Chinese culture to children in the early stage of learning through a series of visual imagery and diverse content.

At the beginning of the project, the team was struggling with an issue about how to practice the teaching content in a proper way. Considering that the target group is fresh in learning, instead of including a bunch of abstract or profound meanings, the content should be inspiring and easy to learn. Since then, the team has started a series of brainstorming sessions aiming at linking pre-school children to the traditional Chinese culture. In order to stimulate our tutors’ thinking, the team has especially arranged a field trip to Ma Wan and several visits to different pre-school education activities to observe and gather information for reference.

“To rediscover the things that we knew before and explore the most valuable elements from them.” Mr. Ma Kin-chung, Education Director of CnC, often mentioned.

Do you know how the children in the past studied the Chinese culture? In fact, they were living with it. Every activity in daily lives was also the cultural practice at the time.

The education team believes that the society has changed over time; however, people’s sensibility still remains. Children are able to recognize the Chinese culture by feeling and experiencing ordinary things in daily lives. For example, “water” is one of the teaching subjects in the curriculum. The team encourages children to stretch their imagination and build up the worldview through observing “water” and thinking out of the box just like how the ancient literati often personified “water” to be lively and emotional.

The pre-school workshop curriculum is a significant education project of the year. The team looks forward to developing a comprehensive and meaningful education project in school enabling children to enjoy the delights of the Chinese culture.


<p>The tutors are discussing about the topics that are worthy for investigation.</p>

The tutors are discussing about the topics that are worthy for investigation.





Field study and outdoor drawing training at Ma Wan
01-05-2016

In order to encourage tutors to learn more about the local culture and enhance their skills in painting, writing and observing, the team especially arranged a trip to Ma Wan for field study and outdoor sketching in April.

At the beginning of the trip, the team visited a special historic building, Ma Wan Fong Yuen Study Hall, formed in the 1930s. According to a local tour-guide, the study hall was first established as a rural private school by the Chan family’s ancestors and revitalized into the Ma Wan Residents Museum cum Tourism and Chinese Cultural Centre in 2013. During the guided tour in the Centre, apart from some related information such as the changes of Ma Wan’s outlook and living practices of the fishermen there, the tutors have unexpectedly learned more about the development of education system in Hong Kong. In the early 20th century, the traditional rural private schools in Hong Kong were still primitive. They didn't have any rigid rules and usually allowed students with different degrees of learning studying together in the same class.

The private schools in the past had to adjust a lot in terms of teaching and class arrangement due to the limited resources at the time. In contrast, the education system and facility today have been well improved; thereby, the schools should pay more attention on uplifting the learning quality of students.

Besides joining the guided tour, the team traveled to an area near the Tin Hau temple and stilt houses capturing “the most beautiful moment” of the old village via sketching. In order to experience more physical and direct methods of pictorial recording, the tutors left their computer graphic skills aside and tried different hand-drawing techniques like shading, dot painting, outlining and coloring, and etc.

Comparing to computer graphics, sketching is a unique practice that requires the practicers to draw what they see. Some tutors mentioned that they easily got used to draw things based on their experience or impression instead of the actual look. For example, a tutor tended to sketch out a tree that looked like the one in mind rather than the one in front of her. In fact, once the tutors can pay more attention on the details of the scene with respectful attitudes, they would be able to record more lively pictures with their personal touch through some simple yet effective methods such as manipulating the contrast of shading, controlling the boldness of the strokes, etc.


<p>The Tin Hau temple in Ma Wan is facing the sea and comes with a big foreground, in which the residents used for drying shrimp paste in the past. The building is small. Besides the temple, the dwellings nearby have been deserted.</p>

The Tin Hau temple in Ma Wan is facing the sea and comes with a big foreground, in which the residents used for drying shrimp paste in the past. The building is small. Besides the temple, the dwellings nearby have been deserted.



<p>The tutors are reviewing the drawings with each other.</p>

The tutors are reviewing the drawings with each other.



<p>The design of the stilt houses reflects the daily lives of the fishermen in the past. It was not only a shelter for the old people and kids but also a berth for fishing boats.</p>

The design of the stilt houses reflects the daily lives of the fishermen in the past. It was not only a shelter for the old people and kids but also a berth for fishing boats.



<p>The tutors are sharing their hand-drawing to the team. They all find that the pictures done by the traditional media are not able to &quot;undo&quot;. Each line they draw becomes serious and unique.</p>

The tutors are sharing their hand-drawing to the team. They all find that the pictures done by the traditional media are not able to "undo". Each line they draw becomes serious and unique.





2016-4
Parent-child Guided Tour of "Mali Mali Palace" Touring Display
18-04-2016

Even the weather is barely warm but still cool in April, we truly feel warm and cozy in the library of SKH Tin Wan Chi Nam Primary School.

When the bell has just rung, a group of primary 3 students were patiently waiting for the guided tour activity of "Mali Mali Palace" in the library.  Different from the past, instead of teachers or tutors, the activity was held by a group of parents. After briefing and forming individual groups, the parent volunteers have right away played as a role of tour-guide leading students to explore different stories about the Chinese architecture and the royal family in the Palace, and to practice the exercise of motif making. Their participation made this cultural education activity become more affinitive and meaningful.

To help promote the activity effectively, the teacher Ms Hung especially recruited a group of parent volunteers conducting the guided tours of "Mali Mali Palace". She believed that this special arrangement not just simply increased the amount of helpers but also let the students explore the delights of the Chinese culture in a rather relaxed atmosphere. 

During the activity, our tutors were glad to see both parents and students do put whole attention into the displays. The parents have well prepared and understood how to guide with individual students according to their degree of learning. On the other side, the students were overwhelmed by the beautiful displays and the inspiring exercises. They actively participated into the activity and raised different questions about the “Palace”.

The parent-child guided tour is an interesting yet innovative arrangement. Through the interactions between students and parent volunteers, the students obtain a new learning experience they never forget. Besides helping students to rediscover the Chinese culture and its modern-day meanings, the guided tour will also uplift the significance of culture education and provide our tutors a new perspective on the development of education activities in the future. Thanks to SKH Tin Wan Chi Nam Primary School and the group of parent volunteers for the proactive supports. The activity would not be successful without their participations.


<p>One of the parent volunteers, though her kids have already graduated, still went back to her kid&rsquo;s alma mater and introduced the stories of the Palace for the current students.</p>

One of the parent volunteers, though her kids have already graduated, still went back to her kid’s alma mater and introduced the stories of the Palace for the current students.



<p>The participating students found that the content of the activity is new and interesting and they do enjoy listening to the parent volunteers for their detailed explanation about the displays.</p>

The participating students found that the content of the activity is new and interesting and they do enjoy listening to the parent volunteers for their detailed explanation about the displays.



<p>When the guided tour started, both the students and the parent volunteers expressed a relaxing yet exciting mood on their faces.</p>

When the guided tour started, both the students and the parent volunteers expressed a relaxing yet exciting mood on their faces.





Joined a sharing session about historical photographs in CityU
06-04-2016

Starting from December 2015 to April 2016, some tutors of education team have joined a series of sharing session about historical photographs held by the Culture and Heritage Management Programme (CUHM) at City University of Hong Kong. The lecturer, Dr. Ting Wing Yan, through some historical photographs, shared her thoughts about the historical development and the change of cityscape in Hong Kong with the students.

Nowadays, people often say “photographs are the best evidence”; however, through this special talk, our tutors have learnt the photography may not really present the actual state and whole truth of affairs but create a conscious scene with the multi-layer aspects of communication which is executed by photographers and communicators (such as project planners and editors) through a series of manipulations. Dr. Ting especially shared a several photographs taken by foreign visitors in Hong Kong during the late 19th century.  Via observing the photographs in details, one can easily find a certain elements/compositions of the photograph were designed by intention. For example, the Chinese costumes on the foreigners and the Chinese furniture in the background of the photo were well arranged in order to create a Chinese atmosphere. The process - from designing setting, selecting models and story plot, to directing model’s performance - was fully controlled by the photographers at that time.

However, even being produced by intention, those photographs were still valuable for study. Photograph is like a cross sectional image of our history and its related study and interpretation can be done in multi-points of view. Apart from the scenery captured inside the photo-frame, the study on different aspects of the photograph, including the reason of taking the photos, the photographer’s motivation and intention, the model’s mood and the objects out of the photo-frame, is helpful on learning history.

The way of studying historical photographs can let us review the changes of history and retrospect the relationship between imagery and our daily lives. In everyday we see thousands of images at the same time; however, hardly spend any time on individual ones. In the information age, compared to the past generations, fostering visual literacy is getting more significant.


<p>Dr. Ting Wing Yan selected 10 pieces of historical photographs for students to further study and invited them to share their findings.</p>

Dr. Ting Wing Yan selected 10 pieces of historical photographs for students to further study and invited them to share their findings.





Bowls of Happiness and What Was It Like, Mr. Emperor? have been nominated at INDIEFAB Book of the Year Awards in the US
01-04-2016

Good news!

Both Bowls of Happiness: Treasures from China and the Forbidden City (Bowls) and What Was It Like, Mr. Emperor? Life in China’s Forbidden City (Emperor) have entered the finalists of Foreword Reviews’ 2015 INDIEFAB Book of the Year Awards. Bowls and Emperor are nominated in different categories: Juvenile Nonfiction and Young Adult Nonfiction respectively.

Foreword Reviews is an American book critique magazine. It aims at promoting small and independent book publishers and their noteworthy publications to the public. Each year, a panel of volunteer librarians and booksellers formed by the magazine will select and award a certain number of outstanding books among independent publishers, university presses and self-published authors.

Besides being nominated for various awards, both Bowls and Emperor have received quite a lot of positive comments from local readers. Many readers believe these two books are the right paths leading them to learn not only the Chinese motifs on the bowls but also the ins and outs about the Chinese emperors. Also, they appreciate the lively illustrations that help raise their interest in learning the Chinese culture. 

Sponsored by The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation, Bowls and Emperor are two of the English publications from the “We All Live in Forbidden City” book series. Our team will continue promoting the Chinese culture in different places through various innovative yet interesting methods.

For more information about the nominated books, please enter to the following URL:

Bowls of Happiness : Treasures from China and the Forbidden City

https://indiefab.forewordreviews.com/books/bowls-of-happiness/

What Was It Like, Mr. Emperor? Life in China’s Forbidden City

https://indiefab.forewordreviews.com/books/what-was-it-like-mr-emperor-life-in-chinas-forbidden-city/

If interested in learning more about the book series of We All Live in The Forbidden City, please enter to the following URL:

http://fc-edu.org/web/en/1_2.php




2016-3
2016 Singapore Good Nature newspaper column kicks off
19-03-2016

In last year, the education team has collaborated with Thumbs Up, a youth publication under Lianhe Zaobao, for a Chinese culture column related to the Palace, promoting Chinese culture among young people in Singapore. From January 2016, the team will issue a new series of the column called Good Nature in Thumbs Up leading the local readers to rediscover the inspirations hidden in the nature one time a month.

Following the previous theme related to personal growth last year, the new column will draw readers’ attentions to the nature and help them to discover and appreciate its better side. Through the basic elements of the nature such as rocks, soils and trees, the columnist will guide the children to think of their usages and meanings in our daily lives.

For more details, please visit: http://www.zbcomma.sg/archives/16305




New development of We All Live in the Forbidden City Learning Kit
09-03-2016

Launched in 2008, "We All Live in the Forbidden City" Education Programme aims to explore the modern-day significance of traditional Chinese culture and share it with the general public in a light-hearted and relaxed way. The Best Palace learning kit, published in Beijing last year, has received quite a lot of positive feedbacks. The kit provided teachers and parents a full set of lively yet interesting learning materials bringing the Chinese culture into schools and homes and guiding children to explore the delights of the Palace themselves.

To further share the Chinese culture with Hong Kong students, in 2016, the education team will start developing another learning kit called We All Live in the Forbidden City, catering for primary school students in Hong Kong. The content of the kit will be related to 8 catalogues: Chinese Palaces, architectures, gardens, emperors, imperial residence and staff, daily objects, motifs and cuisines; at the same time, it will consist of 2 versions fitting to senior primary students and junior primary students respectively. To develop a learning kit suitable for schools in Hong Kong, the team will also actively collaborate with different local schools for a series of programme trial-runs and executions.

Previously the education team luckily invited Sha Tin Wai Dr. Catherine F. Woo Memorial School as an education partner excelling each other with the own strengths. The team will provide the contents and teaching materials to the school for further execution and practice with students. Through different learning activities derived from the kit, the team looks forward to uplifting students’ interest in the Chinese culture, guiding students to think in different angles and fostering them with a proper value set and positive outlooks on life.


<p>Regarding the collaboration on learning kit project, our tutors were in a meeting with the teacher in school for idea exchange and curriculum preparation.</p>

Regarding the collaboration on learning kit project, our tutors were in a meeting with the teacher in school for idea exchange and curriculum preparation.





Developing Strolling in the Imperial Garden learning kit
07-03-2016

Following with the release of The Best Palace learning kit in Beijing in November 2015, the team has been actively working on another education kit Strolling in the Imperial Garden with the theme of Chinese garden. It’s expected to lead children from the Palace garden discovering the possibilities of the nature, the delights of craft-making and the treasurable memories.

At the beginning of 2016, the education programme has successfully invited the Beijing Xinxian Hutong Elementary School (BXHES) to be an education partner of The Forbidden City Children's Programme (FCCP). Together with the Experimental Primary School of RDFZ and the Primary School of Capital Normal University, the BXHES will participate in the development of Strolling in the Imperial Garden learning kit making the contents and designs of the kit be fitting for the needs of local teachers and students.


<p>The teachers of the Beijing Xinxian Hutong Elementary School were discussing about the curriculum. The workshop of <em>Strolling in the Imperial Garden</em> will meet up with students soon!</p>

The teachers of the Beijing Xinxian Hutong Elementary School were discussing about the curriculum. The workshop of Strolling in the Imperial Garden will meet up with students soon!





2016-2
Visited the exhibition of "Of Mist and Lushly Green: Longquan Celadon from Song to Ming Dynasties" in Sun Museum
19-02-2016 ── 20-02-2016

On 19th and 20th of February , the education team visited "Of Mist and Lushly Green: Longquan Celadon from Song to Ming Dynasties" in Sun Museum. Moving on from our last visit to the exhibition of "The Radiant Ming 1368-1644 through the Min Chiu Society Collection” in Hong Kong Museum of History, we went further to explore different types of porcelains art during Song to Ming dynasties.

There are more than 60 pieces of Zhejiang Longquan celadon, dated from the Northern Song dynasty to Ming dynasty, displaying in this exhibition. They are owned by 9 collectors in Hong Kong and being exhibited at the 1st time. Through the tour guide's explanation, we all learned that Longquan kiln originated from the Northern Song dynasty; however, was immature in terms of technical skills and styling at the time. Until the Southern Song dynasty, Longquan kiln stood out from others and produced various celadon wares which were covered in greenish glaze with elegant shapes. During Ming dynasty, Longquan kiln has developed to be more international and advanced in terms of technique and quality. It became an imperial kiln to supply to the court exquisite. In term of colors, Southern Song Longquan celadon wares have more plum green or pastel green glaze; in contrast, imperial Longquan celadon wares were more in brighter green or olive green.

Celadon wares are monochrome. The choices of color and pattern in celadon were usually simple and elegant. For example, a plate in Yongle period of Ming dynasty came with minimal decoration, one would either ignore it easily or wouldn’t know how to appreciate it. In the past, when the pottery tools and the techniques of celadon making were not yet advanced, the artistic values of a plain celadon ware would be determined by several factors such as the thickness of the glaze, the distribution of color on the ware, the craftsmanship, etc. The tour guide pointed out that no two celadon wares are exactly the same; otherwise one of them must be a counterfeit. Porcelain is made by clay. Through a series of manmade procedures, it turns to be a utensil of our daily lives. Every piece of porcelain is unique and precious.

In a special talk "Green Ware and Chinese Culture", the museum director, Yeung Chun-tong explored the related topic from a new point of view. He believed celadon was the earliest glaze color being used in the world. In Shang dynasty, celadon has already worked as a protecting utensil. The popularity of celadon was highly related to the culture of tea drinking and the practice of incense burning during Song and Ming Dynasties. Other than the purpose of worshipping ancestors, incense was also commonly used at home. Incense stick, spiral incense and longevity incense pillars were also the popular kinds of incense. To fit in the usages of different incense, the artisans created different shaped celadon incense containers, such as ding-shaped (ding is a three-legged ancient Chinese vessel) censer, duck-shaped censer, etc, which reflected different burning practice and culture at the time. On the other side, in Lu Yu's The Classic of Tea, the jade greenish celadon tea wares were recommended for tea tasting. From commoners, literati to emperors, celadon was also a fond object to everyone. Just like the other objects mentioned in the workshop, "1001 Chinese Objects", a piece of celadon looks ordinary and simple; however, it actually consists of different essences of Chinese culture.

The education team is delightful to learn from the exhibition and talk, we expect to look forward to well utilizing the stuff we learnt in our education workshops.


<p>A group photo of the education team&nbsp;taken at the exhibition.</p>

A group photo of the education team taken at the exhibition.





The donation of book series We All Live in Forbidden City to Northern Thailand
18-02-2016

"We All Live in Forbidden City" Education Programme undertakes to share the delights within Chinese culture with public. Beside Hong Kong, the education programme also takes initiatives to reach out for other regions for cultural and charitable work. Through the support of the Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation (RHFF), the education team, together with Wah Yan Cultural Foundation and Chu Kuang Cultural Service Centre, had delivered the book series of We All Live in Forbidden City to Chinese language schools in Northern Thailand with our care and respect.

In the last September, the book series had already arrived Northern Thailand. We are grateful that Da Tong Junior High School in Chiang Rai had assisted us in distributing the books to 85 schools in the mountain range of Northern Thailand. Together with the books, the education team had also invited Hong Kong students to send their wishes and blessings to Thailand through postcards, including students from (names not listed in order) Kowloon City Baptist Church Hay Nien (Yan Ping) Primary School, TWS St Bonaventure Catholic Primary School, FSFTF Fong Shu Chuen Primary School and Sam Shui Natives Association Huen King Wing School. Allow us to thank Mr Tsang Sing Ming, an experienced volunteer of "Share the Warmth in Northern Thailand" Charity Project, and all the devotees who care for Northern Thailand again, for making this book delivery happens.


<p>Once the book series arrived at school, the students all ran to read the books.</p>

Once the book series arrived at school, the students all ran to read the books.



<p>Hong Kong students expressed their wishes and blessings to students in Northern Thailand through postcards.</p>

Hong Kong students expressed their wishes and blessings to students in Northern Thailand through postcards.



<p>After reading the books, students in Northern Thailand shared their book review with us.</p>

After reading the books, students in Northern Thailand shared their book review with us.





Book release conference of The Forbidden City 100
15-02-2016

Celebrating the 90th anniversary of Palace Museum, Joint Publishing (HK) Ltd has published the Traditional Chinese edition of Forbidden City 100 in January 2016. The new publication was officially launched at Wanchai bookstore of Joint Publishing on February 15. Ms. Ming Hou, vice-executive editor of the Joint Publishing (HK) Ltd has attended to share her own insights. Dr. Ting, Sun-pao, famous historian in Hong Kong and Mr. Szeto Yuen-kit, curator of the Hong Kong Museum of Art have also exchanged opinions with the author Mr. Chiu Kwong Chiu. Major local media were invited.

During the sharing meeting, Ms. Ming Hou mentioned both Joint Publishing (HK) Ltd and Mr. Chiu Kwong-chiu are both fond of Chinese culture and share the same vision of cultural inheritance; at the same time, they are not simply publishing partners but congenial companions on promoting Chinese culture. On the other side, Mr. Chiu Kwong-chiu shared about his motivations behind creating books. He believed books are always the fundamental of different entertainment medium, like drama and movie. He urged to let the new generations feel what he has experienced. He also mentioned that he and the teammates from CnC have encountered a lot of issues while writing the book. For example, they spent plently of time on revising the illustrations. He hoped the readers can take time to enjoy reading it. Last but not least, he especially gave a big thanks to The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation for the long term supports.


<p><em>The Forbidden City 100</em>&nbsp;combines modern visual and literal&nbsp;narratives, explaining the palace and its cultural connotations in a simple and light-hearted manner.</p>

The Forbidden City 100 combines modern visual and literal narratives, explaining the palace and its cultural connotations in a simple and light-hearted manner.



<p>Ms. Ming Hou&nbsp;mentioned Joint Publishing (HK) Ltd demands a high quality of publications which should be innovative and first class. She appreciated much the characteristics of Mr&nbsp;Chiu Kwong-chiu&rsquo;s &ldquo;picture book series&rdquo; combining visual and literal&nbsp;narratives together to form a fascinating experience&nbsp;to the readers, and looked forward to having more collaborations with Mr&nbsp;Chiu and the team in the future.</p>

Ms. Ming Hou mentioned Joint Publishing (HK) Ltd demands a high quality of publications which should be innovative and first class. She appreciated much the characteristics of Mr Chiu Kwong-chiu’s “picture book series” combining visual and literal narratives together to form a fascinating experience to the readers, and looked forward to having more collaborations with Mr Chiu and the team in the future.



<p>Dr. Ting&nbsp;Sun-pao&nbsp;and&nbsp;Mr. Szeto&nbsp;Yuen-kit &nbsp;agreed the significance of visual elements.&nbsp; They looked forward to seeing more publications integrated with both historical and artistic elements in the future.</p>

Dr. Ting Sun-pao and Mr. Szeto Yuen-kit  agreed the significance of visual elements.  They looked forward to seeing more publications integrated with both historical and artistic elements in the future.





2016-1
Visited “The Radiant Ming 1368-1644 through the Min Chiu Society Collection” Exhibition
20-01-2016

Ming Dynasty was the last unified and centralized dynasty ruled by the Han Chinese. It was prosperous and rich; at the same time, consist of various cultures originated from different countries and tribes. Ming culture was resplendent and multifarious. In January, our education team visited “The Radiant Ming 1368-1644 through the Min Chiu Society Collection” Exhibition co-organized by Min Chiu Society Collection and Hong Kong Museum of History. There were more than 300 sets of rarely seen items displayed in the exhibition providing audience new perspectives on knowing about Ming’s history and culture, and the stories behind the historical relics.

The tutors are interested and impressed by the relationship between the sets of Ming’s porcelains and the stories of Zheng He’s seven voyages. During the early Ming dynasty, the color pigment of “blue and white porcelain”, called cobalt oxide, which is in grey blue color, has been invented in mainland China. The maritime was not yet vigorous at that time. However, starting from the period of Ming Yongle, the colors of “blue and white porcelain” became much brighter and shinier. It’s more or least due to the imported cobalt oxide brought from Zheng He or other voyagers.

Zheng He and his fleets visited the east coast of Africa the farthest. During his voyages, besides dispensing and receiving goods along the way, he would also study different local cultures. In the exhibition, one can see there were a lot of blue and white porcelains characterized by Islamic influences in different forms such as plates, jars, basins, etc. Some of the porcelains were even painted with scripts in Arabic or Persian that highly reflected the frequent exchanges in both economy and culture during Ming dynasty.

Besides porcelain, the kinds of exhibits were quite diverse including: lacquerware, cloisonne, fabric, furniture, gold/silver ornament, etc. Meanwhile, one can closely observe the craftsmanship of each item in details such as the delicate double-hook patterns on the porcelains, the smooth surfaces of the hundred layers lacquerware and the Ming-style furniture jointed in mortise-tenon connection, etc.


<p>In the exhibition, one can observe that the Persian scripts were usually placed in some prominent positions of the porcelains and the shapes of the porcelains were in Islamic style. It&rsquo;s said that Emperor Zheng De was familiar with Islam and once invited Persian people to the Palace being his Persian teachers.</p>

In the exhibition, one can observe that the Persian scripts were usually placed in some prominent positions of the porcelains and the shapes of the porcelains were in Islamic style. It’s said that Emperor Zheng De was familiar with Islam and once invited Persian people to the Palace being his Persian teachers.



<p>Today, we have pianos. Long time ago, we had Qin tables which were not only to support musical instrument Guqin but also to help resonance effects and tone tuning. We really look forward seeing people performing on them again.</p>

Today, we have pianos. Long time ago, we had Qin tables which were not only to support musical instrument Guqin but also to help resonance effects and tone tuning. We really look forward seeing people performing on them again.





The little tour-guides of "Mali Mali Palace"
11-01-2016 ── 22-01-2016

“Do you know why the Forbidden City is called as ‘Zi Jin Cheng’ in Chinese?” a childish yet confident voice was introducing the name of the Palace. There were 8 student tour-guides led the other students to the “Mali Mali Palace” educational showcase at HHCKLA Buddhist Wisdom Primary School. Before being tour-guides, in November, the student volunteers have joined a guided tour of “Mali Mali Palace” at Ping Shan Tin Shui Wai Public Library. They took notes seriously to prepare the coming activities at their school.

In order to let more students join in the activity, the venue – student hall was specially opened at class breaks and lunch time during the exhibition period. Once the school bell rang, the student tour-guides would go get their working I.D. at the front door of student hall and threw themselves into work at once. Due to the good response to the activity, to cater for a large group of students participating at the same time, the teachers arranged several guided-tour routes. It’s not an easy task as the student tour-guides have to share the interesting facts of the exhibition to the other students within 4 minutes. Even-though the teachers and parents didn’t join in the work of guided tour, they would still help maintaining good orders during the activity. When the bell rang again, those busy tour-guides would go back to classrooms for study.

The performance of the tour-guides were sophisticated. One can imagine how tough they were on preparation; however, there was no complaint received from any of them. Some students got up earlier to review the script before going school as the others prefer reading it during breakfast time. Even they only need to recite, they enjoy to do it. Along this experience, those student tour-guides should be more or least knowing how their teachers’ daily works run.

Our Education Programme aims to plant the seeds of cultural heritage among children, teenagers and the public. From the experience of student guided-tour, we find that instead of studying passively, students are actually able to take up an active role in the learning process. Our team gives a big thank to HHCKLA Buddhist Wisdom Primary School for making this activity be meaningful and more inheritable to the students.


<p>Each student tour-guide&nbsp;was talkative and professional!</p>

Each student tour-guide was talkative and professional!



<p>On being&nbsp;asked&nbsp;about the&nbsp;experience of&nbsp;tour-guiding, the participated students responded that they were willing to sacrifice the&nbsp;short breaks and devote themselves into the job&nbsp;without complaints.</p>

On being asked about the experience of tour-guiding, the participated students responded that they were willing to sacrifice the short breaks and devote themselves into the job without complaints.





“Mali Mali Palace” held at HHCKLA Buddhist Wisdom Primary School
11-01-2016 ── 22-01-2016

Starting from January 11, the educational activity, “Mali Mali Palace”, has been held in HHCKLA Buddhist Wisdom Primary School for 2 weeks. During the period, the teachers and students there got fully involved and supported to the activity. To enrich students’ learning experiences, the teachers led a group of students organizing a series of extended learning activities including shooting promotional trailers, designing sharing billboards and forming a team of student tour guides, etc. Ms Lun mentioned the activities wouldn’t be completed smoothly and properly without having supports and co-operations by the other teachers and the parent volunteers.

Apart from the workshops held by our tutors, the school teachers also participated in teaching/guiding students with our provided guidelines. The teachers indicated that besides the outcomes, they are rather concerned about students’ learning process from thinking, communicating to expressing. They pointed out an example -- during a special session of the activity, the students have to elect individual students among all for their virtues and talents matched with the symbolic meanings of the 12 patterns on the Emperor’s wardrobe. Even the 12 patterns were initially designed for the emperors, the hidden meanings and values are worth learning among students today. In order to enhance students’ understanding on the traditional virtue and interpretation skills, the teachers spent a whole class time to conduct the activity leading students to discuss the meanings of each virtue with life examples. Through listening to the discussion among students and observing students’ learning process, the teachers were able to formulate their teaching plans accordingly.

The educational activity, “Mali Mali Palace”, was as festive as a carnival in HHCKLA Buddhist Wisdom Primary School. We all look forward to sharing more teaching plans and  extended activities held by different schools with you in the future.


<p>Our tutor was introducing the exhibits to the teachers and exchanging the thoughts in teaching and promoting traditional culture.</p>

Our tutor was introducing the exhibits to the teachers and exchanging the thoughts in teaching and promoting traditional culture.



<p>A student dressing up as an emperor was promoting the educational activity, &ldquo;Mali Mali Palace&rdquo;, in front of a bulletin board&nbsp;with many promotional materials designed by the teachers on it.</p>

A student dressing up as an emperor was promoting the educational activity, “Mali Mali Palace”, in front of a bulletin board with many promotional materials designed by the teachers on it.



<p>The exhibition was&nbsp;resourceful.&nbsp;Some extending activities were&nbsp;carried out through the campus TVs.</p>

The exhibition was resourceful. Some extending activities were carried out through the campus TVs.



<p>To cater for the learning&nbsp;habits of the&nbsp;younger generations, the school set up some tablet computers on one side of the exhibition, allowing students to expand their knowledge on exhibition relating the topics through&nbsp;different applications.&nbsp;</p>

To cater for the learning habits of the younger generations, the school set up some tablet computers on one side of the exhibition, allowing students to expand their knowledge on exhibition relating the topics through different applications. 



<p>Some students were&nbsp;participating in the &quot;1001 Chinese Objects&quot; thematic workshop during the&nbsp;&quot;Mali Mali Palace&quot;&nbsp;exhibition, they turn what they have learnt about Chinese objects into a bulletin board, becoming a new exhibit&nbsp;for&nbsp;the exhibition.</p>

Some students were participating in the "1001 Chinese Objects" thematic workshop during the "Mali Mali Palace" exhibition, they turn what they have learnt about Chinese objects into a bulletin board, becoming a new exhibit for the exhibition.