Accessibility Tools

  • Content scaling 100%
  • Font size 100%
  • Line height 100%
  • Letter spacing 100%

Hong Kong

Retainers of Anarchy

06 December 2022
Outlaw, the opening exhibition of the purpose-built new media gallery at Sydney Modern, (the Art Gallery of New South Wales’s new extension) features Howie Tsui’s mesmerising multimedia installation, Retainers of Anarchy. On a 27.4-metre long, 3.85-metre high projection, which simulates the form of a scroll painting, hundreds of images hand-drawn in ink are animated into a kaleidoscope of supernatural severed heads, grotesque tortures, and characters familiar from wuxia (martial arts) novels and television series. These fantastical images jostle with motifs of everyday life in Hong Kong and iconic figures from the pro-democracy protests that culminated in the Umbrella Movement of 2014 and were later to erupt in the all-out rebellion in 2019 and its violent suppression by Xi Jinping’s government. ... (read more)

It began with a request to overturn a controversial bill that would have allowed people to be extradited to mainland China. According to the bill’s many detractors, this was but the latest example of the erosion of Hong Kong’s freedoms. By June 2019, millions of Hong Kong’s residents had taken to the streets. August saw sit-ins at Hong Kong’s International Airport, and by October clashes between police and protestors were characterised by violence and chaos – tear gas, rubber bullets, arrests, and prosecutions, the norm. This was summer in Hong Kong, a city dominated by increasingly violent upheaval with the world watching on.

... (read more)