Miso Zo’s vibrant paintings capture the contrasting moods of Hong Kong’s pro-democracy Umbrella Movement. In the most striking painting, policemen, their faces distorted with rage, blast a lone protester with pepper spray. The man stands still, resolute and strong, with hands clenched at his side.
The above photos were taken at the Occupy Central protest site in Admiralty in November. Click on any of the photos to open them in slideshow view. Higher definition images (2048 x 1365) are available in my Flickr album: Artjouer: Art of the Umbrella Movement
When I came across Misa Zo at the Admiralty protest site, he was working in acrylic and oil paint on a large canvas, the painting depicting a scene capturing the more peaceful side of the movement. During the protests, there were some intense confrontations with police, but a lot of the time, protesters were simply passing the time trying to find ways to make themselves at home in the occupied streets. In this painting, a man is getting a haircut in them middle of a quiet section of road between the main protest site and the barricades that block off the road.
Miso Zo is pseudonym. He is a New York-based artist who was in Beijing during the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests.
Notes: The Umbrella Movement in a Nutshell
The umbrella movement refers to the 77-day pro-democracy protests that took place in Hong Kong from 26 September to 12 December 2014. Protesters, who occupied streets in three districts and were committed to non-violent civil disobedience, were seeking greater democracy and sought to have territory’s Chief Executive elected via universal suffrage. For more information, you can check out my blog post on the Umbrella Movement: Photo Essay: Hong Kong Protests
~by Stephen Richards (longzijun)
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