Occupy Central changed the way Hongkongers think, says artist

Occupy Central changed the way Hongkongers think, says artist

Birdy Chu‘s multimedia show, It’s just the beginning, at the Goethe-Institut Hongkong, documents the democracy protests from different angles

 They started something: works from Birdy Chu Shun's exhibition (above and below).

Goethe-Institut Hongkong

Birdy Chu Shun is no stranger to tear gas assaults. A former journalist, Chu witnessed the 2005 anti-WTO protests by South Korean farmers in Wan Chai and, seven years later, the anti-Japanese demonstrations in Shenzhen. Tear gas was used on both occasions. But nothing stunned Chu as much as what happened on September 28, 2014, the day that kick-started the umbrella movement.

“The fact that the police fired tear gas at the Occupy Central protesters changed everything. It incubated what happened in the following months,” says Chu, a photojournalist, videographer, and media lecturer at HKU Space Centre for Degree Programmes. “It triggered people’s anger, which has more to do with the shock of what the police did than any physical pain inflicted.”

Chu has a knack for capturing arresting visuals of the city’s socio-political scene. In 2013, he published a book titled I walk therefore I shoot: a record of Hong Kong demonstrations. This time, the result of his chronicling the civil disobedience sit-ins is a multimedia exhibition at the Arts Centre.

The month-long show is made up of photography, short films and multimedia installations. Instead of using a straightforward documentary approach, Chu — using his graphic design background — gives all his works an artistic twist to enhance interest and pique contemplation.

A video playing on a television is called Can you hear the students speak? For this, the video footage and audio recordings were made separately. The interviewees stare directly into the camera and maintain static expressions, but on the audio soundtrack they talk passionately about their yearnings for democracy.

One wall is lined with student portraits collected from 50 people from different walks of life — the number is an allusion to Central government’s futile “50 years unchanged” promise — as a tribute to the virtual support offered by the viral social media campaign.

Another wall features an installation Chu created using art pieces and handicrafts donated by protesters. “I documented the whole movement from many angles, and interviewed occupants who had unique ways of participating in all three districts. All this is shown in my short film, which will be projected in the Black Box Studio. I’ve concluded that there are many other possibilities for Hong Kong,” says Chu.

“Hong Kong people are too obedient. Who says Hong Kong has to be the way it has been? The way that the protesters occupied roads has been transformative — who would have thought you could ever take a stroll up a flyover? This is essentially a city redesign. It is a way of thinking that can be expanded to a much broader scope. Politicians may see it as a threat, but for the rest of us, it’s a breakthrough in the way we think about things,” Chu says.

14/F Hong Kong Arts Centre, 2 Harbour Road, Wan Chai, Monday-Friday, 10am-8:30pm Saturday, 1pm-6pm. Until February 11. Inquiries: 2802 0088

#OccupyCentral #BirdyChu #UmbrellaMovement #civildisobedience

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Robert Chaen

Global CEO-Founder of ChangeU and Movsha Movers & Shakers, Hero-CEO Whisperer, Writer, The #1 Alpha Change Expert, Father of Asian FireWalking Robert Chaen is an International Keynote Speaker, writer, researcher, and corp games designer. He is famously known to be the “Hero-CEO Whisperer”, 1-on1 coaching with many CEOs and Celebrities for corporate strategies, staff & office political issues, personal branding, and even public figure OSHA safety drilling called Drager Defense. He has transformed CEOs and managers in Coca-Cola China, TVB Hong Kong, Cathay Pacific, Hong Kong Airport Services, VADS, TM, Public Bank, Auditor General's Office Maldives, etc. He is the prolific creator and online Author of innovative management tools such as DragonCEO, Diamond Leader, Papillon Personal Effectiveness, OSHA Drager Defense, KPI Bank, etc. He is also the Founder of Movsha, an international networking with monthly mingles with MOVers & SHAkers, Angels, Entrepreneurs, CEOs, Celebrities, HR-PR-CSR, HODs, and the Most Influential IDEA people. ​Chaen is widely considered as one of the top International Platform Keynote Speakers for Resorts World Genting Senior Management Conference (Manila), 7-Eleven HK, Samsung, Coca-Cola China Mini-MBA @Tsing Hua University, Cathay Pacific, Hong Kong Jockey Club, The Story Conference where he interviewed Datuk Kamarudin (Chairman of AirAsia) and Siti Nurhaliza. He has been widely featured in TVB, AWSJ, CNBC, SCMP, The Star, and Sin Chew. As “The Father of Asian FireWalking”, he coached TVB celebrities (Ekin Cheng Yee-Kin) to walk on 650°C fire; and raised HK$68M in the world’s 1st and only live TV Charity FireWalk (TVB Tung Wah Charity Show), before Tony Robbins even came to Asia. If Robert can get you to walk on 650⁰C fire, he can inspire you to be THE BEST. He champions CN-HK-EU-US Tycoons to be philanthropic, and to be angel investors to support the next generation of Jack Mas, Steve Jobs, Richard Bransons, Steven Spielbergs, or Barrack Obamas. With some slick motivational speakers with fake doctorates out there, graduates often describe Robert to be "the most credible, empowering, truthful Coach" who believe in his graduates to believe in themselves. ​However, clients have described Robert as "The #1 Cool Badass Alpha Change Expert". He has the coolest first class stature, rapport and trust from clients. He will not hesitate to tell the badass truth ever so gently because clients are paying him big bucks to reveal the truth, find solutions, persuade the hostile HODs, and align cross-teams within the organization. Originally based in Hong Kong for 20+ years, he had worked with top Branding/Ad agencies at J Walter Thompson and Leo Burnett, and was a certified FranklinCovey (7 Habits) in USA, and NLP MasterCoach (USA). His warmth is known to soften the most hardened, resistant sceptics. He will inspire your team to Go for Top 1, or to be a Dragon CEO. With boundless energies, Robert owns 15+ successful business Joint-Ventures, and created unique products under his global VC network called Chaen's Angels VC. He is deeply passionate about ChangeUTH Youth CSR, Science-Based Medicine (vs. quackery), short films and Reality TV. Touched by a personal tragedy through the loss of his HK-born Portuguese wife, co-coach and business partner, Brenda José of 18 years, Robert explores the many ways in which the spirit world is communicating with the living with real scientific studies and evidence. He gives inspiring conferences on The Secret Afterlife.

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