Gaze - PhMuseum

Gaze

Kai Chun Chan

2019 - Ongoing

Gaze

In 2019, despite widespread public opposition and concern, the Hong Kong Government proposed highly controversial amendments to the Extradition Bill. Millions took to the streets in protest, but the Government, supported by a legislative majority, was determined to force the amendment through a non-representative legislature. It was through the personal sacrifice of many youths that the amendment was shelved.

This collection of photographs, collated in a book form, captures the spirit of activism of 99 youngsters during this social movement. It is an attempt to make available to the public their thoughts and sentiments, as well as a tribute to all who played an important part in this movement!

{{ readMoreButton }}

  • To quote Hermann Hesse, Demian: Die Geschichte von Emil Sinclairs Jugend:
    “I wanted only to live in accord with the promptings which came from my true self. Why was that so very difficult?” This is an apt depiction of my sentiment and those of my peers. The least a person should do is to reflect upon one’s existence as a part of this world.

  • A life changing movement, built on justice and liberty.

    Destroying CCP is our final goal. Not only to free the Chinese, and to do the world a flavour.

  • In each picture, each face was invisible
    Yet their beauty was beyond any words
    Without your kindness, your sense of justice
    We could not have witnessed this scene
    With your life you paint the picture of our times

  • They may have forgotten but destroying the evil is a civic duty. They may have averted their face, stayed silent, forgotten, become indifferent, become concerned, resorted to vigilantism, or become lost in words, or have never known… but the blood will remind them. Doing battle is a noble act, an act of beauty, the duty of warriors. Civic citizens are warriors, and they should act accordingly.

  • If survival means to be chained up, I’d rather die.

  • What do we study so hard for? To have no regrets now and in the future.

  • Hongkongers have never suffered such immense pain
    Yet we have to pretend everything is alright
    When facing pain, what kind of people we choose to be
    is always our decision to make
    We feel frustrated, we want to give up
    Yet in the end we take to the streets
    Because we all know with certainty that this is the last time
    I am proud of being a Hongkonger
    Let us become legends
    For this way, we will be able to live with no regret.

  • I do not know whether we can succeed in the end. However things have now reached a point where we have only one choice - to resist and fight on no matter what.

  • To our rotting skin and bones,
    Our aimless melancholy, the pain of our loss
    They may respond with tears of deep empathy
    Or a disdainful smirk, a contemptuous sneer.
    I still believe with our backbone,
    Our countless explorations, wandering, failures and successes
    Would earn us a passionate, objective and fair judgement.
    Yes, I am eager for their judgement.

  • I have gone through different emotional states in this movement - anger, grief, even joy.

    In the earlier days - June and July, my situation forbade me from taking part in assemblies or protests, so I tended to be more ‘objective’, believing both the police and protesters acted with excessive violence.

    In August, I was no longer burdened and I started joining the demonstrations and protests. From being neutral I increasingly sympathized with their cause, until I attended every single assembly and protest. I played different roles and every time I came out, I witnessed how passionate Hongkongers were about striving for their freedoms.

    What angered me the most was how the police kept lying in their press conferences. They put the blame entirely on the protesters. Even as the police abused their power and arrested unlawfully, there was nothing we could do - I felt powerless.

    I remembered there was one day when localized protests blossom all over Hong Kong. I saw a youngster, who appeared in his teens, donning only a black t-shirt and a black surgical mask on the battlefield. I was saddened and worried. I couldn’t fathom what drove this child to come out and fight, while many were seemingly living in a parallel universe.

    Recently two friends of mine were prosecuted for rioting. One of them was arrested during the siege of the Polytechnic University. They were really nice people, and have taken great care of me in the movement. Now even as they face imprisonment, they would still smile and comfort me. It brought tears to my eyes.

    There was much to feel depressed about, but we did scored a win in the District Council Elections in November. The Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act was signed into law in the US, and nations around the world are rallying to support Hong Kong in their own ways. It was a much needed confidence boost for Hongkongers.

    We are certainly in for the long haul. If we go about social activism like the Japanese did, we would feel nothing but physical and psychological pain, which is why I always encourage the activists to be ‘Hong Kong pigs’ once in a while - to relax and indulge.

    Finally, although one of our five demands has been met - the bill has been withdrawn, what we ask for is all five demands, not one less. We want to tell CCP’s puppets in Hong Kong that we have no fear of tyranny. We will not forget all the atrocities committed on these days - June 12, July 21, August 31, October 1 - as well as the siege of Chinese University and Polytechnic University. We will not forget all those who have given their lives to the cause.

    Liberate Hong Kong, the revolution of our times.

  • To live is what I desire; justice is also what I desire. If I cannot have both, I will sacrifice my life to achieve justice.

  • My frontline compatriots are no ‘condoms’ - they’re not disposable.

  • Why? and For what?
    With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility
    I am but a normal Hongkonger. There are times that I fear. If the unthinkable happens I would be imprisoned for a decade, but after that I can still continue my life. Compared to my compatriots I have done very little. Someone has to step up, and why not me? I am physically fit and I run fast, so there’s a lot that I can do. Most importantly I am not burdened; I’m not my family’s breadwinner, so I don’t have much to regret. I have what it takes - so who else but me?

  • As people we can be ignorant. Nevertheless when facts are laid out before us and we choose to ignore them, we are forfeiting our conscience – and endorsing acts of atrocity.

  • All along we’ve been educated to believe in the separation of powers. We were indoctrinated into trusting systems as pillars of this society.

    However, this past half year when we were forced to see our home for what it really was, we saw that underneath all that superfluous beauty lies a reality we were unwilling to admit - violence as a key pillar of this society. The systemic violence is no different from its physical counterpart - but it lies hidden in the depths of our nation and our communities, behind the facade of law and ethics. In a way it is a necessary evil.

    We are in pain and we want to leave the frontlines. Yet our friends are still fighting, suffering beatings for values we’ve lost. This is why we cannot walk away, we have to stay and fight until we pay the ultimate price.

  • "In war, truth is the first casualty"
    — Aeschylus

    It’s better to fight for something than nothing, and this “something” is the core values of many Hong Kongers. Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Want, Freedom from Fear… it is ours to fight for. As someone who watches on the sidelines as a wannabe journalist, I am truly inspired by the people who are standing up against the biggest and most powerful threat to freedom and liberty that mankind have ever seen. I may not be a true Hong Konger (For my lack of Cantonese and heritage), but I stand and fight by the people. We’ve all paid the price for freedom, losing our friends, families and more, but It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees.

    What is the difference between a terrorist and a freedom fighter? A terrorist attacks a population indiscriminately, they use cruel and unsettling methods to ensure that they coerce the civilians to act according to the interests of the regime. But a freedom fighter, they acts on behalf of civilians usually oppressed to ensure that they get their liberty and freedom. They use violence when they must, but never on innocent civilians. Freedom is something that is rightfully ours, but in the hands of the terrorists. When freedom is ours, we will be satisfied.

    "Whoever stands by a just cause cannot possibly be called a terrorist."
    — Yassar Arafat

  • The revolution has been in motion as soon as those who are in power squandered the consent of the governed.

    Today, you might not be the victim of the corrupted system, but one day, it can be you, your family, your descendants.

    The time has come, we must fight on for our freedom and democracy, and we must not surrender to all kinds of injustice.

    - A Hong Konger

  • Freedom Summer

    it’s our spirit that changes the world.
    it’s our determination keep us fighting for the fundamental value for better world.
    it’s our courage risk our lives to protect our home.
    it’s our longing for ultimate true democracy and freedom united us together.

    Hong Kong - a city of warrior, a city of faith.

    I would rather be ashes than dust.” - quote from Jack London.


Newsletter