Image Projects

Design like Barbara Kruger: The photojournalistic image that I chose to use in designing like Barbara Kruger is a picture of Joshua Wong getting arrested. This event occurred in August 2017. Joshua Wong was a student protester and leader during the Umbrella Movement, the largest pro-democracy movement in the former British colony in 2014. The Umbrella Movement was in response mainly to the stipulation by Beijing that the Chief Executive in Hong Kong must first be vetted by the People’s Republic of China before they can run for the position. Wong is also one of the founders and leaders for Demosistō, a pro-democracy party that advocates for Hong Kong’s sovereignty from the PRC. He was arrested and sentenced to prison alongside other student leaders, and Demosistō candidates who had won legislature seats were disqualified from taking their positions. Designing the image of Wong getting arrested like Barbara Kruger reflects the critique of power that Kruger has in her work. Changing the image to a black and white and then inverting the colors on the police men arresting Wong illustrates the stark contrast and polarizing politics in the image and in Hong Kong. I also used the (mis-quoted) lyrics from Pink Floyd’s “We don’t need no education” to express the young students’ subversion of state control.  (original image here: )  


Design like Hannah Hoch: I chose an image of Hong Kong Chief Executive, Carrie Lam, who was sworn in by Xi Jinping, the President of the PRC, in July 2017. Lam also worked for the previous pro-Beijing Chief Executive, Leung Chun-Ying. I find her to be an interesting figure and torn about her politics. On the one hand, she is the first female Chief Executive. On the other hand, she is quite pro-Beijing limiting the freedom of speech and protest. And so, in the image, I’ve used a variety of images and styles in the photomontage to express some of my ambivalence. The Hong Kong flag is the background, and I inserted an image of Xi Jinping to cover have of her face because of her politics. She was one of the Beijing-approved candidates and won the election without having a lead over her opponents. In the original photo, she is waving, and so I changed the waving hand to Mao Zedong’s hand from a propaganda poster because of the PRC’s slight shift in policies and media production. In recent years, there has been more imagery of PRC soldiers and images that resonate with the high ideological period of the 1960s Cultural Revolution. To further reinforce this return in imagery, I also included a caption from a 1960s propaganda poster that says, “We are all Mao’s little red soldiers.” At the same time, the call for democracy and protesters cannot be forgotten or made invisible. I included a yellow umbrella from Nathan “long haired” Law’s oath taking ceremony for the legislature. The Yellow Umbrella refers to the Umbrella Movement, and the oath taking ceremony this past year was fraught with tension as pro-democracy leaders and center politicians wore or brought yellow umbrellas and flags to protest Hong Kong’s government’s move towards Beijing.




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s