Aesthetics of Hong Kong Resistance

February 2021, archive publication; A5

Polly Yim
Supervisor / Betreuer*in: Julia Grosse

Aesthetics in Hong Kong Resistance is an archive of media images, photography, memes, and other content circulating on social media channels and news collected during the Anti-Extradition Bill Protests from 2019-2020. Signed on June 30, 2020 by the PRC, Hong Kong’s national security law triggered an avalanche of internet users to erase their digital traces: post histories were deleted and removed as well as accounts tied to individual names. In response to the deletion of Internet histories, this publication serves to document and analyze common aesthetic patterns, memes, and symbols throughout the course of the movement. Raising complex questions on the global and local, the book challenges the use of the mediated image as a tool of international exposure and tool for political bargaining. While protestors live streamed, photographed, circulated, and documented the protests as a means of reaching global audiences, Hong Kong also became a hotspot for international news reporters, international intervention, and conflict tourism.

Polly Yim is a visual artist whose work traces storytelling and family histories to the ongoing effects of globalization. Through intimate audio conversations, collected images, and printmaking processes, Yim explores the idea of the globalized subject as a confluence of media narratives, individual memories, and national mythologies. What results are moments shared in which snippets of confidences, half-remembered recollections of ancestors, and declarations of selfhood weave together.