Embassy Cultural House is pleased to present Sleepwalking (夢遊), a series of screenings, talks, readings, exhibits, open calls, and events in solidarity with the people of Hong Kong who are fighting the 2019 extradition bill. In China and Hong Kong, political issues are often spoken about indirectly. In Hong Kong to say “I’m going sleepwalking/I’m dreaming” is a way to say you are going to protest. Through this program we hope to highlight ongoing events in Hong Kong and connect them with artists, experiences, and issues from our own communities as a means to build transnational solidarity.
Embassy Cultural House誠意呈獻—Sleepwalking（夢遊），透過一系列活動，包括放映會、講座、文章分享、展覽、作品徵集及其他節目，連結港人，對抗暴政。在現今中國和香港，人民已不能直接談論政治。自2019年香港反對《逃犯條例修訂草案》運動開始（下稱：反修例運動），示威者便以「夢遊」和「發夢」比喻為示威行動。我們希望通過是次計劃，關注香港反修例運動的發展。藉著我們的藝術家、經驗及議題探究，連結港人，建立國際間的團結力量。
Stay tuned for more announcements! From everyone at ECH, we wish you health and happiness for
the Lunar New Year.
HONG KONG PROTESTERS' FIVE DEMANDS
1. Full withdrawal of the extradition bill
2. Retraction of the characterisation of the 12 June 2019 protests as "riots"
3. Release and exoneration of arrested protesters
4. Establishment of an independent commission of inquiry into police behaviour
5. Resignation of Carrie Lam and universal suffrage for the Legislative Council
and the chief executive elections
Creation and Solidarity in the ECH Community
We are pleased to present a range of artists from the ECH community and highlight works that embody the spirit of the Sleepwalking launch. All of these works highlight the ever-present support and solidarity with Hong Kong and surrounding issues.
Stephen Cruise, ECH Community Member
Begun in 2004 (year of the monkey) and continued throughout the years, the annual 'year of' drawing depicts one of the 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac. It begins one month before, with a completion deadline of January 1 of the new year. A collage of residing/of the moment impressions are gathered and placed with the animal of the year. The given shape of the 'canvas' is based on the head towel worn in Kendo (tennugui/ Japanese). Content is drawn from the heart and in residency on this blue marble...
With the Year of Rat/Mouse (2020) and with attentions on Hong Kong, I was intrigued with the means being used to protect buildings, curtail demonstrations, etc. In researching the forms, I discovered that by their shape they had a name, given to them and used by the manufacturers. They were called 'Buddha barriers' - when seen in profile they appear as a seated monk. I used them as a divide between two representations of the rat and mouse and as a screen for the national flags of past and current conflicts.
Dave Gordon, ECH Community Member
Michael Kovrig, acrylic on canvas, 2018 & Michael Spavor, acrylic on canvas, 2021
The portrait of Michael Kovrig was commissioned by Tariq Gordon, who knows him personally through his work at Foreign Affairs. The Kafkaesque situation of the two Michaels - Kovrig and Spavor - imprisoned by the Chinese Communist Party for more than 500 days as collateral hostages in their ongoing dispute with the United States, outrages and pains all Canadians, and is more evidence of the true authoritarian nature of the CCP under Xi Jinping.
Related text from Tariq Hassan Gordon:
Michael was one of the first colleagues I met when I started working at Global Affairs Canada, formerly known as the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT). We kept in touch, and we overlapped again when he was on Mandarin language training at our Foreign Service Institute, while I was studying Farsi for an assignment in Tehran, Iran, which ended before it started after our Embassy was closed in September 2012. So it was heart-wrenching on December 10, 2018 when I learned that he had been arrested by the Chinese State Security on false charges of spying. Michael had decided to take a leave of absence from Global Affairs Canada and work for the International Crisis Group (ICG) as a China analyst and Senior Advisor based in Hong Kong.
I recall telling him when he had made the move to ICG that he was "living the dream", by following his interests and not limiting himself to the job security of being a public servant. Little could I have imagined that he would be the victim of circumstance and swept up in a retaliatory action by the Chinese Government in response to the December 1, 2018, arrest in Vancouver of Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of Huawei, and daughter of the company's founder.
Michael's unfortunate situation could easily happen to any Canadian Foreign Service officer travelling on tourism or working overseas on leave from the public service.
I hope for his release, and that his unjustified detention ends soon.
June 21, 2020 - Kuwait City, Kuwait
Frank Ridsdale, Musician
Hold on Hong Kong, CD single, video editing by Gail Roy
This song was recorded December 18th, 2019 and officially released at Hassan Law, here in London, Ontario, Canada in February 22nd, 2020. I wrote the song after viewing some of the Hong Kong protests on TV and, hearing at some point during that time, that some of the protesters were disappointed that there was not much support from the rest of the world. I was a bit ambivalent about the situation, because of the fact that I knew that Hong Kong had been "handed-over" from the colonial-rule of the British government to mainland China, July 1, 1997 with certain conditions that were to be honoured regarding the one country, two systems arrangement. However, I sympathized with the protesters and their cause and I wanted them to know that there was at least somebody outside their sphere who cared about what they were doing.
Anonymous Visual Artist and ECH Community Member
Lion Rock I, Enamel and cement on wood, 2020.
Lion Rock is an iconic mountain of Hong Kong. It does not only represent the international city, but it also refers to metaphysical meaning, the Lion Rock spirit, which means people with that spirit never give up and they work hard together to build a bright future.
As an international city, Hong Kong is well known for her concrete jungle. The painting was interpreted under the context of Contemporary Ink painting, in which Hong Kong has a significant role in its development.
The lack of human activities which usually appeared in ink painting prompted the current situation of Hong Kong. The contrast, texture, and thickness of black enamel paint hinted at the future of Hong Kong. The cement and paint are easily fallen off from the wood, representing the status of Hong Kong.