This is the first day I went to the primary school where the glove project will take place. The glove project is an art project by Kith Tsang, an Hong Kong artist. He did not arrive yet. And before the installation work, we have to clean up the place. The school was abandoned five years ago because the there are less and less kids in the island. There is no more students here. Some classrooms now are storage space of some other organizations.

The work would be set up in the principal’s room. There are lots of framed certificates and honours hanging on the walls - the principals must be very proud of the history and contribution of the school. In fact, the school has been in service since Meiji period. There is a piece of wood just above the door listing the past principals of the school.

Hell lots of dust and dead bugs were in the rooms, but the school was full of interesting things. In the staff room, which is just next to the principal’s room, there are many documents about the school such as photo albums of school events and newspaper clippings. My first impression is that, according to the documents, the people in this island really respect the nature. The kids would build bird houses. They would learn about farming. This is something city people should learn in first lesson.

Some other works are setting up in the school as well. For example, at the public area next to the staff room, there will be another installation with red lampshades, which are typical settings in Hong Kong wet market. The artist has not arrived yet, and the some guys from our team are setting up the electric supply. Upstairs in the school library, a Japanese artist will make another artwork there.

It is so unfortunate that the school is closed. Let’s hope that these works and the festivals could get more people to come and visit the place. It may not be possible and plausible to run the school again. Sad but true, the island’s population is shrinking and young people are moving out. There are not enough students for the school. At least, I hope the festival and the art works could provide an opportunity for the people to look at the school again, to experience a little part of what the kid used to do in school time. Old boys and staff can take the chance to go back to their school. Other visitors can get a chance to think about where they grew up.

Cheng Sui Hang
Fine Arts & French
University of Hong Kong
Setouchi 2010 - Participant

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