A Defiant City: 239 sketches of Hong Kong’s mass protest movement 2019-20

A Defiant City: 239 sketches of Hong Kong’s mass protest movement 2019-20

The publication

A Defiant City: 239 sketches of Hong Kong’s mass protest movement 2019-20

#A book dedicated to all real Hongkongers


The Album: This book is a pictorial album containing 239 sketches made by a Hong Kong-based artist recording Hong Kong’s 2019-20 anti-extradition movement, a mass protest movement resisting a law amendment aiming at extraditing people in Hong Kong to mainland China. The development of the movement has attracted worldwide attention. The sketches compiled in this album covers events running from March 2019, when the extradition bill was introduced, up to January 2020, when the Wuhan coronavirus epidemic became a looming threat to Hong Kong and the whole world. With all sketches accompanied by short captions telling the five Ws: what, when, where, how and why, the book is almost a chronology of a historic resistance movement of the people of Hong Kong – Hongkongers.


The Sketches: The whole collection of sketches is made on A3 size (29.5 x 41.5 cm) water-colour paper. The sketch project began in June 2019 after the one-million-plus and two-million-plus protest marches and ended in mid January 2020 before the beginning of the year of the Rat. The media used were pencil and felt marker (sign pen); colour was added with colour pencil and, occasionally, crayon. The sketches are mostly based on photos taken by the two artists of Fong & Yeung Studio and also from various sources online.


Two related stories: (1) Nearly all materials of the book were ready in February 2020, but the project was brought to a halt twice: the first time from March to June by the 2020 novel coronavirus pandemic which practically put the world into lockdown mode; and the second time from July to September by Hong Kong’s national security law which made it too risky for the printer to take the printing job. Eventually, the book could only be printed outside Hong Kong. (2) This is the artist’s second pictorial album about Hong Kong’s protest movements, the first one being Umbrella Sketches: A first hand impression of the HK Umbrella Movement 2014. It was published in December 2014, containing 139 sketches. Then four more pieces were added in 2015 in an Amazon e-book. The whole collection of Umbrella sketches has entered into the collections of the British Museum.


The publisher: This is a self-published book by Fong & Yeung Studio, an art studio and gallery of two independent artists. It is also a small publisher doing self-publishing. This book project is partially financed by friends who have lent their valuable support to the artist Fong So.


The artist: Fong So is a journalist-turned artist working mainly with the media of brush and ink. Before turning to art, he was an editor of a current affairs magazine based in Hong Kong. He also works with woodcut prints and some other media. His works have been exhibited in Hong Kong, South Korea, the UK and the USA and appear in the collections of the Hong Kong Museum of Art, the Gwangju Art Museum in South Korea and the British Museum in London. Including this publication, he has published nine art albums.


Size: 17 x 24 cm; 256 pages

Contents: 239 colour illustrations; a brief timeline of major events

Language: English

Publication date: December 2020

Recommended price: Hong Kong HK$240 / UK £25 / US $32.50

Availability: Sorry that all shipments of the book back to Hong Kong have been put on hold. Please contact Fong & Yeung Studio (fong@fong-yeung.com) for its availability.