messagePic   Message from Professor Eva Man
Acting Director of Visual Arts, HKBU
December, 2011  

Members of the Academy of Visual Arts welcome the founding of the Institute of Creativity with delight.


Indeed, the notion of artistic creativity itself has drawn broad and complex questions like "What is creativity?", "What is the nature of creative thinking?" as well as "What do scientific and artistic creativity have in common?" etc. These inquiries relate closely to the core of understanding and approaching different disciplines within the Humanities. We believe that the celebrated experts who will join the Institute will enhance our comprehension of human creativity, appraise our limited knowledge of it and point out meaningful directions for future exercises.

If creativity refers to the unaccountable and surprising emergence of a new qualitative content as some scholars suggested, we should then review critically the common view of artistic creation being the necessary act for artists to recover their shattered equilibrium. More prominently, as art academics we believe in a more positive view of creativity and how creativity acts to reveal a vision of the world and a profound notion of existence. The contribution of the honourable guests of the Institute would affirm creativity's positive attributes, and such results would involve scientific inquiry, tentative hypotheses developed during investigation, and summary results of careful and extended research.

The Institute will also make it obvious that speaking of "the creative imagination" goes beyond a static and unilateral notion; in other words, it would celebrate diverse talents and cultural inputs. I believe the members of the Academy would benefit from sharing thoughts and collaborating with the renowned scholars of the Institute, in the hope that some complex questions concerning creativity such as "In what sense and to what extent is creativity a part of the ethical life?" and "In what way is the ethical life akin to the creative life?" could be further discussed and engaged. The dialogue should be fulfilling given the shared vision of the Academy and the Institute of a more embracing and well thought-out notion of creativity.

Members of the Academy celebrating creativity in the form of an unprecedented and unique articulation, as embodied in artistic language will come together with members of the Institute mapping creativity with their expertise and vision. With their academic rigour and endeavours in enriching the notion of creativity, the latter are also great artists whose inner inspiration may obey their innermost existential being.


The Academy sincerely wishes the Institute every success in fulfilling its educational and academic ethos; and also as a platform underscoring the symphony of Arts, Sciences and beyond.

Professor Eva Man
Acting Director of Visual Arts
Hong Kong Baptist University