Candy Choi | Founder of an art organisation - “As well as
donating money, I want to tell Hongkongers, by taking
action, that we stand with them in solidarity.”
Lui at We Are HKers
Candy Choi is the founder of Young Blood Initiative, an art organisation. She studied and worked in London in the fashion design field, and is now living in Amsterdam. Candy is from Yuen Long, and she came back to Hong Kong 2 days after the Yuen Long Attack on 21 July. She could feel the tense atmosphere all around Hong Kong. On 12th October, she, together with some London-dwelling Hongkongers, held a ‘Be Water!’ contemporary arts exhibition in London to show solidarity with protesters in Hong Kong.
I am from Yuen Long, and I now reside in Amsterdam. This summer, I came back to Hong Kong 2 days after the 721 gangster raid in Yuen Long. I could not believe such an incident would happen in such a tranquil and harmonious community like Yuen Long. In the previous years, I would stroll around and go shopping with my loved ones when I come back to Hong Kong. But this year, no one dares to go out. My aunt is scared of taking the MTR even. My
friends were all exhausted from the rallies they participated in, and nobody was in the mood to go out and have fun. They were even talking about moving abroad. Discussions with friends and family would only focus on the incidents happening on that day, since more people are starting to see the uglier side of the government and the police. There was a time when we were dining out, a group of rural men was sitting at the next table. They were
saying nasty things like “Those black shirts deserved getting beaten up!”. We immediately stopped our discussion to avoid possible arguments with them. Another time I was chatting with my ‘Yellow Ribbon’* mother about social issues on the street, where a complete stranger started roaring at us out of rage. These encounters indicate how tense the atmosphere in our society is now.
This is not the Hong Kong I know. I was depressed for a long time. Every night, I need to meditate for an hour before being able to go to sleep. One day, I happened to come across a Facebook post of a friend of mine. The wordings in the posts are very subtle, “Kids on the Hillside don’t have food, everybody please help them!” Since many of the protesters spent all their money on purchasing protective gear for protest, they might not have money left for food. There were Netizens in Hong Kong who decide to donate food coupons to these protesters, and I’ve decided to become one of them. My family and I started gathering food coupons and other supplies to support the protests; and my family is really enthusiastic. I would even say they are overly enthusiastic about this. ‘Need umbrellas? We have PLENTY!’ asked my aunt warm-heartedly. ‘Nah,’ I replied, ‘they wouldn't need them..’ Then, I
reached out to the volunteer who collect protest supplies on Facebook for a meetup. Holding a stack of Parknshop vouchers, I went to the MTR station for meetup. A girl came to me. To prevent passersby from eavesdropping, we pretended to be old friends. When the meetup was nearly over, I handed her an envelope with the stack of vouchers, and said “gayau” (add oil) to her before leaving the station. But after the meetup, I could not stop
sobbing. That girl looked really young... From my impression, she was a courteous and skinny young lady, but is brave enough to join the protest. I regret not asking her where she studies and what urges her to come out and protest...
But as a curator, what can I do?