Now in its sixth edition, the Prize champions human rights through the arts.
Hong Kong Symposium 2019 by Hong Kong artist Kam Wa Magus Yuen has won the Hong Kong Human Rights Arts Prize 2020. Presented by Justice Centre Hong Kong for his depiction of the city’s ongoing civil unrest, Yuen’s winning piece was selected from a shortlist of 33 works by an international judging panel made up of Christy Chow, Jeremy Deller, Peter Augustus Owen, Katie Vajda, Chantal Wong, and Dr. Kacey Wong.
Yuen received the prestigious award and a cash prize of HKD35,000, Benson Koo was awarded the First Runner-up prize of HKD7,500 for his video work Dream Criminal and Mo Soeng by Chan Kiu Hong received the Second Runner-up Prize of HKD5,000.
Since its inception in 2013, the Hong Kong Human Rights Arts Prize has played a pivotal role in unearthing new creative talent and encouraging meaningful dialogue about human rights both at home and abroad. Now in its sixth edition, the Hong Kong Human Rights Arts Prize continues to expand its reach through supporting partnerships with the EU office to Hong Kong and Macao and Goethe-Institut Hong Kong.
Alongside the new partnerships, two new categories were introduced this year: The Justice Centre Award of HKD2,500, presented to the artist whose work best reflects the organization’s mission to protect the rights of Hong Kong’s most vulnerable, and the Student Award, open to Hong Kong-based secondary school students. The Portrait Project by Ben Kostrzewa was the inaugural winner of the Justice Centre Award and Perpetual Climb by Cristiana Papadopolous took home the Student Award title and winning certificate to commemorate the moment.
Celebrating their partnership with Justice Centre Hong Kong, Goethe-Institut Hong Kong, awarded the winner of their ‘45 Seconds for Human Rights’ Award with a one-week trip to Berlin to experience the arts and culture scene of the historic city once travel restrictions are lifted. Presented to a short film of exactly 45 seconds, the award was given to Man Chi Loy (Armechan) for his work Popo Dragon.
All shortlisted and winning artworks are now on view at the Goethe-Institut Hong Kong in an exhibition curated by Hong Kong artist and writer KY Wong. Audiences can join a virtual walkthrough of the exhibition on the Justice Centre Hong Kong Facebook Page. All works will be available to purchase via online auction through 6 June 2020, from which all proceeds will go towards the prizes for the winning artists and support the important non-profit work of Justice Centre Hong Kong. For more information on the auction, visit https://www.hkhumanrightsartsprize.org/.
Prominent Hong Kong-based artist and long-time judge for the Arts Prize, Dr. Kacey Wong says, “The Hong Kong Human Rights Arts Prize is a celebration of those willing to bring the truth from the darkest of corners to light. The world is going through a particularly trying time right now, and I hope this prize reminds us that we are all in this together and it is only if we depend on each other, that we can make it through.”
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Hong Kong Human Rights Art Prize 2020 – Lee Yan Yee, Man II, acrylic on wood