Janina GREEN, Maid in Hong Kong #11 Enlarge 1 /1

Janina GREEN

Essen, Germany born 1944

  • Australia from 1949

Maid in Hong Kong #11 2008
Collection Title: Maid in Hong Kong
Place made: Hong Kong, China
Materials & Technique: photographs, gelatin silver photograph, colour dyes gelatin silver photograph

Dimensions: image and sheet 76.0 h x 60.0 w cm
Acknowledgement: Gift of Wilbow Group PTY LTD 2012. Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program.
Accession No: NGA 2012.1483

The series Maid in Hong Kong continues Green's long­held interest in women's work. The photographs grew out of visits to Hong Kong, where Green observed the phenomenon of Filipino and Indonesian domestic workers who congregate on Sundays in public and commercial spaces throughout the city to socialise on the one day a week they have off. The time-consuming, delicate and subtle colouring of the prints imparts a dignity to the low status assigned to women whose daily lives comprise hard physical labour, raising families and looking after homes. It also casts the subject with what the artist identifies as a 'sensual and emotional' countenance, which is quite at odds with the often hostile public perception of the maids who congregate typically in the city's most marginal spaces.

Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra