National Education

Perry Dino captures Hong Kong protests in oil on canvas

Artist records Hong Kong demonstrations for posterity in oil on canvas

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 23 September, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 23 September, 2012, 3:02pm

Local artist Perry Dino has chronicled Hong Kong's most controversial protest events the old-fashioned way.

Dino, whose real name is Chan, painstakingly captured some of this year's most momentous occasions by painting in oils on canvas.

His depiction of the ocean of protesters that swamped the government's headquarters in Admiralty earlier this month when tens of thousands rallied for days against the national education curriculum has been lauded by people who took part.

Other pictures he painted include the hunger strikers involved in the same protest and the anti-national-education protest outside Chinese University.

"I wanted to capture the moment by sitting down and painting what I saw," said Dino, 46. "This issue was so important to the people of Hong Kong and I wanted to record it for posterity."

During his time drawing and painting at Chinese University protest he spent seven hours at the easel without a break.

"It was a real physical challenge and I could not have done it without the support of the Hong Kong people. They were always encouraging me on," he said.

Dino's first efforts at painting some of the city's dramatic scenes came during the Dolce and Gabbana controversy in January. when hundreds of protesters gathered after an apparent incident involving locals taking pictures of its Tsim Sha Tsui storefront - a shop guard reportedly said that only mainlanders could take pictures of the storefront.

He followed this up by painting the sea of candles in Victoria Park on June 4 as a record number of people gave public voice to their anger in China's only large-scale event commemorating those killed in the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown. Organisers said 180,000 people took part in the vigil.

Dino said that oil painting was the most difficult way of capturing what was happening, but to him it was also the most traditional, beautiful and vivid. He has no plans to sell the paintings, although they are in demand: instead he hopes to give them to a local museum where they could be seen by future generations.

"These are hugely important events that will go down in Hong Kong history. I have two young daughters and I want them to never forget these issues when I have passed away," he said.

Dino, a part-time teacher of visual arts, hopes that his efforts will also help the fight for the use of public space by artists.