By Anne Drouet, Performing Arts Director
Hong Kong Academy students have been busy presenting the culminating products of their learning for the past few weeks. Through the arts, the students have explored identity, observation and imagination, artistic expression and the power to influence responsible action and change. We have been delighted by a variety of work including forum theatre pieces, physical theatre, paper puppets, monochrome ink landscapes and stencilled and sprayed artwork.
By Zoe Coughlan and Sophie Oxford, Secondary School Visual Arts Teachers
G6s worked intuitively on a large scale with ink, wax, salt and oil pastels, before working in small groups to create sea creatures. Working with Mr. Scully, one of our Secondary School Performing Arts Teachers, they learned how to perform their paper puppets in an immersive underwater environment for their peers.
G7s have been investigating landscape art and how artists create a sense of place. They explored the drawings of Vincent Van Gogh and got the chance to ask questions of visiting landscape artist Stephen Wong Chun Hei. With these skills, they created layered monochrome ink landscapes, using texture, value and layering to create a sense of space and depth.
G8s investigated how artists can influence their audience to make sustainable changes through their exploration of street artists and their techniques. Students explored how metaphors and symbolism can be used in their artworks and created a stencil and spray painted final artwork for a specific context and audience.
To find out more about what’s going on in visual arts at HKA, follow us on instagram: hka_artdept.
By Laura Scully, Secondary School Performing Arts Teacher
This is the first year of G6 students doing drama work in performing arts, and they inquired into the basics of stagecraft, group choreography and using individual voices to construct a meaningful and thought-provoking piece to an audience. They investigated the people, places and moments that forged their identities and experimented with dramatic techniques to tell these stories. The culminating presentation was a montage of movement and dialogue, representing childhood games, memories from their families about growing up, and moments of fear, pride, and vulnerability, all to represent their pasts and ever-changing present lives.
The G7s explored verbatim theatre focussed on the experience of feeling trapped, whether mentally, emotionally or physically. By interviewing family members and each other, they collected material to work on imitating every vocal inflection, pause, and fluffed wording in order to faithfully convey another’s experience and personality. Inspired by the story of the Afghans stuck outside the Kabul airport in August, the G7s produced a sequence of tight choreography and verbatim pieces that examined the “trapped” experience in its various forms.
The G8s used intense character-building work to create a dark series of scenes that explored a “what if” question: What if a rumour was spreading about someone you knew? Would you jump to conclusions? Whose opinions would you listen to? Would you make a compassionate decision, or would you prefer to insert yourself in the drama? How does it feel to be misunderstood by others? What is the experience of teenagers at the centre of suspicion? Students constructed improvised scenes, relying on their characters’ contexts to guide them in telling their part of this imagined story.
At HKA, learning in the Arts isn’t just about the Arts.
It’s also about learning the skills and shaping values that help young people thrive in today’s world. In a global community that is changing so rapidly, with more information available than ever before, we believe it is vital to help young people develop the critical thinking skills necessary to discern and synthesise information, while at the same time building strong and compassionate core values they can bring to all aspects of their lives.