Art For Al l Is art in Hong Kong limited to the privileged few? Yoav Horesh, professor of photography at SCAD Hong Kong shares how he and his students are taking a bold step in creating artworks that are accessible to the masses.
Hong Kong is one of the most densely populated and wealthy places on earth; it is also one of the most extreme examples of the differences between rich and poor, permanent and transitional, local and foreign, traditional and modern. Taking all of these elements into account, one would expect Hong Kong to be an amazingly fertile and wonderful place for a flourishing local art and culture scene. In recent years, Hong Kong has witnessed huge advancements and increased investment in more art and design establishments, spaces, projects and ideas. Examples include the evergrowing HK Art Fair last month, the opening of new exhibition spaces by established global galleries such as Gagosian and White Cube in Central, the expansion of art and design in higher education, and the growing publicly funded art spaces and projects. But what about the majority of the Hong Kong population? The majority, that for many different reasons, do not have access to or interest in visiting galleries, museums or art fairs? Isn’t art for everyone? Do we, as artists, educators and art lovers believe that art should touch people, regardless of their social status, education or involvement in the arts? One of the most popular, misconceived and confusing terms used in art schools as well as creative and critical magazines is the concept of the “art world.” By defining a separate “world” of art, we embrace the idea that art is separated from the world we live in and that only a few can access and experience this “magical world”. During the spring term of this academic year at SCAD HK, I initiated and led a course for undergraduate and graduate pho46