I led you in yesterday, you lead me out today. - Lui Chun Kwong
The role of a teacher is to guide his students through the process of learning, gradually, step by step, to gain in-depth knowledge of a specific subject. Every form of education involves the act of persuasion, and to some extent, the student is meant to succeed the teacher as a person. Issues of reliance, solicitude, subversion, and treachery underscore the complexity of a productive and meaningful relationship between the teacher and student. From the craftsman to the contemporary artist, art and education intersect in different ways. The continually changing nature of art making invariably also requires the continual re-examination of the way art is taught and learnt. In different teacher-student relations, the expectation and conflict between art educators and their students are especially profound. For artists who are also educators, the relationship with their students invariably becomes an extension of their art practice and merits closer examination in both fields of education and art.
Individual consciousness perceives ‘I’ as the origin of the coordinates, defining the central point of origin from which to reach out and connect with the rest of the world, where ‘you’ is one of the subjects in this personal web. While most will agree that art is about individuality, the insertion of the teacher-student relation into the relationship between ‘You’ and ‘I’ complicates it and results in subtle transformations to their artistic trajectories. In the field of practical art education, it can be separated into two parts. One is about training of the physical body to perform intricate skills and the other is to deliberate and conceive abstract concepts and ideas. The same knowledge demonstrated and conveyed by different teachers will never be the same, and this knowledge cannot exist independently in the absence of the teacher. In this process of teaching and learning, teachers and students learn more about each other, not just in art but also on a deeper level with personal values.
Lui Chun Kwong’s artworks serve as the backbone of You Are Here, I Am Not. The exhibition consists of works by more than fifty Hong Kong artists. All the participating artists are graduates of the Fine Arts Department at The Chinese University of Hong Kong, where Lui taught for more than twenty years. For this exhibition, Lui sees his works as ready-mades that become the starting point for collaboration with his former students. After initial discussions with Lui, the artists are at complete liberty to use the work, and even transform it with their own ideas and interpretations, to create a new work. With Lui’s artworks as the point of departure, this exhibition will examine the possibilities resulting from collaboration between Lui and his former students and will further explore the intricate and complex relationship between teacher and student and its role in artistic creation. Through this fellowship of past teacher-student relations and their collaboration as artists in the present, as well as a platform to differentiate from their usual mode of thinking and working, it will also be an examination of the artistic practices of each artist in the exhibition.