International Online Conference

Date: 2022-09-24 - 2022-09-26

In 2020, SAORI Weavers of the world were looking forward to meeting in Japan in the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the birth of SAORI Weaving. 

The celebration did not happen in 2020 as Covid-19 led to the need for social distancing and the stalling of international travels.

After more than two years of Covid-19, we try to come together physically or in cyberspace to appreciate one another’s artwork, explore how it leads to simple pleasure, satisfy our creative instinct, maintain our mental health and wellness, and find out how it is a creative job that pays and leads to independent living. SAORI promotes inclusion and expresses diversity. SAORI is not a disability art but art for all. SAORI weavers are bonded to one another as collaborators in a liberating process often taking place in a collective setting of the Hiroba.                                              

So, in this gathering which is hybrid, actual, and in cyberspace, we shall be having a grand exhibition, online fashion shows, and an online conference where we shall share the various facets of SAORI. It will be taking place at the Hong Kong Jockey Club Creative Arts Centre from 1st September to 9th October 2022.

I)SAORI, Arts and Their Implications on Independent Living 
The Article 19 of Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities from the UN Human Rights describes the right of persons with disability to live independently which focuses on the right to choose, to decide and to take responsibilities.The implementation of such rights overseas often means that the persons with disabilities return to their communities to live with the necessary support and access in everyday life and not bounded to hostels or institutions.  Have we in Hong Kong progressed too slowly in this aspect? Indeed, the issue can be discussed from many perspectives: here we are doing the first steps to discuss independent living related to SAORI, inclusive arts, fair trade, self help organizations or even SLASH.

Time: 24 / 9 / 2022 六 Sat 3pm - 5pm (GMT+8)

Moderator: Clayton Lo Keng Chi 

▍Tomoatsu Kayano 

President of Fair Trade Town Sapporo, Chairperson of Fair Trade Hokkaidon and professor in Hokusei Gakuen University. For 20 years, he has been active with the Fair Trade movement in Sapporo by organizing the Fair Trade Festa in Sapporo and making Sapporo the 5th Fair Trade Town in Japan.

▍Peng Yujiao

Director of Development in Beijing Enable Sister Center, Summer Visiting Scholar of University of Oslo human rights law, Member of Asia Pacific Network of Women with Disabilities, Founder of BEST Sisters with Disabilities, Focus on Disabilities and Women, Social Welfare Issues.

▍Eve Yeung ( Diverse Talent)

Eve Yeung being a slash for 1 yearis now an art assistant, an online radio program host, a live broadcast technical staff and a performer in the elderly centre. Eve enjoys shopping and watching movies. She also has great passions in Arts and Music. Besides, Eve is a kind-hearted lady and has strong willingness to try and experience different kinds of jobs

▍Chung-man Ho (Ken)

St. James Settlement Rehabilitation Services Jockey Club Artspiration Academy Project Manager

R.S.W., Integrated Arts Worker, 3rd Cohort InnoPower@JC Social Worker Fellow, THE SPIRIT OF HONG KONG AWARDS 2020 The Spirit of Culture Award Winner. Graduated from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University with a bachelor's degree in social work (with honours)  from the Department of Applied Social Sciences and obtained a Postgraduate Diploma in Integrated Arts from the HKU School of Professional and Continuing Education. He has worked in different positions among elderly care services and rehabilitation services for people with intellectual disabilities (PIDs)for more than 15 years. He is committed to promoting PIDs to engage in art-related slash careers. Having participated  in over 50 on-or-off-stage roles with different troupes, including  TOMOTO Theatre, 1983 Studio, Voices for Harmony, Drum Alive and Wall Head Grass Theatre, he is now the company manager of “Dancing Heart Troupe" , established in 2000, the first dance troupe formed by PIDs.

▍Charlotte Chow
Marketing & Production Development Officer, The Salvation Army Heng On Integrated Vocational Rehabilitation Service 

Charlotte Chow is the Marketing and Product Development Officer of The Salvation Army Heng On Integrated Vocational Rehabilitation Service. Miss Chow has been working with the team to promote the craftsmanship of rehabilitated people and promote step-by-step training since joining the team, so that the trainees can enhance their social skills and increase the public awareness towards the competences of rehabilitation trainees.

II) SAORI in Reconstruction after Natural Disaster,  SAORI in Therapy, SAORI and Well-being 
The SAORI movement is international. SAORI weaving is used in the reconstruction and “recovery” in areas of natural disasters, particularly the tsunami affected. It was also introduced to Vietnam with persons affected by Agent Orange used by Americans were in the War in Vietnam in the 1970s. For the SAORI weavers, SAORI free weaving brings a sense of achievement, wellness and self expression. It  is definitely therapeutic and can be part of the textile art therapy movement formally used by professional art therapies.

Time: 24  / 9 / 2022 Sat 六 7:30pm - 9:30pm (GMT+8)  

Moderator:  Mandy Ma

▍Camola Valarezo
Independent Visual Artist and Art Therapist from Ecuador

Born in Ecuador, lived during 30 years in four continents. In Asia, Korea, Hong Kong and Japan from 2002 to 2009. Studied Art Therapy in Brazil. Learned weaving from a Navajo teacher. In 2010 she developed a technique for tapestry weaving with natural and recycled materials and has given weaving workshops in Botswaha ( Africa ), Brazil and in Ecuador. Since 2021 the workshops are online with various countries in South America, North America and now also with Europe.

▍Higashiyama Takashi
Director of Tsunami Craft, Certified social educator of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology and board member of NPO Saori Hiroba

Graduated from Otemon Gakuin University in 1990. Director of JICA Distance Learning Materials Production in 2003. Started to support the Indian Ocean tsunami disaster in 2005. In 2007, it was renamed Tsunami Craft. Director of NPO Saori Hiroba in 2014. In 2022, he was recognized as a social educator by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology.

▍Isambert Mami
Associate Professor, Faculty of Political Science and Economics, Yamato University, Japan.

She has been studying relationship between politics and trauma of war and disaster, discovering the power of the traumatized parties through her work with Thai survivors of the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami and the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake victims of the Saori-Weaving movements.

▍Choi Ka Ling, Gallery 
Supervisor of Jockey Club Yee King Care and Attention Home for elderly with visual impairment in Tung Wah Group of Hospitals

Ms Gallery Choi is a registered social worker with bachelor’s degree in Applied Social Science and master’s degree in Social Work. Now pursing her professional training of Expressive Arts Therapy at the European Graduate School. She is now a Supervisor of Jockey Club Yee King Care and Attention Home for elderly with visual impairment in Tung Wah Group of Hospitals. Before that she was a Social Worker of Embracing the Setting Sun Project for 7 years, worked with people with disabilities in end-of-life stage and their families, provided palliative care services. She engages arts to intervention process, provides life & death education and support. She also delivered trainings for professional care staff and volunteers. She participated in researches, including Reweaving Grief: An Innovative Bereavement Care Approach, initiated by HKU on bereavement care for persons with intellectual disabilities and their families.

▍Maria Pang
Registered art therapist

A compassionate and creative registered art therapist, experienced school teacher. Love dreaming, exploring, creating, connecting in arts.

III) Leadership in Inclusive Arts 
In all activities related to persons with disabilities, participation by them is a must. However participation can be of different levels – from nominal consultation to varying ways of consultation without control of the management or artistic choice. This is how leadership becomes the issue. The participants of the session will look into the different facets of leadership - from representation, to diverse leadership mode and possibilities.

Time: 25  / 9 / 2022 Sun 日 3pm - 5pm (GMT+8) 

Moderator: Nanxi Liu

▍Takehi Hideyasu 
Chairperson of Kagayaki no Kai, a Specified Non-Profit Organization, Representative of Atelier Spica, Founder of GEZELLIG, the weaving product brand.

▍Anthony Cheung 
Hong Kong Deaf filmmaker and organising committee member of the 11th Hong Kong International Deaf Film Festival

Hong Kong Deaf filmmaker. Cheung has been a regular participant in the Hong Kong Festival and his films have been shown at Deaf film festivals in Wolverhampton, Shanghai, Taiwan, Los Angeles etc.  In 2019 he succeeded in getting an Arts Development Council (ADC) grant to produce his latest film "Let the Chips Fall" which we are showing in the present 10th edition of the Hong Kong Deaf Film Festival. He believes that Deaf film is not just an intermediate media, but also carries emotions, stories, culture and imagination of the Deaf. All these years, he is continually promoting and supporting Deaf film. His past film works include: Whatsapp & U, Our Basketball Dream and Let the Chips Fall.

▍Clayton Lo Keng Chi 
Poet, Curator of the 6th and 7th Touch Art Festival and author of A Brief History of Touch Art in Hong Kong

Lo Keng Chi is a poet, an art curator, and a patient with a rare disease. He sees only light and shadow and at the same time, is terrified of light and sound. His nerves have been overly sensitive for the past 20 years and he often suffers from severe tension and pain with no cause can be found. He has been the curator of the 6th Touch Art Festival and is promoting Touch Art in both the able-bodied and disabled worlds so that more people can use their senses other than their eyes to sense and understand the world.

▍Joyce Lee Nga Yu
Artistic Director of Mind the Gap, England’s leading company working in partnership with artists with Learning Disabilities and/or Autism.

A Hong Konger based in Leeds UK, Joyce Nga Yu Lee was trained as a theatre maker and director in the University of Leeds and the National Theatre Directors’ Programme. Joyce has been working internationally on devised and contemporary performances ranging from intimate theatre pieces to large-scale outdoor spectacles, often incorporating digital technology and creative access provision. In June 2021 Joyce became Artistic Director of Mind the Gap, England’s leading company working in partnership with artists with Learning Disabilities and/or Autism.

▍Janet Tam Mei Hing
Executive Director, Something To Aim For, UK.

Born and raised in Hong Kong, Janet has worked in the creative industry as an administrator and maintained her own theatre practice for over 20 years before she relocated to the UK last year and joined Something To Aim For as their Executive Director. Previously the Executive Director of the Arts with the Disabled Association Hong Kong, she is passionate in promoting diversity and access in the arts. Throughout her career, she has also worked with various international partners from Asia Pacific, UK and the US, mostly in arts and disability. A cancer survivor, she believes that disability is a universal experience of the human conditions.

IV) Inclusion, Diversity and Accessibility 
What is inclusion in theory and practice? Inclusion may not even be the best word to describe the process and the world we want to live in. Embracing diversity does not only mean the embracing of persons with and without disabilities but people with all kinds of differences. A diverse panel presents their thoughts on the topic.

Time: 25  / 9 / 2022 Sun 日  7:30pm - 9:30pm (HKT)  

Moderator: Mok Chiu Yu

▍Tsukishima Shino 
Executive Director of Sukishima Sino from "Trance ☆ Project"

Executive Director, actor and producer of Sukishima Sino from "Trance ☆ Project". She has appeared in movies, TV, radio, etc. The Trans ☆ Project is a theater company that creates and performs on stage with transgender people. In 1998, when Saitama Medical University approved sex reassignment surgery, so-called sex reassignment surgery, the representative Tsukishima called on both parties and non-parties to establish this organization in May 1998. Through workshops, lectures and lessons (vocal and dance lessons) etc., their events and scripts are created with transgender community.

▍Tim Wheeler 
Theatre-maker, arts consultant and lecturer based in the UK

Tim Wheeler is an award-winning performance maker. He is a senior lecturer developing international dialogue through theatre. He is the co-founder of Mind the Gap, UK, a theatre company that works with learning disabled and non-disabled artists. He ran the company for 26 years. In the 1990s, he collaborated with Augusto Boal to make Theatre of the Oppressed accessible to disabled artists. In 2008, he developed Mind the Gap Studios, a £2.2m creation centre for disabled and non-disabled artists, which won a CABE Award for exemplary access. He has collaborated with artists in Brazil, China and Hong Kong, Europe, India, Serbia, Taiwan, the USA and Wider Europe.

▍Rebecca Martinez Santos
Founder and executive Director of St Francis Integrated Arts School, founder of Saori Philippines, also known as the Saori Hands of Love (an affiliate of Saori Hiroba) and Appointed Executive Director of VSA arts Philippines

▍Chung Wing Kin, Chan Yuk Yee, Chan Tsun Kit
Representatives of Chosen Power (People First Hong Kong)

Chosen Power was established in 1995 by a group of young adults with intellectual differences with support from families, teachers and social workers; and thereafter launched their self advocacy and self help movement. The first self-advocacy organization in Asia managed by people with intellectual disabilities and different learning abilities.

It is recommended to appreciate the different characteristics of everyone, the strengths of each aspect. Human rights are the foundation, building an inclusive community.

▍Nanxi Liu
Project manager, Centre for Community Cultural Development

Nanxi Liu is a community art worker, performance artist, researcher, curator, and a Hong Kong Sign Language learner.  She has been working in inclusive arts and arts for empowerment since 2013. Now she works as the project manager of Centre for Community Cultural Development, and part-time lecturer in the department of Visual Studies in Lingnan University. Her research and practice relates to socially engaged art and psychoanalysis, domestic violence and art therapy, Disability politics and community arts.

▍Eileen Lu
International Affairs and Development Director, Eden Social Welfare Foundation 

Ms. Eileen Lu from Eden Social Welfare Foundation in Taiwan has been working in the International Development Division for the past 20 years. As an International Affairs and Development Director, she is the contact person of the INGOs, distributing resources from abroad to around 100 service centers within Taiwan. Besides being in charge of brother organization and overseas branch office affairs, she has connected outside resources to Kuala Lumpur and Penang in Malaysia, also our Vietnam Service Center in Ho Chi Minh City, China Sichuan service centers - set up for the 512 earthquake victims - which have now been transferred from rehabilitation service centers to a social enterprise. Ms. LU is glad to share the ESWF Taiwan local experience with international participants, as well as to bring back precious feedback.

▍Ja'el Batyah Hatch 
Artist and owner of Studio Tiferet HaYetsirah

Ja'el Batyah Hatch is an artist and owner of Studio Tiferet HaYetsirah. She advocates for accessibility in the arts especially for hearing impaired students who need transcription and carefully considers the physical space of her workshops so they will be welcoming to students with both physical, developmental and mental disabilities.


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