“In many Hong Kong movies, there are characters that don’t have a real identity of their own. They’re fighting for their master but they don’t know who their master really is. I think this reflects society quite well.”
Born 1980, Hong Kong. Lives and works in Hong Kong
Perhaps it is because he can still remember a time when his city was not under Communist rule, but Chow Chun Fai is one of the few artists in the White Rabbit Collection who are actively engaged in politics. In 2012 he ran unsuccessfully for a cultural post in the Hong Kong Legislative Council, and says his artworks usually contain messages about politics or society. In his “movie paintings”, including Legend of the Fist: China is Not Ruled by Chinese Anyway (2012), those “messages” are presented directly, in the guise of the subtitles on stills from Hong Kong movies—in this case a 2011 sequel to the Bruce Lee classic Fist of Fury. The wide-screen-scale pictures all turn on Hong Kong’s persistent anxiety about identity: “We in Hong Kong are never just cops or just mafia. We are always both,” Chow Chun Fai says.