New Exhibition at HKU tells story of Anti-ELAB Movement through objects

“Sapientia: Anti-ELAB Movement Collection Exhibition” was launched on Monday, 19th October. Organized by Objournalist with support from the Hong Kong University Students’ Union, the exhibition showcases collected objects associated with the Anti-ELAB Movement in Hong Kong.

The exhibition shows a variety of items including letters from jailed protesters, bail papers and yellow umbrella which was a symbol of the umbrella revolution in 2014. In addition, sound recordings are being played along with the exhibits. Created by the Hong Kong people, the objects displayed are collected on protest sites or donated by the owners. According to the organizers, the purpose of the collection is “to speak for and of the people of Hong Kong”. 

The organizer of the exhibition, Objournalist, was founded in June 2020. Objouranlist’s founder Stary said she was inspired to collect anti-ELAB related objects as she likes to visit museums. She sees objects as a carrier of information, and they speak to her in a symbolic way.

“It has inspired me to look into objects I encountered no matter how ordinary they are, especially during this historic event in Hong Kong,” she said. “Object journalism is a way to tell stories through recording the ideology of the creator, user and owner. These objects are the evidence of history.”

The exhibition attracted a number of visitors, including students from HKU.

Visitors at the Sapientia: Anti-ELAB Movement Collection Exhibition (Photo by Iris To)

“I feel very reminiscent being here, it wasn’t long ago when we took to the streets and protest,” said James Wong, a year 3 student from the Faculty of Social Sciences. “I feel like everything has changed now and the society has quiet down, but we will not forget what happened last year as it had been a very impactful year.”


He added that the exhibition reminded him the movement’s original motive, which is to demand for democracy.

James Wong, a year 3 student said being at the exhibition reminds him of 2019 which is an impactful year to Hong Kong and to himself (Photo by Iris To)

Tsoi Man Hong, the editor-in-chief of Undergrad HKUSU, said the exhibition is meaningful as the objects collection is a great way to record the anti-ELAB movement, but he thought the scale of the exhibition was smaller than he imagined.


The exhibition will run until 31st October, opening hour will be from 9:30am to 5:30pm at 1/F, The Hong Kong University Student’s Union Building.

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