Singapore Hong Kong-Macau Students’ Arts Exhibition 2016
On the 11th of March, I went to the Singapore Hong Kong-Macau Students’ Arts Exhibition at Braddell Heights Community Centre with my fellow members of our Chinese Society. It is an annual event that showcases award-winning calligraphy pieces from Macau and Singapore. The masterpieces were chosen from several schools, including some of Zhonghua’s very own work. When I arrived with two of my friends, we found that another group was already there waiting for us. As we took the elevator to the Art Gallery room on the fifth floor, there was not a soul to be seen. However, the eerie silence was soon broken by several teachers streaming in to prepare for the exhibition. They worked to distribute nametags to the numerous participants and also inspected the premises to seek out viable locations for activities and tweaked the schedules accordingly. As we were early, we had the privilege of helping to set up the area for the event.
As a student-helper for the event, I was given the chance to take on many responsibilities including administration (registering participants’ names) and logistics (helping to move large bulky items to their appropriate locations). With our combined effort, we managed to get the venue ready on time. Feeling pleased with our effort, we took a picture to commemorate this eventful moment. After a short respite, students began to stream in. These students would be showcasing their skills in a live demonstration. I admired the confidence that they had in their ability and I hope to have their level of skills one day.
The event began with a prize-giving ceremony to those whose work was displayed in the exhibition. There were three categories - Primary Schools, Secondary Schools and Tertiary Schools. After the prize-giving, students began to showcase their calligraphy skills, eyed intently by the public who were admiring their strokes. Most of the students were quite young, some looking ten years old or less. Frankly, I felt ashamed at my own skills as I watched them write with impeccable precision. I resolved to be more diligent to improve my calligraphy skills. Suddenly, my friend and I were called out to write. Disbelief and nervousness shook me. I did not even regard my writing as decent. However, with the encouragement of my friends, we slowly made our way and sat down with the other calligraphers. With all my attention devoted to write, time seemed to zip by and before I knew it, one hour had passed by. As I got out of my seat, I felt a rush of pride that I was given the honour to demonstrate my calligraphy skills to the public.
All in all, it was an unique and meaningful experience for us, as we experienced the true meaning of “天外有天” - an idiom that translates directly to “Beyond sky are skies.” The sky in this case is used to denote the infinite possibilities that one may achieve and the idiom means that no matter how good or great one can be, there is still a limitless room for improvement, and that one can never be the greatest, for there would be always people who fly in the skies beyond your sky, doing what you can only imagine.
When the first calligrapher came out to write, we were amazed at the precision of his strokes. With the first character scripted on the board, we were sure that we had seen the best. However, another calligrapher arose and outshone the first calligrapher with his talents. His strokes were perfectly immaculate, impeccable, and we were amazed. Every movement he made was deftly engineered through what was probably years of experience. We were unknowingly holding our breath as the brush met the paper, and as he twirled his brush, revealing every stroke perfectly drawn and also enhanced with his own personal flare. This amazing experience with each calligrapher superseding the next, allowed us a glimpse into those who fly in the skies beyond ours. I hope all my fellow calligraphers could have a similar experience to mine, by attending next year’s event.
Tee Jing Hong
Vice-Chairman of Chinese Society
(Class 3E5, 2016)