18 December

Winners of The Story of Jao Tsung-i Field Project Competition announced

The Story of Jao Tsung-i Field Project Competition for Secondary Schools, jointly organised by Jao Tsung-I Petite Ecole of The University of Hong Kong (HKU), Jao Tsung-I Academy of Sinology of Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU) and The Jao Link, announces its results with Queen Elizabeth School and Carmel Pak U Secondary School crowned the champion of junior secondary and senior secondary categories respectively.


Participating schools were required to visit the exhibition “The Story of Jao Tsung-i” held at the Hong Kong Heritage Museum from November 2019 to June 2020, or attend related talks and activities to collect information and know more about Professor Jao. The competition received a total of twenty-six submissions from twenty secondary schools, including videos, musical compositions, paintings and writings.


The champion of the junior secondary category goes to Zhang Yeting, Blythe Siu, Wong Suen-yu, Ng Man-ching and Yoyo Wong Wan-yiu from Queen Elizabeth School. Their field project, titled “A Closer Look at the Jao Studies: From the Studies of Dunhuang to Chaozhou”, focuses on two academic fields, Dunhuangology and Chaozhou studies, in which Professor Jao researched for decades and achieved groundbreaking results. The panel of judges found that the students ingeniously used the epistolary form in engaging an imaginary dialogue with Professor Jao and expressed their innermost feelings and reflections, which was an eloquent and effusive piece of writing that can serve as a model.


Good Hope School garners both the first and second runners-up of the junior secondary category. The first runner-up piece, named “On ‘XuanTang’: The Story of a Grand Master”, is a mixed media report. Students visited Professor Jao’s hometown, Chaozhou city, and filmed a video about the Jao Tsung-I Petite Ecole Chaozhou. They also depicted the life, scholarship, art, and literature of Professor Jao in simple and effective text. The second runner-up piece, titled ‘Master Jao, Dunhuang and Literature’, which focuses on Professor Jao’s lifelong obsession of Dunhuang. The panel was impressed by students’ abilities on finding significance in seemingly trivial events. The students even composed and performed an original composition called “Fusheng tu”, demonstrating how much they learnt from and inspired by Dunhuang Studies and Professor Jao.


The championship of the senior secondary category goes to Lai Yik-kan and Chen Kairong from Carmel Pak U Secondary School. Their work, titled “On Jao Tsung-i’s Research Methodology in Dunhuang Studies: From the Perspective of the ‘Threefold Corroborating Evidence’ Method”, is unanimously favored by the panelists. Professor Chen Zhi, Director of Jao Tsung-I Academy of Sinology at HKBU, praised the award-winning work, saying it is “rigorous in logic and well-organised in structure, qualities that are rarely found among teenage students nowadays.” The panel also pointed out that the report was an excellent one and a well-deserved winning piece. It frequently cited the original papers of Professor Jao, demonstrating that the awardees’ effort in reading and understanding Professor Jao’s research methodology.


A video submission named “A Small Step by Jao: The Two Worlds Brought Together by Art”, one of the panelists’ favourites by Sha Tin Methodist College was awarded the first runner-up. Professor Lee Chack-fan, Director of Jao Tsung-I Petite Ecole of HKU, commended the students for their marvelous ingenuity and boundless creativity by enabling a seamless transition from Professor Jao’s paintings to the Wisdom Path in Lantau Island. He was also impressed by the interview they conducted with one of Professor Jao’s brightest students, Dr Tong Kam-tang, Adjunct Associate Professor of the Department of Fine Arts at The Chinese University of Hong Kong, who offered his insight into the artistic world of Professor Jao. This interview helps enrich the audience with a deeper understanding of Professor Jao’s inheritance from traditional Chinese culture and art as well as his substantial contributions.


The second runner-up goes to the “Unique Artistry of Jao Tsung-I” from Belilios Public School. It studies Professor Jao’s artworks and artistic beliefs based on the anchoring idea of “Learning from Antiquity, Learning from Nature, and Learning from Within”.  The text is rich in content, plain in language yet emotionally touching. It is worth mentioning that three teams of students of Belilios Public School competed in the contest by submitting one report in Chinese and two in English. Given that the students put in such outstanding performances under her guidance, Mr Lau Mei-muk is presented with the Best Supervising Teacher Award.


Several English entries were received with some submitted by local international schools. International Christian School was awarded The Special Award for Foreign Language Submission. One of the panelists Dr Adam Craig Schwartz, Associate Director of Jao Tsung-I Academy of Sinology at HKBU, praised the award-winning submission for reaching a delicate balance between content, presentation, and creativity. He said that the report has skillfully tried to embody Professor Jao's method of “Learning from Antiquity, Learning from Nature, and Learning from Within”, first through an examination of Professor Jao's work and its cross-cultural associations, and then with their own artistic statement. 
The Most Active Participation Award for the school with the highest number of entries goes to Pooi To Middle School, which sent three teams of students led by three respective supervising teachers to compete in both junior and senior secondary categories.

The competition is sponsored by Jao Tsung-I Petite Ecole Fan Club and The Jao Studies Foundation as well as supported by Leisure and Cultural Services Department, Federation of Hong Kong Chiu Chow Community Organizations, Hong Kong Education City, Hong Kong Heritage Museum and The Hong Kong Buddhist Association.

Competition results can be view here: http://jaostudies.com/en/activities/item/174.