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Art: Justice Centre HK Announces Shortlist for The Hong Kong Human Rights Arts Prize 2020, Highlighting 35 Works

HONG KONG – The Hong Kong Human Rights Arts Prize 2020 presented by Justice Centre Hong Kong announces its shortlist of 35 artworks. The winner of the Hong Kong Human Rights Arts Prize 2020 will be announced on Tuesday 12 May 2020 followed by an online auction details to be shared shortly. Artworks will be showcased in an exhibition open to the public at the Goethe-Institut Hong Kong from 12 May 2020 until 6 June 2020 however given the current COVID-19 situation, plans are in place to also take the exhibition online.

Now in its sixth edition, the Hong Kong Human Rights Arts Prize 2020 is curated by KY Wong and will be judged by an international panel made up of Christy Chow, Hong Kong based artist and 2017 Prize winner, Jeremy Deller, English conceptual, video and installation artist and 2004 Turner Prize winner, Peter Augustus Owen, Los Angeles based art writer, former associate Director of Galerie Perrotin and former Prize Co-Director, Katie Vajda, Australian photographic artist, 2014 Prize winner and former Prize Co-Director, Chantal Wong, Director of Culture, Eaton Workshop Hong Kong, and Dr.Kacey Wong, prominent Hong Kong-based artist.

Each shortlisted work has been selected for their unique and insightful exploration of human rights, both at home and abroad, from the 97 works submitted. Established and emerging Hong Kong artists are represented in the shortlist with a diverse range of mediums and subject matter including but not limited to the recent civil unrest in Hong Kong, treatment of ethnic minorities, increasing surveillance by states of their citizens and the legacy of the post-World War II British policy of sending orphans abroad for a new life where they were often mistreated.

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The selected works are by artists that come from diverse ethnic backgrounds with their own unique experiences with human rights issues, ready to share their stories with the world. In line with Justice Centre Hong Kong’s commitment to diversity and inclusion the judging was conducted blind, with the jury not given access to the artists’ age, experience, gender, name or nationality.

“The Hong Kong Human Rights Arts Prize provides a platform for artists to share how they interpret and translate human right issues and offers a unique way to share the stories of those whose voices are not being heard. All the submitted works respond to a certain urgency and have the power to move and inspire if you allow them to,” says Chantal Wong, Hong Kong Human Rights Arts Prize Judge.

The Hong Kong Human Rights Arts Prize is one of the few events in the city that honours the power of art as a catalyst for social change, dissent and the defense of human dignity. The winner of the Prize will receive one of Asia’s most prestigious art awards alongside a cash prize of HKD35,000. Two runners-up will each receive prizes of HKD7,500 and HKD5,000 sponsored by private donors. Three new categories have been added to this year’s Prize.The Justice Centre Award of HKD2,500 will be presented to the artist whose work best reflects the organisation’s mission and Student Award which is open to Hong Kong-based secondary or high school students. The ‘45 Seconds for Human Rights’ Award, sponsored by Goethe-Institut Hong Kong will be presented to a short film of exactly 45 seconds and the winner will be flown on a one-week trip to Berlin (flight and accommodation included) to explore one of the world’s art and culture capitals.

“Congratulations to the artists who have made the Hong Kong Human Rights Arts Prize 2020 shortlist, each skillfully translating their observations, hopes and fears into engaging and thought provoking visual narratives. Many pressing Human Rights themes are addressed throughout the shortlist, however, unsurprisingly the entries have been dominated by pieces dealing with the harrowing and ongoing political situation in Hong Kong. Wonderful to see Justice Centre Hong Kong continue to support this platform for freedom of artistic expression, a physical and conceptual place for Hong Kong artists to tell their stories and for us to listen,” says Katie Vajda, Hong Kong Human Rights Arts Prize Judge.

Each of the exhibited works will be available for purchase via auction, with all proceeds supporting the non-profit work of Justice Centre Hong Kong. The auction will be available online and accessible from around the world, details will be announced soon. The Prize relies on generous donations from the public and interested parties can learn more and donate to the crowdfunding campaign at https://www.justicecentre.org.hk/artsprize/crowdfunding/ 

“We are very grateful for all the support from the Hong Kong community over the years and are appreciative for the opportunity to bring this important platform for the arts community back again. Art and activism have a long history and we have seen powerful art come out of difficult times. Day to day, we work with refugees who are survivors of torture, human trafficking and forced labour and we hope that the art through this year’s shortlist continues to widen public awareness of these injustices,” says Melanie McLaren, Acting Executive Director, Justice Centre Hong Kong.

The Hong Kong Human Rights Arts Prize continues to engage all sectors of the community and works with artists, institutions, media, galleries and corporates to raise funds for the front-line work of Justice Centre Hong Kong. The non-profit human rights organization works fearlessly to protect the rights of Hong Kong’s most vulnerable forced migrants – refugees, survivors of torture, forced labour and human trafficking and continues to bring their voices alive with the Hong Kong Human Rights Arts Prize.

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One Comment

  1. Hi there, thanks for sharing this with your readers. The exhibition has been extended to 20 June 2020 which is also International Refugee Day. Could you please edit the exhibition dates?

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