Samson Wong interviewed 6 November 2017 in Ma On Shan, Hong Kong
Photo collage copyright © Daniel C. Tsang 2017
Roundtable discussion “permanent in-transit”
at Spring Workshop 5 November 2017
Wong, working with Garden Streams' Evelyna Liang Yee-woo, was instrumental in the shipping to Amsterdam of the 800 pieces of artwork that had been collected by Garden Streams, a Hong Kong-based Christian Artists Fellowship, that went into the detention camps and helped children and youth with art lessons etc. At the time, it was thought that the Amsterdam-based International Institute of Social History (IISH) was the best place to keep the artwork temporarily (for up to 10 years according to a signed contract) for "safekeeping". It is the largest archive of contemporary social and political movement materials. Wong a few years ago, in fact took me to the warehouse where the artwork, some framed, was stored, awaiting shipment abroad.
Umbrellas featured in Whitehead Detention Centre, Shatin.
Predating Umbrella Movement! Artist: Tang Nga Son.
Refugees in Whitehead retrieving basketball amid barbed wire.
Artist: Tang Nga Son
Women refugees wash their hair in Whitehead.
Artist: Nguyen Thi Vien
Refugees stage protests over asylum process at Whitehead.
Artist: Le Khac Dat
Coming from University of California, Irvine, which currently hosts the most accessible collection of artwork from the detention camps in Hong Kong, although with much fewer pieces of artwork, I was interested in how Wong, who has visited UCI's Southeast Asian Archive and compared selected artists paintings with the several hundred archived in California, collected as a result of UCI students in Project Ngoc who visited Hong Kong to help refugee kids in the camp. Some of the UCI collection is featured in a chapter I wrote (described in this earlier blog entry, where the artwork is shown in color). I also interviewed Sophia Law when she visited UCI and Little Saigon.
Refugees seek human rights at Whitehead.
Artist: Le Khac Dat
Given that the Chinese University of Hong Kong's Fine Arts Department and scholars there have expressed interest in using the collection, Wong is hopeful it will soon be returned and find a home at CUHK. He notes that a CUHK post-graduate student had visited Amsterdam to attempt to use the collection there. -- Daniel C. Tsang
Thanks to Samson Wong for providing copies of the Garden Streams artwork to illustrate this blog.