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Published on : Monday, December 14, 2015
The Museum of Art was closed in August this year for a three-year renovation and expansion. In October, the museum launched the Jockey Club “Museum of Art on Wheels” Outreach Learning Programme to fill the void. Tailor-made for primary and secondary students, the programme uses a specially-designed truck to bring art appreciation to every corner of the city.
The art education truck makes pit stops at schools on weekdays and in communities on weekends when art lovers are encouraged to board the vehicle for a mobile museum experience.
This approach can help reduce the boundaries between school students and museums by taking pieces of the museum’s collection to the youngsters. It also provides the additional benefit of giving them a chance to physically engage with the objects and materials.
The travelling museum is scheduled to tour the city for three years and will change themes each year. This year’s theme is “transformation” focusing on the process of turning ordinary everyday items into works of art.
Meet the mascots
When visitors board the museum on wheels they are greeted by mascots representing its major collections. Antiq, who resembles a blue and white porcelain represents the Chinese Antiquities collection. Multi-coloured mascot Kong Kong represents Hong Kong Art, Inkie the ink blot symbolises Chinese Fine Art, while Oillie with his sailboat print represents the Historical Pictures collection.
Museum of Art docents are also on board to help introduce the exhibit replicas and interactive games.
Assistant Curator Hilda Mak hopes the mobile museum will ignite a fresh interest in art.
“We wanted break away from the passive image of a museum, so we placed artworks in the truck and designed special interactive games to introduce different collections. We hope to attract new audiences, especially those who have never visited the Museum of Art.”
Ms Mak added that visitors can take photos with the four mascots and draw them during art jamming activities.
Several local artists have been invited to lead workshops and online projects for the programme to help people develop their artistic vision, experience creating art and learn about the museum’s history. They also encourage people to get together to explore the fun of painting in an art jam.
One of them is sculptor Wong Tin-yan who creates art from discarded wood. He hosts the Bring the Museum Home workshop. Participants use wood collected from the museum to create unique pieces.
“Paintings in the museum are mounted on wooden frames, but some of them cannot be reused, so I collect the old frames, cut them into pieces and ask the workshop students to create their own original artwork,” Mr Wong explained.
Some participants believe the workshops help bridge the gap between art connoisseurs and the public at large, while others just enjoyed creating something with their own hands.