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Hong Kong Human Rights Arts Prize 2020 announces shortlist

Hong Kong Human Rights Arts Prize 2020 Shortlist –
Kenji Wong, In front of the water cannon: Hong Kong People, photograph

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.

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 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.

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/

Judges for The Hong Kong Human Rights Arts Prize 2020

Christy Chow – Hong Kong based artist, 2017 Prize winner
Jeremy Deller – English conceptual, video and installation artist, 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
Dr. Kacey Wong – Hong Kong-based artist

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