This April saw celebrations in both Hong Kong and China as UAL hosted special alumni events to welcome new Presidents of the local Alumni Associations.
In Hong Kong an Alumni Reception at the Lane Crawford home store gave UAL Vice-Chancellor, Nigel Carrington, the perfect opportunity to thank the new Presidents of the HK Alumni Association (Tanya Chou, Leo P H Chan and Keith Wong) for volunteering their time to develop a schedule of activities to bring our local alumni together and the opportunity to share experiences and skills.
The week in Hong Kong was an historic one for UAL, as students graduated from two Masters programmes delivered outside London for the first time. Based in Hong Kong, the students are the first cohort of graduates from UAL’s MA Arts and Cultural Enterprise and MA Media, Communications and Critical Practice delivered by UAL accredited partner institution, HKU School of Professional and Continuing Education (HKU Space). We were delighted that so many of these new UAL alumni were able to attend the Alumni Reception to be officially welcomed into the local alumni community by our Presidents, staff and fellow graduates.
During the following evening, UAL academics took part in a lively panel discussion at The Loupe, a brand new design incubation space in the heat of Hong Kong. With Anne Smith (Dean of Academic Programmes at CSM) chairing, we also welcomed Dr Gino Yu (Associate Professor of PolyU Design, Digital Entertainment), Tanya Chou (President of the UAL HK Alumni Association), Nathalie Melville (CSM alumna and Creative Director of Melville Fine Jewellery) and Carrie Pin (Co Director, The Mills Fabrica) to sit on the panel and lead the energetic discussion.
The theme of the evening was “New Trends in Education and the Creative Industries” giving our panellists and audience members a forum to discuss (amongst other thought-provoking matters) what they thought employers in the creative sector look for in new graduates, how creatives can make sure they stay current, how are new technologies impacting the industry and how UAL and other institutions are making sure the next generation is prepared for a career in the fast moving creative industry.
Throughout the evening the panellists were often challenged and questioned by audience members who all came along with their own opinions and experiences from both creative industry and education.
The UAL team then moved on to Mainland China, were a craft workshop and drinks reception was hosted in Shanghai.
China is home to UAL biggest alumni community outside of the UK. For the past 6 years local Alumni Association President, Oliver Pearce, along with his committee of fellow alumni volunteers have been tirelessly working to build a supportive, inclusive and fun community in Shanghai. With Oliver now passing on the presidency over to Ash Cheng (while he now becomes Security General) this was the ideal time to thank all volunteers across China for their support, welcome Ash as new President and introduce her to members of the community.
With space generously given by Rosso Fashion & Arts Education, UAL was able to host two events during a celebratory day.
The afternoon started off with a hands on creative workshop lead by Ash and Cheng Qian, exploring the crafts and traditions from Dehong in Yunnan Province. The inspiration come from Cheng’s discovering of mengbanaxi, a form of paper cutting, created by local women across Dehong to show respect for Buddha. During her visit to the region, Cheng also learnt how important the use of bright colours is to local groups, as a method of expressing their enthusiasm. During the workshop guests mixed these traditions from Dehong with modern materials to create their very own piece of contemporary folk art in the form of a mini bag. In the evening followed a party like no other. With British themed music, decoration and food, alumni danced the night away reminiscing and sharing stories of their time studying at UAL and living in London.
Alumni travelled from across China to attend the evening and were given an update on UAL’s latest news and achievements, heard inspiring stories from fellow graduates and had the chance to win some fantastic prizes including a UAL short course and goodies from not just a shop.
Our network of international Alumni Associations and Groups are a great way to meet new industry contacts and friends. Visit our website to find one near you.