M+, the museum of visual culture in Hong Kong’s West Kowloon Cultural District, launches M+ Rover 2020: Travelling Creative Studio, a school and community outreach programme that provides a platform for students and cultural practitioners to engage in creative dialogue. In this latest edition, M+ Rover reaches out for the first time to primary-school students, touring with artist Wong Tin Yan to twenty-five primary schools in Hong Kong from February to July 2020. Through interactive, artist-led activities and guided tours of an exhibition specially designed for children in this age group, the programme seeks to take students into uncharted creative territory.

Encouraging exchanges between students and creative practitioners, M+ commissions local artists and designers to participate in each edition of M+ Rover. This year, M+ is collaborating with local artist Wong Tin Yan, who has been an art educator for nearly twenty years and is known for his sculptural work made of discarded wooden pallets. In designing the exhibition for this programme, titled Yes but Why?, Wong invites collaborators from a wide range of fields to join in an adventure of inquiry with students. The collaborators include soundpocket, an organisation promoting sound art; Orient Occident Atelier, a design and architecture studio looking into the connection between structures and surrounding spaces; and Deep Food, a team of designers who seek to create ‘edible experiences’ through unearthing the potential of food. Drawing inspiration from the work of these collaborators and other practitioners, Wong poses a series of questions to stimulate the curious minds of students, encouraging them to venture into the unknown and think creatively. In documenting the students’ intuitive ideas and responses, the exhibition evolves as it travels from school to school.

Since its launch in 2016, M+ Rover has featured an annual thematic exhibition on its tours to local schools and community spaces. This free programme provides an opportunity for students, creative practitioners, and people from local communities to interact with, inspire, and learn from one another. In previous chapters, M+ Rover collaborated with artist Tang Kwok Hin, photographer Siu Wai Hang, illustrator and comics writer Rainbow Leung, and artist Ng Ka Chun. Through role play, photography, drawing, and the use of everyday objects, the creative practitioners initiated a series of creative and learning activities in local schools and community spaces. As of 2019, M+ Rover has visited seventy-four schools and thirty community venues, with 36,750 students and teachers joining the programme, and 39,900 visitors coming to view the exhibitions.

Suhanya Raffel, Museum Director, M+, underscores the significance of the programme in bringing non-formal learning experience to students in Hong Kong: ‘M+ Rover is our endeavour to extend museum learning experience into schools and communities. We believe that the programme can empower young children to make positive changes in society. As it expands to reach a wider audience in the city, the programme continues to be an essential platform to stimulate and foster creative thinking.’

Stella Fong, Lead Curator, Learning and Interpretation, M+, stresses the  importance of drawing on past experience as the programme continues to develop: ‘The previous editions of M+ Rover have informed our approach to shaping this latest programme, making the project more accessible to younger students. The artist-led activities and guided tours of the exhibition encourage students and teachers to discover the relevance of art in their lives and gain fresh perspectives by learning together.’

Wong Tin Yan describes ‘questioning’ as a key element of art-making: ‘The programme encourages students to think differently and question the habitual way of thinking. Through the activities, students gain a better understanding of themselves and their lives.’

M+ Rover at a glance

Date: February to July 2020
Target participants: The school sessions are open to local primary-school teachers and students only. Interested members of the public are welcome to join the community sessions.
Location: Participating primary schools and selected communities in Hong Kong
Language: Cantonese and/or English
Fee: Free of charge

For more information about M+ Rover 2020, please visit our website.

Remarks

About Wong Tin Yan
Wong Tin Yan is known for his sculptural work made from discarded wooden pallets. He considers his writing for print and online publications and his participation in television as integral parts of his practice. He is a host of the RTHK television programme Artspiration, and the founder of the self-funded art space Form Society in Sham Shui Po. Across his activities, Wong looks beyond conventional materials and situations to find inspiration to create.

Wong graduated from the Department of Fine Arts of the Chinese University of Hong Kong in 2000. His work is held in the collection of the Hong Kong Museum of Art, and public and private collections in Hong Kong and overseas. Exhibitions, public art projects, and educational programmes in which he has participated include Charming Tastes and Fragrance: Literature and Visual Arts (House of Hong Kong Literature, 2019), Harbour Arts Sculpture Park (Hong Kong Art Centre, 2018), the Arts Ambassadors-in-school Scheme (Hong Kong Arts Development Council, 2016), The Very Fun Park Contemporary Art Exhibition (Fubonart, Taipei, 2015), and Kwai Tsing Amusement Park and Xinhua Animal Hunt: Sculptures by Wong Tin-yan (Art Promotion Office, 2006). He was recognised at the 40 Under 40 Awards by Perspective magazine in 2010, and received an Entry Prize for commercial interior design at the GDC Awards in 2011.

About M+
M+ is a museum dedicated to collecting, exhibiting, and interpreting visual art, design and architecture, moving image, and Hong Kong visual culture of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. In Hong Kong’s West Kowloon Cultural District, we are building one of the largest museums of modern and contemporary visual culture in the world, with a bold ambition to establish ourselves as one of the world’s leading cultural institutions. Our aim is to create a new kind of museum that reflects our unique time and place, a museum that builds on Hong Kong’s historic balance of the local and the international to define a distinctive and innovative voice for Asia’s twenty-first century.

About the West Kowloon Cultural District
The West Kowloon Cultural District is one of the largest and most ambitious cultural projects in the world. Its vision is to create a vibrant new cultural quarter for Hong Kong on forty hectares of reclaimed land located alongside Victoria Harbour. With a varied mix of theatres, performance spaces, and museums, the West Kowloon Cultural District will produce and host world-class exhibitions, performances, and cultural events, providing twenty-three hectares of public open space, including a two-kilometre waterfront promenade.