An exhibition on the art of the pro-democracy Occupy movement, timed to coincide with the protests’ anniversary in late September, is struggling to find a home as venues turn down the politically sensitive collection.

Assembled by volunteers over a period of eight months, the exhibition aims to catalogue the outpouring of creativity that accompanied the 79-day protest movement. As well as 1,500 Occupy-related posters, the collection also comprising 400 items from protest zones in Admiralty, Mong Kok and Causeway Bay.

Occupy artwork. Photo: Ryan Kilpatrick via Instagram.

The Leisure and Cultural Services Department was the first to turn the group away, telling the volunteers that exhibition sites had to be booked at least a year in advance—meaning it’s impossible to stage the show at a government venue.

Although the Lee Shau Kee School of Creativity was initially willing to rent out its gallery from September 12 to 28, the school made a sudden about-turn last week, telling organisers that they had to submit an additional set of documentation that would delay the exhibition’s opening until after the desired date.

Clarisse Yeung Suet-ying, one of the organisers behind the event and a spokesperson for the collective that began gathering artwork as authorities prepared to clear the protest sites in December 2014, said that they hope to ensure that the democracy movements “leave some historical footprint,” regardless of its outcome.

Thanks to supporters, the group has been able to rent out a 400-square-foot facility to store the collection. As Occupy’s anniversary fast approaches, however, the group is still searching for a venue between 1,000 to 1,500 square feet to host the exhibition.

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Ryan Kilpatrick

Ryan Kilpatrick is a local writer, journalist and editor. Formerly National Online Editor for the That's magazine group in China, his work on the history and politics of the region has earned him the CEFC Award in Modern China Studies and has also appeared in China Economic Review, Asian Studies Review, China Green News, e-International Relations, Shanghaiist and various publications at his alma mater, the University of Hong Kong, where he is currently enrolled in the Master of Journalism programme.