Hong Kong Human Rights Arts Prize 2014

Please scroll down to view the online gallery of artworks shortlisted for the Hong Kong Human Rights Arts Prize 2014.

Download the 2014 Exhibition Catalogue here.

The winner of the Hong Kong Human Rights Arts Prize 2014 was Katie Vajda for her piece Can you see me yet?

can you see me yet

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other winners were:

1st runner up Siddharth Choudhary for My Family 

Siddharth Choudhary - My Family  

 

 

 

2nd runner up Tiff Chan and Shawn Griffin for Bless the souls who made our clothes

Tiff Chan and Shawn Griffin- God bless the souls who made our clothes 2

Tiff Chan and Shawn Griffin - God bless the souls who made our clothes 3

 

 

 

 

 

And the Justice Centre Choice Awards went to:

Xyca Bacani for Burn and Marc Standing for Seeker.

Xyza Bacani - BURN      Marc Standing - Seeker

Thanks to all the artists for donating their works to us for auction.

A domestic worker who moonlights as a photographer and fifteen other artists from seven countries were shortlisted for the Hong Kong Human Rights Arts Prize.

Established in 2013, the Hong Kong Human Rights Arts Prize aims to harness the power of the visual arts to promote awareness, provoke dialogue, inspire action and ultimately, bring about change in the area of human rights. The theme of this year’s Prize is modern slavery and human trafficking. Over 40 entries from Hong Kong-based artists originating from as far-and-wide as Finland, Cameroon,  Zimbabwe, Australia, Sri Lanka and the Philippines, have been judged by an eminent panel of prominent art experts and human rights specialists, including Umbrella Movement artist and activist Kacey Wong; Claire Hsu, founder and director of Asia Art Archive; and Judge Kevin Zervos, a judge of the High Court in Hong Kong.

Sixteen shortlisted artists, which you can view below, were exhibited and the winners announced on Wednesday December 10, 2014, on International Human Rights Day, at an exhibition and Christie’s charity auction at Sundaram Tagore Gallery on Hollywood Road. The overall winner was awarded HK$ 30, 000. All artists generously donated their works to Justice Centre and all funds raised on the night are going to support Justice Centre Hong Kong’s work to protect the rights of refugees and survivors of modern slavery. Click on the images below to learn more about the artist and their work.

Ellen Leung - 78

Ellen Leung
78

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Parry Chin Tang Ling
Best Before

Ellen Leung - 78

Ellen Leung
78
2014
Digital work
28 x 43cm
Edition: 1/2
Estimate: HK$5,000-10,000

About the artistBorn and raised in Hong Kong, Ellen went to France to pursue her studies of arts after graduating from Fine Arts Department of The Chinese University of Hong Kong. Her exhibitions include: “Video Circle”, a video installation by collective artists at University of Science and Technology of Hong Kong; “My Own Reality” – solo exhibition at Hong Kong Cultural Centre; “Burning 30 Moons Just to Tell You a Story” – performance at Oil Street; and she curated “Voice of Tacitness, Asia Women Photograph” at the Hong Kong Arts Centre.


About the workComfort women were women and girls forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese Imperial Army before and during World War II. This piece has been inspired by articles read by the artist that suggest that one comfort woman had to “serve” approximately 78 soldiers in 3 hours. For this piece, the artist merged and interwove the faces of 78 living Japanese women born in 1944 and an image of a pregnant comfort woman from a famous photo taken in 1944 by Walter Wundle.

×

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Parry Chin Tang Ling
Best Before
2014
Intaglio etching print and ready print collage
57 x 77cm
Estimate: HK$12,000-15,000

About the artistParry studied a BA in Fine Arts at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and obtained a Master of Visual Arts from Hong Kong Baptist University. He currently works as a technician and demonstrator of sculpture and printmaking at the Academy of Visual Arts at Hong Kong Baptist University. His areas of interest are sculpture, printmaking, participatory art and discovery of things hidden but close to us. His current research interests include: the social and environmental issues of the art-making and exhibiting process.


About the work“Best Before refers to a due date label of the chocolate food products. Recently, one of my friends told me that there is a lot of child labour and slavery involved in cocoa production, so I started searching it via the internet; my discovery was worse than I thought. In some slavery-concern website, there is clear data to indicate how many children are involved in forced labour of this kind. We love chocolate but demand it at a low price. The worst situation is that these products can be purchased everywhere in Hong Kong, but not many people have noticed or are concerned about how they have been produced. Therefore, I made an intaglio print about a child who carried a heavy cocoa. I hope slavery in the cocoa industry will very soon will be history, similar to the intaglio print method.”

×

Tiff Chan and Shawn Griffin- God bless the souls who made our clothes 2

Tiff Chan and Shawn Griffin
Bless the souls who made our clothes
Series of three

Earning

Rob Godden
Helping Hands
Series of five

Tiff Chan and Shawn Griffin - God Bless the souls who made our clothes 1
Tiff Chan and Shawn Griffin
Bless the souls who made our clothes
2014
Series of 3 archival inkjet prints on Hahnemühle pearl paper
18 x 25cm each
Edition 1/1
Estimate: HK$15,000-25,000

About the artistsTiff Chan is an artist, performer and movement director/trainer, with a BFA (Ruskin School of Fine Art, Oxford, UK) and an MA in Movement Directing and Training (RCSSD, London UK). Her most memorable solo works include “CAKE” (Modern Art Oxford, 2008) and “Ode” (Mitzi Cunliffe prize winner, 2007). Shawn Griffin moved from St Louis, USA to Hong Kong in 2012 to study fine art photography. After receiving an MFA in Photography from SCAD, Griffin exhibited his first solo show “The Church of Fashion” in Sheung Wan. He currently balances working full time in PR with his art practice.


About the work“The triptych of photocollages features images of children who are forced to work at different stages of clothing manufacture – one group harvesting cotton in Uzbekistan; another in Burkina Faso; another in a factory in Bangladesh – juxtaposed with models representing major brands that are reportedly neglecting to meet their workers’ rights.”

Tiff Chan and Shawn Griffin- God bless the souls who made our clothes 2
Tiff Chan and Shawn Griffin - God bless the souls who made our clothes 3

×

Earning
Rob Godden
Helping Hands
2012-2014
Series of 5 photographs
40.6 x 55.8 cm each
Edition 1/1
Estimate: HK$10,000-13,000

About the artistRob is a professional human rights activist and photographer with over 14 years’ experience. Previously, he worked as a campaigner for Amnesty International focusing on trafficking for labour exploitation. He graduated from the University of London School of Oriental & African studies (1997) and recently completed the New York University Tisch School of Arts Photography & Human Rights programme (2014). He currently heads up the Rights Exposure Project, where he is working with a Hong Kong-based writer to produce a book on the lives of migrant domestic workers in Hong Kong.


About the work“Through self-organisation, solidarity and by giving each other a helping hand, domestic workers in Hong Kong have been campaigning for their rights and seeking justice for those who have been abused. These photos capture the strength, agency and resilience of these women as they take part in a range of cultural and union activities.”

Pulling
Eid Greetings
Protesting
Waiting

×

canyou

Katie Vajda
Can you see me yet?

Enders Wong Sum - A piece of meat

Enders Wong Sum
A Piece of Meat

canyou

Katie Vajda
Can you see me yet?
2014
Series of 2 photographs
76 x 50cm each
Edition 1/6
Estimate: HK$25,000-35,000

About the artistFrom Australia, Katie is currently completing a BFA in Photography at HK Art School. Her work tends to explore the human condition with elements of both social commentary and also a celebration of the people, friends and family that surround her. Her photography is deeply informed by her immediate environment in Hong Kong, and ongoing studies of philosophy and psychology. She likes to explore alternate possibilities and challenge existing norms. Her work is often a form of performance or play between herself and her subjects.


About the work“Can you see me yet? is a project that explores the visibility of domestic helpers within the social fabric of Hong Kong’s middle-class households. The enabler of this work and model is Efa Sultiane, a friend that I met 5 years ago when I first moved to Hong Kong. Efa’s own stories of when she worked as a domestic helper and those of many others I researched, such as Erwiana Sulistyaningsih, fuelled these provocative pieces. The images use a type of conceptual proximity, referencing commercial shoots and fashion advertising, a dominant language in contemporary visual culture. I play with the recognisable and repetitive prints of an international luxury brand as the backdrop and landscape for this narrative of neglect, abuse and obscurity. Pattern on pattern on pattern, is Efa seen now or does she disappear into the frenzy of a consumer-driven society?

×

Enders Wong Sum - A piece of meat

Enders Wong Sum
A Piece of Meat
2014
Oil on Canvas
51 x 91cm
Estimate: HK$25, 000-35,000

About the artistEnders graduated from CUHK with a BA in Fine Arts in 1995. Since, he has won awards on three separate occasions for his ceramic work in the “Tea Ware by Hong Kong Potters” competition. Enders is currently studying part-time for a Masters of Fine Arts and is involved in running the Artoday Arts Learning Center, which he founded in 2005.


About the work“My painting represents the amount of attention that society gives towards modern slavery. The pieces of meat in the painting are made of the images of child labourers; the size of the meat is smaller than a finger nail, implying how the child slaves suffer from a lack of respect as human beings.”

×

Justo Castante III - Norwegian Wood

Justo Cascante III
Norwegian Wood

Kyokurana - Embodying The Doll and The Worker 1 _Mother

KyoKaruna
Embodying The Doll and The Worker
Series of three

Justo Castante III - Norwegian Wood

Justo Cascante III
Norwegian Wood
2014
Oil on canvas
76 x 51cm
Estimate: HK$12,000-HK$15,000

About the artistJusto is a multi-disciplinary visual artist. Now currently working in Hong Kong, the process for his paintings is quite systematic and rigorous, similar to his professional practice in the creative industries. He is a graduate of Philippine Women’s University, majoring in painting.


About the work“This work was inspired by Haruki Murakami’s novel Norwegian Wood, where one of the female characters commits suicide because of her incurable sickness of depression. Victims of human trafficking and modern slavery may experience similar psychological sufferings. The image of a man with a log on the head is an effect of being a victim, carrying a heavy load that covers the head. The idea focusses on those scarred by horrific experience or violence that sometimes could result in suicide.”

×

Kyokurana - Embodying The Doll and The Worker 1 _Mother
KyoKaruna - Embodying The Doll and The Worker 2_ Lover
KyoKaruna - Embodying The Doll and The Worker 3_ Daughter

KyoKaruna
Embodying The Doll and The Worker
2007
Series of 3 on Single Archival inkjet print on Archival Entrada Rag 300gsm
13.3 x 20cm each
Edition 1/1
Estimate: HK$7,500 – 10,000

About the artistTiff Chan, aka KyoKaruna, is an artist, performer and movement director/trainer, with a BFA (Ruskin School of Fine Art, Oxford, UK) and an MA in Movement Directing and Training (RCSSD, London UK), currently based in Hong Kong. Her work can be found under the hegemonic contexts of Contemporary Dance, Performance Art, Fine Art and Theatre, but she continues to challenge the realms of the “in-between”, often allowing influences to cross mixed mediums and disciplines. Her most memorable solo works include “CAKE” (Modern Art Oxford, 2008) and “Ode” (Mitzi Cunliffe prize winner, 2007).


About the workI feel and know the resonance / Between memories of home confinement / And the live-in domestic workers / Bound by law- / Their emotions and longings / Suppressed and reduced to a stone / At the beck and call of employers / In a society / Who only want them as sub-human workers / without lives of their own. (The photos were inspired by ‘The Doll’ series by Hans Bellmer 1902-1975)

×

Marc Standing - Seeker

Marc Standing
Seeker

Siddharth Choudhary - My Family

Siddharth Choudhary
My Family

Marc Standing - Seeker

Marc Standing
Seeker
2013
Oil on canvas
60 x 60cm
Estimate: HK$30,000-40,000

About the artistBorn in Zimbabwe in 1976, Marc obtained a Bachelor of Fine Arts Honors Degree from the University of Cape Town in South Africa. After emigrating to Australia in 2005, he is now currently based in Hong Kong. Marc has exhibited in New York, London, Holland, Hong Kong, South Africa and Zimbabwe, and has been included in prominent Australian art prizes, as well as being commissioned by The Groucho Club in London. He was also a nominee for the Sovereign Asian Art Prize and acquired by Artbank in Australia.


About the work“In ‘Seeker’, there is a play on the duality of what is hidden and what is apparent. On closer inspection, a masked figure penetrates the colourful array of birds, butterflies and orbs, which are reminiscent of natural organic forms. The hooded form represents a body silenced, confined, bound, and in a state of restraint. In juxtaposition, the birds become a symbol of freedom, flight and migration. Amongst these elements, the branches and lines in the painting morph into metaphorical topographies of our universe, perpetuating a presence of claustrophobia and entwinement. Overall the work can be interpreted as an allegory relating to human slavery, an act of aggression that at times occurs in front of our eyes without us even realising it.”

×

Siddharth Choudhary - My Family

Siddharth Choudhary
My Family
2014
Acrylic and coloured charcoal on canvas
100 x 100 x 3.5cm
Estimate: HK$30,000 – 40,000

About the artistSiddharth Choudhary, also known as Siddharth Jyoti, was born in India in 1976. He is a second year Master of Visual Arts candidate at Hong Kong Baptist University. Choudhary works predominantly in the medium of performance and painting. He has held solo exhibitions at Ashish Balram Nagpal Galleries for Contemporary Art, Mumbai and the Stainless Art Gallery in New Delhi. His works are in several private collections in India. Choudhary’s recent projects are inspired by the city of Hong Kong, where he currently lives and works.


About the work“To me, the words human trafficking throw up visuals of young women, sold, coerced, unwilling actors in the story of their lives. Overnight, their lives change. Along with it comes the brutal realisation that their cocooned past is as unforgiving as their uncertain future and the only place they are accepted is the very place they don’t want to be.”

×

Ringo Cheung - Standing in the pink

Ringo Cheung
Standing in the Pink

Tyler Whitlock - Untitled

Tyler Whitlock
Untitled

Ringo Cheung - Standing in the pink

Ringo Cheung
Standing in the Pink
2014
Oil, acrylics, charcoal and graphite on linen
90 x 60cm
Estimate: HK$25,000 – 35,000

About the artistCheung Chi Pang Ringo (b. 1991) is an emerging Hong Kong artist. A graduate of the Hong Kong Arts School, Ringo is currently studying under the RMIT BA Fine Art programme, majoring in painting. He has recently worked as an assistant at Pearl Lam Galleries and as a project assistant on the artist Yinka Shonibare MBA’s art project. Working mainly with drawing/painting and other mixed media, Ringo discusses the inner desires of human beings. He observes, selects, records and reconstructs the psychological conditions of mankind’s existence amidst a giant system of desire.


About the work“This painting originates from a gaze between a child prostitute and me at a street corner in Pattaya, dyed pink by florescent lights. ‘This is my life every day. All I can do is open my eyes and wait; my body is for sale, repeatedly, day after day.’ Here, girls stare at my gaze, reminding me of the red light district of Yau Ma Tei in my childhood days. At that time, I could not comprehend what kind of life awaits those ladies who loiter daily on my neighbourhood streets. But here, in a place where the exploitation of females is omnipresent, I finally understood this hopeless and powerless wait. In the drawing, I paid special attention to the usage of formal and textual faculties in shaping context. The forcefully omitted features, without face, name, family name, only hair and the body remain. The character seemingly stands in wait, lingering, forgotten as reality unfolds.”

×

Tyler Whitlock - Untitled

Tyler Whitlock
Untitled
2013
Acrylic on canvas
91.4 x 61cm
Estimate: HK$10,000 -15,000

About the artistTyler is a Hong Kong-based artist origniating from Abingdon, Virginia in the USA. Inspired by abstracts, street art, portraiture, and creativity in all its forms, he utilisises a variety of mediums to create a unique style of abstract art that examines the emotions and experiences of human life.


About the work“Human trafficking in an imprisonment with little, if any, hope of release. Victims, being robbed of the most basic of human freedoms, lay prey to any form of discomfort, agony, or even torture that comes at the hands of their captors. The aim of this piece is to create an emotive response to this shocking reality. The juxtaposition of dark imagery against bright colours is a representation of the internal torment victims experience while needing to put on a normal, contented face. Crossing out the eyes quite literally symbolises the inability of victims to see an escape from their despair and also serves to anonymise the individual, thus inviting the viewer to imagine themselves as the subject of the piece.”

×

Xyza Bacani - BURN

Xyza Bacani
BURN

RiK Yu - Somatic Dialogues

RiK Yu
A Somatic Dialogue
Series of five

Xyza Bacani - BURN

Xyza Bacani
BURN
2013
Photograph
31 x 47cm
Edition 1/10
Estimate: HK$5,000-10,000

About the artistXyza Cruz Bacani is 27-year-old domestic worker moonlighting as a documentary photographer. Being a domestic worker herself, she says she can relate to the exploitation that is happening to the domestic workers of Hong Kong. She is currently doing a long term project on domestic worker abuse.


About the work“Modern slavery in Hong Kong is still an issue seldom addressed because most of it is hidden behind closed doors. Many migrant workers who work as domestic helpers are subjected to exploitation and the numbers of abused helpers who come forward and report their abuser are small. Most of them keep quiet and just endure it because of fear of losing their jobs and not being able to send money to their family back home. This case is about Maria, a domestic worker who got third degree burns on her back and arms from hot boiling soup that her employer put on the shoe rack. Her employer did not give her proper medical treatment, made her work in pain and kicked her out of her job even with her sufferings. A modern slave in a first world city fighting for her rights hoping to get the justice she deserves someday.”

×

RiK Yu - Somatic Dialogues

RiK Yu
A Somatic Dialogue
2013
Series of 5 videos
Edition: 1/5
View artwork
Estimate: HK$7,000-10,000

 

About the artistRiK was born in 1985 in Hong Kong and lives, studies and works in the city. He previously trained as an architect in the UK and graduated from the Bachelor of Fine Art degree of the Hong Kong Art School and Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology University. He currently works as a part time tutor at the Hong Kong School of Creativity. His works involve various mediums included performance and drawing.


About the workGaze, Mumbling, Tangle, a 6 mins Duration, and 2014 Dec 02 Front View. “We are the victims of our times, the slaves of our own making. No matter where you are – whether living in a contemporary metropolis or in the countryside – identities, obtained from the society, govern our daily lives. In fact, the identity of a person is categorized through the gazes from society – the Gazes of Power, the Gazes of Norms. These Gazes can easily become an act of soundless violence that makes one no longer realise that it is our right to voice out, ‘2+2=4’*. Under such Gazes, one would easily assume his given identities without questioning. Eventually, he would surrender to the given identities as his sole accurate identity, for in his irrational enduring of victimisation, he has been moulded to accept that these acts from the Gazes are not acts of violence, but actually acts of kindness. Hence, the victims become the norm, and empower the Gazes. The victims become bullies to themselves – the bullies are ourselves. Yes, we are all victims of our times, the slaves of our own making. Should one realise the problem and step forward? Would you dare to stand against the norms and shout, ‘2+2=4’? In order to rescue your freedom, to set yourselves free and hence, set the world free?”*”Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four”, 1984 , George Orwell.

×

Mike Sakas - peace, Untitled

Mike Sakas
peace, Untitled

Stefan Irvine - Human Exports

Stefan Irvine
Human Exports

Mike Sakas - peace, Untitled

Mike Sakas
peace, Untitled
2013
Photograph
25 x 35.5cm
Edition 1/10
Estimate: HK$5,000-10,000

About the artist“I am a freelance photographer currently living in Hong Kong with my wife. All my life I have bounced from place to place, beginning as a young boy when my young mother took my half-brother and me, and she set out to make her way. That always seeking to improve our station, to go wherever we needed to go, has instilled in me a sort of purposeful wanderlust and an introspective exploration of the world around me. After graduating from university with a degree in theology and serving in a religious ministry for years, I struck out again to pursue what was to me a fanciful dream; to become a photographer and travel the world. I learned photography by assisting great photographers around me and that has led me here, to Hong Kong. I’m a documentary-style photographer and I love to photograph interesting people leading interesting lives.”


About the work“Human trafficking and slavery, even in our progressive culture, is still something that happens to ‘them’, the people far away. This work is about the fact that not only are these people who are afflicted with this misfortune, beautiful individuals full of hopes and dreams and possibility, but also that it is our future humanity itself that is also suffering. The boy and his dog, a nearly universal symbol of the beauty and innocence and potential of youth, sleeping angelic, is a call to all cultures, to come to terms with this modern human crisis.”

×

Stefan Irvine - Human Exports

Stefan Irvine
Human Exports
2000
Photograph
40.5 x 61cm
Edition 1/10
Estimate: HK$5,000 – HK$10,000

 

About the artistStefan Irvine is a British–born photographer currently living and working in Hong Kong. His projects range from black-and-white reportage and editorial features, to portraiture, travel and fine art photography. His images have been published internationally, including in the New York Times, The Guardian, Forbes, Harvard Design Review, The Independent, and the South China Morning Post. His work has been exhibited in New York at Exit Art Gallery’s “Contemporary Slavery” exhibition, and in London at the Spitz Gallery and The London Institute. After graduating with a Master of Arts in Psychology from the University of Edinburgh, Stefan went on to receive a Post-Graduate Diploma in Photojournalism from the London College of Printing (LCP).


About the workThis portrait is from a photo series about migrant domestic workers in Hong Kong, titled Human Exports. Joceline moved to Hong Kong to provide for her husband and son at home in the Philippines. But she left her abusive employers after only 10 days of work and came to Bethune House – a place that provides shelter and support for female migrant workers in need – for help. She is now looking for a new position but fears the Immigration Department will not renew her visa, and that she will be deported.”

×

With thanks to our generous sponsors:

LogosForWeb

Search the website

Contact

T (852) 3109 7359
F (852) 3422 3019
info@justicecentre.org.hk