Eddie Botha: Pink Panda Monium, 2019
Despite its phenomenal economic rise, Hong Kong has long been the birthplace of inequality. Life is struggling in a densely populated metropolis with a desperate housing shortage, eye-watering rents and a limited welfare state.
With the new round of coronavirus infections leading to unemployment, the number of people with low-income, no-income and homelessness is increasing.
According to the Hong Kong Government statistics show there are 1,423 street sleepers as of June 2020, Sham Shui Po in Hong Kong is the poorest area, when you look around the Un Chau Street pedestrian bridge, it is a beige sky bridge with many high-rise apartment buildings. Before cleaning, the bridge was littered with mattresses, flat cardboard boxes and simple tents. Nearby, plywood scaffolding is under the elevated highway. By the footbridge, more and more homeless people are camping in the park.
According to a survey published by the government this year, the most common reasons for homeless people in Hong Kong are unemployment and expensive rent that make them inability to pay rent which two issues are a major factor.
At a price of HK$1,900 (US$245) per month, a 40-square-foot (3.7-square-meter) cubicle under the stairs. There is no window, no independent flushing toilet, and no lock on the door, perhaps, McDonald’s is a rather safe place for them.
Australia based artist Eddie Botha @eddiebotha through this work Pink Panda Monium to address the emergency and short-term accommodation needs of street sleepers, McRefugees, and the low-income people, hope spread a message to help them, to ensure that they live in an equal and safe city.
Image Credit: @scmpnews & @hongkongfp
Courtesy of the artist – Eddie Botha; Pink Panda Monium, 2019; Indian ink on 300gsm Canon paper; 35 13/16 x 50 3/8 in. (91 x 128 cm.)