University of the Arts London
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Justin Wong - Be Water - An investigation of Political Cartoons in the Anti-Extradition Bill Protest in Hong Kong

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posted on 2020-06-29, 15:47 authored by Chiu Tat Wong

02/07/2020 10:00 Room 1 #bewpln

“Creativity” is undoubtedly a keyword to describe the anti-extradition bill protest that caused the biggest political crisis in Hong Kong since 1997. Along with the philosophy of “Be Water” shared by the protesters, the leaderless style has created a democratic atmosphere that allowed participants to propose new ideas and strategies in the protest. Like the Umbrella Movement five years ago, protest art has flourished under such condition and played a tremendous role in driving the movement forward. Since the protest began in June 2019, thousands of political cartoons and illustrations have poured into the social media and appeared in the Lennon Walls across the city. They were used extensively for different purposes that exceeded the scope of traditional political cartoon. This paper aims to discuss how political cartoons and illustration have risen to become an integral part of the movement and how the works were disseminated across online and offline platform. The discussions and analysis will be based on over 6000 cartoons and illustrations collected from June 2019 to January 2020 via social media such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Telegram as well as the images appeared in the Lennon Walls.



Justin Wong, political cartoonist and Assistant Professor of Academy of Visual Arts, Hong Kong Baptist University, has taught comics and worked in the field for over ten years. Since 2006, he has started to publish his daily political cartoon column in the local newspaper Ming Pao and his illustrations were regularly published in their Sunday supplement. His works also include graphic design, animation and he is the artistic director of the new media art group, Writing Machine Collective in Hong Kong. He publications include Hello World, Lonely Planet, Je Préférerais Ne Pas and Big Time. Recently, he is researching on the topic “The New Hong Kong Political Cartoon Movement since 2012”

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