Hong Kong Human Rights Arts Prize 2015


Nineteen artworks from over 100 submitted pieces have been shortlisted for this year's Hong Kong Human Rights Art Prize 2015, which was established in 2013 by the Justice Centre Hong Kong to promote art and encourage dialogue on the issues around human rights. Take a look at this year's shortlist.

PH Yang, What Next for Hong Kong
“A protester with a yellow umbrella ponders where she will go next when there is no light at the end of the tunnel, reflecting the current state of affairs for Hong Kong since December 15, 2014, after 79 days of Umbrella Movement when hundreds of thousands occupied the streets of Hong Kong to demand human rights including democracy and genuine universal suffrage."

Phil Akashi, Tribute to Mandela
“I paid tribute to human rights hero Nelson Mandela in Shanghai in 2013. I created a monumental portrait of the icon using a seal (stamp) and a boxing glove dipped in black traditional Chinese ink paste to repeatedly imprint the Chinese character ”自由” / “freedom” on the wall. The resulting image consists of 27,000 punches, symbolising the 27 years Mandela served in prison."

Miguel Candela, Female Soldier
“This is a photograph of a new female recruit for the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) during a basic exercise training. The KIA is the last major rebel group in Burma that has not signed a ceasefire agreement with the government."

Eunice Tsang, From Ocean to Forest
“This painting tells the story of the Rohingyas’ sad and perilous journey, from ocean to forest. On the top right, a refugee boat has overturned, and the Rohingyans are praying while drowning. They have halos because every person’s life is sacred, but these people have not received humane treatment in their whole lives."

Chi Loy Man, My face hit your fist
“Conflicts may occur when people misunderstand each other. In my opinion, human rights involves understanding, respect and a sense of humour."

Wan Kay Cheung, Ka Nam Store at Choi Hung Estate, Kowloon
“I sketch on used materials on purpose. This artwork is on cardboard; I personally think that cardboard is beautiful. My family ran a tuck shop in a primary school when I was a child so I was surrounded by cardboard boxes."

Carol Man, The Story Must Be Sold
“A surviving comfort woman, a war correspondent and a Holocaust survivor; what do they have in common? They all have struggled to survive in hazardous conditions and in inhumane environments, and have told us their stories that everyone should know."

Karen Mead, Tents, Waiting
“The Umbrella Movement was a call for universal suffrage in Hong Kong, but it also distilled a specific Hong Kong identity. The massing of tents became a metaphor, growing out of the concrete and organically settling in the arteries of the city."

Vasavi Seethpalli, IF ONLY I COULD FLY
“Every child has a right, a right to live their childhood–to dream a dream and follow it through. In recent years, child labour has surfaced worldwide even though it has been around for a very long time, especially in developing countries."

Ducky Chi Tak, 3D Jobs
“Despite the fact that many ethnic minority people speak Cantonese fluently, having poor Chinese language skills has placed many of them in ‘3D jobs’ — jobs that are Dirty, Dangerous and Demeaning. They have to work long hours and lack job security; thus remain caught in the cycle of poverty.”

Rhody Chan, Shawn Griffin and Leslie Montgomery, Playing it straight
"With an estimated population of 700,000 LGBT persons, the Hong Kong community is constantly struggling with rights acceptance for nearly 10% of their population. Regardless of a 2011 study by Barclay showing that 58% of the population accept LGBT persons and another 21% are neutral, 80% of people say that LGBT people’s rights are infringed upon both by family pressure and in the workplace."

Man Hing Chow, Public Bubble Sculpture No.3
“Street art is strictly forbidden in Hong Kong. I try to create street art in order to reclaim my right to art performance and my right to freedom of expression in a public space. I find my bubble street art does not violate the law, since it appears for a while and disappears instantly."

Birdy Chu, I am a Hong Konger
“This video montage illustrates the iconic moments of the Umbrella Movement in 2014. Human rights in Hong Kong are becoming more restrictive as government policies are tightening up the road towards democracy. Hong Kongers chose to save their home city by occupying major streets but they were beaten by tear gas and pepper spray."

Rebecca Benians, Why?
“Will I find a shelter from the storm? Am I the same as the one walking past me or different? Rights or humanity? The world passes me by every fleeting moment as I contemplate, if it’s time for hope tomorrow, yet?”

Ming Chong Tse, City Series II - The Road
"On September 30, 2014, I woke up at 4am and couldn’t fall back to sleep, so I took a car to Central. In the early morning, I walked on the empty quiet streets in Central towards Causeway Bay. Sleeping on the roadside were teenagers who had fought for their dreams, their tired faces radiating a charm with no regret."

“This work is dedicated to my son who was born in 2015. This video offers a retrospective look at the specific socio-political climate concerning the bona fide universal suffrage in Hong Kong in 2014 during the time I was pregnant. It reflects my personal concern as a new mother during this historic time, which has a fundamental and irreversible effect on the future of Hong Kong."

Herman Wong, Come as you are, Be who you are
“No matter how people mistreat and distort, I am not afraid. I reserve myself my own pride, I have my make up on still, I have my light on still”

Bridget Stels, Yana & Child
“Refugees, migrants, displaced people – everyone has a word, everyone has an opinion. As thousands flee their homes, the images beamed around the world have shocked and upset in equal measure. However, it is not the horror of war that inspired ‘Yana & Child’ but the love, determination and human resilience that have seen so many families undertake treacherous journeys in the hope of a safer life."

Wenjin Wang, My name is Ji Qun
“In Hong Kong, one can’t find a job without a legal home address, but can one find dignity ‘without’ a name? Noticing, knowing, caring, accepting, respecting, remembering who they are and their true names. Isn’t this the most basic human right for someone living in this society? Some addresses are called ‘on the street’ or ‘under the bridge’, and each of the residents living there has a name. Give ear to their worries, shoulder their brokenness, learn their names by heart. She says, ‘My name is Ji Qun’.”

The works are on display from Dec 4-10 at The Fringe Club, 2 Lower Albert Rd, Central, 10am-10pm.


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