Public Art and ‘Spatiality’ – How Art Shapes the Politics of Space in Hong Kong
It is easy to disregard the seemingly innocuous nature of consuming a piece of public art, but art installations have increasingly become a tool to perpetuate political reforms and ideas. For some installations, the politics of the piece may be explicit, but this is not always the case with e.g. government commissioned art or grass-root projects. Therefore, it is valuable to analyse the processes of the funding, installation and public engagement, as public art can be used to advocate for different political agendas (e.g. gentrification), and understand that politics dominate the conception and execution of many public art installations. This further suggests that public art has a place-making power in the urban fabric to create politically charged relationships between different social groups. This paper seeks to investigate these place-making and political processes in Hong Kong through the various forms of public artwork around the city. With the ongoing protests and discourses surrounding the role of public art in politics, analysing forms of public art provides insight on how they are socially and politically embedded in the fabric of the city.