Sunday, 6 July 2014

Performing to Arrest – July 1 Demonstration, 2014

While the veiled 512 Hours by Marina Abramović at the Serpentine Gallery, London captures much attention of art circles, on the other side of the world in Hong Kong a mass performance has taken place in the open and under intense media spotlights. The event, in its 17th year, is a pan-democracy rally that attracts the largest turnout involving hundreds of thousands of people. The underlining theme this year is universal suffrage which has been the most talked-about issue in the last thirty years.

As with previous years, the rally-cum-march has always been peaceful. Its non-violent  record is exemplary and people's spontaneous participations, touching many hearts and minds, are comparable to artistic expressions. There are no material rewards except that the prospect of arrest is already foretold by police.

We do the utmost to leave politics out of this platform. But is it possible? Politics are present as long as people exist. Indeed, it is a fertile source of inspiration from which many artists, among them Abramović, has drawn. To clarify possible misunderstanding, the  rally is no artistic happening and glorification is not intended here. For those 511 arrested and detained by police subsequently, they have endured at least 36 hours of personal journeys that test both the body and soul, an experience no less than what is bestowed upon the Serpentine Gallery now. I am honoured to be a participant in the march but guilt-ridden to know that so many especially young people are arrested

(photoAssociated Press)
3.30pm: Rally at Victoria Park before the march to Central, Hong Kong.


(photoHouse News)
Waves of demonstrators flood the streets to the surprise of most commentators.



People continue to join with the marchers well into the evening until 9pm. Official count has estimated a 510,000 turnout at peak time. As much as 800,000 have participated in total, the highest on record for the annual July 1st event.


(photoAFP/Getty Images)

Weathering the day: 32°C (90°F) with high humidity.


(photoHouse News)

Intermittent downpours during the march.


(photoAl Jazeera)

Among the crowds:  Police look-alike with stern faces clearing the way for the cardboard tank.


(photoHouse News)

A symbolic cover of the White Paper being trampled upon - The document was made public by Beijing  to assert its authority in Hong Kong a week ago. It is widely perceived that the central government is tightening its interpretation of "One Country two Systems" policy in the territory.



On the same discourse, an art student with gestures that speak volume.


(photoApple Daily)

Minority act: Norwegian teacher of Cantonese (at left) in support of the local dialect. It is at risk of being marginalized by the official language of Putonghua spoken predominately in the mainland.


(photoOriental Daily)

Action speaks louder than words on the unfair electoral system in functional constituencies.


(photoHouse News)

Girl in village costume handing out home-made beverage – These people in front of the thatched house are canvassing support to stop government eviction plans to urbanize rural lands.


(photoHouse News)

Dirty hands on the prowl: Parade of the unfair legislative process in which public representation is not reflected.


(photoAl Jazeera)

‘Six Eight Nine’ – a popular a.k.a. of CY Leung, the Chief Executive of Hong Kong. ‘Seven’ is missing as it refers to the male genitals, or “the man with no balls”, so to say. Leung has only received 689 votes in a closed election to land the top job.

689」–我城行政長官梁振英廣為人知的別名。「7」按粵語為男人的根,但它偏偏被遺漏了。這裡特指梁振英的專稱 –“無叉的男人”。通過小圈子選舉,梁振英只獲得689票便成為香港的話事人。

(photopost 852)

Homage to FIFA World Cup: A paper cut-out of Leung as goalkeeper to defend the unstoppable goal to attain universal suffrage in Hong Kong.  For the helpless public, any burlesque act is better than no act.



Hail to the banners of Occupy Central:  The much criticized dissent represented by a bird perching on a circle is a civil disobedience campaign led by several liberal groups. It is set to occur pending the development of legislations on the election reform this year


(photoInternational Business Times)

Annoyance Theatre: A cynical few who wave the defunct British Hong Kong flag to irritate the central government.

厭惡劇塲: 一群偏激的小眾揮動已棄用的港英區旗,惹惱中央政府為樂。

(photoHouse News)

At one moment: dramatic stand-off.


(photoUnited Social Press)

At different pace: People pass Admiralty towards Central after hours of walking.


(photoAFP/Getty Images)

By 7pm: Demonstrators arrives in Central so as the police cordon. The government has made plans and organized drills in anticipation of the sit-in.


(photoHouse News)

Past present – The infamous Tiananmen tank re-enacted among police presence.



Procession of people power at Chater Street, Central.


(photoHouse News)

Gathering prior to the sit-in – Everyone hopes that the green light in the form of neon flexes for a fair election system would dawn on them.


(photoHouse News)

By midnight: Student leaders announce as planned that they would carry out a minor Occupy Central and sit-in on the public streets until 8am the following morning. They warn of imminent arrests and possible criminal charges should people prepare to stay on.

午夜時份:按擬定計劃,學生領袖宣佈佔領中環預演展開,行動直至早上八時為止他們提醒並警告在場人士 警方的拘捕甚至檢控行動隨時展開

(photoApple Daily)

Still falls the rain. Hundreds of people from a cross-section of the society brace themselves for the peaceful and non-violent action.



United and quietly waiting.


(photoInternational Business Times)

3am: Police begins the clearance.  Demonstrators lock their arms with one other in non-cooperative manner to prevent removals.


(photoInternational Business Times)

People are man-handled by police one by one.


(photoAssociated Press)

The police take a high-profiled stance in front of the media and protesters are still removed unpleasantly on all fours despite the pledge of non-violence.



The mass arrest lasts well after daybreak.


(photoInternational Business Times)

By 8.30am: In total, 511 arrests are made including students, activists, elected legislators and the general public. Among them, one senior citizen remarks, “I might have broken the law but I did not commit a crime.”


Despite the peaceful conclusion of the entire rally, 
more arrests on the march organizers have been made since July 1.


逮捕的演證  -  2014年香港七一大遊行

正當瑪麗娜亞布拉維冶閉門的512小時在倫敦Serpentine Gallery被受藝術圈廣泛關注香港同樣發生了觸目的群眾參與活動不一樣的它卻傳媒及公眾眼底下發生;話說是2014年七一大遊行歷來參與者最多一次。這項以普選為題的民主運動,不驚不覺已在我城踏入第三十個年頭。


我們力將政治排除這個博客平台以外但這是可行嗎有人的地方政治必然存在無疑它是肥沃土壤啟迪眾多藝術家的創作,其中包括亞布拉維冶這裡必需澄清,這個示威集會並非藝術行動而筆者並無意美化這遊行就被逮捕及拘留的五百一十一名人士而言他們承受了不少於三十六小時銘刻的心路歷程當下倫敦Serpentine Gallery的行為藝術可謂不惶多樣我個人很榮幸能參與這遊行但無奈亦愧疚最終這麽多人,特別是青年人遭警方拘捕

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