Creative media graduates shine at ifva

Karen Cheng

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Five graduates of the School of Creative Media (SCM) at City University of Hong Kong (CityU) garnered two Gold Awards, two Silver Awards and one Special Mention Award at the 18th Hong Kong Independent Short Film and Video Awards (ifva). Their major achievements exemplify CityU’s quality professional education.
 
The immersive virtual reality installation Bad Trip created by Mr Alan Kwan Tsz-wai, a 2012 graduate, and the film 6th March produced by Mr Wong Chun, a 2010 graduate, won the Gold Awards in the Interactive Media Category and the Open Category respectively.
 
Using new creative media technology to demonstrate the concept of life-logging, Mr Kwan’s final-year project Bad Trip offers a unique viewing experience to the audience. Mr Kwan recorded fragments of his daily life between October 2011 and July 2012 using a self-made video camera mounted on his glasses. He used these digitised visual memory images to create a virtual mindscape, an interactive installation through which the audience can navigate in order to experience his memories and dreams.
 
“The aim is to help people recall some of the important moments in their life or some fragments of experience that they have missed,” said Mr Kwan, adding that he hoped his work could be further developed into a marketable product in the future to allow more people to use it. He said winning the ifva award was a great encouragement to him, boosting his confidence to turn his creative ideas into actual works. Prior to taking part in the ifva, Bad Trip had been displayed in international exhibitions, including the Games for Change Australia New Zealand in Melbourne in 2012 and the Vector Game Art Festival in Toronto this year.
 
Mr Wong Chun’s 30-minute short film depicts a rally on 6 March 2011 held in protest at the Hong Kong government’s budget proposal. That evening, as many as 113 protestors were arrested under the charge of “unlawful assembly”. They gave their statements in small groups in the canteen of a police station because there weren’t enough rooms.
 
Mr Wong was one of the arrested protestors, a witness to the rally, arrests and interrogation. He decided to produce the film because he wanted to present a full picture of what actually happened that day, especially as a lot of details of the event were not reported by the mainstream media.
 
Mr Wong said he was delighted at winning the ifva award. The film also received the Best Screenplay Award in Fresh Wave 2011 - International Short Film Festival, and it was nominated for the Best Short Film at the Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival 2012.
 
Both award winners said CityU’s education had laid a solid professional foundation for them and had offered them opportunities to freely create their own work. They added that they were grateful for the valuable guidance and advice offered by SCM faculty. “Our teachers inspired us to learn about various forms of art and new media. Some of them even became our good friends,” Mr Kwan said. He wished to express special thanks to Professor TamasWaliczky and Mr Ip Yuk-yiu, Associate Professor, both of the SCM.
 
Mr Wong thanked Mr Patrick Tam Ka-ming, Associate Professor at SCM, for his valuable advice. “Mr Tam reminded us to clearly understand the mission of our films and to strive to produce quality films. His words have made us become more passionate about films,” he said.
 
In this year’s ifva, Atypical Installation by Mr Jason Lam Chi-fai, a 2008 graduate and Waiting to Drown by Mr Nick Cheuk Yick-him, a 2012 graduate, won the Silver Awards in the Interactive Media Category and the Open Category respectively. Fishing with Popo by Miss Lilian Fu Wing-yan, a 2008 graduate, received the Special Mention Award in the Animation Category.
 
In addition, Professor Waliczky held his first local solo exhibition earlier. Titled “Dance with the Interval”, the exhibition, which was held at the Hong Kong Arts Centre, was also the world premiere of his two new installations, Wheels (2013) and Homes (2012). In addition, films produced by Dr Louisa Wei Shiyu, Associate Professor of the SCM, and by a number of SCM graduates were screened at this year’s Hong Kong International Film Festival.

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