The Rise of New Political Cartoon Movement in Hong Kong since 2012

  • WONG, Chiu Tat (PI)

Project: Research project

Project Details


During the Hong Kong Chief Executive Election in 2012, a number of online political cartoonists emerged on social media and made a huge impact on the formation of public opinion among young people. It signalled the beginning of a new political cartoon movement in the digital era with new style, aesthetics and readership. The movement reached its peak during the Umbrella Movement in 2014 when visual arts were widely adopted by protestors. While we expect the movement to continue to develop, the HKCE Election in 2017 has shown a totally different picture. The number of political cartoons on social media dropped drastically and cartoonists were struggling to gain the same level of public attention as in 2012.

Despite the ups and downs, the movement has brought a lot of changes to Hong Kong’s political cartoon scene that will be decisive in future developments. This research will aim to investigate those changes with the following focuses: 1) The new ecology that transformed the mode of creation and art practices for both traditional and online cartoonists. 2) The new comics language that emerged from new tools, publication formats and the influence from other disciplines such as graphic design in visual arts. 3) The new readership that represents a new mode of social engagement that affects cartoonists’ creative directions. This research project will not approach the New Political Comics Movement as merely the transformation from print to online platforms, but also as the establishment of a hybrid environment that allows exchange between traditional and online cartoonists. This study will aim to fill the huge gap in academic studies about political comics in Hong Kong since the extensive studies on Hong Kong comics by Wendy Wong S.Y about 20 years ago. It will also attempt to continue the significant research on Hong Kong political comics by Carine Lai Man in 2006 and generate an up- to-date overview of the scene. Apart from contributing to academic literature via an analysis of cartoonists’ backgrounds and works, the research will also bring the findings to the public through the building of an online platform and a comic work.
Effective start/end date1/01/1930/06/21


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