Yuen Kam Wa Magus's Hong Kong Symposium 2019 Courtesy of BOK Photography / Hong Kong Human Rights Arts Prize 2020 / Yuen Kam Wa Magus
The latest Hong Kong Human Rights Arts Prize, an annual competition focused on civil rights in the a semi-autonomous region of China, has been won by the local artist Kam Wa Magus Yuen. Judges including the UK artist Jeremy Deller and Christy Chow of Hong Kong gave the HK$35,000 (£3,500) award to Kam for his Hong Kong Symposium 2019 (2019) inkjet print.
The work depicts a still life of dry leaves placed in a tear gas canister, bringing to mind the protests and civil unrest in the city sparked by the anti-extradition law amendment bill proposed by the Hong Kong government. According to a statement, Kams “mixed-media work looks at the impact of chemical weapons used during the unrest and questions the state of basic human rights in the city”.
Amnesty International says in an online statement that since March last year, millions of people have demonstrated against the extradition bill that could have resulted in people being sent to China to face trial. It has since been withdrawn “but the people of Hong Kong face ongoing threats to their rights to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression, and unlawful use of force by police goes unpunished”, says Amnesty International.
The prize, now in its sixth edition, is organised by the non-profit Justice Centre Hong Kong which describes itself as an advocacy group “working for Hong Kongs most vulnerable forced migrants”. Crucially, the award is sponsored by the European Union office to Hong Kong and Macao, which presents “the positions and the interests of the European Union to the Hong Kong and Macao Governments”.
Goethe-Institut Hong Kong, the cultural association suRead More – Source