An Inclusive Society for All －From Hobby to Career, Crafting a Beautiful Life through Pottery
“I love pottery. With just clay and paints, I can craft different pottery glowed with natural
beauty.” Ming, who is intellectually disabled with autism, has been learning pottery for more
than 15 years. Working as a pottery assistant at Pine Gallery, an SE, Ming is responsible for
designing and making pottery works, as well as assisting in teaching pottery at the workshops.
Ming became immensely interested in pottery after joining the pottery class organised by Hong Chi Association (Hong Chi). To promote pottery works created by people with intellectual disabilities as well as provide training to apprentices with potential to become pottery assistants, Hong Chi established Pine Gallery in 2015. “Patrons visiting Pine Gallery are impressed by the talents of the intellectually disabled through their pottery works or their pottery classes,” said Anna, Business Manager of Pine Gallery.
Knowing Ming for more than eight years, Anna has witnessed the growth and change in Ming from an apprentice to a staff member of Pine Gallery. “Pottery makes Ming shine with creativity. He enjoys pottery and is attentive to every single step of crafting his pottery works. Ming also assists in teaching at workshops, which enables him to open up himself gradually. In the past, he only buried himself in making pottery, but now he takes the initiative to share his knowledge and experience with the apprentices, and introduces pottery works to customers. Pottery has enriched Ming’s life.”
Working at Pine Gallery, Ming has built confidence as well as gained considerable experience. Ming has been recently employed as a part-time pottery assistant at a pottery teaching studio. “Securing jobs in open employment means a lot to people with intellectual disabilities. It shows the society’s recognition for their ability. We are delighted that Ming settled into the new environment quickly and often shares with us the anecdotes at work,” Anna said.
“What the intellectually disabled need is an opportunity. If our society is willing to provide them with the right opportunities, they will shine in various fields and their lives can be as colourful as pottery works with abundant possibilities,” Anna added. Are you willing to give the intellectually disabled opportunities to showcase their talents, just in the same way Pine Gallery has been doing?
Pine Gallery is a pottery studio established by Hong Chi in 2015 with funding from the Enhancing Self-Reliance Through District Partnership Programme. It aims at providing opportunities for people with intellectual disabilities to unleash their potential and allowing the public better understanding of their ability with a view to promoting arts and social inclusion. All the pottery works displayed and sold at Pine Gallery, including tableware, decorations and accessories, are handmade by people with intellectual disabilities. Apprentices with potential will receive training as pottery assistants to provide teaching support at pottery workshops.