Resilience is the ability/willingness to physically cope with crisis, to mentally or emotionally adapt to overcome obstacles, and to deal with ambiguity, uncertainty and rejection.

Ambiguity, uncertainty and rejection have always been hallmarks of work and life in the creative fields, but recently the levels of uncertainty about the future have peaked at unprecedented levels for all of us. There is Covid-19, but in many ways the pandemic was merely a catalyst that dragged out and highlighted various pre-existing under-currents: continuing and even growing social inequities; the looming environmental catastrophe of climate change; the growing global political schisms and the inadequacies of global leadership; the rise of populism feeding basest irrational sentiment; a roll-back on civilisedness, compassion, and most basic kindness.

Within this context, as societies as well as as individuals we must develop resilience; and as visual artist/designers we may utilise the unique knowledges and skills of our professions to instil in our communities a spirit of resilience based on core capacities like curiosity (=the enthusiasm to seek out new perspectives) and self-efficacy (=the confidence in your own abilities).

The Recipes for Resilience are the outcomes of an Experience Design studio course offered by the Academy of Visual Arts of Hong Kong Baptist University from September to December 2020. 26 students mentored by Peter Benz, Kingsley Ng, and Dr. Evelyn Kwok developed “recipes”(=instructions) for the audience to follow and perform within their own respective environments, and thus to strengthen their personal resilience.

The AVA students were additionally supported by 18 students and their instructors Nicola Hens and Franka Sachse from the Faculty of Art & Design of Bauhaus-University Weimar, Germany.

The Recipes for Resilience were firstly formally introduced to the public in the interactive showcase《c / o》on Friday, 15 January 2021 in collaboration with the Cultural Masseur programme of the Hong Kong Arts Centre. They will remain available for free use of the public for the foreseeable future.

《c / o》stands for “care of”, an abbreviation commonly used to indicate a delivery to an addressee where they don’t normally receive correspondence. In this project it stands for the caring support delivered to those in need wherever they are, in these times of separated togetherness.

Remember: stand together, support each other, stay safe, and stay strong.


We would like to thank

– the Centre for Innovative Service-Learning of HKBU; and
– the Hong Kong Arts Centre

for their financial, logistic and operational support.

We would also like to acknowledge and express our heartfelt appreciation for the time and efforts spent by our (new) friends from the Faculty of Art & Design of Bauhaus-University Weimar and their instructors to develop and produce the portrait videos of our project participants. The time spent together before, during and after the video productions will always be remembered as a highlight of this project.


For any feedback or questions, please contact the Academy of Visual Arts, HKBU at or at Bauhaus-University Weimar at

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