Photos of Hong Kong’s “umbrella movement” have ricocheted around the world. But artist Perry Dino has been capturing the drama in a more old-fashioned way, with oil color and brush.
Beginning with an Aug. 31 rally, Dino has created eight canvases capturing the democracy movement as it gathered steam in the semi-autonomous Chinese city.
It’s not his first attempt at painting Hong Kong’s protest scene. In 2012, he was inspired by rallies against a proposed “patriotic education” curriculum, and he created multiple canvases documenting those demonstrations. The scale of those protests eventually forced the authorities to retreat from their plans to require the classes.
Dino also has painted the territory’s annual marches commemorating the 1989 crackdown on protesters at Beijing’s Tiananmen Square.
“These events will go down in Hong Kong history, and I wanted to capture them in this way,” Dino said recently as he put the finishing touches on a canvas in the Admiralty district.
Just minutes earlier, a group of young art school graduates had surprised the crowd by rolling a giant sculpture into the protest zone. Made of wooden blocks shaped into a human form, the figure was holding a large yellow umbrella — the symbol of the protest movement, used by participants to shield themselves from rain, sun and tear gas.
Dino pointed to the lower right corner of his painting, where he had already daubed in a likeness of the sculpture.
“I could photograph the scene and go home and paint it,” said Dino, “but that would be too static.”
Have a look above at some of Dino’s canvases from recent weeks.
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