2. 向被驅逐離場的參展人(包括一位來自台灣的藝術家) 公開道歉
(we updated the petition on 18,Dec in a shortened fashion, in align with the Chinese Text. The content remain the same)
Dear Organisers of the Hong Kong Shenzhen Bi-City Biennial of Architecture and Urbanism (UABB*HK),
We are a group of international exhibitors and artists invited to the UABB*HK 2013.
As already publicly reported in the media, on Wednesday, 11 December, several participating exhibitors and artists were ill-treated and forcibly removed from the Biennial opening events. The organising groups (HKIA, HKIP and HKDA) did not come to their assistance; neither was any explanation given. This letter is an expression of our strong dissatisfaction with the organising committees, and what follows is a concise summary of our concerns and requests.
We request the organizers to publicly respond to the following questions:
Why was the opening filled with security guards and police? Were the special measures requested by CY Leung?
Why were some of the officially invited exhibitors not included on the guest list? Why did everyone have to go through a security check?
EKEO (Energizing Kowloon East Office) represents top-down gentrification. Should a biennale with the curatorial theme, “Beyond the Urban Edge: “The Ideal City?”” be cooperating with EKEO?
Did the organisers know in advance that the artists would be evicted physically?
Who gave that order? Was it the Hong Kong government, HKIA, HKIP, HKDA, etc?
Did the organisers order the security guards to evict the Taiwanese exhibitor, and allow that exhibitor to be interrogated without a third-party witness?
In addition to the above questions regarding the events of December 11, we request that the organisers take action on the following issues:
1. Public Apology on Inappropriate Security Measures
The entrance to the Biennial opening was flooded with CY Leung’s security, police and EKEO security personnel, leading to the extreme difficulty by which participants entered the site, including having their personal belongings opened and exposed to media photographers. We request that the organisers give a full apology to those who have received such inhumane treatment and were forcibly evicted from the premises.
2. Open Apology and Full Explanation on Forcible Removal of Participating Exhibitors
Among those who were forcibly evicted by security staff from the opening events was one exhibitor from Taiwan who does not speak Cantonese. After merely enquiring why a fellow exhibitor was taken out of the EKEO building, she was also escorted off the site, then questioned by a plain-clothed security personnel of unknown affiliation in a disrespectful and humiliating manner. The exhibitor was repeatedly and offensively demanded to speak in Cantonese.
3. Request for Open Apology from UABB*HK and the organisers (HKIA, HKIP and HKDA) for the lack of Assistance to Exhibitors
4.Apology for Distraction of the Media
The organisers should apologise for poor organisation and control of the media at the opening events, which led to the inappropriate documentation of the above stated events and closed off what should be the focus of the exhibition, the actual works, from being viewed.
We believe that the organisers should have immediately contacted all those who were affected by the unfortunate events during the opening on the December 11, but there has been no initiative on their part. We demand a public response to this letter, and respectfully ask the organisers to take responsibility for responding to our questions.
(This letter has been sent to local art workers, other international exhibitors of the Biennial and by post to the organising committees.)
Artists and Exhibitors Alliance