Two Filipina domestic workers have been shortlisted for Hong Kong Human Rights Arts Prize 2018 competition.
The domestic workers have been selected from over 100 applicants who showed their artistic talents when exploring humanitarian issues and topics such as maids’ rights, migration and sustainability, sunwebhk.com reported.
Gemma Abad from Camarines Norte, who has been working in the city for 11 years, made a dress with the ubiquitous straw bag, which is popular among domestic workers.
Her untitled artwork is captioned: “A market bag: ordinary, common, simple and durable, transformed into a new form, a new purpose.”
Abad said she was inspired and encouraged by her employer Kate Sparrow, who is also an artist, to pursue her artistic talent. They even collaborated in an exhibit called “Not For Sale” in October.
Villanueva, from Sorsogon, has worked in Hong Kong for six years as a domestic. Previously, she was a musician in the Philippines and Malaysia, however, she came to Hong Kong after doing a course on work as a caregiver.
She said her artwork, titled “Innocent hands” is about rape. The artist said she wanted to emphasize the protection of victims.
Villanueva is a member of Guhit Kulay Hong Kong, a group of Filipino artists. This is the first big competition she has joined, she said.
Launched by Justice Centre Hong Kong, the award encourages Hong Kong-based artists to explore local and external humanitarian issues through various forms of creation.
The winner will receive a cash prize of HK$35,000 (US$4,483) and a trophy by prominent Hong Kong artist Jaffa Lam.
Previous winners in the arts tilt include Filipina former domestic worker-turned professional photographer Xyza Cruz Bacani for a series of pictures of migrant workers.