Mimic image: Making of mediated decolonial political imaginaries and counter-hegemonic narratives in 2019–2020 Hong Kong Anti-ELAB movement

Jeffery Lin Chi-ho

Keywords: Transnational solidarity; anti-china hegemony; Cultural jamming; Derivative mimicry; post-truth era

Participation: presential

This paper aims to explore the semiotic mechanism of the decolonial and anti-china hegemony propaganda counter-image production, primarily focusing on how image Interference has been used as a strategy to negotiate, consolidated the subjective of the Hong Kong anti-china colonial rule imagine community. This paper borrows the concept of media imaginaries from Frederik Lesage and Louis Rinfret how the image Interference tactic in protester propaganda enables the identification and engagement with the socio-material surroundings of Hong Kong and beyond. Specifically, this paper will focus on a few types of image Interference in the anti-china hegemony propaganda: (1) The remaking of the Lennon wall as a visual phenomenon. (2) "Cultural jamming" of government propaganda and news media image. (3) Derivative mimicry work based on based on classic artworks such as Magritte, Goya, Delacroix.

The paper will also include visual symbol and poster created based on iconic news photography and popular internet cartoon. I analyze the visual transformation process and logic behind the image Interference behind these images. I proposed the image Interference of news image as a reactive force to defend the authenticity of protesters' narrative in the post-truth era against the distorted and censor hegemonic narrative by the Chinese colonial government, which in the context of Hong Kong, China- state backed media often use fake news to smear the protester. This help to achieve balance stories via the power of images and produced an alternative space for the subaltern to speak under the dominating colonial voice.

For derivative work based on canonical artworks, image Interference creates a visual familiarity to help the image get widespread. The pre-occupied message and context of the painting also help to provide a greater capacity to contain complex feeling such as absurdity. The paper also explores the historical dimension of image Interference, exemplify how these derivative work function as an emphatic connection with other revolution in history, opening up a possible parallel understanding of the Hong Kong 2019–2020 Hong Kong Anti-ELAB movement with other oppressed people in other parts and time of the world. This also provided a framework of decolonial remaking of knowledge/ image of how to transform the euro-centric canon in serve of the subaltern colonial subject.

The paper read these image Interference work via the lens of Murray Edelman and Catherine Corrigall-Brown to unpack the physiological and emotional impact of such visual tactic on forming subjectivity and solidarity amount Hong Kong protester and international anti-colonial and hegemony society.


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Lin Chi-ho, Jeffery graduated from SOAS MA South East and Pacific Asian Studies. He has actively engaged in art criticism at the International Association of Theatre Critics (Hong Kong). He recently awarded the 15th Hong Kong Arts Development Awards for Young Artist (Arts Criticism). His long- term focus is on issues including cultural politics and trends in arts development. His research interests included Sinophone studies, visual culture, Historiography of Art, curatorial practices, socially engaged art in Southeast Asia. He is a member of the IATC (Hong Kong), Hong Kong Literary Criticism Society and Cultural Leadership Youth Academy at the University of Hong Kong.