We are sorry to announce that the exhibition “Gongle,” by Chinese artist Badiucao, has been cancelled out of safety concerns.
The decision follows threats made by the Chinese authorities relating to the artist. Whilst the organisers value freedom of expression, the safety of our partners remains a major concern.
We regret having to make this decision, and hope there will be a chance for public to see Badiucao’s work in future.
Other Free Expression Week events will continue as normal.
Free Expression Week continues this Saturday with the first international solo exhibition of China-born political cartoonist and artist Badiucao.
Two members of feminist Russian punk band Pussy Riot will attend the public opening, along with Hong Kong democracy activist Joshua Wong and local political artist Sampson Wong. All will join a special Q&A on free expression, art, politics and LGBT rights.
Portraits of political leaders, exhibits of torture equipment, and iconic Hong Kong neon are blended together to reconstruct metaphors anew. “Gongle” paints a suffocating reality as Badiucao’s biting cartoons find a physical form at his debut exhibition. It is through this hyperbole and piercing satire where purposeful misrepresentation can find new forms of expression.
- Exhibition dates: Opening party: Sat. Nov. 3rd, 7:30pm-10pm. Runs until Nov. 13th.
- Entry: Free. Register below.
- Media enquires: Contact HKFP.
- Venue: The Hive Spring, 3/F Remex Centre, 42 Wong Chuk Hang Rd, Aberdeen, Hong Kong Island. Directions.
Badiucao uses his art to challenge censorship and dictatorship in China. He believes that, in the absence of free speech and democracy, history is constantly being tampered with. By confronting the official record, he uses art and the internet to deconstruct the arrogance and authority of dictatorship. Badiucao aims to create a building block to spark individual awakening.
He has been interviewed by the BBC, CNN, PRI and The Australian. His work has been featured by The Times and the Guardian and he has been commissioned by China Digital Times, HKFP and Amnesty International.
Gongle is a black comedy for Hong Kong, China and the world. It touches on themes of authority and free speech at a time when free expression is under fire. “Gongle” is a play on words about Google’s effort to re-enter China with a censored search engine. It sounds like “共” in Chinese – the short term for the Communist Party – “共产党.” Google’s Chinese name – “谷歌” – is altered to “共歌.” The character “歌” means “singing” or “song.” Thus, “共歌” literally means “communist songs” or “singing for communism”. It can also mean “singing together” – a metaphor for free expression.
About Pussy Riot:
Founded in 2011, Pussy Riot are a Russian feminist protest punk rock group. They are known for their unauthorised guerrilla, public performances and for their advocacy of LGBT rights and opposition to President Putin.
About Joshua Wong:
Joshua Wong is a Hong Kong activist and politician. He is the secretary-general of pro-democracy group Demosisto and is known for his student activism and role in the 2014 Umbrella Movement.
About Sampson Wong:
Sampson Wong is a Hong Kong-based academic, artist, independent curator, focusing on contemporary urbanism, space and geography, art and the public, cultural resistance and hope.