The crisis in Hong Kong explained through commentary on the 2014 protests. In addition we asked Kacey Wong to write an essay on protest art. Terry Ng gave an updated story on the present situation.

As a symbol, the umbrella was embraced by a plethora of protest organizations based in Hong Kong. It also continues to serve as a great inspiration to artists. One example is the
Umbrella Man – a wooden human figure reaching 4 meters (13 feet) tall created by an artist who calls himself Milk. A recent college graduate, Milk shared in a rare interview that he got the idea to make the sculpture during the early stages of the movement’s sit-ins. With the assistance of a few friends, Milk debuted the now-iconic work of art on October 5, 2014 at the Admiralty demonstration site in front of the Hong Kong government’s headquarters. Constructed of plywood blocks with a metal support frame, the figure was designed with its right arm extended, brandishing a yellow umbrella. The face is painted white, a reference to the protesters struck by tear gas and pepper spray used by the police. Umbrella Man tells the people’s story of the protest. Adopted by the movement as an emblem of freedom and peace, Umbrella Man became a mirror in which the protesters could see a reflection of themselves.

Read more in BRANDED PROTEST the book.

About Kacey Wong

Kacey Wong is a Hong Kong visual artist and educator – formerly Assistant Professor at the School of Design, Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Wong has received the Hong Kong Contemporary Arts Award by the Hong Kong Art Museum (2012), Best Artist Award (2010); and Rising Artist Award and Outstanding Arts Education Award (2003). Wong is politically engaged through his art, and is founding member of art-activist groups Art Citizens and the Umbrella Movement Art Preservation.
About Terrie Ng

Terrie Ng is a PhD student in contemporary history, specializing in protest movements in Hong Kong.
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