English below

火炭藝術開放工作室的背景

 

 

火炭藝術開放工作室(簡稱開放工作室)於2001年由兩間工作室發起,活動持續到今年已經過18過年頭。觀眾數目由2004年過千到高峰期2011年起過萬觀眾,此項活動已成為香港視藝年度盛事之一。看見那麼多藝術家活生生在工作,別人再不能説香港是文化沙漠,香港沒有藝術家了。

 

活動去蕪存菁

 

過去活動有香港藝術發展局、民政事務局和商界資助,除開放工作室外,更有眾多活動項目。近年義工組織團隊只做開放工作室的活動,亦不再申請贊助,藝術家們都是自己夾錢組織開放工作室活動推廣藝術。缺乏贊助,工廈租金上升,加上工厦大火後,政府加強巡查工廈單位,已令至不少藝術家不再參與開放工作室活動。參與單位數目由2015年91個降至2018年32個。

 

另邊廂,活動趨單純,卻引來「火炭已死」沒有新意的抨擊,活動的確不講噱頭,藝術家們各自發展自己的路向,有人看見不同,喜見藝術家們的創作進展,有人只看見相同的地方,嫌是同一批藝術家不夠突破,活動是死是生則是見人見智。但開放工作室可以讓藝術家不用經中間人例如策展人、藝術機構直接接觸觀眾,跳過中間人的權威,這仍是活動可貴的地方,所以許多沒有人脈的藝術家在火炭租個地方便能展出,活動仍有給人會耳目一新的作品。

 

教育功能尤其明顯

 

開放工作室雖然面對不少批評,但觀眾的數目並未有減少,它仍是個公眾可以接觸大量藝術家的活動,仍能吸引大批的學生前來參觀,訪問藝術家和認識藝術,或許是為滿足功課的要求如新高中課程的「其他學習經歷」及通識科的「獨立專題探究」,這都使活動在藝術教育方面的功能尤其明顯。

 

加強教育 深化藝術推廣

 

開放工作室再走下去,其中一個方向可以加強藝術推廣教育方面的功能。今次由參加了多次開放工作室活動的藝術家文晶瑩發起,火炭藝術家自由參與的活動「大C承傳」就是部分火炭藝術家通過藝術教育活動,聯繫區外的藝術愛好者,一起研習藝術,讓區外人也可以免費參與火炭開放工作室的藝術展出活動。

 

大C的意思當然不是指參與的藝術家是大師,C可供自由詮釋,可以是創作-Create,可以是聯繫區內外藝術家- Connect, 也可以是協作- Collaborate 的意思。活動可以讓大眾有簡單的途徑研習藝術,免費在一個受歡迎的藝術活動中參展,更可以有材料費補助。

Background of Fotan Open Studios

Fotan Open Studios started with only two studios in 2001. The number of visitors has grown dramatically since then, from about a thousand in 2004 to more than 10 thousand in 2011. Fotan Open Studios has already become one of the most renowned annual art events in Hong Kong. After witnessing the massive amount of artworks and artists in the studios, people no longer slander Hong Kong as a “Cultural Desert” anymore and nor do they complain about there being no artists in Hong Kong.

Open studios and a lot of other art activities related to open studios in the past were sponsored by the Hong Kong Art Development Council, the Home Affairs Bureau and some private companies. In recent years, voluntary organizer of Fotan Open Studio has not applied for any sponsorship. The artists paid for the organizing fee themselves and have focused only on opening studios. Due to the soaring rent of industrial buildings and lack of financial support, many Fotan artists do not join the open studios activity anymore. The situation has worsened by frequent inspections from the government after a fire accident occurred in an industrial building. The number of open studios plummeted between 2015 and 2018, from 91 to 32.

 

On the other hand, simplification of the art events leads to criticism that “Fotan is dead”. Indeed, Fotan Open Studios does not indulge in gimmicks and remains focused on development of creativity of individual artists. Some people see “the differences” and feel fascinated with the sustained progress in art creation; while, some people find the situation to be “the same” and grumble for similar exhibitors every year. Fotan is dead or alive? Different people can have different views.  

 

Anyhow, it is heartening that the Open Studios allow artists to reach the audience directly without any middlemen, such as galleries or museums, which means artists without strong industry networks also can have access to audiences and brings refreshing new artworks to the event.

 

Enhancing education function

 

Although Fotan Open Studios is facing considerable criticism, the audience has not shrunk. It allows audience to meet a variety of artists face-to-face. Many students are attracted and visit the studios for learning art and meeting artists. This might be because they need to fulfill the requirement of assignments like “Other Learning Experience” or “Independent Enquiry Study” for senior secondary education. It proves the contribution of Fotan Open Studios in art education.

 

One of the possible directions of development of Fotan Open Studios is to deepen the function of art education. Initiated by Phoebe Man, an experienced artist of Fotan Open Studio, Project C, opens to all Fotan artists, designed to provide art learning opportunities to the public, to connect art lovers outside Fotan and to allow outsiders to participate in Fotan open studios activities.

 

The name “Project C” is free for interpretation. “C” can mean “Create”, “Connect” and “Collaborate”. Project C not only provides accessible ways of art study for general public but also offers a valuable opportunity for art lovers to create and exhibit their artworks at a popular art hub with creation subsidies.

Flexible Small Class Teaching in Project C

 

The tutors of Project C, including Winnie Davies, Marc Leung, Phoebe Man, Amy Tai, Joe Yiu, Leo Yu and Artists Co-op specialize in different art fields like painting, mixed-media, photography and social-engaged art, etc. These teachers shall enroll 2 to 7 students based on the art media or cooperative projects they are interested in. Interested party can visit the teachers’ studios in 2019 Fotan Open Studios. Applicants can also choose other Fotan artists as their tutors. The organizer of Project C will invite the most popular artists to be tutors. Successful applicants will be engaged in a ten-month art education programme. The content of the classes will be discussed between the artists and the students. There are 8 classes, including three collective meetings shall be arranged for programme introduction, mid-term presentation and final presentation. Other classes are individual meetings. The final artworks will be exhibited in Open Studios with a research outcome publication, catalogues and guided tours to introduce the cooperative results.

工作人員 Staff List​​

項目總監/策展人 Project Director/Curator

文晶瑩 Phoebe Man

項目統籌/網頁設計 Project Coordinator/Web design

鄭羽以 Sunny Cheng

主辦 Organizer
 

“有何不可?” 藝術工作室 Why Not?

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