If your memory of school is of drab grey walls and corridors, it might be time to pay a visit to the Canadian International School of Hong Kong! At an Evening of the Arts celebration on 30 March, CDNIS Hong Kong unveiled a striking new artwork in the school’s reception area. The mural – an explosion of colour across a 70-square-metre wall – was created over 10 days by Jo Di Bona, the renowned French street artist and muralist, dubbed the “Andy Warhol of Street Art”. This is certainly a piece of street art in Hong Kong not to miss!
Chosen as the Art Ambassador for the upcoming 2024 Olympics in Paris, Jo Di Bona’s masterpiece on campus combines stimulating images with reflections on the school’s vision and mission. This follows a survey of the school community, who were posed a question: “When you think of CDNIS, what are some memories, images or words that come to mind?” Their answers – centring around compassion, connectedness and global understanding – provided inspiration for muralist Jo Di Bona to encapsulate the school’s values through street art in Hong Kong.
Here’s what the muralist and Hong Kong CDNIS community members had to say about the unveiling.
Jo Di Bona – Muralist and street artist
My time at CDNIS was an absolute joy and it was an honour to create this one-of-a-kind mural for the school – my favourite wall of all time. I was blown away by the talent and confidence of the students during our collaborative projects. My highlight was meeting and talking to the students and staff. The warmth of the community and the passion for the Arts at CDNIS has made this experience unforgettable.
Head of School Dr Jane Camblin
The Arts have the power to inspire and uplift us and the Evening of the Arts did just that in bringing our community together. One can see just how joyful the experience was from our highlight reel from the night, which featured the unveiling of the street art in Hong Kong and moments from our Spring Concert and DP Arts Exhibition. I am grateful for the hard work of our Visual and Performing Arts Department and the support of our community.
Anne Drouet, Director of Visual and Performing Arts
The event highlighted the talent and depth of creative thinking, described by many as mind blowing and highly sophisticated. Jo Di Bona’s mural also transformed our campus reception, capturing our community identity and values in such colourful and dynamic imagery.
As the Art Ambassador for the Olympics, muralist Jo Di Bona will go on to work with 60,000 volunteers to create the world’s largest street art collaboration, and we are so grateful to be able to auction off his artwork for future Arts projects as a force for good.
A CDNIS parent
That was an awesome evening. Hands down the most creatively meaningful work of art I’ve come across. Not only was it a perfect match between artist and community (that an artist can be moved to tears by appreciative comments is only possible when they genuinely come from the heart) but it almost seems to me like a divine stamp of approval of CDNIS’s caring and loving nature.
Aside from adding a stunning visual element to the CDNIS Hong Kong campus, the creation of the artwork also allowed Visual Arts teachers at the school to learn Jo Di Bona’s approach and style, something they’ll be able to incorporate into their own teaching methods.
In addition, the artist gifted the school his original canvas and NFT, along with a limited number of signed and numbered prints to help raise funds for future Arts initiatives.
If you’d like to learn more about street art in Hong Kong, the CDNIS Hong Kong Artist in Residence programme and the muralist and street artist Jo Di Bona, find out details here.
The Canadian International School of Hong Kong, 36 Nam Long Shan Road, Aberdeen
Email email@example.com for more information about the school’s arts programmes and projects, or visit their website.
This article first appeared in the Summer 2023 issue of Expat Living magazine. Subscribe now so you never miss an issue.