Press Release 2.11.2022
AR Photo Campaign urges
the University of Hong Kong to #ReturnThePillar

Since the Pillar of Shame was torn down by the University of Hong Kong (HKU) in December 2021,
the Danish artist Jens Galschiøt has been negotiating with those involved but to no avail. Without the
University’s sincerity and help, the pillar can never be returned to its rightful owner. Launching the
#ReturnThePillar campaign in Amsterdam on Saturday (29th October 2022), we call for public action
and invite them to take a photo with the AR version of Pillar of Shame and print out the 3D object
along with the hashtag #ReturnThePillar on IG or FB. With the power of the people, we urge HKU
to return the Pillar of Shame.

Recent incidents such as the beating of a Hong Kong protestor within the Chinese consulate
grounds in Manchester and the protest on Beijing's Sithong Bridge have once again raised global
concerns about human rights issues in Hong Kong and China. Last Saturday, Jens Galschiøt and
two overseas Hong Kong organizations NL4HK and NGO DEI, with the help of Amnesty International
Student Group Amsterdam, held the "Art beyond Democracy seminar and Launch of
#ReturnThePillar Campaign" located in Amnesty International the Netherlands. Joined by Samuel
Chu, the founder of "The Campaign for Hong Kong", and Dr. Gerlov van Engelenhoven, an expert in
Dutch postcolonial theory, the seminar discussed how contemporary art can be a force for good
regarding universal issues and how ordinary citizens can take part in art and politics in order to
influence the world with humanism.

The meaning of the symbolic Pillar of Shame has become even more profound than ever since it was dismantled by the University of Hong Kong at midnight on the 22nd of December 2021. While commemorative activities for June 4 were taking place around the world this year, the Pillar of Shame was also erected in various forms in Taipei, Prague, and Oslo to demonstrate to the world that democracy and freedom will not be easily buried and silenced. Approaching the first anniversary of the removal of the statue, its sculptor Jens Galschiøtcontinues to communicate with the people in charge of the HKU through various means. Unfortunately, excuses and delays were all he received. After a long wait, the artist has no choice but to use other means to urge HKU to respond. People's participation is the key to this campaign, and the organizers hope to use AR technology to demonstrate that history will neither be forgotten nor that the kidnapping of the Pillar will rewrite history and falsify the truth. The #ReturnThePillar campaign is simple: use the QR code provided to download the AR object or even 3D print it out to "take" the Pillar to different countries or even to take it back to Hong Kong - to the landmark you think it should be showcased - then tag #ReturnThePillar and upload it to Facebook or Instagram. The Pillar of Shame at the University of Hong Kong was permanently loaned to the Hong Kong Democracy Movement since1997, and the ownership of the Pillar of Shame has always been vested in Jens Galschiøt himself. He was shocked to learn that the Pillar of Shame had been removed last year, which was widely reported by the international media. Closer to a year of the taking down of the Pillar, our blind acceptance of injustice in Hong Kong as well as the world around us will only fortify the power of absolute authorities. Jens Galschiøt and the overseas Hong Kong organizations NL4HK and NGO DEI believe that this campaign can use an artistic approach, to get the HKU’s response. And again, the participation of overseas and local Hong Kongers, as well as all supporters of democracy and freedom around the world, is vitally important

Press Kit:



The Humanitarian Fund -


A fund to help Hong Kong Pro-Democracy protesters in Canada to obtain refugee status. 

Help Our HK Protesters

VSSDM  collaborate with Vancouver Parent Groups provide financial support and settlement supports to help Hong Kong Pro-Democracy protesters who arrive in Canada to obtain refugee status. 
Financial support and settlement supports include:
» legal fees for refugee claim if applicable 
» referral to legal aid if possible
» temporary housing and help with finding permanent housing
» help with registering for mandatory federal and provincial programs and medical insurance
» support with job seeking
» providing living expenses for those who are actively seeking but not yet able to obtain a job 
» orientation to the community
» referrals to other refugee programs