The Hong Kong Artist Union has called on the city’s cultural institutions and galleries to suspend operations on June 12 and allow employees to take part in Wednesday’s strike, should they choose.
According to an open letter, the proposed extradition law would “risk seriously eroding the freedom of expression on which the work of artists and cultural workers of all disciplines depend,” if passed.
“It also undermines the city’s reputation and credibility as an international art hub where ideas through freely.”
The letter was sent to M+, Tai Kwun and the Asia Society, among others.
Artist and union member, Wong Ka Ying told CNN that art spaces around the city had lent their support by closing for the day, or limiting operations so their workers could attend without being penalized.
Wong said the union was participating in the protest to help fight for freedom of speech.
“Many Hong Kong artworks are engaged in society, and related to politics. We don’t want to be sent to jail because of our works, or to be punished for showing (political) artworks. That is what has happened to artists in mainland China.”