Creative Livelihoods – A Pilot Study on the Long-term Career Development of Graduates from Creative Undergraduate Degree Programmes in Hong Kong

Since the early 2000s the creative industries in Hong Kong have found themselves at the centre of attention of many socio-political and economic public and academic discourses; they have become a major issue in governmental policy making, and the bearers of much hope and expectations. Nonetheless little is actually known and understood about the stakeholders at the core of this discussion, the individual creatives and their livelihoods. What are the living conditions of visual artists working and living in Hong Kong? How do they go about their work? How do they earn money? How do they live their lives? In short: How do they ‘survive’?

It can also be expected that some visual artists have changed their careers or are thinking about doing so. In those cases it would be interesting to know what were their considerations, what influenced their decision? And also in those cases – if only for comparison – it would be of interest to learn what turns their careers took after changing their career paths.

In the first half of 2016, the Academy of Visual Arts (AVA) of Hong Kong Baptist University intends to conduct a cross-sectional survey of the livelihoods of graduates from tertiary creative undergraduate programmes offered in Hong Kong – no matter whether they still work in the visual arts or not. In preparation of this project we are currently identifying the eligible population for this survey. According to JUPAS-records since 2001 in total approx. 3,000 students have graduated from the various creative undergraduate programmes offered by Hong Kong’s public universities. To give our survey the necessary credibility we aim at identifying as many of these graduates as possible including their contact information.

From this total population a random sample of approx. 300 individuals will be selected to then participate in an indepth survey on their career paths since graduation, current livelihood, and other professional achievements. The resulting data, its evaluation and interpretation will be the basis for a comprehensive report that will for the first time establish a founded picture of the livelihood situation of the creative talents of Hong Kong. This research will provide much needed resources to enhance the planning and future decision making at programme-, university-, and UGC-level, and by governmental, educational, professional, and cultural stakeholders.

All data collected in all stages of the project will be handled strictly confidential and won’t be used for any purpose other than directly related to the realisation of this project and the survey.

If there are any questions or problems, please directly contact Prof. Peter Benz ( or Mr. Kevin Law (

Click here for ical file