The Spirit of Mr. Laurence Tam Lives On

June 18th, 2013 Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »

The Cradle BookWe recently received an order of a copy of ‘The Cradle’ book from a US expatriate who currently lives in China and is a K-12 Art teacher in 北崙 (近寧波). Here is an excerpt of her quote:

“I am a 1/3 of my way through my Master’s in Art Education degree through Boston University. In my current course, the History of Art Education, our final project focuses on how an individual or group changed how students learned art.

Because I live in China, I wanted to focus on how an individual or group changed how art was taught within Chinese culture, because I want to make as many connections as I can to China, and its culture, for my students.  Laurence Tam, from what I have learned, was able to make innovations in art education, and the Cradle book illustrates his process of teaching Chinese traditional ink painting, in a new way.

My fellow students and professors at BU are unaware of Laurence Tam, or for that matter Chinese painting, and so I think this information would be beneficial not only to myself and my students, but my fellow graduate students and professors as well.”

Mr. Tam kick-started the Movement; let’s keep the momentum going forever!


December 13th, 2012 Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »

The Cradle movement has approached its concluding stage as the first batch of 97 Chinese ink paintings became the collection of the Hong Kong Museum of Education – under the auspices of The Hong Kong Institute of Education (HKIEd), following a Donation Ceremony held at the WYK Art Room on December 10, 2012.

Officiating at the ceremony were Dr John Tan, WYK Principal; Professor Richard Tsang, Department of Cultural and Creative Arts, HKIEd (also a WYK alumnus); Dr Sydney Cheng, Librarian at HKIEd; Ms Selina Ho, Curator of the Hong Kong Museum of Education; and Eddie Yim, Chairman of the Organising Committee of the Chinese Ink Painting Exhibition 2006.

Following a six-year journey spanning 33,000 km, covering 7 international cities in Greater China and North America, these Chinese ink paintings had been shown in exhibitions and education workshops at 14 educational and cultural institutions. The education value of these paintings – the classwork of Art lessons at WYK during the 1966-1971 period when our beloved Art teacher Mr Laurence Tam practiced an innovative teaching method of Chinese ink paintings — had been endorsed by a number of educators and academia. As collection of the Hong Kong Museum of Education, these education treasures are expected to continue to inspire the future generations of teachers in Hong Kong.


December 12th, 2012 Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »

九龍華仁書院捐贈九十多幅「新水墨畫運動的搖籃」畫作予教院收藏及展覽,以推廣新水墨畫。 。(圖片瀏覽) (電視報導)

(星島日報報道) 著名水墨畫家譚志成是香港新水墨畫運動的先驅者,四十多年前於九龍華仁書院任教美術科,當時以反傳統臨摹方式,教授該校初中生創作水墨畫,九十多幅昔日學生畫作,昨以九龍華仁書院名義捐贈香港教育學院香港教育博物館收藏及展覽。教院指,將邀請該校音樂系學生以畫作為題,創作歌曲,計畫日後辦展覽,推廣新水墨畫。

前香港藝術館總館長譚志成為「香港新水墨運動」發起人呂壽琨的學生,曾於九龍華仁書院任教十六年,一九六六至七一年期間,以啟發學生自由創作,反臨摹方式,進行新水墨畫教學實驗。二○○六年起,譚志成在十多名舊生協助下,將一百四十九幅昔日中一至中二學生美術課的水墨畫,以「新水墨畫運動的搖   籃」為題於各地辦展覽,其中九十多幅昨以九龍華仁書院名義,捐贈教院香港教育博物館收藏,日後將於館內及學院展出,推廣新水墨畫。




In Memory of Alan

August 28th, 2011 Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »

From Mr. Laurence Tam, “Yesterday, I attended the funeral ceremony of Alan LEE Kwok Kee, one of my favourite students in my last few years at Wah Yan College Kowloon. It was a solemn and touching ceremony.  The large funeral hall was lined with floral wreaths round the walls, and the very large hall was fully packed by hundreds of those who came to pay him respect. He was obviously very popular in Good Hope School and in the art education circle, well respected and loved by his students, both present and past, as well as his fellow teachers, friends and associates. Good Hope School is an all girls’ school.

One of his students, Miss Connie Poon, who has helped in producing most of the artworks for our “Cradle Exhibition”,  expressed her gratitude and respect for his teacher by producing a very elegant memorial book for him. It was distributed to all those who attended the ceremony. Like his teacher, Connie is also very talented in art and design. The memorial book for Alan LEE is by itself a work of art. She has included in it photos recording some important and touching episodes of Alan’s life. She even decorated the edge of the pages with the short statements and words of wisdom often used by Alan in his classroom lectures. Attached (see below) are some pages on the part of Alan’s life related to Wah Yan included in the elegant book “In Memory of ALAN”. They will bring back the memory of our early days in Wah Yan, and remind us of our Wah Yan spirit in “sharing with others what we have”, including one’s inborn talent.

There is a section of the book on “The Cradle of New Chinese Ink Painting Movement” in memory of Alan’s dedication and contribution to the exhibition and his devotion in promoting art education. As in the case of the Toronto exhibitions, the production of the head panel (or backdrop) for the exhibition opening, as well as the design and production of the Poster and the 20 and more bilingual explanatory panels for gallery display was the contribution of Alan and his students.”



Alan Lee

July 25th, 2011 Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »

From Mr. Laurence Tam, “The last time I met Alan was at the Cradle Exhibition wrapping up meeting on 15 June.  He looked normal and healthy to me on that day, and was as sharp as usual in making creative remarks in the discussion. He was one of my most beloved art students in WYK and I felt really sad that he left us all of a sudden.

Lee Kwok Kee, Alan (WYK 1974 grad) not only was one of the Cradle artists who created 2 of the exhibits (Nos. 028 and 104) in the “Cradle of New Chinese Ink Painting Movement” Exhibition, but also the Vice-Chairman of the WYK Chinese Ink Painting Exhibition Planning Committee which was responsible for organizing the series of “Cradle” Exhibitions.  He took an active part in promoting this Chinese art education campaign of WYK.  He was responsible for organizing the FIRST of the education activities on the subject of the Cradle Exhibition at the City Hall almost single-handedly in 2006.  In 2007, he actually applied the “Cradle” teaching method to teach his students of Good Hope School, and, 3 months later, he succeeded in putting up a very impressive exhibition of his students’ Chinese ink painting exhibition.  (re. English “Cradle” book, pp. 204-207) Then in 2010, when the Cradle Exhibition was presented at the Hong Kong Institute of Education, Alan was interviewed by Sing Tao Daily at the Art Gallery of the Institute representing our WYK artists who did those Chinese ink paintings 40 and more years ago. (Attached is a photo published in “Sing Tao Daily, HK 21 Dec 2010” recording details of the interview, showing Alan standing by the side of one of his paintings done when he was only 14, at the Cradle Exhibition presented at the Art Gallery of the Hong Kong Institute of Education.)
Alan, being most knowledgeable in art and design, was the key person in the Committee responsible for the design and technical aspects of the Cradle Exhibitions which the Committee needed most in turning the WYK Cradle Exhibition into an international Chinese art promotional campaign with a total of 14 Cradle exhibitions and 15 Cradle art education lectures/seminars/symposiums presented and held in 7 major cities in China and Canada. Without the artistic expertise and generous support of Alan and his students, the WYK Cradle Exhibitions would not have achieved the success we now have. He was the Head of the Visual Arts Department of Good Hope School and was very much respected and loved by his students and colleagues as revealed from the attachment you sent me.  As an excellent art teacher and a person of outstanding character, he will always be remembered and admired.
May he rest in peace in the arms of the Almighty.”

The Opening of ‘The Cradle’ Exhibition in Hong Kong

December 7th, 2010 Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »

“The Cradle of New Chinese Ink Painting Movement” Exhibition jointly presented by Wah Yan College, Kowloon (WYK) and the Hong Kong Institute of Education (HKIEd) was successfully opened at the Art Gallery of the Institute at Tai Po on Monday 29 November 2010 at 3 p.m..  A Seminar on Chinese Art Education was held at the Hong Kong Institute of Education on the same day.  Thanks to the hard work and devotion of the WYK Ink Painting Exhibition Organizing Committee (see picture) chaired by Mr Yim Pak Kai (1972 graduate), this Wah Yan Kowloon Cradle Exhibition has been presented for the 14th time with 15 associated Chinese art educational lecture/seminar/symposium at 14 different cultural institutions in 7 major cities of the world since its inauguration at Hong Kong City Hall in December, 2006. (see attached) This is probably a record for an exhibition of works in Chinese ink by a group of teenagers who were Form 1 and Form 2 students of a secondary school (Wah Yan College, Kowloon) in Hong Kong 40 years ago.

The idea of the exhibition with HKIEd started with discussions with HKIEd staff on the Cradle project for almost a year.  The actual planning work for the exhibition didn’t start till September.  Based on the floor plan of the Art Gallery at HKIEd, a display mock-up plan was prepared in October.  The mounting of the exhibits was done by the expert staff under the supervision of Gallery Manager Mr Wong Yu Kai of HKIEd by the third week in Nov. (see photo series No. 1)

See all pictures here.

Under the guidance of our PR expert Derek Fung Kai-Ming (72 grad) with the co-operation of the Communication Office of HKIEd, this WYK exhibition and seminar have attracted much attention from the media. Attached are: (a) an article in Yazhou Zhoukan 亞洲週刊, a weekly magazine for South-east Asia circulation, (b) an article in Sing Tao Daily 星島日報, and (c) a 4-page description of the exhibition with reference to a number of our Wah Yan old boys in U Magazine. (see pages 1-2, pages 3-4)  It is expected more news on the exhibition will be reported by the media during the exhibition period in the month of December, as I have been interviewed with reference to the exhibition by several other newspaper reporters as well as by a camera crew of Hong Kong Cable T-V inside the exhibition gallery in the past week. (see photo series No. 2) (A report by Wen Wei Po 香港文匯報 has since been published.)

The exhibition opening ceremony was very well attended.  Among the guests were many friends and staff of HKIEd and WYK, including our present and past WYK principals, Dr John Tan and Mr Norman So, as well as quite a number of past teachers and students of WYK.  The platform party was made up of ten members headed by Dr Ho Chi Ping (Former Secretary for Home Affairs of HKSAR), Madam Dong Cui Di (中央驻港联络办公室教科部副部长董翠娣), Prof. Y C Cheng (Vice-President of HKIEd). Dr Ho pointed out in his opening speech that the exhibition of ink paintings by Wah Yan students has revealed an innovative and effective means to overcome the deep-rooted problem of learning Chinese painting through copying.  It has opened up a channel for our art teachers today to enhance students’ knowledge of and respect for Chinese painting which is the gem of Chinese culture, thus, cultivating in the minds of our school children a stronger feeling and respect for their own country.  This new method of teaching Chinese ink painting has an additional value in promoting national education.  Other than Dr Ho, those who addressed the opening ceremony gathering included Prof Cheng, Dr Tan and myself.  Then there was the presentation of souvenirs to the guests of honour and the invited guest speakers of the Seminar, followed by group photos and a reception. (see photo series No. 3)

The Seminar began at 4 p.m.. Dr Thomas Ho, the Assistant Head of the Dept of Cultural and Creative Arts of HKIEd was the moderator of the Seminar.  The subject of the Seminar was “Chinese Art Education, Its Continuation and Extension 中國美術教育的承傳.  I was invited to give the first lecture, which covered a brief survey of the development of Chinese art education in the 20th century, leading to the development of modern Chinese ink art in the art arena of China today.  There were four other speakers.  Prof Ka-Leung Mok, Chairman and Professor of the Department of Fine Arts, Chinese University of Hong Kong, spoke on how general public looked at Chinese painters in the early days and how traditional Chinese painting was related to social behaviour.  Prof. Tai-Keung Kan of Shan Tau University spoke on his learning experience when he studied Chinese ink painting under Lui Shou Kwan, and how he was influenced by his teacher in respect of his work as a designer and as a painter.  Dr Vanessa Lok-Wa Li, Senior Curriculum Development Officer (Visual Arts) of Education Bureau, HKSAR, gave an account of the work programs being pursued by the HK Government to enhance the ability of in-service visual arts teachers in teaching Chinese art in secondary and primary schools in Hong Kong. Dr Ming-Fai Hui, Associate Prof. of Outcome-Based Learning Unit, HKIEd, spoke on her personal experience and observation of the work of visual arts teachers in their attempts to give introductory learning lessons on creative Chinese ink painting techniques to primary school children.  The Seminar was very well attended and the talks of the speakers at the seminar were well received.  We had practically a full house, made up of art educators, artists, art lovers, and many visual arts teachers.  (see photo series No. 4)

It is expected that I shall be required to give a number of conducted tours to a number of visitors and students groups in the month of December.  Hopefully, this exhibition will pass the message of the exhibition to more visual arts teachers as well as to many teachers-to-be in HKIEd.

The Cradle Exhibition in Hong Kong

November 22nd, 2010 Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »

The Cradle Exhibition

謹訂於 二零一零年十一月二十九日(星期一)下午三時正 假座香港教育學院文化與創意藝術學系展覽廳舉行”新水墨畫運動的搖籃”畫展暨研討會開幕典禮 (按此參閱詳情).

From Mr. Laurence Tam in Hong Kong, “I consider this exhibition to be the most important one, because it signifies that the Cradle teaching method has finally been endorsed by the education institution for the training of teachers. This time, the exhibition is all in Chinese, because it is meant for the primary and secondary school teachers in Hong Kong.

 I am glad the Hong Kong Institute of Education has taken up this Wah Yan Kowloon students’ painting exhibition rather seriously, as they have planned a formal seminar “中國美術教育的承傳” to remind art teachers as well as teachers of art teachers in Hong Kong their responsibilty in giving an opportunity for their Chinese students to learn during their school years about the basics of the gems of Chinese culture, of which ink painting is one.  They have invited several top experts in today’s art education field as speakers in the seminar.” Read the rest of this entry »

‘The Cradle’ Exhibition Continues

September 18th, 2010 Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »

From Mr. Laurence Tam in Hong Kong, “I am glad to take this opportunity to reveal to you that the Wah Yan Kowloon Chinese Ink Painting Exhibition Committee will soon be holding another “Cradle” show in Hong Kong later this year.   Since our Cradle exhibition is all about a new method of teaching Chinese ink painting, I consider that the HK Institute of Education is the most appropriate venue for it.  It was only last evening at a dinner meeting in a Chinese restaurant at North Point that another “Cradle” exhibition to be held at the Hong Kong Institution of Education was decided……..

 If everything goes well, the exhibition will be opened on 26 November with a seminar on “The Future of Chinese Art Education”.  Will keep you informed of later development.
The title of the seminar is in a way a kind of follow-up on my lecture delivered recently in the Beijing Polytechnic University in June at the Symposium of “Hong Kong and Macau Visual Arts, 2010”, organized by the Ministry of Culture in Beijing.  Learning of Chinese ink painting will help the younger generations of the Chinese population cultivate among themselves subconsciously a sense of belonging and love for their own country.

This is a basic and effective subconscious “national” education very much needed for a country with such a vast population as China.  Hence, I do want to see that more art teachers in schools in Hong Kong and Mainland China will make use of Chinese art implements or will teach Chinese ink painting in their Visual Art classes, so that our (Chinese) children have more opportunities to approach and learn about our 中國國粹 the art of Chinese ink painting when they are young.

Hence, when I was invited to give a lecture in Beijing in June, I did not speak on any high sounding art theory or any great works of art.  Instead, I took the opportunity to point out an existing art education “defect” in the art education system of our primary and secondary schools in Hong Kong and in China.  Hopefully, those who have the means and power will heed the warning, wake up and take action.  My lecture was later published by Beijing Polytechnic University in her latest publication, “2010 港澳視覺藝術論壇文集”.

Click herer to see a copy of my lecture script for your interest.  I have included the slides in my attached script, because the captions attached to the slides form a significant part of the contents of my lecture.”

Exhibition at the Chinese University of Hong Kong

October 16th, 2009 Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »

Here are some pictures taken in the Cradle Exhibition at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (2007). Dr Charles Kuen Kao attended the exhibition and seminar because of his interest in the paintings of Lau Kam-yin (1972) who also worked on fiber-optic. Lau’s interesting article on Mr. Tam and his scientific look at his paintings can be seen here.

Exhibitions Successfully Completed in Toronto

June 19th, 2009 Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »

The two exhibitions on the Cradle of New Chinese Ink Painting Movement were successfully completed in Toronto, Canada.

April 25 – May 9  at the Chinese Cultural Centre of Greater Toronto

June 5 – June 19  at the Richard Charles Lee Canada-Hong Kong Library, University of Toronto Libraries