Title

Visible voices of asylum seekers : the art of Vietnamese boatpeople in Hong Kong

Document Type

Article

Source Publication

International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

Publication Date

1-2012

Volume

2

Issue

1

First Page

81

Last Page

93

Keywords

asylum seekers, refugee art, detention camps, image writing visual testimony, collective memories

Abstract

Art, as a kind of visual language, can substitute what language is unsuited. This is particular true for people who are undoing extreme adversity. In the late 1980s, there were as many as 50,000 Vietnamese asylum seekers living in detention camps in Hong Kong. These people lived in a prison-like environment with a bleak sense of hope, bearing various fears and tragic memories. The psychological and physical sufferings of these asylum seekers were so complex and indescribable that the voices of their inner world often got muted. Between 1989 and 1991, a 3-year art project funded by UN was conducted in these detention camps. Over 800 pieces of works done by the inmates of all ages were collected. This paper examines selected images from this collection for the muted voices of these people. It demonstrates how these images can act as visual testimonies of asylum seekers.

Print ISSN

22208488

E-ISSN

22210989

Publisher Statement

Copyright © 2012 Center for Promoting Ideas (CPI), USA. Access to external full text or publisher's version may require subscription.

Full-text Version

Publisher’s Version

Recommended Citation

Law, S. S.-m. (2012). Visible voices of asylum seekers : the art of Vietnamese boatpeople in Hong Kong. International Journal of Humanities and Social Science, 2(1), 81-93.