HKFP Lens: Winner of Hong Kong Human Rights Arts Prize shines light on the plight of refugees

A video artwork entitled “Green Screen” by Terence Li has won the 2021 Hong Kong Human Rights Arts Prize, an event hosted by the Justice Centre and the European Union Office to Hong Kong and Macau.

Terence Li, Green Walls. Photo: Justice Centre.

Terence Li, proclaimed winner on June 8, submitted an 11-minute video set in a small flat with green walls. It features a young Sri Lankan girl whose asylum claim was repeatedly denied by the Hong Kong government reciting a poem entitled “Seasons of Trees.”

Li is a US filmmaker, video artist and art critic now based in Berlin, according to his online profile. He was born in San Francisco but graduated from the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

Second Runner Up – Shawn Tang Pak-hin, Departure to Nowhere, Somewhere. Photo: Justice Centre.“The selected works are by artists that come from diverse ethnic backgrounds, including refugees, with their own unique experiences with human rights issues, ready to share their stories with the world under this year’s theme of ‘Shared Future’,” said a statement from the Justice Centre.

Youth Award winner — Trinity Ro, Tears of a Refugee. Photo: Justice Centre.Li’s work stood out from 93 submissions by established and emerging artists, of which an international panel of judges shortlisted 33. The judging was conducted blind as part of the event’s commitment to diversity and inclusion.

InkluVision Award winner — Jamela Law, A Broken Vessel Cannot Hold. Photo: Justice Centre.The works cover a diverse range of mediums and topics, including the treatment of minorities in Hong Kong, the global refugee crisis, mental health and LGBTQI+ rights.

Justice Centre award winner — Ngan Ting Rebecca Hon, Urban Variations No.1. Photo: Justice Centre.

Melanie McLaren, executive director of the Justice Centre Hong Kong, said powerful art has always emerged from difficult times, meaning that art and human rights have a long shared history.

Jiaming Liao, We Shall Be One. Photo: Justice Centre.“Day to day, we work with refugees and survivors of torture, human trafficking and forced labour, and we hope that the art through this year’s shortlist continues to spark discussion around these issues, and other injustices,” McLaren said.

May Sum, You and Me, Sculpture. Photo: Justice Centre.The winning and shortlisted artworks will be exhibited at the Goethe-Institut until June 30. All exhibited works will be made available for purchase via auction on June 24, with 80 per cent of the proceeds given to support the prize’s operation and the Justice Centre. Other works can be purchased via an online auction later.

Cecily Houghton, Busy Corner. Photo: Justice Centre.Charmaine Wan, Colour of Love. Photo: Justice Centre.Kasper Forest, “Immediate Sexuality, My
Insight” (2017), Photograph Photo: Justice Centre.Marissa Reyes Beckmann, The Invisible Filter of Empathy. Photo: Justice Centre.Cody Wong, Hong Kong Spirit. Photo: Justice Centre.June Siu Ling Wong, The Waves, painting Photo: Justice Centre.Nadeeshani Ranagana,, I’m mother who
never give up, painting Photo: Justice Centre.Nicole Au Yeung, Karma and the hands. Photo: Justice Centre.Keith Cheng, A stone’s throw. Photo: Justice Centre.Kin Bon Yip, If you miss home. Photo: Justice Centre.Wiency Wong, A Traveler Review of Mong Kok District (free copies). Photo: Justice Centre.Wiency Wong, Stamps, Hong Kong, 2020, Photograph. Photo: Justice Centre.Yee Lick Eric Fung, Time to wake up. Photo: Justice Centre.Wendy Hui Wah Kwan, Aside, No More. Photo: Justice Centre.Simran Narwani, Working Lives. Photo: Justice Centre.Ophelia Jacarini, Look at me. Photo: Justice Centre.Kyra Campbell, Text Me When You Get Home. Photo: Justice Centre.Chung Wan Ling, 201 Sai Yee Road,Mong Kok,Hong Kong. Photo: Justice Centre.Chester Leung, SHARED FUTURE. Photo: Justice Centre.Kai Fung Ng, The monuments. Photo: Justice Centre.

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