fredag 20. august 2021

‘Law and order collapsed’: Hong Kong artist Kacey Wong on finding freedom in Taiwan

For much of the last year Kacey Wong was waking up in Hong Kong and checking social media to see if friends had been arrested overnight. On a good morning Wong might see a photo of an oval plane window looking out over clouds or a foreign airport, a pictorial sign they had fled to safety.

On one of the worst mornings it was the arrest of 53 campaigners, politicians and activists, many of them Wong’s friends, for having the gall to hold a pre-election poll. That was January. Then in March a pro-Beijing newspaper, Ta Kung Pao, published a highly critical list of artists and organisations linked to the Arts Development Council which the paper said was “using government money against the government” by funding what it deemed to be anti-government entities and potential violators of the national security law, introduced in June 2020.

Wong, a 51-year-old Hong Kong political and performance artist, was marked for a Ted Talk given in 2019: so much for the national security law being non-retrospective. He decided to leave for Taiwan. “The arrest of the legislators was a clear indication for me, telling me that law and order in Hong Kong has collapsed,” he says. “That was a big alarm bell.”