Saturday, January 2, 2010

HK: No More Con Games

This is one of a series of photos shared via Twitter from demonstrations in Hong Kong on January 1, 2010. The images were aggregated with the term #0101hk.

I loved this image for its juxtaposition of irreverent Hong Kong swindle-talk with the earnest "Democracy Wall" of the early period of liberalization on the Chinese mainland:

"Not once, not ever!
Say 'NO!' to con men!
Say 'NO!' to the Chief Executive!"

The individual poster is a study in Chinese economy of words: "Not once, not ever! 'No!' to con men! 'No!' to the Chief Executive." (Source: yalpoon on Twitter)

The term lao qian or "old thousand," means "con man" and is a familiar genre in Hong Kong film. It gives the placard overtones of "I wasn't born yesterday."

Behind the demonstrator, you can see "Democracy Wall" (minzhu qiang). The original Democracy Wall was an experiment in expression and liberalization in mainland China in the late '70s during the post-Mao, post-Gang of Four thaw.

Citizen media: Dazi bao ("big character posters") in China

(Image from EastSouthWestNorth - more great images from late '70s China there.)

(Other 1/1/10 images from Hong Kong discussed in Scarry Thoughts.)

Related posts

In Hong Kong's "Umbrella Revolution," umbrella's have become canvases for posters and messages.

(See HONG KONG'S UMBRELLA: An Icon for the Ages )

Large protests in Hong Kong have been occuring in Hong Kong for decades. Street demonstrations at the beginning of 2010 exhibited a new high in diversity, expression, and energy.

(See #0101hk: Visual Imagery of Hong Kong Protests Jan 1 2010 )

The term yin quan or "power patronage," comes from the idea of a tree that grows in the shelter of others. Cronyism and power patronage are a constant problem in Chinese politics.

(See I {heart} HK