Sunday, January 18, 2015

Umbrella Revolution

Following the invitation of a photographer friend, Kent Foran, I opted to work on some of his images to create an artwork in response to the protests in Hong Kong. 

From 26th September to 15th December 2014, spontaneous protests broke out after the announcement by the Government in Beijing that, although they would allow each eligible Hong Kong citizen to vote, they would restrict the candidates on offer to 3 hand-picked Pro-Beijing cronies. This was a huge step-away from the 'Hong Kong people ruling Hong Kong' promised by Beijing at the handover. 

To see more of Kent's wonderful photography, visit his website:

Kent Foran took some amazing, creative photographs at the three protest sites in Admiralty, Causeway Bay and Mongkok and he shared them with several of the occupying protesters who modified them into personal art statements that depicted their feelings and experiences. Many of these images can be found on the 'Occupy Art' group page on Facebook: 

I took two of Kent's images, a b/w shot of the Causeway Bay protest site featuring powerful reflections and a large luxury brand advert juxtaposed with the protest site, and a second image showing a protestor in heavy disguise at the site in Mongkok, chopped them up and re-combined them into a single image.

The advert has been replaced by the large protestor who stares defiantly and directly back at the audience. Between him and the audience there are bars, originally the bars of the window but now they are acting like bars of a cage keeping the protestor constrained in one location, confining him. Alternatively, are the bars there for his protection...or for our? Or, are the bars part of the defences that he has erected himself as a barricade? As the rest of the scene recedes from us, reducing in scale, regressing to monochrome, the protestor glares outwards in full colour, vivid and full of energy.