Extremely Recalcitrant

Archival ink prints, engraving on plexiglas, wooden frame, set of 2, 45.8 x 30.3 cm each, 2016


A 1919 photograph of the hockey team of the King’s School, Bruton in England is mirrored in this diptych. Sir Michael D. I. Gass who was the Acting Governor of Hong Kong during the Hong Kong Riots in 1967, and the mastermind of the crackdown of the riots was educated at the The King’s School, Bruton.

The words “Extremely Recalcitrant” is etched onto the Plexiglas of either framed photograph in a gesture typical of Leung’s practice. A comment used by Magistrate Enoch Light describing the fourteen schoolgirls who were charged for obstructing police officers during the 1967 riot in Hong Kong. The girls had been excluded from the court for being “unruly and disrespectful” (as reported in the South China Morning Post, Nov 18, 1967). Susan Sontag describes photographs as “a way of imprisoning reality, understood as recalcitrant, inaccessible; of making it stand still...” (On Photography, 1977). The duplicating of the photographs by Leung and the imposing of the two words illuminates photographs complicated relationship to reality.

One of the imprisoned schoolgirls, Janet Tsang went on to publish (in Chinese) All Round Tactics To Get Into The Best British Schools (2005).