Frank Tang |tangkaiyiu[a]
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Victoria Park|維多利亞公園
ink and colour on paper
140 x 92.5cm
Private collection|私人收藏

Victoria Park documents the controversial displacement of one of Hong Kong’s most iconic monuments, the statue of Queen Victoria, originally unveiled in Statue Square in 1896 on the occasion of her birthday and Jubilee. Like the lions in Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens, the statue was taken from the city during World War II but was spared from being melted down in Japan. Damaged on its return to Hong Kong in 1952, it was repaired and the relocated to Victoria Park in 1957. Further damage came in 1996, a year before the city’s handover, when the young activist artist Pan Xinglei defaced the statue with red paint and broke its nose, protesting against “dull, colonial culture”. With Victoria Park as the key site of many of the city’s demonstrations – from the riots in the 1960s to the June 4th vigil to the more recent protests – the sculpture has witnessed the turmoil of history. Together with other icons of Hong Kong, Tang’s exploration of monuments outlines the major events that mark a tumultuous century of change and social tension in the city.


Text by Tai Kwun Contemporary