Inside, out -- "Medialogue: 7.04cm"

Shiona Mackenzie

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Who are you? What's your story? What do you believe? Browsing through the School of Creative Media's first  Graduation Show offers a glimpse into unique interior landscapes; intimate, usually hidden— now shared through interactive narratives and displays. From 2 July at CityU, "Medialogue: 7.04cm" features over 60 multimedia works by graduates of the Bachelor of Arts in Creative Media (BACM), the Associate of Arts in Media Technology (AAMET) and the Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Media Design and Technology. A broad range of creative efforts, from digital video and animation to installation art and research reports, is on exhibit until 12 July. It is free of charge and everyone is welcome.

Riding the bus a week earlier, I was surprised to see an ad for the Graduation Show on the plasma screen. My curiosity was piqued and I quickly decided this event was not to be missed...

High-tech artworks separated by white swathes of gauze in the Multi-purpose Room vie for my attention, each inviting me to approach and explore different sounds, colours, textures, shapes and ideas. I scan the exhibits for a

suitable launching point until settling on third-year BACM student and an editor of the Medialogue catalogue, Kirque Leung, who offers to guide me through the Show. "It helps to hear from the artists themselves," he suggests, introducing me to Timothy Lee, whose Final Year Project is entitled 'The day sucked'. Timothy shows me that by using a computer mouse to click on various Chinese characters and pieces of English text that appear in images on a screen, I can create my own story line with one of eight lead characters. "I am interested in writing short stories and making interactive games," Timothy explains. This is fun!

Next, I meet Hamlet Lin, Project Manager of the Show and prize-winning School of Creative Media (SCM) student. Hamlet's thesis and installation piece revolve around Wittgenstein's philosophical works. "Philosophy should be like therapy for people," Hamlet expounds, "and bring clarity, rather than confusion." He urges me to pick a word, such as 'Memory', and label something with it. This makes me consider the meanings of words and their relationship to objects, to the world, and to myself. "We don't need to define creativity -- just explore, find a boundary and cross it,"

according to Hamlet. "The essence of creativity is intermedial and interdisciplinary, not fixed." Accepted by the Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden, Hamlet plans to gain some work experience immediately after graduation and continue his studies later on. I wander away with a dozen stickers in hand and a desire to label things around my office 'equality', 'motion' or 'real'.

Graduates share art with community

"Have a look at this," Kirque points to the far corner and leads me to something like a haunted house. Entering Sam Wong's art space, I find ghosts and gadgets. "This space is a reproduction of the housing estate flat I grew up in and the experience you have here is a reflection of my childhood fears," Sam tells me. Looking into a traditional Chinese altar, you see your own face on a video screen and it is an eery confrontation.

Kirque introduces me to Sam So, whose screening of 'mon papa' exposes his deeply personal thoughts and feelings about his relationship with his father. Objectivity and subjectivity are blurred in a montage of emotions, text and images.

"Welcome to my secret world... In this film, I explore the identity of my father and how my background affects how I view him. Would it be the same," Sam questions,"if he looked different, if he were more handsome, for example? I hope the audience will empathize with me." Sam will leave Hong Kong next month to enter the Pratt Institute in New York and major in photography.

The School of Creative Media graduates' original oevres are the product of intensive

six- to 12-month collaborations between individual students and their staff advisers. Via Medialogue, the graduates hope to share the fruits of their studies with the community. In order to facilitate exchange among guest speakers, student-authors and the audience, animation, documentary, fiction, and experimental video works are followed by post-screening discussions, while seminars conclude with Q&A.

Extended show at Ocean Terminal

An extension of the Show, "Medialogue PLUS @ Club X", jointly organized with LCX and Club X, provides a unique opportunity to take a closer look at the SCM's creative education at work, 16 July to 1 August, at Club X –LCX, Level 3, Ocean Terminal, Harbour City, Kowloon. SCM Assistant Professor and Director of Teaching & Learning, Ms Linda Lai, has this to say about the Final Year Projects: "One feature that caught my attention this year is a shared self-reflexive rigour... The attitude of learning and benefitting from others through research or writing should be the right attitude." She advises students, "Undergraduate education is only one phase of life. Celebrate what you gain... Life is short; live the present moment to the fullest."

The SCM inspires and informs creativity across disciplines. 'Creative media' encompasses animation, multimedia design, advertising, television, film, publishing, arts administration and media production, and even business and manufacturing where high-end technologies are used in production processes. If you are interested in developing skills in areas such as computer animation, film and video production, multimedia design, art directing, production management, screenwriting, directing, digital art, or if you aim to become a creative media scholar or critic, the City University of Hong Kong's School of Creative Media is just the place for you.

The School is strengthening its role as a regional leader in creative media. Numerous SCM students' works have been invited to participate in, and won awards at various local and international events, and selected for publication. Ever since it was established in 1998, the School has devoted itself to training a new breed of multimedia specialists who are skilled in the know-how of a broad range of digital media forms and informed in the general histories and variety of creative traditions. Not only does SCM prepare its graduates to be versatile, innovative and creative, but also sensitive to the business and legal environments in which the media industries operate. "It was clear from the start that our ideal graduate would not be a mere technician," says Dr Hector Rodriguez, Undergraduate Studies Programme Leader.

For more information, go to http://sweb.cityu.edu.hk/medialogue/. Contact: Mr Hamlet Lin 9359-4625, or Ms Caroline Hu (Programme & Publicity Manager) Hu.Caroline@student.cityu.edu.hk.

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