Blank spaces and an organiser email have replaced award-winning works in a publication for the Hong Kong Designers Association’s 2016 Global Design Awards.

According to the Tomorrow Design Office, which posted about the incident, “Human Rights” by TGIF and “Ming Pao Weekly / yellow umbrella / 2” by Stanley Wong x anothermountainman were omitted from the catalog.

A message on the pages they were supposed to be on say “for details and images on this page, please contact us at below email address.” The pages were handed out separately in a black envelope instead.

blank pages HKDA GDA
Blank pages in the design awards publication. Photo: Tomorrow Design Office.

TGIF was recognised for designing Amnesty International’s Human Rights publications, which say “Press Freedom,” or “Civil Resistance” on their covers. Meanwhile, Wong’s work dealt with the 2014 pro-democracy Occupy protests.

Human right amnesty international TGIF
TGIF’s work for Amnesty International Hong Kong. Photo: Tomorrow Design Office via Stand News.

The Tomorrow Design Office said “What kind of rule is this? For work which won an award, which the designer has paid high publishing fees for, to get blank pages? I sent a letter to the HKDA hoping to get an official explanation of the matter, but there was no response.”

The office told HKFP that they sent two emails requesting the images of the replaced works and asking for an explanation, waiting five days for an answer.

black envelope
The black envelope in which the pages are distributed.

The HKDA told HKFP in a statement that their publication was produced in collaboration with a mainland publisher. The publisher informed them on June 28 that part of the publication needed to be withdrawn, it said.

The association said they intended to print and paste the original pages into the Hong Kong versions of the publication, but they were met with printing delays. “Because this time it is the lack of printing time that led to inept organisation, the association sincerely apologises,” the statement said.

Loose sheets
Loose sheets. Photo: Tomorrow Design Office via Stand News.

Wong told Apple Daily that he knew his work would not be included in the publication because it would also be distributed in mainland China. According to Wong, the association said that the Hong Kong version would retain the works, but he did not not know that they would be distributed in loose sheets. TGIF also told Apple Daily that they were notified that some works may not be published in mainland China.

chantal yuen

Chantal Yuen

Chantal Yuen is a Hong Kong journalist interested in issues dealing with religion and immigration. She majored in German and minored in Middle Eastern studies at Princeton University.