Whatever its artistic merits, the Pillar of Shame was always a symbolically highly charged work – and no more so than at its end. Under cover of darkness and plastic sheeting, HKU dismantles and removes the campus exhibit, which sculptor Jens Galschiot claims as his personal property. Because of safety and colonial-era laws, not pressure from Beijing officials, obviously. Now it’s probably more famous than ever. Thread of the removal here. 3-D image of the piece here.
A thread of June 4 art.
A Tsinghua U expert explains Beijing’s Hong Kong-version of democracy outlined in the recent white paper…
By making elections more broadly representative, politically inclusive, ensuring balanced participation, guaranteeing fair competition, and focusing on candidates’ policy agendas and capabilities, the central government also pushed for Hong Kong to shift from Western-style democracy – characterised by confrontation and vicious competition – to a democracy that suits the region and with its own characteristics.
(From CNN several years ago, a reminder why Britain ‘never gave Hong Kong democracy’.)
Only in Hong Kong – court convicts people for wearing face masks.
Some holiday reading…
CMP on the fate of a teacher who deviated from the CCP’s line on the 1937 Nanjing massacre.
Variety on how Hollywood is being frozen out of China…
“The partition between politics, political agenda and content-making is completely eroded there. No matter what talent or corporations want, it’s always at the behest of what the Party is pushing for and asking for…”
“Xi Jinping’s goal is absolutely to have Chinese films play worldwide just like Hollywood movies, so that China can exert soft power and replace Hollywood. There’s no way they’re going to be cooperative going forward, allowing U.S. films into China,” he explains. “Some films will get through, but they’ll be ones China likes, when they want, and there’ll be fewer and fewer until the tap gets shut off completely, the way it’s being shut off this year.”
…Once the China market is no longer such a governing factor, storylines and scripts will change, numerous interviewees predicted. “They might finally cast Richard Gere. There might finally be a Chinese bad guy,” jokes one producer source.
And some seasonal cheer from Zolina City Mag: soy-sauce Christmas dining – a 70s-90s thing. (Compare and contrast with American Jews’ tradition of Yuletide meals at Chinese restaurants.) Back in the days when we were poorer but happier, colleagues of my age all loved this holiday because their parents ignored it, so they could have fun with their friends and – the main thing – didn’t have to visit grandparents. Years later, my old colleagues were dragging their kids out for Christmas festivities.
That HKU did not have the balls to take the statue out during the day merely underlines it is now a Eunuch of the State.
I’m just curious. The Pillar of Shame has been on HKU since June 3, 1997, which was (just) in the colonial era. As it’s being moved due to “colonial laws,” (a) why didn’t the colonial police prosecute, (b) why has it taken HKU 23 years, 6 months and 20 days to remove it, and (c) why hasn’t the current regime – which has shown no scruples about applying “colonial laws” when it comes to sedition – prosecuted?
@ Chris Maden – your mistake is trying to look for any logic and reason from the craven cowards at the HK University of Shame who made this decision and/or statement.
logic, reason or honesty from the craven cowards…..
What is this cutthroat and brazenly competitive democracy of the West of which China speaks? Is that in any way similar to the brutal forces of oppression as wielded by an autocratic and authoritarian regime? Weird. I would have thought democracy was a more gentler form of governance.
“Shame on U” seems to be the only appropriate response to this action.
@Penny, I believe the proper indication is: ‘HK “University” of Shame’.
The pillar is gone but the shame remains.
Judy Chan’s comment that she found the statue unsettling indicates the vapid mindset of the New Leggers. Its not an ornament stupid, it is a work of art intended to stimulate an emotional reaction.
The future for M+ looks bleak.
I find it unsettling that a government murders some of the people it is supposed to serve and then tries to erase any memory of what it did.